Posts from the ‘History’ Category

Happy Inaugural, Y’all


It is known and understood that I am the least political of the Blogging crowd.  (Busy Mom and I may tie on this) I don’t give a rats ass about politics.  I have my views on things, but, it is rare that I have any sort of inclination to get into a discussion about stuff like that.  It’s boring to me. Even on my Facebook profile, under “Political Views” I have a “zzzzzzzzzzz”.

That said, I do LOVE me some Presidential history and stuff like what’s taking place tomorrow gets me all happy and stuff.

 I’m about to drop a bomb here, y’all.  I have never told this until today. 

I have a thing for Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss and I am always fraught with joy when he appears on anything talking about Presidential history.  Anything Presidential means I will get a heapin’ helpin’ of His 73525354AW006_Meet_The_PresBeschloss-ness. 

Something about telling interesting facts like President William Henry Harrison giving a long, drawn out Inaugural speech, then catching the Pneumonia and dying 31 days later…Harry Truman’s inauguration being the first to be televised, Warren Harding being the first President to ride in a car….I could listen to him talk about that stuff for days and never tire of it.  

Now, I also LOVE Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Unfortunately, Dot is not as easy on the eyes as Mikey B. is. But I would love to have lunch with her and listen to her talk about LBJ. I hope she’s around a lot tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be an historical day. I am pumped.  I’m gonna be up early watching every little thing.

Still Undecided

So here it is Election Day and I’m getting all sorts of stuff from both the Left of my peeps and the Right of my peeps and you know what? I still haven’t decided.  I have about 11 hours left to figure it out.

After reading this post by Sarcastro though…I swear…I’m so tempted to write his name in, even though I lurve David Sedaris. 

Cherry works at Vanderbilt and they’re on Alert today incase there’s riots or something.  Yikes. 

Thing is, I’m one of these people that doesn’t bash whoever lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  I didn’t bash Clinton (I like him) when he was in office and I do not bash Bush cause I like him.  When I say “I like”, I mean, I like them as guys and would love to sit down and vizit with them.  I dig Presidents.  Hate politics and all that but the Presidents are fascinating people to me.  Always have been.  What drives a person to want that job? 

I just cringe when I hear people call Bush an idiot.  The man is not an idiot.  He is not stupid.  Articulate? No.   I don’t think he’s an idiot.  Sue me.

PBS was airing those President documentaries in the last few weeks.  Very interesting.  LBJ was a madman. A charismatic, fabulous, madman. Can I vote for him?

I’m not crazy about Obama and I don’t think he’s Jesus or that he’s the answer to everything.  I don’t think once he takes that Oath of Office in January that the sky is going to open up and that we will hear the archangels break into the Hallelujah Chorus and that the economy will slip back into where it needs to be, the war will end, the lion will lay down by the lamb and we’ll stand on the mountain, join hands and break into “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”…ain’t gonna happen.

However, if he is going to be the President (or McCain or Pat Paulsen…no wait…he’s dead) he will have my support and prayers and I will watch him age very quickly as he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.


I just happened to stumble across this blog yesterday.  I made a mental note to look at it later so I did just that a few minutes ago whilst sipping my coffee, which happens to be Folgers. 

Funny, I came across this here picture of my dad dad-coffee-club.jpg on this way cool blog about Houston’s very colorful radio history.  I have never seen it.  Not surprising since it was from 1950 and I wasn’t born until 19 years later.  I love finding all these cool things on my dad that I’ve never known or seen.  He was quite the shiz in Houston radio. 

I had a guy email me in the last year or so how someone had told him of walking down a Houston street in the middle of the summer and because Houston in the summer is hotter than hades and these were the days before air conditioning, all the windows on the houses were open and this individual could hear Biff coming out of every single house as he walked down the street.  Now, whether or not that is true is another story, but, I sure like to think it is.

I never heard my dad on the air on his regular radio shows.  He stopped doing daily, on the air stuff when we moved here from Los Angeles when I was a baby.  I still don’t know why he didn’t do regular radio here.  I think it’s because when we came here, he did the very first syndicated radio show out of Nashville and maybe that was a step up or something? I don’t know.

Yet another question I wish I could ask my old man.  Dadgum, there’s sooo many things I wish I’d have asked him about.  I wish I’d have grilled him more about Elvis.  Notice how big Dad’s name is here?  He was a big deal in Houston.  This show right here was where elvis.jpgthe first, live recording of the Kang was done.  It says Dad was the “Master of Ceremonies”, which he was, but, he also booked the shows. 

Dad never really elaborated on his Elvis experience. Come to think of it, he really didn’t talk a lot about his friendship with Hank, Sr. either.  If you asked him, he would talk about it.  

   In fact, one of the things I remember him saying most about Hank was that it always got on his nerves when people always talked about how sad and miserable Hank was.  He may have been, but, Dad said people really didn’t mention the flip side and how much fun Hank was and how funny he was.  I think that bothered him that the sad part was so pounded into the legend.

Dad bought Hank the shirt he has on here. hankw-biffcollie.jpg

Pretty neat stuff.

What Was He Doing That For?

I have a funny #2 story.  I mean, it’s really funny.  I’m sure somebody out there is going to say “That’s awful” but you know what….I don’t care cause it’s funny.

I was watching “Biography” last night.  It was on the Rockefellers. 

I tend to think #2 isn’t half paying attention the majority of the time, but, this is something else that proves to me he’s listening more than he leads us to believe.

This documentary on the Rich Folks is on.  You wouldn’t think you’d have to worry that your kid may hear something to make you go “Oh my” to with them but lordy mercy, was I wrong.

They were talking about Nelson Rockefeller, who was the Governor of New York and VP under Gerald Ford.  They were telling how he had this heart attack and keeled over whilst having sackshul relations with a 27 year old. 

#2 looks up….eyes big and says “What?!?!  He died having sex?!?!  What in the world was he doing having sex? He was too old for that!” 

I asked my youngest child, who still sorta believes in Santa, if he knew what it meant to have sex.  To my amazement, the boy pretty much knows sorta kinda how it works.  

It was just funny.   


Good Ness

sharon-and-gov.jpgWho is that rather hot young thing with that elderly feller?  Why…that’s your Sista and Governor Jimmie Davis.  There I sat…next to the man who wrote “You Are My Sunshine” AND was Governor of the Gret Stet of Louisiana. 

Do take note of how black my hair was. If you look closely, you’ll see a blonde line on the side.  That was back when I was living on the Edge you know.  My hair was as black  as my outfit.  This picture was taken about a week or so before I went out on my first date with Mr. Smiff in June of 1989 backstage at the Opry.

Unbelievable that I ever was that young and reminds me of lots of famous people I’ve run across and not even bothered to really ponder it.  I pondered this one, I think. 

30 Years?

August 16, 1977elvis_frt_page1.jpg

We were visiting my mother’s sister and her family in Alexandria, Louisiana.  Visits to Alec were always full of laughter (mostly my mother and Aunt Pat and their distinct, cackling laughter that rang from one end of Eola Dr. to the the_duncan_s.jpgother), kids putting on awesomely wonderful “variety” shows (complete with costumes and Chord Organ solos), trips to Valentine Lake, begging my Uncle Huey to play his old, out of tune, upright, honky tonk pat__nootsie___bobbie.jpgpiano for us (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore to me is “Huey’s Theme.”) jumping on their trampoline or practicing cartwheels on Cousin Kim’s ultra cool balance beam in the backyard, trips to the Dairy Queen, and 8 year old Sista being subjected to many taunts being the youngest kid, especially regarding their cross-the-street-neighbor, David.

Those cousins and sister of mine knew how to get little Sista’s dander up by saying David was my boyfriend.  Nothing would piss me off more.  I would come in the house if David was in the yard and go back out when he left.  I remember one time them saying “Sharon, he’s gone home…you can come out now”, only to find the ultra creepy David hiding under my Uncle Huey’s rocking chair and me screaming and crying and going back in the house.  They were so mean to Little Sista.  Gosh, but those are some of my most treasured memories (not Creepy David).  Alec is not exactly what you call a “Happenin'” town, but, it goes to show, it doesn’t matter where you are, but, who is there that matters.  Wonderful memories.

It was Creepy David we were looking at out the front window of Pat & Huey’s that hot, August day.  I don’t remember exactly what he was doing, but, it was something that warranted the Collie and Duncan Kids to watch and laugh at him.

All of a sudden, my mother, who was putting her makeup on in the bathroom (oh lordy, the production my mother’s beauty routine was then and is to this day), she hollered “OH NO!!!”  I can remember as clear as it were yesterday, all of us at once saying “What?”   Even more so, the sound of her voice saying “Elvis died!!!” and the gasps that went up from all us kids. There’s no way this could be.  I remember the rest of that day, all of us piled in Kim and Kelly’s room, really, in shock.  Kim had a picture of Elvis on her wall.  No way the beautiful Elvis was gone.

At 8, I didn’t really totally grasp how signifigant a day it was but I can remember the sadness we all felt.  Talking back and forth.  I wish I had a video of all us kids talking.  I’d love to hear what we said. 

One of the things I remember feeling so heavy about was the fact that Elvis had a daughter right about my age and how devastating it must’ve been for her.  I think that weighed on me the most then.  I can remember looking through my Aunt Pat’s vast collection of Elvis albums that day. The one that got me the most was the album cover for “How Great Thou Art” and on the back is a picture of Elvis in what looks to be like one of the suits he wore in “Speedway” and noticing what gigantic pores he had.  Hmm.  Funny the things you remember. I can also remember listening to the “Live From Elvis Presley Blvd” album on their old stereo, which had come out not long before, and Elvis singing “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” made me want to cry, but, I didn’t want anybody to think I was weird for crying.

It was the first event I can remember in my lifetime where everybody can remember where they were, what they were doing when they heard the news.  It was huge. It had an impact of some sort on just about everybody in my world and on me personally.

I’ve written before about my numerous trips and memories of going to Graceland through the years.  I haven’t been since me and Mr. Smiff’s honeymoon.  I would love to take my kids there.  They would dig it.

I’ve mentioned how my dad had a small part in the beginning of Elvis’ career.  In March, 1955, Dad booked Elvis at his club in Houston.  I think maybe 100 people showed up.  Someone had the bright idea to record the show and it is now said to be the very first live recording of Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ.  Up until that time, Elvis had not been seen much west of the Mississippi.  You can go here and hear part of an interview done with my Dad about this show.  I’m not sure when it was done, but, judging by the sound of his voice, I’d say it was the mid to late 80’s.  Two things crack me up about this…one, he’s listed as “Bill” Collie and two, Dad telling of how before that show, he had gotten some mail (this was in the days listeners mailed requests to their dj’s) but it was nothing that spectacular.  It was a small role in his career, but, most definitely an important step in Elvis’ journey.  I’m pretty proud of that and my 15 year old son (who has a love and appreciation for the roots of rock and roll) is extremely proud.

It’s hard to imagine how a poor kid from Tupelo, Mississippi, could come along and change the world with the curl of his lip, the swivel of his hips, but, mostly, with his voice.  It’s really unreal.  I wish he could’ve hung around a little longer, but, glad he stayed as long as he did.

God bless Elvis.