"What a guy! Buddy Guy!”
Inside joke of Phil and Jimbo
Ever since the family saw Buddy Guy live in Merrillville, whenever Phil or I use the phrase “What a guy,” the other says “Buddy Guy.” We have other expressions that only we find funny, such as saying “dirty rubber” when a policeman drives by, a reference to something my buddy Paul Curry said in Terry Jenkins and my presence when a cop pulled over and accused him of muttering “Dirty copper” as he drove by. Paul claimed he had said, “Dirty rubber,” which made no sense but the cop drove off. When one of us makes pancakes, we inevitably say, “nobody doesn’t like hoecakes,” which we (and nobody else) finds hilarious.
Though in his mid-80s, Buddy Guy is still performing, often in his own club, buddy Guy’s Legends. The son of Louisiana sharecroppers, he moved to Chicago in 1957 and became a session musician for Chess Records. The last of an era, Buddy’s 1991 CD, “Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues” leads off with his so-named biggest hit and includes the Willie Dixon classic “Let Me Love You Baby,” the Eddie Boyd standard “Five Long Years,” Buddy’s own “Remembering Stevie,” a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, plus “Mustang Sally,” the Louis Jordan hit “Early in the Morning,” and more – even a John Hiatt number “Where Is the Next One Coming From?” - all made unique due to Buddy’s guitar solos. In 2012 Guy played at the White House and persuaded Barack Obama to sing along to “Sweet Home Chicago.”
B.B. King’s chapter “Heavenly Music” describes services at a sanctified church that his family, complete with hand-clapping, foot-stomping, shouting, and rocking back and forth in time to the music, as Preacher Fair played a guitar and a relative the piano. When B.B’s Mama had Preacher Fair over for a Sunday dinner of fried chicken (which B.B. had caught, wrung its neck, and plucked off the feathers earlier that day) and chocolate pie, he let B.B. play it. Mama had a cousin, Bukker White, who recorded for RCA Victor and called himself “king of the slide guitar.” B.B. loved visiting his Aunt Mima, who owned a crank-up Victrola and had records by Lemon Blind Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson. Their Blues numbers, such as Johnson’s “Bow-legged Lady” (“who wears her dress above the knees”), constituted excitement, emotion, and hope for future possibilities.
Another important person in King’s life was Uncle Major, virtually blind from cataracts and with a stutter so bad few folks could understand him. He’d take B.B. fishing, bolster his confidence, and teach him patience. On the way home Uncle Major would lean of him as B.B. described the fields, birds, and other things near them. B.B.’s mother and grandmother died, leaving him alone at age 10. He became the plantation owner’s houseboy and bought a Stella acoustic guitar for $15, two month’s wages. As he wrote, “My guitar gave me a new life. It helped me cope.”
The season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” reminded me of how “Seinfeld” ended, which critics panned but appropriately made the cast pay for its selfish past actions. In other words, you get what you deserve, reap what you sow. Mocha Joe and a secretary Larry mistreated in season ten have the last laugh as Funkhouser’s F to M transgender former daughter’s big penis wreaks havoc with a watch Larry borrowed and intended to have repaired and causes a fire that consumes the “spite store” he opened in competition with Mocha Joe.
Ray Smock wrote about Trump’s erratic leadership during the pandemic:
The only part of the stimulus package that seems to appeal to the president is the half-trillion dollars that will go to corporations. He said in a news conference that he would personally oversee how this money is dispersed. Congress thought differently and set up a review process and an inspector general with subpoena power. Can you imagine Donald Trump having control of a half-trillion dollars to dole out to billionaires—like himself?
The president’s top priority in this pandemic is to save business, and, of course, in the process to save jobs. This is a legitimate priority. But it is not Priority Number One. All humans on the entire planet are threatened with a plague of historic proportions and it must be stopped before workers and businesses can get back to what will pass as the new normal. This is a health crisis first and an economic crisis second. They go together, for sure. But nothing will be right until the virus is gone. Trump keeps talking about opening the nation by Easter. It should be criminal for him to even suggest such blind optimism in the face of scientific knowledge and of the dire crisis faced by our healthcare system nationwide. His false optimism encourages some governors to be reluctant to act, leaving it to mayors and other local officials to make important heath decisions, like social distancing and home confinement.
After D.T. called for things to reopen by Easter to save the economy, Dr. Fauci said, "You don't make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline."
Trump seems to infect everything he touches. During the 1980s, unable to buy an NFL franchise, he became an owner of a USFL team, the New Jersey Generals. After two seasons Trump convinced the owners to move from a spring schedule to the fall, then sued the NFL, claiming it was a monopoly. He was hoping for a merger but instead the ploy destroyed the league. Houston Generals owner Jerry Argovitz told author Jeff Pearlman: “Donald didn’t love the USFL. To him, it was small potatoes. Which was terrible, because we had a great league and a great idea. But then everyone let Donald Trump take over. It was our death.” Since that experience, Trump has disparaged the NFL at every opportunity.
IUN’s HELP desk staff, now working from home, has enabled me to get into my blog and Facebook with a minimum of trouble. Paul and Julie Kern arrived back at The Villages after a cross-country trip from California. He wrote: “On the final lap, restaurants were open only for drive-through so their restrooms were inaccessible, no small matter for traveling old people.” Lois Reiner, commenting on Trump’s impatience to end social distancing, wrote: “Old people, Unite. Tell D.T. we will not die for the economy unless he volunteers to be the test case.”
Country pop singer Kenny Rogers died. Most famous as “The Gambler” in TV movies, the song of that title includes the line, “Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.” Dave sang “Coward of the County” on Facebook that got many likes and comments. It’s contains the line, “You don’t have to fight to be a man.” Behind him was a poster of his former band, Voodoo Chili and a photo of guitarist Big Voodoo Daddy.