Here we go....
Welcome to my hometown, Florence, Alabama, aka Buttholeville!
When my "Momma ran off..." my favorite drink when I was depressed was....
'Cause "it's a mean mean cruel world out there" and sometimes a little vodka and milk makes everything just fine.... for a while.
Although, I do enjoy some...
...while I "...listen to the crickets and trains".
And I'd never turn down a...
... to go with my "half ounce of (dirt) weed".
But most of all I love to "tear into....
"...Old No.7 and make love till dawn". That's how "Me and old Jack Daniel's, become the best of friends". Ah, "Whiskey is hard to beat".
If I ever find that special someone and decide to get married I'll head on over to....
Dolly Parton's Great Smoky Mountain family Amusement Park:
"Unique as its namesake Dolly Parton, Dollywood theme park is a one-of-a-kind Smoky Mountain Family Adventure! Spanning 125 acres and nestled in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, near Gatlinburg, Dollywood is one of the most popular family vacation destinations."Good goddamn, clean, homespun honeymoonin' fun!
And I'll get hitched by some fella that looks like this:
But as I was sayin' earlier,
"It's a mean mean cruel world out there... So my momma was forced to work one shit job after another. Till finally fate lead her to a place called R&D Trucking in Florence, Alabama.
And they hired my momma to be a truck log auditor".
(I searched high and low for R & D Trucking. Everyone I talked to said it was out on Mars Hill Road. I couldn't find a listing in the Yeller Pages, either. I went and searched around and came across a couple of Trucking Cos. but none of them said R&D. I snapped a couple of photos of A trucking company).
Being that it is such a "mean, mean cruel world" I like to get away from it all sometimes. Taking a drive in the country does wonders. A good ol' country car....
...Whether it be "a 302 Mach One in green...."
...Or a 442, even if they do tend to get airborne...
..makes me want to be "Just like all them other crazy fools with racing in their blood". If I play it right I could be "...the coolest doggone motherscratcher on the silver screen".
"....and BEEEEEE-sides, thems highway miles"
I should have kept it on the highway though.... One time when I was muddin' "The piston rods hurled straight through the engine block dropping oil, gasoline, water, and anti-freeze onto the Alabama red clay below". It was a bitch gettin' that thing towed out.
But it could of been worse. If you get a bit too much whiskey in your gut, and that southern bravado kicks in, and you start "Tear-assing through the back part of town and those deserted country roads" you might end up with an unintended roadside memorial.
Why I knew this fella...."He was almost out of Leighton"...almost.
His greiving family put "Plastic flowers on the highway..." I remember seeing them and "For the next few minutes, I drove a little slower". You've got to be "Careful that you don’t use up your ninth one...".
"Cause I got dead brothers in Lauderdale south" from raising hell in a car...
But, really, "If I died in Colbert County, Would it make the evening news"? Probably not. But don't think "You can throw me in the Colbert County jailhouse" for drivin' fast. I'll probably run away...
Maybe I'll run away to the big city. Maybe Birmingham. (I actually did move away from Florence to Birmingham. Finished up undergraduate there). "No man should ever have to feel He don't belong in Birmingham" but, alas, "It’s no wonder everybodies scared of downtown Birmingham it’s just a little too close to home". At least no churches "...blew up in Birmingham" while I was there.
When I got to the big city I learned more about the folks that define my state. Of course, there was George Wallace who...
".... was for all practical purposes the governor of alabama from 1962 until 1986".
I learned that "Racism is a worldwide problem and it has been since the beginning of recorded history, and it ain't just white and black. But thanks to George Wallace, it's always a little more convenient to play it with a Southern accent".
We're still living him down. Fucker. Thank goodness "...he's in hell, now".
"And Bear Bryant wore a cool lookin' red checkered hat...."
"... and won football games...." When the Bear came to town there would be a parade". I love Bear Bryant.
"Now Ronnie Van Zant wasn't from Alabama..."
.... but, in Ronnie's case, we'll adopt you if you write a pretty song about us. EZB is an example of an Alabama adoption.
Since Birmingham I've moved to bigger cities and bigger states, but I still get home from time to time. And when I do go home I like to reminisce.
Living in the south puts you at risk to encounter some pretty nasty weather. Tornadoes are a part of southern life. When those "...clouds started forming at five o'clock pm..." you better get your ass safe somewhere. Maybe take in a movie at the local theatre.
I saw my first movie at the Shoals Theatre. I was there with my momma watching a movie... it was a cartoon...The Rescuers... the day Elvis Presley died. When we got home my dad and sister were waiting at the door with very somber looks on their faces, hating the fact that they had to break the news to my momma. When they did she started to cry.... hard... and so did I. The rest of the day, Elvis albums played on the stereo. "A homecoming concert, the night the tornadoes hit my hometown" if you will.
Luckily we went to an early show before the weather got bad. 'Cause "The few who braved the weather were sucked out of the auditorium"
I've always been fascinated with storms and tornadoes. I went through a period of my life where I dreamed about tornadoes pretty consistantly. There was never any fear and I was never running away from them, always toward them.
(Tornado on Wheeler Lake)Back in the late 80's one hit at night. "The funnel clouds touched down five miles north of Russellville" and it ended up tearing through a truck stop/restaurant on 157. Here's a picture of that truck stop/restaurant as it stands today:
When I was home over Thanksgiving I stopped by and talked to Jody. She owns the restaurant. I asked her if she had any pictures of the damage the tornado caused. She had one picture hanging in her office. The glass was stained yellow after years of exposure to cigarettes and grease. It was a bit difficult to get a good picture of that picture. Below is the actual carnage described by Patterson in Tornadoes. You can see the "Pieces of that truck stop, litter up the highway".
The day after the tornado my cousin and I hopped in her car, went and bought a pint of bourbon, and toured the destruction.
"...and as the things came threw, it sounded like a train"
(Train running thru rural Colbert County)I started my collegiate career at UNA in Florence. After my first year I dropped out for a semester and got me a real job. I spent the next "Six months in a St. Florian foundry, they call it Industrial Park". (Actually, I worked for an industrial painting company contracted to work at Reynold's Metal Company and I guaran-damn-tee you I didn't last 6 months. More like 2 weeks and I hightailed it back to college).
My momma worked at the tech school in Florence. It was called Burrell Slater. She taught something called distributive education, which was essentially learning how to work in retail. Her classroom was set up like a grocery store/clothing store. It was good fun to run around in as a kid. The school also taught automotive repair, welding and "...hospital maintenance and Tech School just to memorize Frigidaire parts".
The most popular activities for high-schoolers in Florence were drinking and parking. There was a great place right near McGee Town to do both. You just had to be careful of those sinkholes when you were out that way:
"Show him the view from McGee Town Hill"
"Bury his body in the old sink hole under cold November sky". They're still lookin' for that ol' Banker Man.
(Sinkhole in Decatur, Alabama)It's no bullshit. sinkholes can kill. The article below was written last week and it happened in northern California. We've had a ton of rain the past few months.
Hole opens beneath Placer County home, killing man:
"Residents of private Sawmill Road in the Gold Country town of Alta (Placer County) knew that shafts from the old Nary Red Mine snaked near the bellies of their hillside homes. But they never expected this.Thanks for spending some time with me as I spun some tales and reminsced about my hometown. Thanks to DBT for the soundtrack to my first 20 years on this earth and for the music that will carry me to the grave.
After a wet winter, the ground opened up and swallowed a 27-year-old schoolteacher at 9:30 p.m. Friday. He was in the converted garage of his family's home, where he lived with his pregnant wife, authorities said.
She escaped and called for help, but it was too late. State forestry department firefighters found Jason Chellew in a 10-foot-deep sinkhole with no pulse."
While you're still here can I asked you a little favor. Would you sing along with me? Ready.....