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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Buzzy on Front Page of Washington Post - 2006

Here is a somewhat unique Twofer Tuesday for you featuring Ernie Bell again.  (Recall that Ernie was part of last week's Twofer Tuesday on Clarke Raley.)  Hence, today is a Double Ernie in that he becomes the first person to ever merit consecutive weekly Twofers here on the Buzzyblog.   

In March 2006 I accompanied Buzzy to District Court where he had been summonsed to appear on the charge of selling cigarettes to a minor.  Ernie represented Buzzy at the hearing, which was held on St. Patrick's Day 17 March.  All of the lawyers and court room personnel had their green on including the visiting judge who sported a green tie beneath his black robe.  

When Buzzy's case was called and he had to go before the Judge, Ernie began his comments by saying to the judge "Your honor, we have before the Court the only defendant you will see in here today who has been on the front page of the Washington Post for something good."  (Ernie was referring to Buzzy having made an appearance in the Washington Post a week previously (see below copy.))  

While the Judge and the rest of the folks in the courtroom laughed, Ernie proceeded by saying "Thus, your honor I am requesting that the court place this case on the Stet Docket and allow Mr. Ridgell to be on his way."  The judge agreed to that suggestion and we thanked Ernie for his efforts as we left the courtroom.  

Here then is a copy of that Post front page that  Ernie cited as his "evidence" for why Buzzy should not have been prosecuted.   You can read the entire article here (click here for article.)

As for the violation itself that led to Buzzy having to appear before the judge, it was the result of a b.s. police sting.  I call b.s. because the cops employed a 17 year old with his id showing him 2 weeks shy of being 18 which was the legal age to buy smokes.  When the kid asked for a pack of cigarettes, Buzzy requested and looked at his id.  Buzzy saw the boy's DOB year as 1988 and sold the boy the smokes.  However, the kid's actual 18th birthday was a couple weeks later and thus he was still only 17.  

Immediately after the kid walked out the door, Buzzy got a too-late call from Tommy Courtney warning him that the sting folks were making their rounds.  At that exact moment, with Tommy still on the phone, the cops then entered the store and cited Buzzy for the under age sale.  As stings go, I got to think that this was one of the more chickenshit ones that ever went down.  I'm glad that justice ultimately was served and that Buzzy was acquitted accordingly.  

On the subject of weird legalistic encounters, check out this tune from Tony Joe White whom you know best for his classic Polk Salad Annie tune.  

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