“True” Tall Tales from Celebrities
That same year, my sister Jan, who was three at the time, got the Tuneyvillle Train. The train drove my mother crazy because it was soooo loud! I found one of these trains the other day and then found three of the little records that go with it on Ebay. It was so exciting!Most of our toys were hand-me-downs, or were from the Salvation Army or Goodwill store. These two toys were extra special because they came new, “in the box” and were from “Santa.” I get warm fuzzy memories just thinking about those days.”
We lived about 1000 feet from my Uncle Buzzard, my Mom’s youngest brother.
He had a huge metal barn where he worked on everything from lawnmowers to classic cars.
Over in the corner was an old wood stove sitting right there in the dirt with a pipe running straight up and out of the roof. I will never forget the smell of the pine burning and filling up the barn with smoke, which was probably not very healthy, but no one cared back in those days.
Every year on the weekend before Christmas, the entire family would gather around that old stove. With kids and musical instruments in tow, they would eat until they could hardly move, post up by the stove and proceed to jam.
While my Uncle Charles Lee and cousin Charlie played guitars, my Uncle Curtis played the mandolin and my mom played the fiddle. In my youngest days I remember playing on the dirt floor with my cousins while trying to keep 4 to 6 dogs from their wallered out holes by the wood stove.
In my later years, my interest turned toward the music. Since then Uncles Curtis, Charles Lee and Buzzard have passed away but there memory is still going strong. I guess the fact that they’re all gone is the reason we have not gotten together in a while.”
For a bunch of city boys, we sure do love our time in the country. The fresh air, the foliage, the freedom – it’s nature at its most honest.
And what about the food?! We often go out of our way to hit local restaurants and farms to fill our bellies when we’re on the road. It just seems natural to eat local.
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“The Country” means a hundred different things to a hundred different people. To me, it has always meant freedom.
There’s something about the lack of people and the open space that gives you an opportunity to stretch out and have an adventure. As a teenager that meant the ability to get into trouble without having someone on your back. Blow something up. Build a potato gun and shoot it at cars that whizzed by on Hwy 36. Build a tree house in the woods and use it as a base of operations for pine cone battles, runs to the bootlegger, or a place to stash our Playboy or OUI Magazines (which we pronounced as “O-U-I”, having no idea that it was French).
The country meant that in the summer you said goodbye to your mom at 7am and you got home when the streetlights came on. What you did in the intervening 13 hours was between you, your little brother, and whatever gang of boys you were running with that day. You were 12-years-old. You solved your own problems. You made your own fun.
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