Monday, September 28, 2009

An error occurred...

I had scheduled a "Say Nothin' Saturday" post for this past Saturday but for some reason Blogger didn't post it. So, without sayin much more, here's what I had for ya:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mandolins, guitars, and banjos

A very good friend of mine received a special gift in the mail recently. An unusual gift, one that holds a couple generations of memories - Mountain Memories. Close friend and fellow Kentuckian, Phillip Hartsock was the recipient of a vintage Epiphone Strand Mandolin, handed down to him from his 2nd cousin, Merrell Boggs. And seein how Phillip and I have bluegrass music runnin through our veins, the instruments used in the production of this genre of music are only slightly less important than our wives and children.

Take my guitar for instance. Several years ago, during a rush to get to a family picnic, I backed over it in a van we used to have. Severed the neck, a clean break, but one that also broke my heart. It took many years for me to finally decide to have it repaired. I just couldn't come to the realization that I had been so careless. After years of beating myself up over it, I had it repaired by a licensed luthier from the Martin Guitar Company. I had my doubts about it sounding the same as it did before the accident, but my doubts were erased when I played it once surgery was complete.

Music is such an important part of my being. And that of Phillip's also. We both have much in common. It's fate that we finally made contact. His past and mine met when we both realized our roots ran close together deep in the hills and hollers of Kentucky, where bluegrass music got its start. Phillip's Mother, may she rest in peace, loved bluegrass music. She played guitar and sang with members of her family. Phillip has a cassette tape (remember those?) of her and some of her relatives pickin and singin that's as good as anything you'll hear from today's top bluegrass stars.

Mother listened to Flatt and Scruggs, and Bill Monroe quite often, and we came to realize the same love of bluegrass music that she had, and still has. I know very little about my maternal and paternal grandparents like or dislike of the genre, but I do remember a banjo my dad got from his dad, I'd like to know what happened to that old instrument.

Merrell Boggs with his banjo

This discussion could get even lengthier than it already is, and since I'd hate to think y'all might get bored, I reckon I'll end my little essay with Linefork playin "Linefork" by Merrell Boggs.

(For more info on the history of bluegrass music, click here.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bluegrass by LINEFORK

(i.e., Foggy Mountain Breakdown)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Too much goldenrod

PA's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) offers a "guideline to some of the most troublesome species that degrade native plant communities in Pennsylvania." Also known as invasives, the list includes a rather nasty noxious nefarious plant that goes by the common name of Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Here's a plant you DO NOT want anything to do with. Click the link, scroll down a little, and you'll see why.

Giant Hogweed

Luckily, we've yet to see this invasive monster anywhere close to our place. But it has been sighted, and appropriately dealt with, in the next county over.

I'm surprised that goldenrod (Solidago altissima) hasn't been placed on the list. It's everywhere you look at this time of the year. It's Kentucky's state flower so I hate to say anything bad about it, but geesh! why does it have to take over entire fields??

It's up and down along roadsides from here to yonder!

Someone should discover a use for this stuff! I wonder if you can make eco-fuel from the roots or something?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

120 cassette

120 cassette

beginnings end
on slopes of pain
taken from the next refrain
of the songs we sang
the chords we played
the night you stayed

3 am or 4
silence makes
a lonely sound
that never found
a way around
the falling down

acoustic shadows
sang harmony
a symphony
of memories
and movements
with tragedies

lessen the pain
of the last refrain
with words that contain
all the remains
from this life mundane
that it is the ending’s the same

Friday, September 4, 2009


I have a special request for all the genius inventors out there: Please invent something that you can implant into the brain of a little girl so that it would be impossible for her to have thoughts about boys. You parents of pre-teens, tweens, and teen girls can get with me on this.

It would be a simple little device that would block and prevent all signals sent and received by the organ that stimulates that part of the brain that triggers sexual attraction, urges, thoughts, and desires. The Psycho-preventative Pleasure Device (PPD) would be implanted at a predetermined age, begin blocking, and then when the female reaches "the age of reason," around 35, the PPD dissolves, releasing an antidote that reverses the blocking effect.

And just so you know I'm not being sexist, a similar PPD would be available for boys.