Archive for December, 2008

To Old Long Ago…

When December 31 rolls around every year, I’m usually a little wistful and prone to gaze through the navel.  I tend to look more toward the coming year than the one that’s passed though. 

I’m reminded how time is marching due to my oldest kid’s birthday being the day after New Year’s.  Can’t help but think of New Year’s Eve 1991 when I was two days away from delivering, Mr. Smiff was on “Nashville Now” with The Osborne Brothers.  I had big time contractions early that morning and thought the Smiff heir was going to bust on through.  Sonny Osborne had an early model cell phone and live on the air, had it ring as a joke, to make people think that was “THE CALL” from me saying “It’s time”.

Lotta changes in 2008.  Lots.  Not easy changes to make at all and I honestly, last New Year’s, had no idea that by the time the next Holiday Season rolled around I would have a different residence and a different life.  It was in my thoughts but it seemed unattainable at that point. 

2008 brought moments of extreme sadness, lotsa tears, euphoria, a number of things I never experienced before on a lotta different levels: surprises (some pleasant others not-so-much), a life-changing friendship, grief, eye opening moments, humility, joy, frustration, laughter…not unlike anybody elses life. 

2009 is a milestone chronological year that doesn’t freak me out a bit. Next month, I will be 40 years old. I’m kinda pumped about turning 40.  Very excited to see what new stuff I’m going to experience in 2009. 

Brang it….

I can’t really begin to say thanks to all of you that have brought me so much encouragement with your emails and comments. I find it funny that anybody wants to read my pontifications. This little spot has brought me some wonderful friends and helped to renew old friendships.

Happy New Year, Y’all.

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Yuck Sweet Yuck

Me and #2 have had a lovely lil’ evening. We went to the Cracker Barrel before going to see Bedtime Stories (LOVE IT).

Ran into old friends the Peasalls and their rather large brood of offspring, which now includes a son in law!  (Thing #232 this week that has made me feel elderly.  Sheesh. I was at Mike & Sally’s wedding!)

Upon checking out, I remembered I needed to get me one of those car air freshener thingies that Yankee Candle makes.  I washed the ‘Stang today (dang, that’s a purty car) and wanted some smelly-good stuff for it.

Usually, I get the Clean Cotton air freshener or the one that smells like Leather cause neither one is very overpowering.  I like smelly good stuff but I don’t like it to knock me prostrate when I catch a whiff of it, ya know?

What in the name of fresh air made me decide to get the “Home Sweet Home” scent?  I’ve had that candle before and it smells ok, however, the car air freshener?  Not so much.

The ‘Stang is all shiny and purty and looking oh-so-good, but the inside smells like cough syrup. 

When we left the movie, I still had my “medium” drink (which was about the size of a jug of milk) and every sip tasted like Creomulsion for Children because of that dang air freshener.  Makes me gag just thinking about it. 

It don’t smell like any home I’ve ever lived in, unless you count when we’d get sick when we were little.  Mom gave us the different colored Triaminic.  If memory serves, the orange Triaminic was not so bad, but the YELLOW?  I can taste that stuff now.  Ew. If I were to smell that stuff now, I’d go running for my life.

The smell of Vicks Vapo Rub, to this day, makes me want to gag and be scared all at the same time.  Because of that, I never used that stuff on my kids when they’d get sick. 

I remember being reeeeallly little, being sick and that old vaporizer we had that was LOUD running, and that Vicks crap all over me.   And that Creomulsion cough syrup bottle that had those two, happy looking kids on the bottle??  Obviously, they weren’t sickly and hadn’t had that crap forced down their mouths or they wouldn’t have been so happy looking!

Never Ending Shiz

Hate, hate, hate to hear that Delaney Bramlett died in LA yesterday.  I just happened to see his daughter Bekka on tv the other day, singing her ass off.  Good lord, Delaney, Bonnie and their youngun are the epitome of Blue Eyed Soul.

I was hoping You Tube would have a live video of Delaney and Bonnie singing my favorite song of theirs, Never Ending Song of Love,  however, I was not so fortunate to find a clip of them singing it.

Don’t fret kids….I did find this version from the Lawrence Welk Show featuring The Aldridge Sisters and the Otwell Twins though!  This had to have been Delaney’s favorite version of this song.

Ok…now that we’ve all had a good laugh…watch Delaney and Bonnie on this way cool clip of them with Eric Clapton doing Poor Elijah.

C-O Double Ollie

Messing around with the Blog name.  You’ll get used to it. It’s a bit of a hat tip to my padre.  His radio show in Los Angeles was called “Collie’s Corner.”

I got an email the other day from a gentleman in Colorado.  Read:

I’m sure you have hundreds of stories like mine. My name is Don  and I’m 75 years old. In the early 1960’s I had a country music radio station in Pueblo, Colorado. Your father was pioneering the idea of syndicated radio shows while he was at KFOX. He was taping his shows and interested in making them available.

I was an early believer in radio station automation so we got together. He flew out to Denver one weekend and we became instant friends. I really knew nothing about country music but it was the right position for my station so that’s what I did. Biff took me under his arm. We went off to Nashville in 1965 for the Grand Old Opry birthday celebration and he introduced me to EVERYBODY in country music because he knew them all.

This was the early days of the Country Music Association and he was on the Board. Gene Autry was the first president. Biff and I shared a motel room and he took me to all the “in” events. At the BMI Dinner we sat next to this well dressed woman named Sarah Cannon who I learned, to my surprise, was Minnie Pearl. He took me to Audrey William’s house full of Hank Williams memorabilia including the Cadillac that Hank Sr. had died in. There was also a 14 year old boy named Randal Hank who was more interested in finding civil war gun shot in nearby battlefields than anything else. His mother later turned him into Hank Williams Jr.

I’ve often told the story of going to a party there with your father where he introduced me to this song writer named Willie Nelson and how cordial that entire event was. Biff came to Pueblo many times. He turned me into a country music promoter and mc’d shows he helped me put together. When I sold the station and moved into other activities we drifted apart.  I last saw him in Nashville after he had moved there and it was shortly after he had put his radio station on the air. I recorded a couple of commercials for him for old time’s sake. I met your mother briefly. I had known about her after they became involved in Los Angeles with the record store. He told me about his illness which was under control at the time. I was very sad when I learned of his death.
 
A quick Walter Brennan story. Biff once told me that the stupidest question he had ever asked in an interview was of Walter Brennan. As you may know Brennan was born in Massachusetts and his normal speaking accent was very New Englandish. Biff asked him how he was able to play a role like Grandpa McCoy in the Real McCoys with an accent like that. Brennan paused, gave him a condescending look and said, “I’m an actor.” Biff said he never felt so stupid in his life.
 
Your father was a rare and beautiful person whose friendship I treasure if not at the top of my list certainly in the top five over my life. He was great to me, my radio station staff and my family. My daughter made no bones about the fact that she planned to marry Biff. The fact that she was five or six at the time and he was in his thirties made no difference. She was not pleased when he married your mother.

Buried in my attic are some great pictures from his visits to Pueblo and the country acts that came through there at the time. At some point I’ll try and dig them out and get copies to you . . . but don’t hold your breath. As I began, there are hundreds of stories about “This is your big, bad, bellowing boy Biff – BI double F – Biff, CO double l, – Collie like a dog.” I’m grateful mine is one of them.    
 
Don
….

Don’s email was a real gift.  I LOVE stuff like that.  This here blog has allowed me a number of “Wow” moments like that.  Thank you, Don.

I’ve been throwing around the idea of a podcast with a pal o’ mine. Stay tuned…(It may happen, it may not)

Jud Collins

Nashville’s first anchorman,who was known in town as “Mister Television” for many years,  Jud Collins has passed away.

jud_collins

Cold, Cold Heart

We made it through Christmas and now it’s on to a week of not knowing what day of the week it is.  (I always lose track of what day it is during the holidays) 

I slept til 10:00 today, which reminds me of why I don’t like to sleep late: It leaves me feeling hungover for the rest of the day. 

So, with that thought in mind, and since it’s Feel Good Friday (It IS Friday, isn’t it?) let’s all be hungover with someone who certainly knew what it was like to be hungover…Hank Williams, Sr.

Keep in mind while watching this, that Hank, Sr. was only 28 years old when it was filmed in 1952 and that by the time New Year’s Day of 1953 rolled around, he was gone. Unbelievable. 

Also unbelievable in this clip was the vocal ability of 19 year old Anita Carter…sheesh. Also pretty cool to see Roy Acuff in his late 40’s.

The All American Family Celebrates Christmas

Christmas morning has been good.  I was a little worried about the kids and how everything would be for them beings this is the first Christmas Post-Transition.  It has been lovely, actually.  The Three Kids spent last evening and night with me.  Their Dad came this morning to watch the Santa-Palooza and then I fixed breakfast. 

We were sitting down to eat and Tara started singing “Do You Hear What I Hear” and #2 echoed her with “Tara- would-you- shut- up?”   HAHAHAHHAHAHA

More pictures over there on the Flickr of the Smiffs putting the FUN in “DysFUNCtional Family Christmas. 

Hope that wherever you are, Christmas is lovely.

I would kinda like to be here right now.  How fun would it be to go iceskating in Central Park on Christmas Day? 

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!