Tag Archives: Arkansas

Get Away From Magazines

14 Jul

I have to stop going to the grocery store because I always buy some “Special Edition” magazine. “Special Edition” is the code for something that costs more than a regular magazine. Yesterday, I got one called Great American Getaways that was put out by LIFE.Getaway

I read it and decided that the money spent meant that I should do more than that. Therefore, we have a post.

This is going to be simple. List the getaways. Write if I have ever been to them. Yes or no answers will suffice.

Mount Desert, Maine – No

The Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts – Yes

Franconia, New Hampshire – No

Block Island, Rhode Island – No

Mystic, Connecticut – No

Sag Harbor, New York – No

Tanglewood and Williamstown, Massachusetts – No

Stowe, Vermont- No

New York City, New York – Yes

Cape May, New Jersey – No

Cooperstown, New York – No

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, No

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. – Yes

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Yes

Niagara Falls, New York – Yes

Sea Island, Georgia – No

Walt Disney World, Florida – Yes

The Florida Keys – No

Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia and North Carolina – Yes

Horse Country, Kentucky – Yes

Columbus, Indiana – No

Mackinac Island, Michigan – No

Nashville, Tennessee – Yes

Chicago, Illinois – Yes

New Orleans, Louisiana – Yes

Ozarks, Arkansas – Yes

Sand Hills, Nebraska – No

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – Yes

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Yes

Land of the Anasazi, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico – Yes

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – Yes

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Yes

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona – No

Alta, Utah – No

Glacier National Park, Montana – Yes

Las Vegas, Nevada – Yes

Death Valley, California – Yes

San Diego, California – Yes

Yosemite National Park, California – Yes

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada – Yes

Oregon Wine Country – No

Mount Rainier, Washington – Yes

Big Sur, California – Yes

San Francisco, California – Yes

San Juan Islands, Washington – No

Redwood National Park, California – Yes

Volcano National Park, Hawaii – Yes

Lanai, Hawaii – No

Glacier Cruise, Alaska – Yes

The Brooks Range, Alaska – No

That is 29 visits out of 50 places.

Now, I promise myself that I will not buy more “Special Edition” magazines…until I go back to the grocery store.

 

The Longest Bus Trip in the History of College Football

12 Jan

It was 1999, and fans of the University of Tennessee were riding high. Our football won the national championship the previous season, and we went to as many games as possible. It was a chance to support our team and rub it in to rival fans.Tee

In November, the team had just defeated Notre Dame and one of the nation’s highest ranked teams. Next was a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play the Razorbacks. It was a journey that we had to make, but Fayetteville is a long way from here. To make the trip easier and more fun, a bunch of guys leased a luxury bus.

The trip was fun, but it was not easy. In fact, it turned into the longest weekend of my life.

We loaded onto the bus late Friday afternoon for a game to be played on Saturday morning at 11:30. The following schedule is true in every sense.

The bus took us to Tunica, Mississippi for a few hours of gambling. Of course, gambling took place before we arrive, but Tunica allowed for a more organized type. We gambled. We ate. We gambled some more. We ate some more. The hours melted away.

At some point, we were told to get back on the bus. Everyone was wired, and we horsed around all the way to the Arkansas campus. We got off the bus. We walked around campus. We met fans of both teams. We made our way to the seats.

It was sometime during the first half that I started feeling out of sorts. It felt as if I was in a fog. If I had not been sitting down, then I might have fallen down. That is when I realized that I had not be to sleep. It was Saturday afternoon, and I had not closed my eyes since Friday morning.

Obviously, I stayed awake during the game. After the game, I made a fateful decision. Go for the gusto and not sleep until getting home. Other people crashed. However, I was going to have none of it. I was going to stay awake for the entire trip.

When we got back to town, it felt as if I was in a walking coma. If zombies had been a popular thing in the late 1990s, then I would have felt like one of them.

I will not write about all of the activities that happened on the trip. To protect the guilty, that stuff will be left out. However, this trip has come to my mind over the past few days.

Two of the men who ventured on the trip have passed away in the past 48 hours. I was not close to either one of them and have not seen them in years. However, everyone who went on that journey have a connection. We took the longest bus trip in the history of college football.

Musical Journey

14 May

In a few days, we will be leaving on our annual field trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I will return with stories from the Wild West, but, until then, I will be out-of-pocket for a while.

The trip to Santa Fe is an adventurous one. Four teachers and ten students jump into a couple of vans and journey from one end of the continent to the other. It’s a long way, but the directions are easy. My town sits on Interstate 40. That means we stay on one road through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and part of New Mexico. Like Bugs Bunny, we take a right at Albuquerque.

Or maybe it was left.

Or maybe it was left.

The stretch of Interstate 40 between Nashville and Memphis has been dubbed the “Music Highway”, but the entire road to pretty musical. It seems that a lot of the places we pass have songs written about them.

Nashville has a bunch of songs written about it, but one of my favorites is “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Not long after Nashville, we go through Jackson. Now, I don’t know if June and Johnny Cash were singing about the Jackson in Tennessee or the Jackson in Mississippi. However, this is my blog, so it’s going to be Tennessee.

Next, we go through Memphis, a city of Blues and Rock n’ Roll. Like Nashville, there are a lot of songs about Memphis, but one of the best was by Johnny Rivers.

I guess Little Rock has some songs about it, but we don’t really go through that town. This means that Oklahoma is the next musical place we hit. Obviously, there is a musical about this state, but Three Dog Night recorded my favorite Oklahoma song. It’s a weird tune that talks about Spain and the Beatles.

We stop in Oklahoma City, but I can’t think of a good Oklahoma City song. However, Carrie Underwood has a song about her hometown of Checotah.

From Oklahoma, we venture into the panhandle of Texas. There’s not much in the panhandle of Texas but the city of Amarillo. George Strait has a great song about Amarillo.

That’s about it for Texas, but there is one more song. When we get close to Albuquerque, I always think about a song that is about a guy driving on Interstate 40. However, he is traveling the opposite direction. Instead of going west, he is going east through all of the towns that we have passed. He is leaving a bad woman, and “by the time I make Albuquerque she’ll be workin’“.

So, that’s the musical journey I will be making this week.

The State of Music – Part 1

14 Apr

Yesterday, I was told that I am eccentric. When I asked for some examples, I got the following:

I can read for hours at a time. (Is that strange?)

I have no food in my refrigerator. (At least I have a refrigerator.)

Sometimes I like to sit in the dark. (Sometimes lights hurt my eyes.)

Anyway, after three I said that was enough. I suppose that in some people’s opinions I am eccentric, but aren’t we all? After the conversation, I started thinking of things that may make me different from others, and I started wondering if the things I wonder about are the same things other people wonder about. For example, I have always wondered how many songs have the name of my state, Tennessee, in their title. I have searched this but can never find an answer. This is a musical place and has inspired many songs, so it may be an impossible quest.

Instead of just thinking about my state, I began to think about other states as well. Are all states remembered in song? With that in mind, I decided to make a list, and this post in the first installment. I will search for songs with states in their titles and list the ones I like the best. I will try to stay away from official state songs, but that may be impossible. After all, some states have been placed in music a bunch of times while others have been barely used. I will also include a link for people to listen if they like.

If there are some state songs that you like, then tell me about them.

Here are the first ten:

Alabama – Several songs have been written about Alabama, but I am going with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. Recorded as an answer to Neil Young’s “Southern Man”, this song became a classic of the Southern Rock genre.

Alaska“North to Alaska” was a hit for Johnny Horton in 1960. Included in the movie of the same title, it is a somewhat humorous chronicle of the Alaska Gold Rush.

Arizona – There are a few Arizona songs, but none that I really like. With that in mind, I am going with “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone (or Phoenix, Arizona)?” by Charley Pride, one of the few successful African-American performers in country music.

Arkansas – There are quite a few old-timey songs about Arkansas, but I am trying to keep this list in the latter half of the 20th Century. This time we will go with Bruce Springsteen’s “Mary Queen of Arkansas”.

California – This state is included in tons of songs, but on my list there is only one. My favorite song of all time is “Hotel California” by The Eagles. Nothing else even comes close.

Colorado – Alright, I didn’t pick a John Denver song. I know that would be the obvious choice, but sometimes it’s good to not be so obvious. Instead, I chose the aptly titled “Colorado” by The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Connecticut – Man, this was a tough one. This state doesn’t seem to lead to much musical inspiration. Maybe it hard to rhyme something with Connecticut. I finally found a short instrumental by Aerosmith called “I Live in Connecticut”.

Delaware – Another difficult one found me grasping for anything I could get my ears on. I finally discovered that Perry Como recorded a song called “What Did Delaware, Boy?”, which is based on an old joke.

Florida – This is a popular state for tourism and sun, and I thought that would lead to several songs. It didn’t. However, with sun, sand and ocean all around, I figured I might as well go with Mr. Sun-Sand-and-Ocean himself, Jimmy Buffett, and his song “Floridays”. I know the spelling is messed up, but the name is in there somewhere.

Georgia – Now, here is a state with a bushel of songs written about it. It seems like everyone who has ever recorded a song has come up with one about Georgia. With many choices, I have decided on the original version of “Rainy Night in Georgia” by Tony Joe White.

So, twenty percent of the states have been covered. Tune in next time for another ten classic tunes. Remember, if you have some ideas for your state or any other, then please let me know.