Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Ravenswood—where the living is good

And there's one stoplight blinking on and off

Everyone knows when their neighbors cough

They roll up the streets when the sun goes down

I'm a midnight girl in a sunset town

-- “Midnight Girl, Sunset Town,” written by Don Schlitz

Those of you who aren’t country music fans may not recognize the lyrics above but if you’ve ever seen the Kim Basinger-Jeff Bridges film Nadine (1987), you’ve probably heard the tune on its soundtrack. It was recorded by Kristine Arnold and Janis Gill, two sisters who—as Sweethearts of the Rodeo—brought back the art of two-part harmony to country listeners in 1986. (For the curious, Janis was married to Vince Gill at that time, until he dumped her for that harlot Amy Grant.) Every time I hear this tune, I can’t help but think of my hometown of Ravenswood, WV because the lyrics describe the sleepy little hamlet to a “T”. Ravenswood is so small—how…small…is it?—(Carson-like) it’s so small; the all-night diner closes at 3pm. (Heeeeyyyyyoooo!)

That having been said, I mentioned in a previous post that I have been spending a lot time on Facebook, and one of the benefits is that I’ve been fortunate enough to get reacquainted with some of my old chums that matriculated (I know it sounds dirty, but it’s not) with back in its hallowed halls from 1977 to 1981. (“Hail alma mater/Of thee we sing…”) Furthermore, two of these people are in the blogging bidness, and as such I have added them to the voluminous Thrilling Days of Yesteryear blogroll. (That’ll teach ‘em—dump a bucket of pig’s blood on me at the senior prom, will you…)

Practical ¢ents is owned and operated by my chum Valerie, a.k.a. “The Practical One”—and offers up good sense advice to those people who simply want to save a buck or two at the grocery store or score some free goodies via mail/internets. I personally enjoyed reading this piece, in which she demonstrates how she was able to purchase $199.51 of non-food necessities for $7.73. (And no, the answer is not “Wear a really big coat.”) There’s something of interest for everyone at her blog, and she comes by her “Practical One” moniker since she politely asked me not to send her anymore Facebook crap because her “computer guy” said the apps are “a teeming cesspool of viruses.” (Think about this—have you ever seen a cesspool that wasn’t teeming?)

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my one-time sidekick Shawn, who somehow finds time to do four blogs—whereas longtime TDOY readers are well aware that I am rarely able to find the motivation to maintain one. (He did admit that not all of them are updated everyday.) My fondest memory of Shawn remains the time the two of us were forced (at gunpoint) to appear in this god-awful children’s play (we were in the same drama class) entitled The Cat Princess. Because the instructor that taught the class had a particularly annoying habit of starting at the very beginning of any play we were rehearsing (instead of concentrating on the scenes we didn’t know), when we performed Princess for audiences it started out great guns but by the end turned into some sort of freewheeling Marx Brothers farce, with each member of the cast trying to out-ad-lib one another. (In retrospect, this might have made the play more entertaining.) Shawn played a sorcerer who had been transmogrified into a statue and I was the king who had been bewitched into thinking he was a butler—so as I swept the forest (“There’s an awful lot of dirt on this floor”) I would use every trick at my disposal to cause him to break character and become the only statue reduced to helpless laughter…and without boasting too much about it, let’s just say I had a particularly high batting average in doing so.

And speaking of batting averages (oh, the segueways in this piece are as smooth as glass!), Shawn’s frequently-updated Cincinnati Reds Blog is the one I chose to add to the blogroll (he also blogs here, here and here) and though I can’t call myself a devoted supporter of The Big Red Machine (I became a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan the day Hank Aaron hit homer #715—and that includes all those years Dale Murphy was hawking milk) it makes for very interesting reading. So, if anyone from the ol' ‘Wood is out and about in the blogosphere and would like me to link to your blog, my e-mail is on the Facebook “badge.” Thanks again to both Valerie and Shawn for sharing their writing with me!


hobbyfan said...

Amy Grant---a harlot? Certainly not. I had the pleasure of seeing Amy & Vince Gill in concert last December despite an ice storm that kept a lot of people away. Amy left her previous husband, Gary Chapman, for Vince, so it works both ways.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Hob, the harlot reference was sort of a secret signal to my younger sister Debbie, because when her husband was putting himself through college delivering Domino's Pizzas in Tennessee, he had occasion to make a delivery at Chez Grant and she ended up stiffing him on the tip. That's when Debbie finished up her story with: "And now she's left her husband to marry Vince Gill--what a harlot!"

Her sense of humor is very similar to mine -- deadpan. Didn't mean to upset anybody with this; I probably should have explained its origins in the post.

The Vintage Reader said...

I actually do know that song. I didn't know about Amy & Vince (whose mother lived in my old neighborhood, but I don't know if he grew up there, since he was already famous by the time we moved in) but I got the harlot thing, even though I am not your sister.

As a side note, it's pretty sad that I get my celebrity gossip from a blog that features the word "yesteryear" in its title. Maybe you can catch me up on what Michael Jackson's up to these days--haven't heard anything about him recently. ;-)