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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.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bar Room Deaths - Final Word

All deaths are sad events.  The death is even sadder when it is due to a senseless murder such as the ones that I have mentioned here in my previous posts about bar room fights and arguments.

Yet the saddest of all deaths has to be those involving a suicide.  The following South County bar room death that occurred in December 1964 was indeed very sad.

A buddy of mine brought it up to me a couple years ago when he told me about the morning that he discovered Tom Bennett dead on the floor of Tanglewood Inn.  (Tanglewood was located just below Buzzy's on the left hand side of the road across from Harry Beale's House.) 

Craig Jarboe told me that when he was a teenager he worked as a helper on a beer truck driven by Billy Hill.  Craig told me how Billy would send him into the bars and liquor stores to see if they needed anything. 

Craig recounted how he entered Tanglewood Inn that morning and saw Mr. Bennett lying on the floor.  As Craig approached him, he saw a pool of blood streaming out around Mr. Bennett on the floor.  Craig quickly returned to the truck to inform Billy what he had found.  Billy then called the authorities.

Billy Hill now owns and runs St. Mary's Landing Restaurant in Charlotte Hall where not long ago I had a chance to ask him about Craig's story. 

Billy confirmed that he had sent Craig into Tanglewood and noted that he still feels bad that Craig saw what he saw that day. Billy told me "You know, after that I never sent another helper into a business to see if they wanted anything.  I always went in myself from then on."

My Grandfather Harry Raley lived next door to the Tanglewood Inn.  Whenever we were visiting Harry, my brother Steve and I would wander into Tanglewood for a Coke.  I knew Mr. Bennett on sight but never really had any interactions with him.

The following Enterprise article was published in their 7 January 1965 issue.  Note that the article erroneously states that is was the driver of the beer truck who discovered Mr. Bennett when in fact it was my buddy Craig who first found him.  (When the article was Microfilmed, the left side got smudged up a bit so you have to fill in some letters to get the gist of what they are saying.)

 I was not able to get in touch with any of the Bennett family members about any of this.  Hope they don't mind that I included the Enterprise story above as I felt that it did a good job telling a little about Mr. Bennett, his life and how he came to own Tanglewood. 

At the end of most of the chapters in Mr. Bradburn's book he would write words such as "May God bless all of my readers." At the end of his chapter on the Shuman Brothers (my previous post) he wrote "May God bless all of those who found the peace they were looking for once they got to heaven."  I hope that too for Mr. Tom Bennett.

Paint It Black was Jagger talking about the death of a loved one.



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