Archive for March, 2006

Favorite Quote of the Day

“I love the Monkees….Did you know they were a big influence on the Beatles?”

Lloyd Christmas-Dumb and Dumber

Vacation/Sick Day

Of course, the day I plan a vacation day, I end up having The Crud that has been flying around. I had it yesterday, went to work and then Co-Worker Debbie said I had a fever and in her oh so subtle way said “Get out of here. I don’t want your funk.”

I was planning on taking #2 to The Hermitage today. He is so into Presidents. They’re calling for possible severe storms this afternoon and I’m not so sure I want to be stuck at Jackson’s Tomb during a tornado warning. So instead of delving into the history of Old Hickory, #2 and I will be getting our sore, swollen throats swabbed for Strep. Yee haw.

While I’m convalescing today, I’m watching some uplifting television. So uplifting, I’m seriously considering donating my 401K to him. I’m also catching up on my gameshows.

The word for the weekend is “streptococcus.” Ginormous pills the size of Cleveland I must ingest for ten days and waiting for that inevitable “secondary” infection that is sure to follow when taking 875 mg of augmentin. (The girls out there know exactly of which I’m speaking.)

Praise The Lord and Pass The Lipstick

Why is it that I can name just about every kid from my second grade class (1976), know minute, obscure trivia about country music and old movies, but every single time I am in a parking lot, I NEVER remember where I parked and I walk around and around and I’m three or four rows over from where I left my vehicle? I’ve been like this ever since I started driving. One time, I stopped short of calling the police at Hickory Hollow mall, thinking my Cutlass had been stolen, only to find I had come in a different entrance…

It happened again this evening at my second home, Wal Mart, where I happily found (for those following the saga) some COFFEE GLAZE lipstick!! God is so good to me.

The Buck (or Buddy Alan) Stops Here

I have a date with Eddie Stubbs tonight. Eddie’s doing a 5 hour tribute tonight on WSM Radio (650 on your am dial!) to Buck Owens. There will be a lot of spayshul guests sharing their thoughts and memories on the Buckster, who died last week….Ferlin Husky, Roy Clark, Marty Stuart (why of course…can’t have nothing without Marty throwing HIS two cents in) Jim Lauderdale and even Tom Brumley, who was the steel guitarists for the Buckaroos during their heyday. You can also listen to it on Sirius Satellite Radio or online. Should be a good un.

Speaking of Roy Clark, from what I hear, there was not lots of love lost between Buck and Roy. When “Hee Haw” began, Buck was supposed to be the “stahhh” but Roy, being funnier and such a great comedic talent, kinda stole it from him. I don’t think that was the thing that caused the friction though.

Roy was known to indulge in alcoholic beverages and other activities. Buck was a teetotaler. Roy often rolled into the studio during tapings when he felt like it. This did not make Buck happy, for Buck was into gittin r done and getting out so he could count all his money, of which he had lots.

Buck kinda flipped out there for awhile in the 70’s. Buck was married, for about five minutes, to Jana Jae, the girl that used to do commercials for Wal Mart, playing that blue fiddle, hideously, I might add. He married her and about 5 minutes later, kicked her out, then took out an ad in Billboard begging her to come back to him. (Why, Buck, why?!?!) Seems Miz Jae did go back, again, for about 5 minutes, and then later told the press “Buck was mentally ill while I was married to him.” Obviously, or he wouldn’t have married her. Buck did go through a rough time after his best friend/musical partner Don Rich died in a 1974 motorcycle accident, so we can forgive him for his horrible lapse in judgement.

I got hit on once by Buck’s son, Buddy Alan. (I know women everywhere will be so envious of me) Back in 1990, me and some friends snuck our way into the Country Radio Seminar. Party central, I tell you. (My dad was one of the founders of this auspicious event, yet, somehow never mentioned all the drunkeness that occurred there. No wonder he’d be gone all during CRS week!) I was newly married, and at the time, Mr. Smiff had a record deal and single out and I guess I thought I was going to assist his up and coming career, knowing Buddy managed some of his Daddy’s radio stations out west. I was all of 21 and as Minnie Pearl would say, didn’t know nothin’ and didn’t suspect nothin. Let’s just say ol’ Buddy weren’t interested in Mr. Smiff. Thank God and Roy Clark I was able to get away before I got a Buckaroo Gropin’.

Clouds in My Coffee

I’m so vain and I DO think this song is about me.

I’m out of my favorite lipstick shade and it’s totally making me feel like the ugliest creature on the planet. I feel nekkid and not quite right without my “Coffee Glaze.” I can’t find it anywhere. I do hope Maybelline has not stopped making this color. I’ve bought a “Coffee Toffee” and a “Coffee Gleam” but it’s lighter and when I pass by a mirror and see myself, I resemble a corpse. I also got another shade that looks like a close friend of Coffee Glaze, “Velvet Crush”. I was crushed at how ugly it is.

I’ve tried mixing my various coffee shade with my “Elegant Cognac” gloss. It only looks good the first time I put it on in the morning. If I redo it later in the day, I start to resemble Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.” SCARY! I am no Estee Lauder or Liz Arden fo sho.

I have never thought of myself as vain. I’m not afraid to go out in public without my makeup on. Ask Chris that works at the Hendersonville Kroger. He has seen me in just about every way. I’ve been in there fixed right nice after church on Sunday and early on Saturday mornings when I run out of my Hazelnut creamer. He still speaks to me after that and doesn’t pretend he doesn’t know me! I’m ok with the au naturel face look.

If, for some reason, the fine folks at Maybelline have decided Coffee Glaze needs to be retired. I don’t know what I’ll do. HELP!

Old School…New Name

Yay to the Sumner County School Board for voting to rename Wessington Place Elementary School in Hendersonville, George Whitten Elementary School. Kudos also go to Ben Bush for getting the petition started and getting the ball rolling on making it all happen. George Whitten was the principal at Wessington for about 25 years until he died of cancer just before this past Christmas. Before principaling, Mr. Whitten taught in Sumner County schools, so lots of kids in Hendersonville (and a lot of adults) were products of his tutelage.

Mr. Whitten was our principal for just two years. #1 Son began his school career at Wessington, attending there for kindergarten and first second grade, before a new elementary school came in and we were re-zoned for the new facility.

During #1’s kindergarten year, I had begun working full time, which left Mr. Smiff responsible for getting the lad off to school every morning. Mr. Smiff, being a musician, keeps musician hours. My mother in law refers to it as “Elvis Standard Time”, meaning late nights and waking at the crack of noon.

While #1 was in preschool, he didn’t have to get there til about 9:30 and there was no strict rules about getting the kids there on time. This was perfect for Mr. Smiff. (Look up “slow” or “laid back” in Mr. Webster and you are likely to see his picture.) Elementary school, as Mr. Smiff was soon to learn, is not quite so relaxed as far as the school bell was concerned, nor were they interested in the shedyool that he was accustomed to.

As a result of a few too many mornings missing the bell, #1 brought home a note informing us that he was due to report to detention as punishment for his tardiness. Detention for a kindergartner??!??!?! Mr. Smiff was livid. He was going to go confront Mr. Whitten and settle this matter and that was that. He was all ready to deal with the big, badass principal. He was going to tell Mr. Whitten how it was. I told Mr. Smiff that we were in a different playing field now and things like getting to school on time was not a matter of our convenience and that we couldn’t get #1 there whenever we felt like it. “Pffft” said Mr. Smiff. For he is the Dad.

Needless to say, #1 completed his sentence in detention. This happened after Mr. Smiff went and had a little chat with Mr. Whitten. Mr. Whitten wasn’t such a badass after all. He explained to Mr. Smiff that he couldn’t let one kid slide on the rules and not the other. (Same thing I had said). I believe Dad felt pretty bad when all was said and done that #1 had pretty much been sentenced to dentention because of his not getting him to school on time. Tardiness was never a problem again for any of the Smiff Kids.

Lunchtime in Downtown Nashville

I had the absolute best lunch time ever today. I didn’t dine at a trendy spot or anything like that. I put on my old tennis shoes I keep at my desk and decided today, I would get my exercise over lunchtime, since I’ve been having a hard time working in the Y in the evenings. (Whine, isn’t easy with a full time job and three kids that expect to be fed and stuff)

Off I go, out the door. It’s a beautiful day in Nashville, about 58 degrees when I set out, a little chilly sorta but beautiful, blue sky.

Started out from 8th towards Church St. I love Church St. Everytime I am there, I always try to picture what it was like back in the day it was the center of Nashville’s shopping district. Castner’s was still open when I first started working downtown almost ten years ago. As a kid, I can remember every spring, taking the big trip downtown to Cain Sloan for Bunny Land. Who else remembers Bunny Land??? Come on now. I know I’m not the only one.

As I walked through the Arcade, instead of noticing the neat little eating places, all I noticed was that every person in there was smoking! It was almost like today was a special day just for the smokers. I’m surprised they let them do that still. Not smoker bashing (I are one) but it was just an interesting observation.

What are they building right next to the L & C Tower? I mean, the Tower is going to have itself a twin. The L & C is just a cool building. Have you ever ridden in the elevators in there? They are old and retro looking and just cool.

The Mother Church was looking beautiful today, as always. Wish I could’ve had time to go in and just set awhile.

Went around to Broadway and my eye caught the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. Do I cross the street through traffic? Is it worth it? Yes, it was. Compared to the newer ET Shop out at Music Valley Dr., this one is tiny, but, oh so charming. Especially when you consider that for years, this was THE after Opry place. They even have the coke crates Loretta stood on to reach the microphone. They have Pete Drake’s steel guitar, a tv playing the scene from “Coal Miner’s Daughter” shot right there….cool western shirts that ET wore. Books galore…I could’ve spent the rest of the afternoon reading Hugh Waddell’s “I Still Miss Someone.” It’s a great book featuring remembrance of Johnny Cash by his family and friends (and their shoe sizes!).

As I was standing there, reading through the Waddell book, enjoying the Loretta cd playing in the background, I looked up and there are photographs all over the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. A lot of them have been there since forever. There was a photo in a frame directly above where I was looking and I recognized it immediately because I was present when the photo was taken. It was made about 1978 at Two Rivers Mansion during Fan Fair when all the old timers got together. ET, Patsy Montana, Lulu Belle and Scotty, Joe Allison, all these people and there, about midway in the bunch was my dad smiling back at me.

I beamed and practically skipped my way back up that horrendous hill on Broadway back to the office. I should have lunches like that more often.

What Makes Country Cool

An odd little moment today during lunch at Jaybird’s in Hendersonville. (Jaybird’s is a fantastic little restaurant on Stop Thirty Rd. that specializes in amazing southern cooking. You should go there.)

Jaybird’s has a couple tv’s in their establishment and one of the television’s was airing that race in Bristol. I’m not into NASCAR so I’m not sure what it’s official title is, but, Diamond Rio performed the National Anthem (and did a bangup job, I might add) and bassist/singer Dana Williams’ parents, Louise and Maurice, were sitting at the table behind us, quite proud of their boy. Louise shared she was recording it at home and I thought that’s just like a proud mom. After all these years that Diamond Rio has enjoyed a lots of success, Mom STILL records every television performance. Neat.

Also heard that at Brad Paisley’s show in Iowa last night, when he performed his current hit “When I Get Where I’m Going”, he added a photograph in the video presentation of his mentor, Buck, and then at the very end, included a photo of Buck and his beloved guitarist/harmony vocalist Don Rich (who was killed in a motorcycle wreck at the age of 34 in the 70’s) with a caption of “Together Again.” How sweet is that?

Buck Owens 1929-2006

The best country band…ever-Buck Owens, Don Rich, Willie Cantu, Tom Brumley and Doyle Holley…aka The Buckaroos

Three cool dudes: Buck Owens, Tex Ritter and Dad
circa 1965 (photo by Polaroid…the 1960’s version of the digital camera)

I’m trying to follow the blog rule of my pal, Steve, in not going back and adding stuff to the blog after I post it, but, I thought of something I wanted to add on thoughts of Buck.

In 1989, I was working at CMT. This was before it was bought by the mega conglomerate and was a struggling little cable channel run by Stan Hitchcock. I was the 20 year old on the front desk, answering the phone…the lowest chick on the totem pole.

There was a television that played CMT (what else) all day long. It was quite redundant hearing the same 10 songs over and over all day long and to this day, songs/videos that were popular at the time ran along the lines of the then “new” acts like Alan, Clint and that guy named Garth. In the mix, there was some Buck Owens thrown in. I was nuts about Buck and did something I’ve only done one other time and that was write a fan letter. (The other one was to Donny and Marie when I was about 7). I had the advantage of having Buck’s office address so I guess that helped it get right into his hands.

To my utter amazement, about two weeks later, I received a package in the mail. In it were two autographed cassettes, an 8 x 10 and a personal, handwritten letter from the Buckster himself. Do keep in mind, this guy was a multi-bazillionaire and largely retired from actively performing so he certainly had nothing to prove by responding to me. But, he did.

Some might say “What is the big deal…he was the guy on Hee Haw?” HA! Hee Haw was just a minute little stop Buck made in his professional journey. Before he hit the Kornfield, Buck Owens was a succesful studio musician in Los Angeles. He underplayed his guitar abilities after the great Don Rich joined his outfit and he largely let him do the guitar work and I don’t know that he ever showed off his chops on Hee Haw.

Buck Owens recorded some of the best country music ever and he did it all on the West Coast. He was covered by the Beatles, even and they didn’t cover a lot of artists. He refused to be part of the Nashville machine (thank goodness) and he pretty much did it his way and on his terms. He was also a sharp businessman, owning Lord knows how many radio stations.

If all you know of Buck is the guy on Hee Haw with the backwards overalls (Hee Haw was the bomb though), I would strongly encourage you to take a hop over to your favorite music outlet and get a copy of The Very Best Of Buck Owens Vol I.

The Thundering Herd

Last night we had to go to the High School for our first, I don’t know what the official name of the event was but to get the registration booklet and info for our upcoming High School Freshman.

I’m not sure how I feel about having a child that will be a Freshman this fall. It doesn’t seem possible that he has grown up this quickly but more than that, the selfish side of me is like “I just got out of high school a few years ago.” Then I remind myself that next year is my 20 year reunion.

We’re fortunate to live in an area with this beautiful, new building out in Sumner County. (Williamson County Who?????) that’s only been there a few years. They have a gajillion clubs..a food court (say what?) and it’s just an all around nice place. I’m excited for #1 Son because Lord willing, he’s about to hit what I hope will be a fantastic four year period in his life. He is already talking about where he wants to go to college and I’ve lectured him umpteen times on how on his path to college, the sliding by without studying, but still making good grades thing is probably about to come to a screeching halt and he’s going to have to commit to studying a lot if’n he wants to be able to go to the high fallutin’ school he’s talking about (Vanderbilt).

I was pretty cool about the whole idea of high school until they mentioned that this incoming Freshmen bunch will be the class of 2010. All the kids in attendance hooped and hollered but as I looked around, I was glad I was not the only parent with the lump in their throat.

Oh K. T. Oslin, Where Art Thou

About 19 years ago, a singer/songwriter type blew into Twang Town from New York City with her song about “80’s Ladies.” Kay Toinette aka “K. T.” Oslin was a seasoned commercial jingle singer and seems to me, she had done some Broadway work before coming to Nashville.

I remember there were some who cried foul when her nostalgic song about being grown up women hit the country charts. I know my own mother griped because “she ain’t country!” Truthfully, I kinda thought KT was a little snooty and uppity for country music myself. Those silly gloves she wore and all that feminisim attitude she had. Pfft….I didn’t relate to the song about burning bras and being the “girls of the 50’s and 60’s” in 1987. Heck no…I was 18, a size 6 and still had black hair and just didn’t relate to nary a thing that song was talking about. I never gave a hiatal hernia about that 80’s Ladies song….until about 5 minutes ago.

Listening to XM’s “America-Classic Country” (Channel 10 to be exact) and they just played “80’s Ladies.” The lyrics that got to me…..

We’ve been educated, we got liberated And that’s complicated matters with men
Oh we’ve said I do and we’ve signed I don’t And we’ve sworn we’d never do that again
Oh we’ve burned our bras and we’ve burned our dinners
And we’ve burned at candles at both ends
And we’ve got some children who look just like
the way we did back then
Oh but we’re all grown up now All grown up
None of us can tell you quite how

I’m just too sentimental. I’m sitting here bawling my eyes out, feeling pretty stupid. PMS maybe….I don’t know. What a great song. Sorry I had negative thoughts about you K. T. At 37, I get you now.

Where is KT anyway????

The Grande Dame of Music Row

This is my maw in law. My husband’s mother. My children’s grandmother and a mother figure to a lot of people from struggling songwriters to young women to gay guys. Everybody is “honey” to her, unless, of course, you step out of her favor which, trust me, you don’t want to be out of her favor.

Hazel is from Caswell County, NC. It is so far removed from the hustle and bustle of busy suburbia, it isn’t even funny. She grew up on a tobacco (tuh-backa as they say in Caswell) farm. Her daddy was the local sheriff and all around bad ass. She tells stories of her dad getting mad when the kids played. He wanted them to work all the time and apparently, he didn’t put up with much nonsense. Every picture I’ve ever seen of my grandfather-in-law, he looks stressed out and unhappy. He died at the age of 58 while sitting at the breakfast table from a massive stroke.

Her mother, who is still living and recently celebrated 92 years of living, married at 15 years old, and although she was not educated, has more common sense than anybody I know. She was also, before the effects of 92 years of living took their toll on her, one of the best southern cooks around.

Hazel took the broad step and moved to Nashville in 1968 to pursue a career as a songwriter, leaving behind a 15 year marriage. My father in law, who is ten years older than my mother in law and of a totally different mindset, did not support her dreams of doing something beyond Rockingham and Caswell Counties. He didn’t think she had any talent as a songwriter or really, anything. In reality, The Older Mr. Smiff knew what he was dealing with with his wife and that she was a livewire. I think he was extremely threatened by her spunk, tenacity and git r done attitude. He begged her to come back home. He missed her cooking.

Hazel came to Nashville, with my then 8 year old husband in tow, later followed by her older son, and somehow, scarfed out a living for herself and her kids. She worked for Kinky Friedman, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, began writing a long running column in Country Music magazine and coining the phrase “Outlaw Music” to describe what her then employers were doing musically. Later on, she ran the office of Dr. Hook and the personal dealings of Ricky Skaggs and had some pretty good song cuts in between. She has continued writing for various publications and is on radio station WFMS in Indianapolis every morning.

Hazel learned a lot from her mother’s kitchen and is quite the Southern culinary expert. She has spent the last 5 years making it her personal mission to make sure people know how to cook like our grandmas used to. She has cooked on Emeril Lagasse’s show on the Food Network and appears on the Ellen DeGeneres Show a few times a year. She has a cookbook called “Cooking With Country Stars” and tonight (Thursday) she will be on QVC at 8:00 eastern hawking it. Although it would be great if you bought one (I have my kids inheritance to think of, ya know), you should be highly entertained.

TV Land Awards

Holy Senior Citizens, Batman!!!!

Watching the TVLand Awards and I’m just amazed at how friggin elderly some of these people are.

JJ from Good Times is much blacker than I remember him….Michael looks like somebody’s Paw Paw….Donny Osmond, caked in makeup, IS somebody’s Paw Paw….Dee from “What’s Happening” uses some sort of crutches that you can tell aren’t a temporary thing….What has happened to Billy Crystal!?!??! Sid Caesar, God love that genius, is so frail and couldn’t walk without help. Ok, so he is something like 85 so I can understand has anomaly…..Peter Brady (sans the bimbo from the Surreal Life”) has salt and pepper hair….John Amos, aka James Evans, Sr….his nose still looks like it could house a whole city….Larry Hagman looks like a wax figure from Madame Toussaud’s…..Mary Tyler Moore…whoever continues to butcher her face through plastic surgery should lose their medical license. Don’t stretch it no more. Not much left to stretch. Where was Janet Jackson?!??!?!?

The parody of “Grey’s Anatomy” was killer.

Smiff Meets American Idol

One of the best parts of being a parent is seeing bits and pieces of yourself in them.

When I was growing up, I hung out amongst country music royalty on a regular basis. I didn’t know that these people were “special” until I got older. I mean, I thought everybody’s parents had good friends who had a collection of Nudie suits and colorful cowboy boots like Carl Smith did. That was the norm. It’s been much the same for my kids, getting to meet legends (most of the time unimpressed) and do stuff like hang out backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. I used to get Dad to haul me out there when certain people would be performing.

For my kids, they’ve been to the Opry a number of times throughout their lives. Regulations are stricter now for bringing children backstage so they didn’t get to go a lot until the last couple years. When I was a kid, there were no such rules until Sonny Osborne got mad when some kid ran into his banjo neck and broke it, but, I digress.

This past weekend, the Princess Daughter made her first arrangements (on her own via her grandma) to go to the Opry when Dad was not playing. She wanted to see her hero, Carrie Underwood, and see her she did.

If she lives to be 190, she will remember meeting Carrie just as I remember the first time I met Emmylou when I was about 15. I don’t have a photograph from that first meeting but I would be I had the same scared, “I can’t believe this” look on my face that my sweet daughter has here.

There’s So Much That We Share When It’s Time We’re Aware……

I love blogs. They’re fun to read. There’s some interesting folk running around out there.

I had happened upon this blog a number of times and as somebody who attempts to run and shares the same spiritual philosophies, Steve’s blog was one of my favorites. I didn’t know until about a week or so ago, after being a semi-regular to this blog, that Steve works on my floor. I’ve only been on this floor for a couple months so now Steve is a new pal and we’ve bonded…through blogging.

Technology is so grand.