Tuesday, December 4, 2012

May through December

Wow, and with that 2012 starts winding down. It's hard to believe how quickly the year has truly flown and looking back it was May the last time I actually posted a blog. At this point, I'm so far behind that I think the cleanest way to handle this is just post a little blurb about each trip and a few pictures and then try and keep up better from this point out. So here we go...May through December in one blog.

Trip 1: Nashville to Montgomery to Panama City to Selma and back again
In August Major, Amber and myself took a trip to see our beloved friends the Gladstones, who have recently returned to William's hometown of Panama City, Florida. Of course, whenever we go somewhere, much to Amber's annoyance (I love you, Amber, for letting me drag you and Major on these little side trips with me), I look for a few interesting things to visit on both the trip to and from our final destination. On the way down, we traveled straight through to Montgomery, where I was able to visit the grave of one of my all time favorite singers, Hank Williams, Sr., as well as the controversial Alabama Governor/three time Presidential hopeful, George Wallace. I had very mixed emotions concerning visiting the grave of George Wallace, who is as famous for blocking the entrance to the University of Alabama during desegregation than anything else he did, but ultimately decided to make the stop in my attempt to (a) visit all of the candidates that have won a single state in the presidential election and (b) visit as many sites related to the civil rights struggle as possible. On the way back from Florida, we swung through Selma, AL, scene of the Voting Rights March, and the attacks of Bloody Sunday, which took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Also the grave of Vice President William King (Pierce), who was also allegedly the lover of President James Buchanan, and one of the houses where the psychic Edmund Cayce lived.

Hank Williams

George Wallace

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL
Grave of VP William R. King


Trip 2: Nashville to Cleveland to Grand Rapids and all sites in between....
This was the annual Dead President Trip (DPT) with Effrin. This trip saw us seeing; 8 Presidents (WH Harrison, Harding, McKinley, Garfield, Hayes, Ford, B Harrison, Taylor), 7 Vice Presidents (Richard Johnson (Van Buren), Schuyler Colfax (Grant), John Breckenridge (Buchanan), Gerald Ford (Nixon),  Charles Fairbanks (T. Roosevelt), Thomas Hendricks (Grover Cleveland) and Thomas Marshall (Wilson) and 2 Presidential Homes (Garfield's Lawnfield & Hayes' Spiegal Grove). We were also able to visit the grave of Presidential candidate, Senator, Congressman, Secretary of State and the man who Abraham Lincoln once describe as his 'ideal of a great man", Henry Clay, as well as the grave of American pioneer and explorer, Daniel Boone.  We also visited the grave of the late-great actor, Jim Varney. It was three days, 28 hours in the car and over 2000 miles traveled....exhausting, but amazing.
Henry Clay

VP John Breckenridge

Jim Varney (aka Ernest)

Daniel Boone

VP Richard Johnson

President William Henry Harrison

President Warren G. Harding

President William McKinley

Garfield's Lawnfield

President James A. Garfield
Hayes' Spiegal Grove

President Rutherford B. Hayes

President (and VP) Gerald Ford

VP Schuyler Colfax

President Benjamin Harrison

VP Thomas Marshall

VP Thomas Hendricks

VP Charles Fairbanks

President Zachary Taylor

Trip 3: Nashville to Fairview and Hopkinsville, KY
This was a quick little day trip that Major and I took when I was off of work and Amber had to work. I'd been interested in seeing the Jefferson Davis Monument in Fairview for several years, but for one reason or another had never been able to make it. This monument was erected at the site of Davis' birth and stands an astounding 351 feet tall and is tallest unreinforced concrete structure in the world and the third tallest obelisk in the world (behind the Washington Monument and the San Jacinto Monument). After our visit to the monument (and some much needed playground time for Major at the park near the monument) we took the short drive into Hopkinsville to visit the grave of Edgar Cayce. 
Jefferson Davis Monument

Edgar Cayce

Further reading:

President William Henry Harrison 
President Warren G. Harding 
President William McKinley 
President James Garfield 
President Rutherford B. Hayes 
President Gerald Ford 
President Benjamin Harrison 
President Zachary Taylor 
Vice President William R. King 
Vice President Richard Johnson
Vice President Schuyler Colfax 
Vice President John Breckenridge 
Vice President Charles Fairbanks 
Vice President Thomas Hendricks 
Vice President Thomas Marshall 
Hank Williams 
George Wallace 
Edgar Cayce
Edmund Pettus Bridge
Jefferson Davis Monument 

Monday, May 14, 2012


Well, after a smashing start to my quest to visit all of the Governors of Tennessee, my initial furious pace has, understandably slowed. There are many reasons for this...now that I have visited all of the Governors that are close to me I am now having to plan full or half day trips in order to visit the remainder..several of them are so far out that I need to plan a weekend trip. Also, we are just now coming out of the winter and road trips to graveyards tend to slow in favor of inside (heated) activities. Having said all of that, I, along with Major and Effrin, were recently able to visit the last of the Governors buried in the  Middle Tennessee area, in Murfreesboro on a beautiful yet chilly April day.

Unfortunately, this will likely be one of the only Governors that I will visit anytime soon, as I am in the throes of finalizing plans with Effrin for our next DPT (Dead President's Trip), where we will be traveling 27 hours in a little less than 3 full days and will be visiting: 8 Presidents, 5 Vice Presidents and a sundry of other historical and otherwise notable individuals. A full report of that trip will be posted as quickly as possible upon my return.

Until then here's one to tide you all over....

Name: James Price Buchanan
Birth: 24 October 1847
Death: 14 May 1930
Age at Death: 82 years, 6 months, 21 days
Interment: Evergreen Cemetery, Murfreesboro, TN
Term in Office: January 19, 1891 – January 16, 1893
Political Party: Farm Labor

John Price Buchanan was born on October 24, 1847 in Williamson County.  Following the Civil War, during which Buchanan fought on the side of the Confederacy, he would move to Rutherford County and operate a large farm there. Holding public office in the House or Representatives he would also serve as the President of the Tennessee Farmer’s Alliance and Laborer’s Union. It was based on connections made through this position that Buchanan would be able to propel himself into the State’s highest office in 1890.  Entering office hoping to bring relief to Farmers, Buchanan would instead spend much of his Governorship dealing with armed uprising of Coal Miners in East Tennessee, who were upset over the prisoner work release program , which they saw as a threat to their jobs. Struggling between his support of Labor and his job to enforce Government contracts, Buchanan would lose the support of the Labor Unions and of the Democratic Party, who would nominate Peter Turney in the 1892 election.  Buchanan would run as a third party candidate but only garner 10% of the vote. Under his tenure, however, the state would implement a Confederate Pension Program, as well as, state-supported secondary schools. Following his time in office, he would return to his farm and spend the rest of his life there dying on May 14, 1930.

Bonus Major Pictures:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where I'm from....

When I was 15, I was convinced I was either a punk or a goth or a metal head...anything but a country boy…I would listen to anything provided it wasn't country music.  I would take the occasional side trip into some Hank Williams (senior, of course) but for the most part I rejected all things Nashville.  I guess, a big thing was being surrounded by it…Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry were all with-in fifteen minutes of my house, yet I considered myself completely separated from it all.

Looking back on it now I realize how silly that was but at the time I couldn’t be swayed otherwise and so much of my youth was spent denying my regional music roots.  As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate (almost) everything Nashville represents. I am proud that a good portion of the birth of popular music took place here and that when many a singer/songwriter has a dream they don’t look to the north or to the west coast but pack up everything they have and move to Nashville in hopes of being the next big thing. 

I have also embraced the artists that at one point I would’ve hate…everyone from Faron Young to Steve Earle to Miranda Lambert find a regular place in my music queue and I love them all. 
So recently I have started making an effort to see as many of the famous country singers/songwriters who have left this mortal coils graves as possible…I will, from time to time, post pictures from these trips and a little information and a music video about for the artists that I visit. 

 Name: Roy Acuff
Birth: 15 September 1903
Death: 23 November 1992
Age at Death: 89 years, 2 months and 8 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter, co-owner of famed Nashville Publishing Company Acuff-Rose

 Name: Fred Rose
Birth: 24 August 1898
Death: 1 December 1954
Age at Death: 57 years, 3 months and 7 days old
Interment: Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Songwriter, co-owner of famed Nashville Publishing Company Acuff-Rose

Name: Jimmy Martin
Birth: 10 August 1927
Death: 14 May 2005
Age at Death: 77 years, 9 months and 5 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Bluegrass Musician, nicknamed the "King of Bluegrass"

Name: Hank Snow
Birth: 9 May 1914
Death: 20 December 1999
Age at Death: 85 years, 7 months and 11 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter

Name: Pete Drake
Birth: 8 October 1932
Death: 29 July 1988
Age at Death: 55 years, 9 months and 21 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Record Producer, Steel Guitar Player

Name: Billy Walker
Birth: 14 January 1929
Death: 21 May 2006
Age at Death: 77 years, 4 months and 8 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter

Name:Vern Gosdin
Birth: 5 August 1934
Death: 28 April 2009
Age at Death: 74 years, 8 months and 24 days old
Interment: Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter, nicknamed "The Voice"

Name: Keith Whitley
Birth: 1 July 1954
Death: 9 May 1989
Age at Death: 34 years, 10 months and 8 days old
Interment: Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter