Getting a surprise gift is one of life’s better little experiences. So, you can imagine how happy and pleased I wuz to recently get 150 such surprises.
I’ve whetted your interest now, so I’ll tell you what happened. I came into receiving three $50 gift certificates for I-Tunes, the Apple computer music store. That meant a musical shopping extravaganza for me since the songs I could buy to listen to on my I-Pod cost at a high of $1.29 per song down to a low of 50-cents.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a music aficionado, with a strong liking for vintage country and cowboy country music. However, my musical taste is eclectic enuf that I also enjoy vintage early rock and roll, bluegrass, down and dirty soul, traditional jazz, a little folk music, some rockabilly and country gospel.
It took me the best parts of four days to do my music online shopping. But when I ended up I had 150 of my favorite songs from the past. It wuz better than buying CDs becuz every song I bought I got to listen to before I bought it.
I ended up with a great collection of C/W songs from now-obscure artists such as John Wesley Ryles, Billy Jo Spears, Bobby Goldsboro, Burl Ives, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Cal Smith, C.W. McCall, Donna Fargo, Chris LeDoux, Red Steagall, Ed Bruce, Cowboy Copas, Marvin Rainwater, The Tractors and Dave Dudley trucking songs.
My new collection of doo-wop rock and roll, includes some of my sentimental favorites from the bobby-sox era when I did a little belt-buckle polishing at the high school dances in the school library — think The Fleetwoods, the Platters, Bobby Darin, and The Four Lads song “We’ll Have These Moments To Remember.”
The jazz and folk tunes I selected took me back to my college days at Bea Wilder U I & II, when I went through a stage of trying to be urbane. Now-a-days that’s a funny thought — me being in any way urbane, but I went through that stage in life. Think The Dave Brubeck Quartet for jazz and The Kingston Trio and the Mamas and the Papas for folk. I tossed in a little Elvis, a little Beatles for old-times sake.
Plus, my blues songs by B.B. King, Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Ray Charles are great to put me to sleep for a good, restful nap.
My bluegrass selections included songs from Patty Loveless, Mac Wiseman, Rhonda Vincent, Ralph Stanley and the Stanley Brothers and Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals.
For Rock-a-Billy, I tried on some Billy Ray Cyrus, Buck Owens, Little David Wilkins, Marty Stuart, Mickey Gilley, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The best gospel songs are duets by Alfred Brumley and Merle Haggard.
All in all, it was an exciting time for me and a great trip down memory lane. I now have 4,032 songs to listen to. The computer’s automatic calculator tells me it would take nine days, three hours and 59 minutes to listen to all of them. I admit, it’s sort of overkill, but, I’m retired and it’s something I enjoy — plus those 150 songs I downloaded were free.
The freak snowstorm gave us around 4-inches. It’s all melted now and the temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s the past few days. It’s definitely spring now and I’ve started on my long list of springtime chores to do.
So, I’ve put up the two purple martin bird houses, planted my tomato seeds for transplanting later, overseeded fescue grass and Dutch White Clover for my chickens, cut back some of the ornamental grasses for composting and hauled away a few downed limbs. Ol’ Nevah pulled the mulch from her flower beds and roses.
Still to do are cleaning the chicken house, cleaning and sorting through the mish mash of my stuff in the garage, plant potatoes, do maintenance work on the tractor, tiller and lawn mower and turn the compost pile. I won’t near get all that done over the weekend and the weather is supposed to give us a snow/rain mixture in the next couple of days.
The Old Boars’ Mindless and Meandering Tour of the Southern Flint Hills on Gravel Roads is shaping up — sort of. Ol’ Canby Handy and I have roughed out a gravelly trip through Teeterville, Virgil, Quincy, Coyville, Elk City, Longton, then to the exotic locations of Havana and Peru, then to Sedan, Chautauqua, Elgin, Cedarvale, Dexter, Cambridge, the big city of Atlanta, Beaumont, Piedmont, and then back through western Greenwood and Chase counties to Damphewmore Acres.
Our thanks to the kind folks who have suggested that we see stone bridges, stone fences, stone school houses, the high points of Cattlemen’s Hill and Sugarloaf, and places to fish and hunt mushrooms. All that and we haven’t even set our dates for the tour yet.
I’ll close for the week with these words of wisdom about hills and valleys from former “Laugh In” comedienne Ruth Buzzi: “Life has all sorts of hills and valleys, and sometimes you don’t end up doing what you had your heart set out on, but sometimes that’s even better.”
I hope that quote sums up the Old Boars’ Tour after we get it finished.
Have a good ’un. ❖
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