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, September 22, 2021

Swimming - Pt 2

Wellness & Aquatics Center - St. Mary's County, MD (stmarysmd.com)
Speaking of swimming, I just learned that the County has recently opened a Wellness Aquatic Center (WAC) in Leonardtown at the College of Southern Maryland campus (the former Academy grounds for us old farts.)  

This is in addition to the other County pool open to the public adjacent Great Mills High School. The Leonardtown WAC also features a warm water therapy pool, a weight training room and 2 group fitness/dance studios.  Here is a good video tour of the facility:

I have yet to check out this new Leonardtown facility, but I can vouch for the Great Mills Pool.  You see back before Covid struck, I was taking my Grandson Shawn to Great Mills High School each morning.  (He was in the STEM program there and due to some bus disconnect and him being in the Leonardtown School District he needed to get to school on his own each morning.  I volunteered to take him every day.  After school Shawn would sometimes catch the bus down to Buzzy's Country Store and I would take him back home too.)   

While going was no problem in the a.m., exiting Great Mills High School was.  The school traffic Barney Fifes would not permit those of us dropping kids off to then exit back out the entrance with the traffic light.  We were directed out the side parking lot by the County Pool access road.  Making a left then onto Great Mills Road at that time of morning was dicey, so I began hitting the pool.  Thus, it was a win-win in that I got some exercise in and avoided the traffic.   

I did enjoy the swimming, but I must confess it was a somewhat humbling experience.  I would putz around in the shallow end of the huge pool as the more accomplished swimmers did numerous laps non-stop.  As I did so, watching them effortlessly knock out several laps non-stop, I felt like that kid stuck in right field.  

Note that ultimately, however I did manage to work my way up to being able to a least do one lap without stopping.  Had Covid not struck and ended my workouts, who knows, I may have even hit 2 laps thus doubling my accomplishment.  The older you get, the smaller your goals become. 

Music-wise then, since I alluded to this phenomena, check this out:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Twofer Tuesday - Blaise and Stone Learn to Float and Swim

Continuing with my nautical theme from yesterday, here are a some great photos of my Grandsons Blaise and Stone as they are learning to swim and float independently in their Self-Rescue swim lessons.  Their parents Caitie and Brady have been taking them to these lessons for awhile now and their progress has been amazing. 

Photos were taken by Susanne Malebranche who teaches Infant Swimming Resource lessons here in Southern Maryland.  You can learn more about this life saving program by visiting www.somdisr.com or on Facebook and Instagram @SOMDISR.   

Here are Blaise and Stone floating:

Guess You Can Say He Floated Like a Stone
Musically then, here is a swimming song for you:

Monday, September 20, 2021

Well Shiver Me Timbers

Geez, please accept my apology for not informing you here on the Buzzyblog  that yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day .  I guess that I was so excited about how well Brittany's Gender Reveal Party went at the Store that I completely overlooked this important day.  And I did so on a Sunday no less:

Norm Macdonald, who passed away last week,  wasn't exactly everybody's cup of tea as a favorite comedian, but I always liked and appreciated him.  I still think he was one of the best ever SNL Weekend Update dudes.  The following shows him relating a very lame shaggy dog story for you but it does have a nautical theme to it, so check it out.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Brittany and AJ's Gender Reveal Party at Buzzy's

Got Your Attention But Please Read On

When my friend Janet Whitt asked me a few weeks back about hosting her Granddaughter Brittany's and husband AJ's gender reveal party at Buzzy's Country Store I of course agreed to do so .  However, I was curious as to how it would play out because in the history of parties at Buzzy's, we have never held one like that. 

Thus, yesterday Janet, Brittany and AJ hosted several of their family and friends at Buzzy's for what I am now referring to as "The Best Gender Reveal Party Ever."  (OK, that might be a bit of an overstatement considering some of those elaborate gender reveals seen floating around on TV and Youtube.  However, I can say with certainty that it was the best gender reveal party ever held at Buzzy's.

Brittany had been to the Doctor a couple weeks back for blood work that would reveal the sex of her's and AJ's baby.  Brittany asked that the results be sent to AJ's sister Marissa.  Yesterday then Marissa acted as "The Gender Keeper."  Brittany herself still did not know the sex of her baby.

The reveal itself was pretty dramatic as AJ's brother Jarred made the announcement via a burnout:

Note for more photos and a film of the actual reveal go to Brittany's FB page (click here.)

Everyone was looking on and became excited to learn that Brittany and AJ's daughter Kinslee will soon be having a little brother.  Great Grandma Janet will now be great once again.  However, we all already knew that she was great.
Janet and Kinslee

Good time and my thanks to Janet, Brittany, AJ and all their family and friends for making the trip down to Buzzy's to celebrate such a special occasion.  And yes, everyone was there for the "sex" and the beer!


 And speaking of things being blue check out this video from Uncle Cracker:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

A Look Back - September 2008

In spite of Satchel's advice to not look back because something might be gaining on you, I revisited my earliest Buzzyblog posts done in September and found these three from 2008.

The first one commemorated Buzzy's Last $1.00 Beer Party. 

   .--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------As noted Buzzy was living in Bayside Nursing Home in 2008.  In early 2009 he relocated to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home where he passed away in June 2009.

Back then I was not doing a blogpost every day as I do now so my next post in September was not until the 13th.  I did a follow up post about the party and included a video made by Lori McKay.  However, for some reason, the video has since disappeared and I could not make the link do its thing and show it.  Those gremlins again I guess.

My last 2008 September post provided an update on Buzzy's health and our attempts to have a land line installed in his room at the nursing home.  I remember that when I told him we were having the phone installed, the first thing he said was "What's that going to cost me?"  I told him "Nothing because I'm going to pay for it."  He came back with "Naw, I'll pay for it.  But I still don't think I need one."

When Brady and I were touring the ritzy residential Tuxedo Park area of Atlanta a few weeks back, our tour guide pointed out a huge mansion and stated that it was T.I.'s home.  I asked Brady who he was and he simply said "A rapper."  That explained why I didn't know who he was.  

So, imagine my surprise just now when I tracked down Billboard's Number 1 song on the charts in September of 2008:

Friday, September 17, 2021

September Song

Some reasons to get out the house and go do something fun:

Also on Saturday at the KoC Hall:
And the Ridge Carnival wraps up this weekend:
A very nice lady referred me to this very nice video.  I may even have a nice memory or two of her stashed away somewhere.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Things That Caught My Eye

Doing a daily blog makes me keep a lookout for things of interest that catch my eye as I bop around the corridors of internet high school.  (There is that theory that all of life is simply high school and that you never really move on beyond that.  Not 100% sure I agree with that, but it is something to think about.  Consider Buzzy's Country Store then as your Cafeteria where you take a break from life's studies!)

But when something does make my Buzzy cut as "blog worthy," I will usually stash it away for possible inclusion here on a future blog post.  Here are some things that I had in the Buzzy files:   

St. Mary's County Library Microfilm Collection -- Microfilm Image Viewer (archivalweb.com)

And my favorite item:
And last but not least, well ok perhaps it is the least funny.  However, it sets up the video for you.

And if you can't figure it out for yourself:

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Support Pier 450

As most of you know, my friend Peggy Binzel has been working very hard with the powers-that-be to open and run her business Pier 450 as a first class operation at the end of Wynne Road.  With over a year in business now, Peggy and her business partner Cathy are still negotiating their way through the myriad of regs and red tape that all small businesses, but in particular bars and restaurants, have to comply with in order to conduct business.  I recognize that all these regs are in place for valid reasons, but at some point it all becomes too much.   

Please take a few minutes to look over and sign the linked petition showing your support for Pier 450 (click here.)  They are aiming for 500 signatures and I just became their 363rd.  

Van knew that there would be days like this:

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ripton Country Store

Here is a look at the Ripton Country Store located in Vermont. 

 Way Up There
Photo by Tom Russell

The Ripton Country Store was brought to my attention courtesy of my buddy Tom Russell.  He and his wife Karen were vacationing nearby the store recently and sent me the following:

Karen and I just returned from a trip to Vermont. We stayed in a place called Robert Frost Mountain 
Cabins. It was quite the adventure. After the end of the asphalt it was 3.4 miles of 
gravel road to get to the cabins. We turned at the Ripton Country Store to get to our 
cabin. The store allegedly goes way back. The real story is the ICE machine. The old 
machine misspelled ice as IEC. The new owners, 2018 I think, replaced the ancient IEC 
machine. The new machine spelled ice correctly. There was so much outcry, the new owners 
had the new machine changed back to IEC lettering....  

Here then is another photo Tom took showing the ice box:
Now tell the truth - did you catch that when you looked at Tom's first photo of the store?

As Tom mentioned, there is of course a story behind the Ice misspelling.  Found this article from a cycling publication where then owner Dick Collitt tells how the ICE became the IEC (click here.)

Dick and his wife Sue operated the store for 40+ years before putting it on the on the market in 2018.  This became the subject of a NY Times article and the following NBC news story:

A Virginia couple learned about the store being for sale and put in a bid on the property only to learn that they were too late.  Turns out that after the NY Times article was published, it generated 70 inquiries from folks around the country who were interested in buying the store.  (Here is the link to that article but it is subject to the NY Times paywall (click here.)   

However, the initial offer for the store fell through and the Collitts then sold it to new owners Eva Hoffmann and Gary WieselI.  Here is a nice article on the store's transitioning from the Collitts to Eva and Gary (click here.)  Gary was originally from the area but had left to join the Navy and ultimately retire in Norfolk.  He was therefore coming back home when he and Eva bought the store.   Who says...... 

And since it's Twofer Tuesday, how about a second song today featuring the Ripton Country Store when it was for sale.  Tells me that I may need to get my musician buds working on composing a Buzzy's Country Store tune. >Thank you to Tom Russell for steering all this my way!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Kenyon College Alum

:Located in Gambier, Ohio

Young guy in Buzzy's Country Store Saturday morning was wearing a Kenyon College shirt so I asked him who was their most famous alum.  He immediately replied "Paul Newman."  

And here I had thought that I was going to surprise and impress him by saying Laura Hillenbrand whom I knew something of her background from having read  her books Seabiscuit and Unbroken.  But when my Buzzy visitor threw out the Paul Newman name, there went my useless little bit of knowledge of Kenyon College alum and plus I learned something.  (I thought of Larry King's great quote about interviewing people "I never learned anything while I was talking.")

Turns out that in addition to Paul and Laura, Kenyon College has had many notable alum thru the years.  Their impressive list includes such famous folks as our 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes, comedian Jonathan Winters, novelist E.L. Doctorow, actress Allison Janney, and a couple of Bills as in MLB's Bill Veeck and Bill Watterson who created and published  the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.  For being such a small college, not much bigger than our St. Mary's College, Kenyon's alum list is pretty remarkable.  

Musician Nick Petricca graduated from Kenyon College in 2009.  Who? I hear you asking.  OK, you may not recognize him by name but I'm betting you will  know the catchy 2014 song that he and his bandmates Walk the Moon recorded.  (I warn you however, you're gonna be humming this little ditty all day.)

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Hand(s) of God

 Sunday reflection time so check out this great photo taken by Joan Bean.  

Whenever I see a nice view like this, I always think "The Hand of God."  I don't know where or why I picked up that association from such a view, but it will invariably run thru my mind whenever I see something like this.  Guess those 12 years of Catholic school will do that sort of thing to you whether you are aware of it or not.   Proving once again that you can never get above your roots.

On the other hand (sorry) if you google "hand of God" you will probably see the Michelangelo Sistine Chapel scene of God creating Adam:

Believe I prefer Joan's view.

Football today and will have a couple of the games on the tube at the Store so ride on down.  "Be amazed at the friends you have here...."

Saturday, September 11, 2021

It's All Happening in Ridge

 Lots to do in South County this weekend:

Knights of Columbus Chicken Dinner on Sunday.

And of course THE Carnival both nights:

Buzzy's Country Store open and there for you to chill on the porch and enjoy the best weather of the year.
And just because I feel that all of the above falls a little on the boring side of blog posts, how about we spice it up some with a sexy rap video?  See if you don't agree that the young lady in the black dress steals the show.

Friday, September 10, 2021

St. James General Store (The Other One)

Sherry and Dave Thompson's St. James Deli (above) is getting closer and closer to re-opening.  They are hoping to do so in the next couple of months so watch for it.   I took these photos just the other day.

Note the Crosses Installed Across the Front

But way up on New York's Long Island they also have a St. James Store that claims to be the oldest continuously open general store in the United States.  This St. James Store is so famous that it even has its own Wiki entry for it (click here.)   (Quick digression - makes me wonder what it takes to get a Wiki entry?  That might just be my first 2022 goal and resolution - to get  Buzzy's Country Store on Wiki.)  

Too I found this article describing the NY St. James Store.

Also found this nice little video on the store and its history (click here.)  

However, even if St. James is a throwback and a step back in time, that doesn't preclude modern day crapola from darkening their doorstep.  When I went to their Facebook page I found this complaint posted right below their Merry Christmas blurb.

Leads me to conclude that perhaps a reason why the St. James' folks have managed to keep their doors open continuously for so many years is because, when in doubt, they choose to err on the side of caution.  Something the following guys were never accused of doing.  (Note that I stumbled upon this when looking for tunes about Jekyll and Hyde.  It's funny, even if a little off color so be ready to punch if you are easily offended.)

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Busy Thursday Night

NFL kicks off tonight with defending Super Bowl champs the Buccaneers and Tommy taking on America's Team the Cowboys.  Bucs are a whopping 7 1/2 point favorite which seems like a lot to me but early in the season no one really knows what to expect.  (For that matter, the NFL can be tricky to predict even later in the season when some trends set in.)  

However, NFL is an acronym meaning Not For Long and Tommy Boy has been doing it waaaay too long.  Time for him to just fade away isn't it?  I'll take Dak and the Boys with the points and maybe even flat out for the upset win.

But the even bigger event taking place tonight occurs in uptown Ridge, Maryland:


Speaking of fading away, check this Mike Douglas video out from 1964.  Only 2 of the Stones shown here are still rolling.  (Bill Wyman is alive and well but in retirement.)  Always liked the drumming on this one from The Man - Charlie Watts who passed a couple weeks ago.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

RLS Redux

My reference to Buzzy's Country Store being a Jekyll and Hyde operation yesterday reminded me that I had planned to do a Robert Louis Stevenson follow up.  Here is why he merits an encore appearance here on the Buzzyblog:

Recall last week how I found that nice little friend quote in Mom's papers that read "A friend is a present you give yourself."  I stated at the time that I was surprised to learn that it was originally said/written by Stevenson.  I was surprised because I have always associated him with writing action-based things like Treasure Island, Kidnapped and of course Jekyll and Hyde.  The quote then seemed a little too nice or tame for him to have written it.  

Then again, confession time as in "Forgive me Literary Father for I have sinned" but my ignorance of RLS and his works stems from not having read any of his poetry nor other "nice" stuff.  For that matter, I never read the stuff of his that I was supposed to have read because I had him stashed in what I call my Cliff Notes' File.  

You know the file.  It is the one with all those famous dudes and dudettes whom you were supposed to have read in high school but opted instead to just do the Cliff Notes' shortcut.  I still have my trusty "cheat book" shown here.   

Sure enough, RLS has 4 entries.  

Charles Dickens is the only author who appears more than 4 times in the above book.  I thought it was appropriate to mention that because I also learned that RLS ranks Number 26, only one spot behind Dickens, for the most translated author in the world (click here,)  

This is pretty remarkable considering that Stevenson died at the young age of 44.  He died from a cerebral hemorrhage while he was opening a bottle of wine.  (Those old cork screws never were very good.)  He was residing in Samoa where he is buried overlooking the sea. 

He wrote the following which is inscribed on his tomb and was made into a song: