Posts from the ‘Brushes With Greatness’ Category

My Life In Pictures (Or Something Like That)

Scanning goodness for your viewing pleasure…


I would love to live life with the reckless abandon I had here…running around wearing my tights and a cool hat, not caring how ridiculous I look.  (There’s my Hot Aunt Lady in the background)


I was well on my way to becoming the most famous Chord Organist in the history of music.  I took it seriously.  Some of my biggest hits were “Down In The Valley”, and everybody’s favorite, “Barbara Allen.”


I hit the road briefly as part of a traveling acrobat show in ’79.


Jump ahead a few years, I tried to convince Merrill and Wayne Osmond to let me become “The Other” Osmond Sister since Marie had married and stuff.  They thought about it but said those eyebrows were a bit too much.


Me and Dwight had something really special.  He had a wee bit of an issue with my yellow britches and white, lace up shoes though and still….the eyebrows were an issue.


Who has the worst hairdo here?  Me or Hank Snow


I had a very strict rule that I was to wear the black and red Oprah Suit (she was wearing stuff like that a lot during this era) everytime I was around a famous country star named Hank.  Hank Thompson was HOT.  (Least my hair looked a LITTLE better here.  Ok, not much but a little!)

You Call This A Storm???

I still don’t have a job yet.   People ask “Have you done this?” “Have you thought about …that?”  Yes, I’ve thought about all of it.  Done just about all of it.  I’m trying to keep my good humor and positive attitude about the whole thing and for the most part, that is ok.   BUT…there are moments.

I had an interview scheduled today with an agency Downtown.  The ONLY call I’ve had for an interview.  Out 15 jillion applications, resumes, etc.  ONE call.  Ok no…thats a lie.  I had a phone interview with a company the other day and apparently, my charm and professionalism must not have oozed through the phone cause they passed on me.  This was the first In Person interview I’ve been called for.

Let me talk fashion here for a second.  I am not a dress up kinda gal.  I don’t give a flip about shopping or style.  I probably should put more effort into the whole style/image thing but eh.  Not into it. 

I worked at the same place for 10 years.  It was not a “dress up” kinda workplace.  We weren’t allowed to wear jeans to work (even on Fridays) and like a lot of other workplaces, if you ever did wear a skirt you would get the obvious “Have you got an interview?”  or my favorite line to people was “Who died?”  (Dressed up for funerals, etc) 

Even at church anymore, we don’t dress up.  When I was a kid, it was unthinkable to wear pants to church on a Sunday morning.  Sunday night was ok, but, Sunday morning???  Never.  It was just not “fittin'” to do that.  If it was REALLY cold or something and even then, there was a feeling of being a real rebel.  

So, with this jobless state I’m in, the question of “What Am I Gonna Wear” surfaced.  Now, money is tight being that I’m unemployed.    The Children’s Father has been absolutely fantastic through this whole thing and I’m quite appreciative of how good he has been about it.  We have a good relationship and it’s the kinda thing where if the situation was reversed, I would be as helpful to him as he’s been to me.  I don’t know why I’m telling that but I get asked that a lot so there’s your answer. 

I have one business-y like suit-sorta thing that is right nice looking.  I never wear it.  I’ve not had to have stuff like that and when it comes to spending money, specially on clothes, I’m not gonna spend it on stuff I don’t need. (Yes, I know…lesson learned…you should always have something like that.)

So I was scheduled for this interview today at 2.  I even went and bought pantyhose for the occasion. 

I have to insert here that I am having an issue with my main Gmail account.  I can’t get into it.  I changed the password and couldn’t get in.  I guess I tried to many times and it locked it out for 5 days.  The secondary email I had on the account was at my old work (as in where I was first laid off from in 06) and because of Security issues, I have to wait 5 days before I can get into the account to get my dang Secret Question. 

The place I was interviewing with apparently goes by a different name in the phone listing because I couldn’t find a number for them in Information.   This is an important part of the story.  Just remember, I didn’t have a contact phone number cause it’s in the Gmail I can’t get into.

So, I come back to get ready to go for this interview.  I put the pants on with this thing (haven’t worn it in awhile).  I’m primping in the mirror and notice the fly is open and I hollered “NO WAY”. 

The zipper broke.  It was not the kinda thing where it coulda been hidden either. 

I lost it.  I mean….totally, melted down, lost it, was cussing the zipper, cussing God, cussing being laid off, cussing myself for buying that stupid car, crying so hard I was near the point of hyperventilating.  Why in the world can something not open to give me a break?  You can probably visualize the whole scene.  I was telling God “Ya know…I’ve busted my rear end all these years trying to do what’s “right” …trying to please You, others in my life, I’ve been “good” …oh I went on and on.  (I imagine my Stay At Home Mom neighbor next door got an earful.  God knows I can hear EVERYTHING that goes on in that unit. I’m sure she heard my Jacob-Like Wrestling with God showdown going on. Heh)

I told God I needed a little something to remind me that He was still interested cause I was about to go all Lieutenant Dan on Him….you know that part in Forest Gump when he hollers “You call this a storm??”  I was mad.  All because my zipper broke.  But, I could not go into this place with a busted zipper hoping they’d place me.  What was I gonna do?  I couldn’t just not show up at the interview but I had no contact phone number.

So, I’m still crying and fussing and just mad.  This was about 1:35.  Interview was at 2. 

Phone rings.

This lovely, Australian/New Zealandish accent tells me the lady I was to interview with today had some sort of “Personal Business” to deal with and could I possibly reschedule. 

“Why yes” I said to the Charming Australian Guy on the phone…”That would be simply looove-ly.”  So maybe I didn’t say it exactly like that but I think my glee at the fact that they needed to reshedyool me was more than obvious. 

So yeah…He’s listening.  And He’s interested.  And I think God is ok with us saying “What the ??????”  at Him.

Big Doin’s For The Smiffs

This past Thursday night, I had the wonderful opportunity attend the Source Foundation Awards at the Musicians Hall of Fame. This year was the 6th annual presentation to women who have been a vital source in the success of Music Row and the Nashville Entertainment Industry. 

This year, Source honored Rose Drake,( who I used to wait on years ago at Huff’s Foodtown in Brentwood,) who is the widow of steel guitar god Pete Drake and an amazing businesswoman, who was the brains behind Pete’s record label, publishing, and continues to this day, 20 years after his death doing what she does so well.  I think they said Rose’s first music biz job was taking requests on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnite Jamboree and her compensation was one album a month. 

Helen Farmer was the Director of Special Projects at the CMA for many years.  I hadn’t seen Helen since Fan Fair of 1991, when I was pregnant with the first kid.  Helen and my Dad were close friends and I was pretty tickled to see her and to see her recognized for her contribution.

Reba Hancock was honored posthumously for being the rock behind her brother, Johnny Cash’s business.  Her daughter Kelly was there to accept her Mom’s award.

Another honoree that was quite interesting was Lucy Coldsnow Smith.  Lucy spent 10 years as Marty Robbins’ assistant before moving to Hollywood, becoming a very succesful dialogue editor.  I couldn’t believe I was sitting across from an Academy Award winner.  We are talking BIG TIME. Go look at that link to see the movies she’s worked on. 

Virginia Team was honored for her trailblazing art direction.  Gosh, I’ve seen her name on so many albums.  I used to just study liner notes like crazy, so much so, I recognized the names of the people who have worked for her for many years. 

Oh yeah…there was another distinguished honoree…a certain Mutha In Law of mine
The whole evening was so fun (even Marshall Chapman leaned over to me during the thing and said “I had no idea this would be THIS fun!” heh) and the vibe in the room (although it was hotter than hades) was just sparkly. 

It got even MORE interesting when Jeannie Seeley began to tell about Hazel’s early days in Caswell County, NC and how she moved to Nashville in 1970 (with a 10 year old Mr. Smiff in tow),her days at Hillbilly Central, the days when she worked for Dr. Hook, Ricky Skaggs, the years she wrote for Country Music Magazine and the zillions of other things she’s done…it’s really quite impressive, all the things Hazel has done.   Not bad for a Tobacco Farmer’s daughter.

We were all proud and happy for Hazel through the whole shindig, and we all almost wet our britches when Jeannie announced there was somebody special there to present her her award. Surprised sho nuff we were when His Garthness strolled into the room.   He had some wonderful things to say about Hazel and how much she means to him.  Pretty dang sweet.

After the program was over, there was the obligatory photo ops.

You can see more pichurs over there > at the Flickr.

As we were taking this photo here of my older children (#2 was really unimpressed with the whole thing cause he had his Gameboy with him. Someday, he’s gonna kick himself for that) I told Garth that I had a picture of him holding Baby Tyler at the Opry. He looked at Tyler, who is as tall as he is and probably weighs the same and said “I don’t think we’ll try to duplicate that pose.”

Really…a wonderful night.

New Every Morning

A good friend of mine said to me today that when you watch the sun rise, that it’s a reminder that God can do anything. 

I saw lots of things out there about 6 this morning. It was a totally random, compulsive detour, but a detour I needed to take.  How come I’ve never thought to go out by Old Hickory Lake and watch the sun come up and have my quiet time…just me and God?  I can tell you one thing…I’ll be doing it again. (Not tomorrow though.  Heh)  I was reminded of many blessings that I often overlook. 

 I saw these guys fishing together and it reminded me that the Good Lord has seen fit to drop lots of really wonderful people into my world and that I’m not doing nothing alone.

When I looked down and saw footprints in the early (dang, it was early) morning dew, I was reminded that I got Him carrying me.

The early morning mist on Old Hickory Lake reminded me that sometimes things are a little hazy and unclear but if you keep perservering, keep trusting, keep seeking…The sun peeks through, brightens the landscape and makes everything pretty vivid and clear. 

I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say  “my splendor is gone and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.”  I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope.  Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning [notice it doesn’t say “On some mornings” or “Every once in a blue moon”] Great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:21-23



My Favorite McNamee’s

Because my Baby’s Daddy is out gallavanting in the Southern Caribbean somewhere, I stayed home today cause Sumner County Schools were closed. I’m not so much complaining about that. I was going to take Friday off (one of those Mental Health Days they talk about) to make it a four day weekend.

I know one thing is fo sho…that Mr. Smiff best not come back from his journey to the islands saying how tired and worn out he is. I’ve been looking at daily updates from Rhonda Vincent’s website and it doesn’t look so treacherous to me.

So, I’m watching these hearings with Roger Clemens and his pal, Brian McNamee. This is the biggest bunch of ka ka I’ve ever seen. Nuts is what it is. I can’t believe they are spending all this money and time on this. Saying “Roger Clemens and every other baseball player use HGH’s” is something akin to saying water is wet. Sheesh.

They keep saying “McNamee” this and that and it makes me think of my neighbors we had in Brentwood when I was a kid, The McNamee’s.

They are the only McNamee’s I’ve ever heard tell of til now. Talk about some wonderful folks….those McNamee’s were and I’m sure still are, something else. I’d sure love to visit with them.

Mrs. McNamee was a school teacher. She taught at Oak Hill (she may still). She was just a darling little lady that always reminded me of Sally Field. They had four kids…Trish, Mike, one was a year older and one was a year younger than me and a set of twin girls that came along later.

When Mrs. McNamee was pregnant with the twins along about 1973-74 school year, she had a little preschool in her house. Me, Terri Leigh, Kent Thune was in it, and some kid named Bobby. (there were others but I can’t think of their names or faces right off).

Bobby got sent to the “Thinking Chair” cause he was acting up or something. The “Thinking Chair” was in the den, whilst we were in the living room. She had tape laid out in a square and we had to sit on the tape. Bobby, if memory serves, was a regular in the Thinking Chair.

One day, Bobby got sent to the Thinking Chair, yet again and while in the chair, he musta gotten the groove or something cause he started clapping. Mrs. McNamee hollered “Bobby! Are you thinking or are you clapping?”

Why I remember that moment, nearly 35 years later, just as vividly as if it happened last week and why it makes me laugh out loud, is a mystery.

I remember Mrs. McNamee’s School way better than I remember Kindergarten and First Grade and this was before that. I remember Mrs. McNamee sitting in her rocking chair, patting her very pregnant-with-twins belly.

I remember when those babies were born, running into Mr. McNamee and Trish and Mike at the old Brentwood Kroger (the building that CVS is in now but on the other side) and asking them what the babies names were and Trish saying “I forgot” and then asking her dad and announcing “Jenny and Julie.” (Trish was about 5 at the time)

I remember when the McNamee’s Irish Setter, Brandy, had puppies and going down there to see them early one summer morning. That was the first time I’d ever seen puppies just a few hours old.

When Tommy Sands came to visit the Collie’s about 1978, Mrs. McNamee could not believe her favorite teen idol of her youth was going to be at the house two doors down.

I will never forget my dad, upon seeing Peggy, in her rollers and bathing suit top, laying out in a chair with her eyes closed…he sent Tommy  down there and he went up behind her and said  “Excuse me, ma’m…can I borrow some sugar?” She about had a duck right there on her patio.

I can just see her, Dad and Tommy sitting at her patio table, drinking iced tea, chatting like old friends. I knew I was witnessing something extremely cool and wonderful, even though at that point, I didn’t realize who Tommy Sands was. It was unbeknownst to me at the time that Tommy was a former son in law of Frank Sinatra. I may have known that but didn’t care then.

We were sad when the McNamee’s moved to another neighborhood. Those kids and us were like brothers and sisters. My sister hung out with them a lot, especially. If I were to see them right now, I would have the biggest case of warm fuzzies ever.

The last time I saw them was at a wedding in about 1999, and them, the Derthick’s, and another neighbor kid, Chip Kerr and I shared a table and had the BEST time sharing memories and laughing like crazy. Chip has an even better memory than I have about details from when we were kids.

Hallbrook was a great place to grow up cause of people like the McNamee’s. I’d much rather ponder them than that smarmy, liar, liar, pants-on-fire McNamee.

This Was Cool, I Don’t Care Who You Are

You know how you have some days that are just wild and bizarre and then others that are just surreal and leave you thinking…”Now this was an interesting day full of contrasts?”   Your Sista had one of those days yesterday.  It actually had begun the night before, but, that’s a post that deserves its own, special slot and I’m not in the mood to write about that spectacle just yet.

#2’s basketball game was first on the agenda.  That’s not surreal.  Perhaps the score was…26-2 the last time I checked and the Bluegrass Boys  and Girls were not winning.

I get to the point, especially if my Adderall hasn’t kicked in yet, that I just can’t deal with that sorta pitiful loss. (Truthfully, the above is what happened and I just couldn’t get interested)  Does that make me a bad mother?   I hauled it down the hall and spent a few minutes trying to brush up on my less-than-madd piano skillz (Me and Tara O. are the Yoot Choir directors now y’know) but that lasted about 2 minutes.

So after the creaming by the Bible Baptist Boys and Girls, me and the Smiff Kids hauled over to Grandma’s.

Grandma was having a special taping yesterday.  I don’t know in the history of Southern Fried Flicks if it has ever been taped on a Saturday.  I don’t think she’d have allowed a Saturday taping if it was just say, the Baldknobbers.  She might’ve for Cousin Jody.
However, when this guy says he’ll come to your house and do your show, well, you’d do it at 2 in the morning if that was when he was available…

We had a blast getting to meet and visit with Larry a little bit.  He was on a really tight schedule, but, I think Larry was having such a good time with us, he’d have stayed all afternoon if’n his people would’ve let him.  He got a big kick out of us telling about the time we left our name at Logans as the “Git-R-Done’s” and how they announced over the mic.  Hee.

You never know what celebrities are going to be like.  It’s awful to meet a celebrity type you like a lot and them be an arse or having an off day or whatever.  Larry (his real name is Dan. Did you know that?) was every bit as great as we wanted him to be and then some.

I was blown away with how much cuter Larry/Dan is in person.  TV does not do him justice.  At all. He couldn’t get over the fact that I have been following him since before the world knew who he was.  I used to read his commentaries faithfully and forward them to people.  His commentaries/blog was a big inspiration for me to blog, actually.

He broke into lines from “Cars” to #2 and it was just the neatest thing.  The Manchild, who knows all of his bits and just loves him and the other Blue Collar guys, was pretty awed to meet him.  The Manchild loves comedy and comedians.

The Holy Tara was a little nervous standing next to him to have her picture made.  Larry picked up on that right away and said “You ain’t nervous are ya?” (Pictures on the Flickr. Over there > or is it over there <?


Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors thing tonight was absolutely fabulous. Earl Scruggs dashing new look, plus, he and Randy doing a little bit of a soft shoe in honor of Steve Martin was just the shizz. Loved it.

The tribute to Brian Wilson….like buttah. The boys choir at the end singing “Love and Mercy” with the beach balls floating about…whoever thought of that deserves a raise.

I love Steve Carell. I think I have a crush on him and Randy Scruggs. And Darius Rucker. And Steve Martin.

Speaking of Scruggs Love, I rented a dvd off Netflix last week. It’s a documentary from 1972 that aired on PBS on Earl. It has clips of him, Randy, Gary, and Steve playing with Doc Watson, Joan Baez, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, an Opry performance….it’s some kinda wonderful.

You know, one of me and Mr. Smiff’s first dates was at the Scruggs house. June of 1989…Glen Duncan (who plays fiddle in this Letterman clip and played in our wedding that December) was there…Charlie Cushman….Alison Brown…some Japanese guys…and there I was, sitting with Louise and meeting my future mother in law, brother in law, sister in law and nephew for sorta kinda the first time. It wasn’t really the first time I met them, but, under those circumstances, it was. Pretty beezar. There is video somewhere of that little pickin’ soiree. Good times.

Here’s the guest list from the White House reception after the Kennedy Center tho’down.