This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rips Country Inn

This month's Beverage Journal has several good articles in it and is worth taking a gander at (click here.)  (For all you oenophiles, (I didn't want to call you wino's but I'm not so sure oenophile is any better) check out page 14 for a look at the wine Brunello di Montalcino.  Pam and I visited the town of Montalcino in Tuscanny a few years back and it really is an impressive place.  Brunello wine is a little on the pricey side but if you are looking for a nice, Thanksgiving hostess gift, this would be a good choice.

All that said however, the article from the Beverage Journal that I want to pass along to you is a profile of Marshele Burgess owner of  Rips Country Inn in Bowie Maryland.  With over 100 employees and 4 businesses, Rips has always been one of my stops when doing any road trip travelling Rt.301 up that way.   Read the article to learn how Rips got its name.  The baseball connection seems fitting given that the Bowie Baysox ball park is now located right next door to Rips.  (I hi-lited that section of the article if you're in a hurry and don't care to read the entire article.)

Following video starts out rapping about going to the liquor store but soon devolves into I don't know what.  I hung with it because it does have some very cool shots of cars and scantily clad ladies.  Probably could have done without the Andrew Dice Clay rip off midway thru but glad I stayed for the guitar solo (starting at the 6:07 mark.) 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tonite MPT, Tomorrow Buzzy's

Watch the show tonite and come wish him Happy Birthday tomorrow!  
Tommy Courtney and his right hand Mann (Bob) will be featured tonite in a MPT show.

And then tomorrow, Tommy will be making his annual birthday visit to Buzzy's Country Store.  Watch the show tonite and tomorrow drop in Buzzy's to wish Tommy Happy Birthday!

How can these guys still make me laugh after all these years?! 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Taken to the Woodshed

During Ravens' games my sons and I will text back and forth about various plays and scoring in the game.  

Yesterday in the third quarter when the Ravens began to pull away from Houston, Shea was very succinct when he texted simply "Woodshed" and included the following:
It got me thinking about the whole "being taken to the woodshed" and wondered just where that originated.  Of course I knew all about the concept of being taken to the woodshed to get the hell beat out of you.  I always thought that it had more to do with the wood being in there to beat you with.

However, as this explanation details, one was taken to the woodshed in order to keep the beating private and out of view (click here for following excerpt:)

It's an old phrase regarding being punished away from view of others. Of course, a woodshed would be set away from the main house, for fire safety reasons (I think). When a child would misbehave, parent or disciplinarian would take them behind the building and give a spanking or a beating. 

Growing up at Buzzy's Country Store we never had a woodshed.  When Buzzy needed to administer a whoopin' he would just take my Brother Steve and me out on the back porch to spank us.  (He would never dole out the punishment in front of customers in the store because, I assume, he figured out that that made for some bad optics.  Customers standing around watching while you spank your kids is probably not the best business model to pursue.)  

So bottom line (no pun intended) I am proposing that we now replace "taken to the woodshed" with "taken to the back porch."  Sounds a little better doesn't it?

Nice little woodshed tune here for you:

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday - Keeping the Faith

Great Sunday video here for you.  

It starts off with Richard Pryor getting his shoes shined while reading the paper.  Then Christie Brinkley rolls in as the red haired girl in a Chevrolet.  At the video's end Joe Piscopo makes a cameo.  In between, Billy does his thing defending himself by dancing, singing and keeping the faith.  

Some personal notes here - Buzzy was an Old Spice man.  When Billy references taking some of his old man's Old Spice after shave (2:45 mark)  it always makes me smile.  Not that I ever took a splash or two of it from Buzzy!

Other great lines in the song also resonate with me particularly these:

My past is something that I never let get in my way. (1:40)

I'm not ashamed to say that the bad boys were my friends.  (1:54)

You can linger too long in your dreams.  (3:18)

I'm going outside to have a nice cold beer in the shade.  (4:52)

But Billy saves the best line for last:

Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the rock and roll plays, when the memory stays. (5:00)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Cecilia King Ridgell

Cecilia and Austin "Buck" Ridgell (above) lived at Scotland Beach.  Buck's father Thomas Ridgell owned much of Scotland Beach and built many of the homes that remain there today.  

The following is an excerpt from St. Mary's College's Documentation Project where Cari Wright interviewed Cecilia.  I chose these excerpts from the interview because Cecilia discusses shopping and various stores that were around back then.  The entire interview with Cecilia can be found at Debi Siegel's (Cecilia's granddaughter) excellent FB page  Grace's Place at Tanner Creek (click here.)

Cecilia also mentions buying items from peddlers.  (Note that the Shuman brothers came into the County as peddlers and eventually opened country stores.  Nathan Shuman opened what would become Buzzy's Country Store.)  Here is what Cecilia had to say:
Blake knows all about the good old days:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Cracker Barrel

I never much cared for Cracker Barrel until just recently.  My Mom enjoys going there and I got to confess, after several visits there with her it's kind of won me over.  

Then the other day I happened to read on their menu the history of the franchise and it sealed the deal for me.  I am now officially a Cracker Barrel fan.

Here is a quick synopsis of how Cracker Barrel got its start 50 years ago in 1969:  
Evins was a sales rep for Shell Oil and came up with the restaurant/gift shop idea as a way to improve gasoline sales  (click here.)  His restaurant and gift shop did so well that Evins eventually dropped selling gas.  

A couple of years after opening his first store, Evins rounded up some investors, most of whom were his friends, and began expanding operations.  Today, there are over 600 CB's throughout the country. 

Evins decided to incorporate a country store backdrop for his business.  He modeled it based upon local country stores that he grew up near.
Note:  I tried to locate which country store it was that had impressed Mr. Evins but was unable to do so. 

Wonder if any ladies like the little honey featured in this video ever hung out at the country stores that Mr. Evins visited in his youth.  

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Three Men Walk Into A.....

The following is supposedly a very famous math riddle.  I say "supposedly" because the Trump in me makes me see the world only thru my own lens and because I had never before encountered  this riddle, it could not have been that famous!  

However, as I bounced around several internet sites expounding on the riddle, I soon learned that it has been around for quite awhile.  Only took me 68 years to catch up with it.

Here is the riddle:
If you are unfamiliar with the riddle, don't burn too much energy on trying to figure it out because it'll drive you crazy.  (I gave up trying to do so real quickly.)  Here is the explanation (click here.)  You know its a good riddle when there is  a short AND a long explanation for it.

Great Lovin' Spoonful tune that should have gotten more recognition and airplay than it did:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Buzzy's National Geographic October 1924 Issue

Here is another Buzzy keepsake that I recently found going thru some old files and papers of his.  It is the October 1924 edition of the National Geographic.  As you know, Buzzy was born in October 1924 and again my assumption is that someone must have given him this copy to commemorate the month and year of his birth.
Looking over the contents of the magazine brought back memories of how when I was a youngster I used to thumb through National Geographics looking for all those photos of topless native ladies in far away places.  (Now that I think about it, maybe that's where I got my first interest in and desire to travel the world!)  

Well, there were no naked ladies in this October 1924 issue unless you count female goldfish:
Of more interest to me than the articles were the advertisements from back then.  (Turns out that there are folks who actually collect old ads that were featured in National Geo (click here.) 

Here are a couple ad pages I copied from Buzzy's 10/24 issue:
As you would expect, there were lots of travel ads but only a few car ads. Here is one that caught my eye just because of the clever headline:
Texaco found a way to combine both travel and automobiles in this ad:

I know it is tough to read the Texaco text, so here is a better copy of it:
Ah yes, that Texaco Motor Oil with that good, clean, golden color.  (Sounds more like a beer advertisement doesn't it?)  

Mumford and Sons featuring some excellent National Geographic cinematography:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Michael Connor Humphreys?

Followup to Veterans Day.  You say you have never heard of Michael Connor Humphreys?  Well, you are in for a pleasant surprise when you learn that you indeed do know who he is/was.  The following video is from this past Sunday Morning CBS show. 
Re: Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band (click here) for a sample of his music and work playing for our troops around the world.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Today I think about all my family members on both the Ridgell and the Raley sides who served and fought for our country.

Most of all though I remember these two - my father and my brother.  May they rest in peace.
Clarence H. Ridgell Jr.

Steven J. Ridgell
Music-wise Buzzy was a big Nat King Cole fan while Brother Steve was more of a Bob Seger fan.
Everytime I hear this song I think of Steve:

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Save a Prayer

Duran Duran filmed this video along with Rio and Hungry Like a Wolf videos in Sri Lanka in 1982.  Thoughtful tune for your Sunday meditation but the video is kinda cool too.  (To read about how they made the video and some of the problems they encountered doing so (click here.) 

Be sure to check out the rock fortress Sigiriya (2:31 mark.)  At one time I had this on my PTSBID (places to see before I die) list but with all the churn they are having in Sri Lanka I'm gonna pass.  I'll catch it in my next life i.e. "save it til the morning after." 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Buzzy Christmas Party With More Oysters and Cowbell

OK, now that I've got your attention, this is to let you know that the Buzzy Christmas party is scheduled for 21 December. 
Captain/Chef Jimmy Cullison and his wife Mary Lou will once again be on the front porch frying up, steaming up and cooking up some oysters to eat. (I promise to stay out of their way and remain in the background.) 

Inside Buzzy's, we will have all sorts of other good things to eat and of course DRINK!  In keeping with the oyster theme, Brian Barnhill will be serving up some of his famous Oyster Bisque.  For you non-seafood folks, there will be plenty of other goodies to dine on.

Consider this your official invitation.

Some Blue Oyster Cult is in order.  I should play the original for you but it wouldn't matter because you would only be thinking about this version wouldn't you?

Friday, November 8, 2019

Weekend Events - Food and Music

Last Saturday on my way down to Buzzy's Country Store I swung by the Homegrown Market in Hermanville.  I wanted  to talk to my Buzzy neighbor Joe Dick about obtaining some wine from the Port of Leonardtown Winery.  Joe runs the Winery's stand at the Market.   

As I pulled into the Market's parking lot I was surprised at how crowded it was and that I had to actually search for a parking space.  Obviously the Market has been "discovered" and is a great place to shop for locally produced items.  (I'll tell you how I made out purchasing the wine from Joe in a future post - after he delivers me some of their product.)

The Homegrown Market is open Saturdays 9-1 thru Nov 16.  Check it out if you can.

Over on Rt. 5, at St. Mary's City Trinity Church has its annual fall dinner set for Saturday noon to 5 (click here.)  

I've overheard some folks grousing about the $30 dinner cost.  However, it is well worth it because with all the food they give you it's like 2 meals.

Saturday evening Sunset Cove features dining and music provided by Arturo Sanchez's acoustic group The Lookouts.

And if you still have any room after eating your way thru Saturday, on Sunday the Ridge KoC has its monthly chicken dinner from 1130 - 4 to eat in or until 5 pm for take outs.  Cost is $12.

With all that there is to do, it makes no sense to be home alone does it?  Here's a good Friday song about that very subject from Mr. Mayer.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

As shown in this snip above, I keep various items that catch my eye stashed away on my desktop for possible future use as blog material.  

I had seen the photo of the lady biker giving Trump and his motorcade the finger some time ago and had it stowed accordingly (upper right corner.)  Here is a better look at it:

Trump was on his way back to the White House after golfing at his club in Virginia.  When his motorcade  passed the biking lady she gave him the one finger salute.   Following the publication and notoriety of this photo the lady was then fired from her job.

But the story doesn't end there.   This past Tuesday the lady, Julie Briskman, was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (click here.)  The irony is that the district she now represents includes the golf course that Trump was motoring to and from when she gave him the bird. How's that for karma come calling?

And while on the subject of female bike riders, as one of the commentators noted about the following video - this is one of the only videos on the internet featuring naked women on bicycles and yet we selected it for the music!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Office - Nobody But Them

Been watching The Office re-runs and wanted to pass along this great intro to one of their shows. (Note that the entire 2 minute-plus scene is shot with only one camera in one long take.)  

Great cast of characters and after watching this video several times I still can't decide which one(s) I liked best.  With that said though, I have always been partial to Pam's (00:18 mark).  Dwight at the 1:45 mark is a close second but bottom line is that they're all great in this video just as they were great in the show overall.

The song Nobody But Me was originally recorded by the Isley Brothers in 1962.  However, their version didn't do much hit-wise. Then in 1968 The Human Beinz out of Youngstown, Ohio became one hit wonders when their version went to Number 9 on Billboard (click here for story.)  Rock critic Dave Marsh dubbed it the most negative song ever recorded:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Gibson's Store

There was a story (click here and watch video) on CBS Sunday Morning that struck a nerve with me for a couple of reasons.  It involved the owners of a small store in Oberlin, Ohio that has been around for over 100 years and is currently embroiled in a defamation lawsuit against Oberlin College (click here.)

The story resonated with me of course because the store's  background is similar to Buzzy's Country Store.  It involves a grandfather, father and son operation of a small business and parallels my ownership of Buzzy's and its passing from my Grandfather to Buzzy to me.  As shown on their sign above, Gibson's Store has been around since 1885 and has been in their family for 5 generations.  Buzzy's has been around since 1887 and has been operated by only two families during that time frame the Shuman's and my family. 

In addition to the Gibson's store ownership and its background being similar to Buzzy's, the story also got to me because it reminded me of a racially based incident that took place in Buzzy's shortly after I took over in 2007.  Here is how that incident went down.

I was in the Store sorting out a new stash of Buzzy shirts I had just picked up from Chesapeake Embroidery.  As I tended to this task, my step daughter Jennifer was minding the counter for me.  A young black man came in and asked Jenn if we had any cigarillos.  She said "No."  He turned to leave.  I headed his way to advise him to check with the store a mile up the road, but he was already at the store door.  Before I could say anything to him, he paused at the door, turned and said to me and Jenn  "You all are some racist motherfuckers in here."  And before I could say anything in response to him, he slammed the door, got in his car and sped off up the road.

For some reason, that incident has stayed with me thru the years.  I've re-played it in my head several times and have tried to figure out just what triggered such a response from the guy.  I guess he may have taken Jenn's simple "No" as being too curt or in some way dissing him.  Then again, maybe the fact that neither Jenn nor I acknowledged nor greeted him as he came into the Store may have pissed him off.  I really don't know what caused him to go off as he did.

My Buzzy incident of course in no way compares with what went down at the Gibson's Store and the ensuing events.  However, race was very obviously at the heart of both of our encounters with a black visitor to our stores.

That the Gibson's are currently sitting on a $30 million settlement in their lawsuit against Oberlin College will help them forget about and move on from their incident.  Me?  I am still wondering "What the hell was that all about?"

Like so many things having to do with race, I guess the simple explanation boils down to - that's just the way it is.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Sunday Night Football and Joan

Caught my first Sunday Night Football broadcast of the season last night as the Ravens played the Patriots.  I was unaware that they had updated the opening theme song (click here) featuring Carrie Underwood and Joan Jett.

Growing up, Joan lived in Rockville, Maryland for several years.  She attended Randolph Junior High and then Wheaton High School before she and her family moved to California.  That Maryland connection explains why Joan was always a big Orioles fan.  

As the interviewer alludes to here in the following video, it's tough to be an O's fan nowadays.  I'm betting that Joan still is.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

"In Fall You're Sad and You Never Know Why"

St. Mary's Lake
 As beautiful as the fall season may be and as much as I like it, when the days begin to get shorter and the weather shifts from cool to cold, I roll into a melancholy, somewhat sadden frame of mind.   Fall is still my favorite time of year but like everything good, there is a little darkness in it too.

Whenever I enter this bluesy zone, Steve Erwin's great tune In Fall (below) pops into my head.  With  Danny Gatton playing guitar on the tune, it just deepens my melancholy even more because I think about how Danny went out of here:
 Here is Steve describing the song:
Danny (pictured here) does some great fills throughout the song but in particular his solo starting at the 3:00 mark is as Steve notes "wonderful and wistful."
Note - look for movie titled The Humbler about Danny set to debut soon (click here.)

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Buzzy's Bar Book

In looking for the 1924 newspaper article (click here) I found an old book with wooden, hinged covers titled Here's How.  It contains recipes for mixing drinks.    I found the following info on the book:

Turns out there was a second edition:
In addition to recipes for bar drinks the book has quotes and quips such as this one attributed to Thomas Moore: 

 "Come, send round the wine and leave points of belief to simpleton sages and reasoning fools."

Then there is this unattributed one which may or may not be just a tad sexist: 

Friend of my soil this goblet sip - 
'Twill chase away the pensive tear; 
'Tis not as sweet as a woman's lip, 
But, oh! 'Tis more sincere.

Smooth jazz singer Maysa is a Maryland lady and does a nice cover here of Pat Benatar's classic rock song:

Friday, November 1, 2019

November Already

November comes from the Latin word "novem" which means 9.  The early Roman calendar had this month as its ninth of their year.  

November also features a couple of celebrations such as Thanksgiving (the 28th this year) and the Marine Corps birthday (always faithful to 10 November.)  

You know all about Thanksgiving and it's origins with those Pilgrims dining with those Indians but how about the Marine Corps birthday's history?  OK, glad you asked:
In the extended Buzzy family November is chock full of birthdays.

John Carbone celebrates on 2 November, John "Busser" Eaker on the 4th and Wes Demko on the 5th.  Steve O'Neil the 7th; Darlene Madjeski the 8th, John Porter the 9th, Sharon Barnhill the 12th, Harry Wheatley and Wade Norris 14th, Joe Stone 16 November,   Warren Burke and Tommy Courtney the 20th, Mary Lou Cullison and Mike Raley the 23rd,   Bobby Cook and Bubba Cullison on the 30th.  

In my immediate family, my Grand daughter Lily celebrates on the 17th and my niece Katie (Taylor) Allen on the 25th.  

Another celebration day in November falls on the 6th which is National Saxophone day.  It is celebrated on the 6th of November because that is the birthday of the instrument's inventor Adolphe Sax (click here.)  I mention this mostly because it is a good excuse to play some Eric Marienthal for you.  Give him a listen and he will always bring you up no matter what foul mood you may find yourself in.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Nats Champs - Faith and Fortitude!

Long time Orioles' radio man Chuck Thompson used to proclaim "Ain't the beer cold" whenever the O's had put an opponent away and won the game.

Well, for Nationals' fans that beer is ice cold today.  

Last night's Game 7 featured the Nationals' coming from behind (again!) to beat the heavily favored Astros and win the Series.  It marked the 4th time that the Nats beat the Astros on their Houston home field.  Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga summed it up best when he wrote:

Speaking of beer, the Bud Light folks did turn our save-the-beer hero into a commercial:

Painful Sounds

I was in Walmart the other day and encountered a young mother pushing her shopping cart around with a crying baby in tow. And I mean crying. The little tyke was bawling its ass off and I tried to move away from him and his Mom as fast as I could.

Several aisles away however, I could still hear the little bugger going off.  I quickly located the couple of items I was looking for and headed for the exit. Even up at the front of the store near the checkout register, I could still hear the baby going off. I hustled the hell outta there.

On my way driving down to Buzzy's Country Store, it got me thinking about other annoying sounds or noises that drive me crazy. Seems that whenever folks describe something sounding awful they will often compare it to fingernails on a chalkboard or a cat in heat.

While those two noises don't make my painful sounds list, here are a couple others that, in addition to babies crying, tend to get on my nerves: T-V laugh tracks, car alarms, rap music, people arguing, kids singing (the 1-800-cars-for-kids jingle comes to mind)  and the sounds of cutlery during movie dinner scenes.  

I know, you're questioning the cutlery entry.  I can't explain why but hearing silverware clanging around on dishes in those dinner movie scenes bugs the hell outta me.  It doesn't bother me in real life.  However, when I'm watching a movie and trying to listen to the dialogue, I don't want to hear knives and forks clanging around on the dishes.  

Just for the hell of it, I tried Googling "Sounds I hate"  and the babies crying was the only one to make this list of the ten most hated sounds (click here.)  Ironically enough, the other 9 on the list don't bother me.  Go figure; or maybe that should be - go listen.)

Kenny has a little something to say about this subject:

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Bud Light Guy

Trump getting booed at Sunday night's World Series (click here) and the two young ladies flashing their boobs were only the second and third most noteworthy events to have occurred in that game.  (Speaking of Trump and showing one's boobs, I'm sure there is a joke to be made in there somewhere.)  

The best event at Game 5 was Nats' fan Jeff Adams, aka the Bud Light Guy, letting the home run ball hit him versus trying  to catch it and risk losing his two $12 beers (click here.)
Budweiser didn't take long to reward Jeff by sending him to last night's Game 6 in Houston where he was a star (click here.)  
Budweiser also was quick to come up with an ad campaign Always Save the Beers.

I am going to invite Jeff to visit Buzzy's Country Store and see if his "lifetime of free beer" includes those times when he is out and about drinking.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Baltimore Music

I mentioned previously John Hamill loaning me his copy of Baltimore Sounds - An illustrated encyclopedia of Baltimore area Pop Musicians, Bands and Recordings 1950-2000.  

The book was compiled and written by Joe Vaccarino and is a great summary of Baltimore's rock and roll music scene from 1950 on. Vacarino lists not only the Baltimore-based music acts that had hit records but also those post-garage bands that played at various places in B'more back then.  

In addition to listing the many acts and groups, Vaccarino includes playbills, business cards, publicity photos and other memorabilia about the bands.  He also has an excellent website that has additional info for you to check out (click here.)  There is also a FB page (click here.)

Here is a photo of the RaVons, the group that John played bass as a member of.  That's John far left:

Good video here featuring some of the performers mentioned in the book:

Monday, October 28, 2019

Found It!

Photo by Brian Barnhill

Well, it took me close to a month to do so, but I finally found the copy of Herald Tribune front page newspaper from Buzzy's birthday October 11th in 1924.  Somewhere in his travels Buzzy either purchased this newspaper copy or more likely someone gave it to him.  He had it stashed with his old newspaper collection in the Store. 

I had come across it some time ago and remember putting it somewhere so that I could blog about it around his birthday and in conjunction with the Nationals making the World Series. But as much as I looked for the paper, I simply could not find it and had given up looking for it.

However, yesterday morning I moved my laptop to clean around it and there was the paper right where I had stashed it some time ago.   The fact that the headlines read "Senators Win Title..." is what made me want to dig it out and show it off here on the Buzzyblog.

In that 1924 Series, (click herethe Nats were down 3 games to 2 but managed to win the final two games in dramatic fashion to close the deal in Game 7.  In order to win another title, the current Nats, also down 3-2, are going to have to do likewise.  Just as I was able to find the above article, maybe the Nats can re-find their hitting mojo in Games 6 and 7.  Tough row to hoe though as the Astros are playing some great ball.

Speaking of Presidents attending World Series, (I know I wasn't but our President-Lock-Him-Up was there last night) President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace attended 3 of the 4 home games that the 1924 Senators played in D.C..  They were on hand for the dramatic 7th game that the Nats won in extra innings.  (Turns out that Coolidge was not that great a baseball fan and went to the games mostly for political reasons.  However, his wife Grace was a big supporter of the team (click here.)  Now, 95 years hence, today's Nats could also use something alone the lines of "Amazing Grace" to get past the kick ass Astros.  Maybe Melania should go to games 6 and 7 and bring 'em some luck.