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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, December 28, 2016

Grandfather Harry

Harry and Me
I always think of my Grandfather Harry Raley at this time of year mostly because his birthday fell on 31 December.  However, I also think of him during this timeframe because he did not particularly care for the holiday season nor anything to do with it.  "I'll be glad when it's over," was his standard reply to anything having to do with Christmas or the New Year.  "Just another day to me" was another of his oft said comments about the holiday(s.)

Harry was the kind of alcoholic who would stay sober for several months but then all of a sudden would fall off the wagon and stay drunk for a week or two.  Christmas thru New Year's just happened to coincide with one of those times when he would decide to tie one on.  Hence, neither the holidays nor his birthday were very happy occasions for him.

He would drink Seagram's 7 straight out of a pint bottle and did not pause to sip, enjoy or otherwise savor his time in the bottle.  He drank to get drunk.  Once drunk, he became very sad, morose and unhappy.  "You don't know the sorrows I know" was another of his frequent catch phrases.  

After several days of being on his extended drunk, Harry would get very ill.  Dr. Bean would then be called and he would make a house visit to give Harry a shot of something or other which would bring him around and end the drunken spree.  (I often wondered why Dr. Bean wasn't summoned earlier in the routine to work his magic but I guess there was a drunk protocol or something to be followed.) 

Because he helped Dad out in the Store, Harry was around us a lot as we grew up.  Next to my Mom and my Dad, he had the biggest influence on me and my upbringing.  He taught me a lot about life and I loved and respected him a lot.  I have many great and fun memories of my Grandfather Harry.  However, most of my good memories that I have of him did not occur at this time of year.

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