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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.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Welcome Back Chet!

This past Saturday Brian was in the Store when he observed a couple get out of their car parked on the side of Buzzy's and the man pointed over to the backside of the building.  After Brian told me about it, my first thought was "I wonder if he used to live here and is showing his wife just where his apartment was?"  

Well, that is exactly what Chet and Sally Rhodes were doing before they came into the Store and told me the following.  

Chet graduated from Great Mills High School in 1980 and then lived at Buzzy's for 2 years while going to St. Mary's College.  He said that he loved living there and enjoyed getting to know Buzzy who at first came across to him as a gruff and tough kinda guy.  Given that Chet was only 19 or so when he rented from Buzzy, I can see where Buzzy was probably a little intimidating to him.  Plus, remember that Buzzy always did try to play up his tough guy image to folks he first met particularly his tenants to make sure they stayed in line and paid their rent on time.  

Chet and Sally currently reside in the D.C. area and were camping down at Pt. Lookout for a couple of days.  I gave them a tour of the Buzzy estate noting to them how things had and had not changed since he lived there in the early 80's.  

Before they left I grabbed this photo of them standing on the stoop that leads into the apartment area where Chet resided 40 some years ago.  Who says you can't go back?

And since I titled this as I did, here's the original song that John Sebastian wrote for the T-V show Welcome Back Kotter.    At the time, Gabe Kaplan was the big star and a young dude by the name of John Travolta played the Sweathog role of Vinny Barbarino.  Here are some Kotter trivia notes for you. 1)  The Sweathogs were all based on real people that Kaplan knew and went to school with when he was a Sweathog in high school.  2)  John Sebastian wrote the theme song after viewing some of the show that was initially named Kotter.  When Sebastian came up with Welcome Back as the theme, the show's title was then renamed accordingly to say Welcome Back Kotter.  Sebastian's song title was also amended to include Kotter even though his (Kotter's) name isn't mentioned in the song at all (click here.)  So the T-V title got the Welcome Back and the song title got the Kotter.  Makes perfect sense to me.  

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