Monday, July 30, 2012

The Ballad of Sheriff Yoder

Dave by paynehollow
Dave, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
(The Unarmed Lawman)

[Sort of to the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky..."]

There came a stranger to our town, his hands were hard and blistered
He wore a white hat on his head, his face it sported whiskers
He wanted us to call him sheriff but we had our doubts
We just called him...Yoder (called him Yoder)

He was an Amish from back east, he came with an agenda
To bring peace to the Wild Wild West, he wore a star on his suspenda's
He rode an old gray farming mule he called Zechariah,
But we just called him Yoder (the man, not the mule)

Now, Black Bart was the meanest cuss that you ever laid eyes on
He liked to kick on dogs and spit on kids, he was a western python
He came to town to challenge Yoder to a deadly duel
Came to shoot poor Yoder (the gunless lawman)

Because ol' Yoder, he was Amish he didn't believe in fighting
And Black Bart, he was pistol packing and as fast as lightning
“Take this, Yoder!” Black Bart yelled as the bullets flew
Flew toward Lawman Yoder (Deadman Yoder)

Now, it's hard to fight with someone who will not fight with you
And the way that Yoder stared him down made Black Bart come unglued
The bullets bounced all around, one struck Bart in the foot
“The name is Sheriff Yoder!” (Sheriff Yoder)

The townfolks whooped and hollered as Bart danced all around
No one ever had the courage to face Black Bart down
The Amish sheriff from the east had won our undying love
We called him Sheriff Yoder, Sheriff Yoder, Sheriff Yoder!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beady Excerpt: Whole World

As mentioned before, my kids are in a band together with two of their life-long friends. Last year, the signed a record contract with a local record producer (sonaBLAST! Records) and they recorded 12 songs in the Spring and it's been off being mastered and remastered, and now it's off being packaged. They're just a few weeks away from having the CD in hand.

Above, you can hear the first part of one of their new songs. You can hear a clip from another song on their website. I think they've done a great job and am looking forward to hearing/seeing the whole thing.

Beady, coming soon to a radio near you?

Love's an old song on the radio that I heard when I was a child
It's the sound of my mother playing piano in the parlor
And the notes, they all go wild, they just go wild...
And we sang sad songs to the softly setting sun
of nights we hardly remember
Of the old oak tree and all of their stories 
buried so deep beneath the earth...

~from "Hickory Desk"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Normalization of Banjos...

Banjo Bunny by paynehollow
Banjo Bunny, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
So, I was looking at a recent local newspaper today and, what did I see on the front page...? Yet another story about banjos and banjo players! This story was "celebrating" local banjo makers, going so far as to suggest that they are cultural "treasures" that have played a key role in our region's history.

It seems you can't turn around without some Hollywood celebrity or mainstream news talking head bringing up yet another news story talking about banjos. Was it just last year's Grammy's show that featured some banjo-playing band backing up Bob Dylan?? And I could be wrong, but if I'm not mistaken, some banjos appear in the soundtrack of the popular Hunger Games movie out this year. Coincidence? Don't be naive!

And don't get me started on the Coen Brothers...

Now, some people may think that I complain too much about this normalization of banjos issue. Some have gone so far as to call it "suspicious" that I talk so much about banjos ("The fellow doth protest too much..."), but the only reason I'm forced to talk about banjos is because they're out there pushing the banjo agenda.

Yes, Banjo Agenda!

Now, I know that will raise some eyebrows ("Really, Dan? The banjo 'agenda'...? Really??"), but it's real, it's happening, it's out there in the liberal media every day. There is a concentrated effort by some (those who reject our traditional values) to normalize banjos and make them an accepted entity in our culture and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere!

I'm sure that the knee-jerk response will be to engage in ad hom attacks and call me "banjo-phobic" and suggest I hate banjos. Of course, for those interested in the Truth, nothing could be further from it: I don't hate banjos. I've personally seen and known some banjos, even listened to them a little.

There's nothing wrong with banjos, per se, it's the widespread effort to normalize this aberrant instrument and make it accepted - even amongst our children - that's the problem!

You see, you can't really have banjos without it leading to... banjo-playing, and that's where you get into problems. It's just not natural. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Earl!*

Did you know that they actually had a banjo player coming to my childrens' school to promote the lifestyle! There were no notes to parents, warning us, no opportunity to opt out, they just marched our children down to the library, sat them down and force-fed them a little Bile Them Cabbage Down. In eastern Kentucky, they actually have banjo camps for children to indoctrinate our most vulnerable ones, brainwashing them into accepting this unnatural instrument!

So, do I hate banjos? Of course, not! Love the banjo, hate the banjo-playing, that's the point.

Just don't try to push your banjo-playing abominations off on the God-fearing public and expect decent people to remain silent.**


* Note to the banjo-ignorant: This is a reference to banjo-normalist, Earl Scruggs.

** Post Script: This post is not actually about banjos. I love banjos and banjo players. I'm married to one (a banjo-player, that is - not a banjo), even. I don't hate banjos... This is one of them there satires.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Down by the Fishing Hole

1996 Jordan Dan Fishing by paynehollow
1996 Jordan Dan Fishing, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
I have always been a fan of Andy Griffith and it was with great sadness that I heard of his parting off this mortal coil. Of course, I treasure The Andy Griffith Show as a classic bit of televised literature that has never grown stale or out of style.

Interestingly (and sadly) as I was looking up quotes from the TV show, I saw a bit of news about Mr Griffith - that in 2010, he filmed a commercial in support of Obama's health care proposal and eventually, the ads were pulled because Mr Griffith had received "hundreds of death threats..." Pathetic.

Also, while looking for quotes, I came across this funny video from the 2008 election, wherein little Opie Taylor talks with his dad, Andy, about choosing the right candidate.

Anyway, here are a few "Andy Griffith Show" quotes that I found... Enjoy.

Barney Fife: The last big buy was my mom's and dad's anniversary present.
Andy Taylor: What'd ya get 'em?
Barney Fife: A septic tank.
Andy Taylor: For their anniversary?
Barney Fife: They're awful hard to buy for. Besides, it was something they could use. They were really thrilled. It had two tons of concrete in it. All steel reinforced.
Andy Taylor: You're a fine son, Barn.
Barney Fife: I try.

Floyd Lawson: You know, everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it. Calvin Coolidge said that.
Andy Taylor: No, Floyd, that wasn't Calvin Coolidge that said that, it was Mark Twain.
Floyd Lawson: Then what did Calvin Coolidge say?

Aunt Bee Taylor: Did you like the white beans you had for supper?
Andy Taylor: Uh huh.
Aunt Bee Taylor: Well, you didn't say anything.
Andy Taylor: Well, I ate four bowls. If that ain't a tribute to white beans, I don't know what is.
Aunt Bee Taylor: Well...
Andy Taylor: Eating speaks louder than words.
Aunt Bee Taylor: You know, your education was worth every penny of it.

Andy Taylor: When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he's getting might really be fear. So I don't carry a gun because I don't want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I'd rather they respect me.

Barney Fife: All I'm saying is that there are some things beyond the ken of mortal man that shouldn't be tampered with. We don't know everything, Andy. There's plenty going on right now in the Twilight Zone that we don't know anything about and I think we ought to stay clear.

Andy Taylor: Opie! Time to come in, son.
Opie Taylor: Aw Pa, just a little while longer... please?
Andy Taylor: Well, OK.
[to Barney]
Andy Taylor: Daylight's precious when your a youngen'.

Floyd Lawson: [while looking at himself in the mirror] Wretch, wretch! Deceitful wretch!

Barney Fife: A boob that's what I am, a boob!

Andy Taylor: [telling Opie and his friends the story of Paul Revere] And he said, "The British is comin, the British is comin! Git your guns, we gonna have us a revolution!"

[Andy has told Rafe Hollister to try out for the musical]
Barney Fife: I'm surprised at you, Andy. They want people who have had musical training. Why, suppose they ask Rafe to do something he don't know? Rafe, if they asked you to sing a cappella, could you do it?
Rafe Hollister: No.
Andy Taylor: Hey, Barn, what if they was to ask you if you could sing a cappella, what would *you* do?
Barney Fife: Why, I'd do it!
[snapping fingers in rhythm]
Barney Fife: "A cappella, a cappella"... Well, I don't remember all the words.

Andy Taylor: [Briscoe is getting dressed for Charlene's wedding] Hold still, Mr. Darling, while I put on your tie.
Briscoe Darling: Ever since I saw a hangin', I been nervous about wearin' one of these things.

...and finally, some of my favorite lines from the show: The songs the Darlings DIDN'T sing...

Briscoe Darling: How 'bout "Don't Hit Your Grandma with a Great Big Stick"?
Charlene Darling: No, Paw, That one makes me cry!

Briscoe Darling: How 'bout "I Hurt You, I Hurt You, Dirty, Dirty Me"?
Charlene Darling: No, Paw, That one makes me cry!

That's it - I can only find the two "Makes me cry" quotes, but I know there are a bunch more. Anyone else remember any of those?

Rest in Peace, Mr Griffith.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Deep Darkness

Sketch1 by paynehollow
Sketch1, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
Our hot, arid town, in our dry, scorched state finally received some rain last night.

It came in a mad downpour, as if to make up for the many dry weeks in 15 minutes of deluge. I'm sure it didn't put a dent in our need for water, but it sure felt good to step out in the cold rain on a hot day.

The storm where we are was strong enough that our neighborhood had its power knocked out. We spent our evening hours and went to bed in darkness.

But the kids were home and we laughed and told stories and lit candles and had an enjoyable time in the dark.

I rather like the reminder that we aren't in control of everything.