Archive for May, 2008

This Used To Be My Playground

I had to drive to Franklin last night.  I was by myself and was able to take the long way back, as I’m prone to do when I’m around those parts, which isn’t often.  When I can, I find myself driving through those familiar roads I used to travel on a daily basis.  I don’t know why I feel the need to drive them.  Maybe it’s cause there’s some spots out there that haven’t changed a bit, in the midst of how so much out there is different now than it was when I lived there. 

There’s a place on Franklin Rd. just before you get to what’s now called The Factory (it was the Jamison Bedding Plant) there’s about a mile or two stretch of road that has not changed one bit.  For a minute, I thought I was in my 1979 Grand Am, smoking cigarettes, listening to Emmylou on my cassette player. 

So, I get to Concord Rd. and decide I’ll get on 65 from there.  I lived off Concord Rd. from the time I was 8 months old until the day I became Mrs. Smiff.  That road has changed quite a lot.  For one thing, it’s not a little, two lane road anymore.  Brentwood Baptist Church has built a ginormous complex there in what used to be a beautiful pasture. The railroad track is still there but the road goes over it now.  Used to, you’d have to cross it. 

Over the bridge is my school…Lipscomb Elementary School. (Not to be confused with David Lipscomb, although my school was named for Dave’s brother, William).  The building the Collie Sistas were schooled in was torn down in 1993 to make way for the current structure.

  I was pretty happy to see that the big tree that was in the front of the old school…is still there.The driveway that led to the front door of the school, where we’d get off and on the bus was where that bench is now. 

One morning, my mother took my sister to school (before I was big enough to go) and had to go in for some reason, and her car rolled down the hill and stopped at the fence there across the street that leads to the WSM property. Heh.   That is one tree right there, if’n I ever hear of them wanting to cut it down, I will march myseff out there sit at the trunk and protest about.  I love that tree.

This is the playground I played on a LOT from 1975 to 1981.  The equipment we played on is long gone, of course.  There used to be an old, wooden see-saw right there in the middle.  That sucker was OLD.  I got a splinter from that thing one time that stayed in my leg for months and months and finally, it worked itself out with a lot of infection, leaving a scar that is still visible.

To the right was the swingset, probably erected in 1955, that had swings and a trapeze-like thing.  One time, I guess it was about 5th grade, back in my “gymnast” days, my good friend Melanie Dukes was hanging by her knees and did a flip off of it…perfectly.  Well, I wasn’t gonna let that go…I could do that, too.  I attempted my Nadia-like dismount from the trapeze, landing right on my head, chipped my bottom tooth a little bit. 

This part of the playground faces Concord Rd. (see the tower?).  Just to the right used to be the dumpsters and it was a treat (WTF?) to get to take crap to the dumpster.  I guess it was an excuse to get out of the classroom.  To this day, if I’m ever near a dumpster or get a whiff of something that smells like nasty milk cartons, I think of this spot in the world.  Ain’t that sweet?  There was a swing right there next to the fence by the street and there was a tetherball thing just to the left.  Lordy mercy, there was some serrus Tetherball tournaments there.  I remember crying one time cause Melanie (dang, she was a thorn in my side and I never realized it til now!) beat me.  Heh. 

I decide to walk down to my old ballfields, which are behind the school.  I was surprised that there were no games being played on a Friday night in May.  I was kinda glad though, cause I got to look around really good.

The dugout on Field #3, where I played most of my softball games, looked pretty much identical to how it looked when your Sista was playing.  This scene makes me think of “Come-on-Sharon-you-can-do-it-put-a-little-power-to-it-Hit It- HARD…Hit It…HARD!”  I was a pretty good little hitter.  Sometimes, I was even the 4th batter…you know…”Cleanup”.  I don’t know that I ever hit a Grand Slam, although I do distinctly remember hitting a triple with the bases loaded oncet and feeling like I was the Shiz.

I spent a lot of time behind this plate, because back in those days, I was the Brentwood Civitan Ponytail League’s equivalent to Johnny Bench. (Hey, this is my memory and my blog, humor me here) I was a damn good catcher and I loooved it.  I tagged many a runner out here, oncet giving a girl a bloody nose.  Hate that for her.  Heh.  

 I’m so corny, cheesy and sentimental, I swear.  The whole time I was out here, I kept hearing this song running through my head…but, that whole area makes me feel sad for a time when life was pretty simple. I was blissfully unaware of bad things and my biggest concern was whether Coach Harrison was going to let me or Pam Hartman catch or if there was a game between my team and Melanie’s or Terri Leigh’s. This was before the dreaded Cancer entered our lives and Dad coached my team one year.

I had a good childhood and feel pretty blessed to be able to say that. I know not everybody can say that.

A League of Their Own ALWAYS makes me want to find my glove and play softball.  Always. 



In Memory…

Walter “Dee” Kilpatrick was once the manager of the Grand Ole Opry. He was one of the early A & R men on Music Row and he was a founder of the CMA. He also owned the Drapery House in Nashville for many years and he owned Tennessee Walking Horses.

Dee had a wonderful wife, my pal, Mary Jane, who is a long-time encourager of your Sista.

Dee could sho nuff tell a great story about the old days of the Music Biz in Nashville. I can see him, T. Tommy Cutrer, Tom Perryman, Dad and others, huddled together telling a tale, just as plain as day. (Tom P. is the only one of them still around and he’s STILL on the air in Tyler, Texas at 80) something years young.  One of my favorite memories ever is being around that bunch. 

 We’ll miss ya D. 


I meant to say something about this earlier…Brother In Law Smiff is playing a solo gig down at the Station Inn to commemorate the release of his new cd Five Flat RocksI’m pretty pumped to see the BIL’s outfit perform.  Oh…the BIL’s name is Billy Smith.  He’s a fabulous songwriter, performer and all around dude.  The music commences at 9 o’clock.

Maybe he’ll tell the story of carrying Bill Monroe’s teeth to the dentist or one of his other tales.  He’s got some doozies.

Here’s a clip of the signature title as done by the Del McCoury Band.  I do think that of all the millions (ok not millions) of songs Billy has written, that this one is one of my favorites.  I believe it was co-written with my sister in law Marilyn and her former…never mind…it’s complicated.  Great song.  Come see Billy if you aint got nothing else going on.



Beyond Words

I can’t even wrap my head around the tragic news of Steven Curtis Chapman’s little daughter being run over by a car driven by his teenaged son.  Even more so, this is the second situation like this I’ve heard about this week in our area.  I had heard Sunday about the friend of a friend’s son backing over his young son with the same horrifying result. 

A contrast to these stories, I went to the funeral home last night for my next door neighbor’s mother…a precious, 90 year old saint who lived with them for a time and I had the priviledge to get to know a little.  I always got a kick out of Miss Windolene because she made me think of my own sweet little Grandma Collie. 

I don’t make it a practice to question God and what He allows to happen.  I am of the mind that even though my mortal mind can’t make sense of two preschool aged children, being run over by family members who loved them dearly, I HAVE to believe that He sees the whole picture and somehow, some way He is at work through horrible tragedies like this. 

How is that father of little Caleb and the big brother of Maria going to cope for the rest of their lives?  Why is it that terrible things like that happen to little children while others, like my neighbors mama, live 90 full years on this planet?  There’s no answer or explanation that would make sense to a mortal mind. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD. 
 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

I guess this is the problem some people have with the whole God thing.  I can understand that.  We like to think of God as this Big Dude in the Sky and if He really loves us, wouldn’t make bad things happen.  I don’t feel like He makes the bad things happen.  I think He allows them for various reasons.  Sometimes those reasons are obvious and sometimes they aren’t. 

I’ve had my share of loss and crosses to bear that have not seemed just or fair. (Still do)  I could sit here on my earthly soapbox and try to figure out the whys and whats of everything, but if I did that, I’d be a bigger nutcase than I already am.  For me to get through everyday, I HAVE to believe that this ain’t all there is.  I mean, heck, there’s just some things I’ve experienced that I’m not going to have answers for until I get to Glow-ry.  I can tear my hair out and whatever other forms of self-destruction I can find to bring me momentary comfort, but, those sorts of things just don’t work. 

The junk I’ve gone through and still go through…it’s like that old Andrae Crouch song says…”If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that God could solve it and wouldn’t know what strength in His Word can do.”

I know the Chapman’s are clinging to that this morning as they cope with losing their little girl.  Keep them in your prayers.



Tomorrow is the last day of school for the Smiff Kids. #2 has brought all his junk home…folders…books….crap like that.

I was going through said junkola and there was his book report I he did so beautifully.  They had to make a puppet out of a paper sack of a character from the book and then there was this little questionaire where he was supposed to fill out answers to tell about the STOW-ry, right?  #2’s thing went a little sumpin’ like this:

Title of Book:  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Name of Character: Charlie Bucket.  I’m a little boy who lives near Willy Wonka’s Choclate Factory.  I went to his factory. There was a contest and I won.  We went flying in a elavator.  He anouncend that he was leaving and he wanted me to run the factory.

Think about yourself.  Fill out the form below and compare yourself to this character.

Alike: We both like choclate. We both have parents.  We both have grandparents. 

Not Alike: I don’t live near a factory.  My Mom works.  I eat Hershy Bars. I have some toys.  I have a brother.  I have a sister.

Did you like this character?  Why or why not? (This is the hilarious part) Yes.  I just do so there that’s it.    And this was a Trevor Smith Production.

Waaaa hahahahahahaha…..dang my kid’s so funny.  Maybe he’s not to other people, but, he sho is to me. 

Destined for greatness, that boy is. 

And while we’re on the subject, I can hardly stomach the new Willie Wonka thing.  Those fake teeth that whatshisname wears???  I do like that Augustus Gloop number though, however, I don’t like that they used just one Little Person to be the Oompa Loompa and used all that technical magic.  Nope.  Just think of all the Little People they coulda put to work on that thing?  That ain’t right.

When it comes to Wonkas though..Gene Wilder is da man.

Thou Givest Fever

As Eddie Stubbs would say….are there any questions?

Unh huh.

A “Seizure” Not a Stroke

The more the press keeps trying to convince me and you that Uncle Ted did NOT have a stroke, but, rather, a “seizure”….the more they are convincing me that he is perhaps in the same shape Big Joe was in the last several years of his life. 

I mean, they’ve even got Barack Obama playing along saying “I spoke with Sen. Kennedy this morning and he sounded great!”  Psshhhht.  What, Evah. We aren’t stupid, y’all.  I really can’t stand the thought of one of the Kennedy Brothers not being around anymore, so I do hope the old guy is ok. I love me some Kennedy dram-uh.  I’ve always been into all that stuff.  I guess that’s part of my Rainman-ness. I can name every one of them and who they was married to.  Nevermind that I had watched a documentary on the Kennedy’s the other day and every single time I hear the story of Mary Jo and Chappaquiddick, it makes me just plain mad.  It’s no wonder poor Joan (who was without a doubt, the most beautiful Kennedy wife) ended up a lush. 

Speaking of bizarre, (were we?…maybe not) have you ever seen this picture?  Warning…it’s a dayde picture of JFK for you sensitive Whiffas.