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.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How I Got My First Car

Took my Mom to lunch Friday and as we discussed my going away on vacation for a couple of weeks she mentioned something that clarified a semi-mystery for me.  I was telling her about juggling finances at the Store and trying to get stocked up on items while I would be away.  She laughed and said "That reminds me of your father going to Spain that time and using your money to do so."   I asked "What?" And she told me the rest of the story as follows:

Back when I was a senior at Ryken in the 1968-1969 timeframe I wanted to buy a car with money that I had saved up from working summers at Pt. Lookout State Park.  I had saved over $2,000 in the bank and because Ryken's policy at the time allowed seniors to drive to and from school, naturally I wanted my own ride.  However, neither of my folks would let me do so.  Of course that did not stop me from bugging them constantly about letting me buy a car.  Each time they said no.

Somewhere around the first of 1969 however, Buzzy lightened up and said that I could buy a vehicle after he got back from his trip to Spain.   At that time, in addition to running the Store, he was working as a liquor salesman for Arundel Distributors.  He had the Tri-County area where he would visit liquor stores and bar rooms to take liquor orders for various products.  Our Aunt Sissie watched the Store for him during the day as he made his rounds and returned to the Store in the early to mid afternoons.

Like any sales-oriented business, Arundel had various promotions to incentivize their reps to sell more.   One such promotion involved  a trip to Spain which Buzzy managed to win.  Here is a notice in the March 1969 Enterprise about him winning the contest:
Buzzy went to Spain and as promised when he got back he co-signed for me to buy my first car.  It crossed my mind that it was a bit unusual for Buzzy to go back on one of his "No, but hell no" edicts to me.  However, I thought that I had just worn him down with my pestering him and with my powers of persuasion.  Buzzy was never swayed too much by the powers of persuasion from any one much less from me. I should have deduced, as Mom explained, that  there was more to the story. 

Little did I know, the primary reason Buzzy agreed to me getting the car was because he wanted access to the $2,000 that I had saved up.  Mom asked me "Don't you remember all that booze he had stacked up in the basement at our house?  He bought that knowing he would eventually sell it at the store.  However, after buying all of it so he could win the contest, he didn't have any money left to go to Spain.  So he raided your bank account and then agreed to let you buy that car which was something I was against."  (Mom always blamed the car for me getting in trouble with the law after I got it.  She may have a point there.) 

So sure enough, Buzzy went to Spain and when he returned we went to Bill Cairns and bought the car.  Unbeknownst to me, Buzzy must have financed it somehow and paid it off over the course of several months.  And yes he did end up selling all of that booze that he had stashed in the basement.

Jason Blaine knows what it's like to get your first car:

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