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.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Look Out!

Have you seen this T-V report from Channel 9? It is a news story on the Confederate Memorial at Pt. Lookout.  Click on following link to view the story:

Reminded me that a couple years ago when the Sons of the Confederacy were hosting an event at the Memorial, they asked me to have a sign made up welcoming their members to the event.   They also asked me to hoist a Confederate Flag up the Buzzy flagpole.  I blogged about it at the time (click here.)

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out given the churn over the Confederate memorials.  Here's hoping that Pt. Lookout stays under the radar. 

Ironic isn't it that 8 years with a black, liberal President and the memorials remain standing, but 6 months under a white-whatever-Trump-is and they come down? This becoming great again sure makes for living in some very strange times doesn't it?

Lest you think I'm making a political statement by playing this tune, listen closely and you'll hear that Charlie is really talking about southern rock music.

Friday, August 18, 2017

This Weekend

Couple things going on this weekend:

For more info on these events (click here.)

Regarding Shakespeare at St. Mary's City, check out this good little article by Fangirl Friday discussing his various influence(s) (click here.)

And wrt Friday, as promised, here is Friday's song for Friday:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bowie and Casey

Talk about dead rock stars (we weren't, but I just threw that in here to make sure you were paying attention) check out this David Bowie song for Thursday.  Granted, it is a little slow and a little too ponderous but overall it is not bad.  Fact of the matter is, there aren't too many Thursday-based songs.  Guess everybody's got Friday on their mind.

My adjective ponderous to describe this Bowie song reminds me of Casey Casem's meltdown and his use of that term to describe a song he followed with a long distanced dedication to someone whose dog died.  True story.  Listen.
And here is the "uptempo song" that Casey was following.  Me thinks Casey......

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday - Running Hot and Laying Alot

A Wednesday joke for you:

One Wednesday, a husband took his wife to the doctor.

"Doctor", he said, "my wife thinks she's a chicken." 

The doctor gasped, "That's terrible. How long has she been like that?"

The husband replied, "Three years."

The doctor couldn't believe it, "Three years! Why didn't you bring her to me sooner?"

The husband said sheepishly, "Because we needed the eggs."

I know you haven't made the connection yet, but I'm doing a song-a-day thing this week. 

I started with Rainy Days and Mondays, followed that up with Tuesday Afternoon/Tuesday's Gone and today here is Wednesday Morning by Slackstring.  (I confess, the video cover photo of this tune played some part in my stumbling upon and selecting this for Wednesday.  Good song nonetheless.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Two for Tuesday

I always liked the Moody Blues if for no other reason than their double albums were always great for cleaning pot on. 

What I don't like about the Moody Blues is that they are still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while groups such as Run DMC and Black Sabbath are.  It  is a humongous joke and injustice that the HoF honchos should rectify asap (click here.) 

The tempo change here at the 3:43 mark remains one of my most favorite of rock moments.

On the other side of the record universe however, these boys ARE in the HoF having made it in 2006:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rainy Days and Glen

This past Saturday, as I was slurping down my first cup of coffee and looking at the rain coming down outside, I thought of the song lyric "Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down," only I substituted Saturdays for Mondays. 

A rainy Saturday in summer is never good for business in Buzzy's Country Store nor in any seasonal business.  There are only a dozen or so Saturdays from June to August and your going-in hope is that the rain picks one of the other 6 days of the week to make an appearance.  

My first impulse was to co-opt the lyrics to Rainy Days and Mondays and rewrite them to reflect my business-based dismay.  For example, I had substituted "Nothing seems to sell" for "Nothing seems to fit."  However, I gave up on it because the rain kept falling and I kept getting more depressed as I played with the lyrics to an already very depressing song.  

Instead, it sent me to the old Google machine to learn about the song that I knew as a Carpenters' hit record.  I learned that it was written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols.  (We've Only Just Begun was their first hit record written originally for a T-V bank commercial but later recorded by the Carpenters.)

What really surprised me, in a synchronicity kind of way, was learning that the session musicians who played on Rainy Days were a group known as The Wrecking Crew of which Glen Campbell was a guitarist.  (Netflix has a documentary on the Wrecking Crew that is worth checking out if you get a chance to do so.)

Folks in Buzzy's Country Store were just talking about Glen's passing away and the fact that he was a well respected session musician long before he became a successful solo artist.  (Click here for more info.)

My very first, serious girl friend's birthday is today and yes, she was and is always gentle on my mind.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Old Time Religion

Guess I blew it PC-wise yesterday when I made reference to Charlotte's "Indian" trails.  I probably should have said "Native American trails" I guess. 

Nobody complained about it or anything, but as I was traipsing around the ole internet just now looking for info on Indian er, Native American religions, I found this (click here.)

Native American religions were centered around nature and often involved the taking of hallucinogenic drugs (click here.)
Check out this Sioux prayer with its references to nature.  As to whether or not the author of the prayer was under the influence of any hallucinogenic drugs is up for discussion.

Redbone was the first (only?) Native American rock band to hit the charts.  I've previously played their big hit Come and Get Your Love for you, so how about one of their earlier songs:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charlotte - Queen City

Someone asked me how I liked Charlotte and noted that I went on so much about the Davis General Store that I didn't really give Charlotte any love. My bad.

Bottom line, I thought that Charlotte was a very nice place.  As cities go, it was just bustling and big enough to be enjoyable without being too over bearing. Too, it had a sleepy sort of southern charm about it that I liked.  If I absolutely had to live in a city, Charlotte might be one that I could do.

Charlotte's history  has it developing from the intersection of two Indian trading paths.  Today that intersection is known as Independence Square in downtown Charlotte.  Independence Square is so named because the citizens of Charlotte first declared their independence from Britain a year before the rest of the colonies did so with their Declaration of Independence.
Charlotte was named after the German Queen Charlotte thereby earning it the nickname the Queen City.  It has a second nickname, the Hornets Nest, that explains the name of their NBA team - the Charlotte Hornets.  During the Revolutionary War, a British General, after being chased out of Charlotte, dubbed it a hornets' nest of rebellion.  

Today it is the largest city in North Carolina and the 17th largest in the united States.  However, driving and walking around the city you don't get the sense that it is all that big. 

Back when I was taking wedding photographs, somewhere near the end of the reception when everyone was good and drunk, one of the drunken groomsmen would stumble up to the DJ and dedicate this Queen song to the groom. It was always good for a laugh even if the song has nothing to do with someone getting married.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Davis General Store

Brady and I did manage to visit the Davis General Store located in Croft, North Carolina. Here is a photo of me on - where else - the Store's front porch.
Inside we met Silas Davis the grandson of the store's co-founder Silas W. Davis.
In the store was a collection of just about everything under the sun.  Crowded and cluttered with items, the Store featured many of the same old time items that I recall Buzzy once carrying in our Store.  I took this photo from upstairs to give you some idea of just how much inventory is scattered about the Davis General Store.
This write up from their website gives some more info on various items in the store.
One sign that caught my eye made me smile at the irony of it on display in Davis' store because Nathan Shuman started Buzzy's Country Store in 1897.

Brady and I arrived around 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday and I knew from looking at the website that the store closed at noon.  Because I knew that Silas was trying to close up and get out of there, we fast tracked our visit.  Before leaving however, we bought a couple items and Silas gave us one of his calendars.
Silas also informed us that the Cinemax T-V show Banshee had used the store to film some its scenes there.  I wasn't able to locate any videos from Banshee showing the store but did find this article discussing the filming of the show in the Charlotte area (click here.)  Too, I found this clip from Banshee that reminded me of the corn field pun "I was all ears."  Ok, all eyes that is.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jerry Richardson

The owner of the Carolina Panthers is Jerry Richardson.  Because he was a Baltimore Colts' receiver back in the day, I have always kept an eye on what he was up to.  He's been a busy man.

After the Colts won the 1959 NFL Championship, Jerry took his winning payout (approximately $4,000) and purchased the first Hardees' franchise.  He would later own and operate the Hardees' empire. (It is quite a fascinating story on the founding and growth of Hardess (click here.) If you read between the lines, you can tell that a lot of "stuff" went down between the founders, partners and subsequent owners of the Hardees corporation.) 

In 1993 Jerry became the first former NFL player since George Halas to own a team when his Carolina Panthers joined the NFL.  He has owned and operated the team ever since.

The Panthers lost the 2015 Super Bowl to Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos.  Coldplay was part of the Half Time Show.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Panthers/Davis Store/Dumas Walker

I am heading to Charlotte this a.m. with Brady to catch the Panthers-Texans opening pre-season game tonight.  Usually we hit a baseball stadium but this year we elected to stay close to home and visit a NFL stadium that we have not been to.  Baseball wise we've been to all the MLB parks save for the 2 L.A. teams, Petco Park in San Diego and Safeco Park in Seattle.  

Charlotte/Carolina Panthers are a good example of how the NFL really does mean Not For Long.  Just two years ago they went 15 and 1 and made the Super Bowl.  Last year they were 6-10 and didn't even make the playoffs.  Go figure.  The following is from Deadspin's take on why the Panthers suck.
Also on our agenda is a visit to Davis General Store located in North Charlotte.  Think I am more psyched about visiting there than I am in going to see the Panthers.
This is from the Davis' website:
Kayla covers Sunday evenings for me at Buzzy's Country Store and leaves the radio on the country music channel.  This past Monday after I turned the radio on and was cleaning up the place, I was too lazy to change the channel when this song played.  I never like it much but let it play anyway.  Found that I had never really listened to the lyrics before and that I actually enjoyed listening to the song this time around. 

Guess now that I have something in common with ole Dumas Walker, I can relate to it more than I could previously.  (And no, I never once thought that the actual lyrics were "go down and do Miss Walker" although there is something to be said for that.)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Anniversary Party Photos

As promised, some photos from Sunday's party:

Bushmill Band (L-R) Greg Penk, Ted Yeatman, John Garner, Anniejean Di Donato and Randy Stillwell

Not the Buzzy Car Show But Cars On Display Anyway

Poogie and Stacy and Friends 

My Mom Being Escorted in By Lily

My 3 Month Old Grandson Blaise Not Sure About All the Surrounding Hoopla

Me and Robby (Look Closely at Picture to the Right - I'm on the Left and Robby's Right Just Like Above) Photo by Shea

Shea Making a Point to Bobby Wright - I Think. Joan, Cheryl, Melissa and Wade in Back. Emma and Lily in Front.

Lily Watching Reagan Holding Blaise; Caitie Thankful for the Break

Gene and Jim in the Elva
Again, my thanks to all who came down and shared in the fun.  Usually, these Buzzy events like this tend to stress me out some because I over worry about things.  But this one Sunday, I actually enjoyed and had a pretty good time at, so thank all of you for making that so.  Having family and good friends partying with you will do that!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Buzzy's "Party, Party, Party"

Great party yesterday and my thanks to all who came by to join us on such a nice day.  For me it was a super feeling to look around the Store at one point and to see just about all of my family and closest friends all there in one place.  (Big thanks to Cousin Jo Jo and Pat White for driving over from Fredericksburg, Virginia to join us.) 

Again, thank you all for coming by, joining in the fun and helping to celebrate our anniversaries!  I know Buzzy would have been pleased to see such a nice group of folks at the Store enjoying themselves at our Wang Dang Doodle of a anniversary celebration.  

Chief Larry summed it up best.

My thanks also to the Bushmill Band for playing some tunes for us.  They sounded great and everybody had a good time listening to them.  My thanks too to Larry Yeatman for his long distanced phone call wishing me well and then buying a round for the Bushmill Band one of whom is his brother Ted.

Although yesterday was not supposed to be a car show, I guess by now any Buzzy event is gonna draw some classic cars.  For being a "Non-car-show" we sure had a lot of nice vehicles sitting in the Buzzy parking lot.  My thanks to all who brought their rides down to the Store.  One couple saw the T.J. Boothe entourage heading south and followed them from Great Mills down the road just to see where they were going.

My thanks also to all who brought food and in particular to Chef Brian Barnhill who was the Grill Master grilling up all sorts of good things for us to eat.  As Buzzy used to say "There has never been a bad party where there was plenty to eat and drink."  That was certainly true yesterday. 

To Barbara Demko, Bobby Wright and Pat Birmingham I owe you all a round of thanks also for your help in preparing for the party and having things run as smoothly as they did.  Thank you!

Through the day, several folks congratulated me on having done 10 years.  It was a nice gesture on their part and I appreciated it very much.  Couple others thanked me for just keeping Buzzy's open and a place that they can come to and hang out.  That was nice to hear also.  In turn, I thanked all of them for their support thru the years.  It's a great feeling to know that I have such good friends and members of my extended Buzzy family.  

I have several more photos I will upload (download?) later and post here.

Since I mentioned it above, here is Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor for you:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Old Time Music at an Old Time Country Store

Nice day to drop by Buzzy's Country Store, listen to some music and relax a bit.

You don't have to go to T.M. Rickman's General Store in Cowee, North Carolina to hear some old time music today.  Also, check out Rickman's FB page.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hats Off

Just received a new stash of Buzzy hats.  This marks the second round of hats that I have purchased this year.  Usually one order of 200 hats will last me for the summer season and well into winter before I have to reorder.  But for some reason, this past year, the hats have literally flown out the Store.  

When I placed my second order with Buddy my hat guy a few weeks ago, he informed me that he's doing record sales for some reason.  Jokingly, I asked him if it was due to all those sales of Make America Great Again hats.  He laughed and said "Well I did do a couple big orders for those earlier in the year, but right now I'm getting requests for Impeach Trump hats and Make America Sane Again hats."
Explaining why hat sales are up, Buddy said "It may have something to do with all us boomers either having had skin cancer or afraid of getting it.  All I know is that I've been busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest trying to keep up with orders."   

To see if I could find any data to support Buddy's assessment of increased hat sales I hit the ole Google machine by typing in "Hat sales."  I found several pages of companies selling hats but very little on actual sales of hats in general and baseball hats in particular. 

But whereas I struck out on that little effort, I did manage to land on something called the Pussyhat  (click here.)
Maybe I should ask Buddy to make me up some Buzzy Pussyhats!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Weekend Plans

Lot of things going on this weekend throughout the County and the weather forecast seems to be cooperating.  So get out of your house and go do something fun. 

In South County we have a couple things going on Saturday for you to check out.
And then on Sunday of course you are invited to Buzzy's Country Store to help me celebrate my 10 year anniversary of running the place.

Hope to see you out and about.

The following video has nothing to do with any of the above other than I have been known on occasions to declare myself a somewhat tacky kind of guy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Helo Pilot? Hell No!

The other day I mentioned taking 4 years of Latin at Ryken High School.  It brought back a memory of something I often think about whenever I hear folks talk about helicopter pilots.  This is a long story, so get another cup of coffee and be patient as I wring it out for you.

Our Senior class schedule at Ryken included Physics, which was something I wanted no parts of for various reasons.  I had barely passed Chemistry in my Junior year and figured that Physics was just going to be more of the same only worse. 

So when Brother Gary suggested that I take a fourth year of Latin in lieu of Physics, I jumped at the chance to do so.  Thus, he taught me and 3 other Physics-avoiders a class focused mostly on Roman mythology.  Looking back now, I am very thankful that Brother Gary was nice enough to do this for us.

However, there was a brief period in my life where I regretted my decision to skip that Physics class.  (Key word here is brief.)

When I was set to go into the Army, Buzzy dropped me off at the Army recruiter's office in Lexington Park in 1970.  The recruiter was taking me and a couple other nudniks to Fort Holabird in Baltimore to be inducted.  As we did our goodbyes, one of the last things Buzzy said to me was "Get all the training you can." 

Those very words were resonating in my head when a few weeks later at Fort Dix, New Jersey doing Basic Training, I sat in on a pitch from someone extolling the virtues of being trained to become a helo pilot.  The presenter told us how we were most likely going to end up 11B Infantrymen and that the Aviation field would be a far better Military Occupation Specialty for us to have.  He noted that we would receive training to become a Warrant Officer, make more money and ultimately have a more marketable resume once we left the Army.  The only catch was, we had to sign up for an additional two years service on top of the two that we were already locked into.

With Buzzy's advice in my head, I raised my hand to enroll in the program and soon found myself in a classroom taking a test to see if I qualified. 

But guess what?  Most of the questions on that test were Physics-related.  I had no clue what was being asked, much less what the correct answers were to the questions. 

I struggled mightily and as a result, did not pass the entry test.  When told that I couldn't enter the aviation program because I flunked the entry test, I kicked myself for not having taken Physics.  I remember thinking as I made my way back to join my fellow enlistees "Well, this is a new low in my life - not passing an Army entry level test."  Too, I thought "Here I was f'ing around with Romulus and Remus (below) when I should have been learning about something more useful like linear and rotational motion."  (I still don't know what any of that is.)
Well, in a things-happen-for-a-reason-kind-of-way, flunking that test was one of my better unintended moves.  Not only did I end up hating being in the Army the entire time I was in, but also I later learned that I didn't particularly care for riding around in helicopters.  They shook way too much for me to ever become comfortable in them.  Obviously then,  St. Joseph or somebody was doing me a favor by making that Helo Pilot entry test too tough for me to pass it. 

Great Little Feat tune here that says it all:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Top 5 American Rock Bands

Here's a little musical exercise for you - list your Top 5 American Rock Bands.  (American Bands are defined as those bands with mostly American born dudes or dudettes in them.  Thus, two of my favorite all time "American" rock bands The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Band don't qualify given this criteria.  Jimi's two side kicks were Brits and, other than Levon Helm, The Band was made up of Canadian guys. 

While you are thinking about your list, here is one set of rankings that I would tend to agree with save for Aerosmith.  (Too, I would rank CCR Number 1 and include Tom Petty at No. 2, with the Eagles, Doors and Lynyrd Skynyrd in that order.  Little Feat would be a close No. 6.)

Grand Funk Railroad only ranked Number 64 on the list. I'd have them in my Top 10.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Happy Sextilis! (No, It's Not What You Think It Is)

August at one time was known as Sextilis which is the Latin word for sixth.  The Roman calendar initially only had 10 months with March as the first month of the year.  The Julian calendar then added two months at the beginning of the year and thereby skewed the numbering system they were using to mark their months. 

In that original 10 month rotation, Sextilis preceded other Latin named/numbered months of September (Septem which was Latin for 7.)  Then came the following months of October (Octō is Latin for 8) November (Novem  Latin for 9) and December (Decem Latin for 10.)  (Who says that 4 years of Latin I took back in high school was a waste of time?)

Somewhere along the line though, the Romans started switching up the numbered names of months in order to honor somebody.  Obviously they either ran out of folks to honor or just let the last 4 months of the year remain named as they were. 

However, good old number 6, Sextilis, took a hit to be re-named in honor of Emperor Augustus.  Hence, Sextilis became August.  Personally, I think I like Sextilis better.  

August Buzzy birthdays include: Dickie Cullison on 1 August.  On 3 Aug Johnny "JW" Raley celebrates; Bobbi Jo Magee on 5 Aug;  Lori Raley on the 17th;  Cathy Wright the 20th.  And on the 29th, Jimmy and Marylou Cullison celebrate their wedding anniversary. 

Immediate family-wise, August is a biggie too because my Mom celebrates her birthday on the 21st and my son Brady on August 25th. Brother-in-law Danny Hofmeister celebrates his on the 26th.  

And right in the middle of all those August birthdays,  don't forget the Ridge Fireman's Carnival on these dates.
Of course an ideal day to hit the Carnival would be this Sunday the 6th.  Earlier in the day you could drop in to Buzzy's Country Store for our Anniversary Party and then swing by the Carnival on your way back up the road.  SLAP!  (Sounds Like a Plan!)

Monday, July 31, 2017

"For 10 Years We've Been on Our Own"

Next Sunday, Bushmill Band will be at Buzzy's Country Store to help celebrate my 10 year anniversary of running the place.  If you are out and about, drop in and have one on/with me for having run the best little country store around for 10 great years.

My Grandfather Harry Raley bought the Store from Mike Shuman in 1945.  Harry ran it for 8 years before selling it to my Dad Buzzy in 1953. 
Harry and Me 1958
Buzzy sold the Store to me in 2007 and as they say the rest is history. 

So while I have now logged in a couple more years than my Grandfather did at running the Store, I still have 44 more to go to catch up with Buzzy!  But, as always, I will continue to take it one day at a time.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

There is a Season

Geez, I haven't broken out the old Bible in so long, I wasn't sure if I still had one.  However, I did manage to find it nestled on the bottom shelf with my other "Bibles."

Specifically, I was looking for and managed to find the following:
Why was I looking for this?  Well, the other day I heard Turn, Turn, Turn on the radio.  Although I knew that Seger had nicked it from a prayer, I wasn't exactly sure what he did or did not include.  It sent me to my Bible and now I know!

First, check out the Byrds' take on it and follow along with the actual wording above to see how Pete changed it up.   Then listen to Pete discuss it in the second video.

While I like and appreciate Pete's final sentiments about there being a time for peace and "I swear it's not too late," I'm not so sure about all that.  Would be nice to see some proof that it's not too late.  

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Liquor Laws Pt 2

To follow up on my previous post about the many variances in liquor laws, check out this hodge podge of laws and exceptions to the minimum drinking age of 21. 

We have a National Drinking Law that was passed under the Reagan administration in 1984.  Congress didn't officially make 21 the minimum age but told the States they wouldn't be receiving any Federal highway funding if they did not establish 21 as the minimum age to drink:

Over the ensuing years  however, 45 States have passed exceptions whereby folks under 21 can legally drink (click here.)

  I have discussed previously the idea of allowing 18 year olds to drink providing they obtain a license and take classes before they can to do so (click here.)