Jo Mayne Casey

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

earl & steve in mo

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

you know how i ended up in lampe, mo the other day?  well, i always keep track of who’s playing at the ryman, home of the original grand ole opry and currently hosting more than half of the broadcasts while the big house is being repaired.  while browsing through the upcoming acts, i was thrilled to see that earl scruggs and his family would be appearing and i figured, hey, this could be the last chance to see earl since he’s got to be, what?  80 or so?  just as i was about to buy the tickets, melissa informed me she and em would be visiting that very day.  i’m such an earl fan that i considered taking mel and em–i know they would have enjoyed a trip to nashville and any kind of banjo music, but it was not the right time, obviously.  so i looked around to see if earl was doing some sort of tour or something and discovered they would be at this place called black oak mountain amphitheatre, listed as being near branson, and this time with steve martin. well, it looked like it was Meant To Be.  Husband helped me pick our seats, and we were on our way.  Turns out, it wasn’t in branson at all and so it became even more of an adventure as we tried to figure out how to get there and what to do, etc. —-that’s another story, though, so i’ll skip to the part where i’m at a very nice brand-spankin-new outdoor venue in a remote part of the ozarks,  hothothot, sweaty and hot (like every place else in the country right now) feeling like woodstock, $5 beer and no professional cameras allowed.  rhonda vincent, who is a very fine performer, sang first.   oh, we had great seats, by the way.  just as the sun was going down, from the side of the stage, out walks this tiny, osteoporotic figure, arm up waving to us all; he walked to the center of the stage where there was a comfortable chair set up and his sons handed him his banjo.  for some reason, i started crying at the sight of the 86!!-year-old man, sitting there looking rather stroked, but still obviously earl scruggs, my hero.  he never said a word, just played his banjo:  earl’s breakdown, sally goodin (he’s probably been playing that one for 86 years), foggy mountain breakdown, fingers still picking, using his distinctive clawhammer style.  he’ll be 87 soon and we all shouted happy birthday to him, and i was so glad that i went to the work to get there, to say the least. 

earl scruggs


i don’t want to sell short the experience of seeing steve mar-tin, though.  he’s doing a rather limited tour, so i felt pretty honored, but he’ll hopefully be around a long time to entertain us all.  the man is sooo funny.  he played with the steep canyon rangers for about 45 minutes, then left them alone for about 15min and came back to just sit solo on his stool with his banjo and play and talk.  he’s just great.  when the band came back, rhonda vincent came out and joined them all to sing the dolly parton part of my favorite steve song, “pretty flowers”.  we went on our way very pleased and happy (and drunk on $5 beer, if you’re us). 

steve martin


this will be our last roadtrip of summer 2010 and we had a grand time.  i’ll tell you more about the scenery and where we stayed over at my garden blog.     

down the road we go

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm

greetings from the days inn, eureka springs, arkansas. 

eureka springs looks very interesting with a main street full of victorian buildings and houses built right into the hills.  i haven’t seen the 7-story-tall jesus yet (maybe i won’t), but it’s right up the road, complete with a big piece of the berlin wall.  really. it’s the site of the “passion play of the ozarks”.  there are some healing springs and people have flocked here for years to partake of them, so the place is full of baths, massage parlors and spas. there’s art and food, and they even have opera (real opera) in season. however, it seems that most of the shops are closed on wednesday….tomorrow….the day we’re here.  plus, the drive here from the site of the concert is waay to curvey for me to survive if we have to drive it after the concert.  so we’ll walk around town in the morning and head back up the road to snag another room closer to the venue.  

as i get closer to the 30th wedding anniversary, i think so much about how we have adapted to our differences.  as we drove down the interstates, i constantly lectured him re: my theory of driving:  1 ) 65mph speed limit means 70, 70 means 75, and if somebody’s going over 80, get behind them and they’ll get the ticket.  2) we pass trucks–trucks don’t pass us.  3) if you see one of those signs with the slanty-truck (i call it the tipsy truck), don’t be NEAR any trucks or they might fall on you.   there are more, but he takes it well.  but…then we get into the hills, 2-lane roads with those snakey arrow signs every several miles and changing speed limits—25-30-35mph—-and suddenly, he’s taking my interstate advice.   i don’t use my passenger brake anymore, i take it well. 

anyway, doubt we’ll have wi-fi tomorrow, but i’ll fill you in as soon as i can.

Road Trip

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

We’re leaving shortly for Eureka Springs, AR.  We’ll be attending a concert tomorrow night at the Black Oak Amphitheatre in nearby Lampe, MO that includes Earl Scruggs and His Family, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Rhonda Vincent.  Earl is one of my long-time idols and I was the first on my block to buy Steve Martin’s “The Crow”, so I’m verry excited.  We’re only gone 3 days, so you’ll hardly miss me.  To tide you over, here’s the picture that Emma drew while she was here, hanging where she carefully placed it with the magnet she made for me. Notice the excellent rendering of  “thumbs up”.   

gilgert matey---you can call him "matey" (he has an eyepatch, bro)


In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm

words cannot express how grateful i am for my family, all of them, near and far.  emma was so much fun.  i love to play with little kids.  i will not pass up the chance to play marching band, hide-and-seek or blow bubbles.  i’ve always thought 4-years-old was a peak of  curiosity and wonder, creativity and energy.  emma has all of that.  many, many questions had to be answered as well as i could—sometimes you have to refer her to grandpa.  grandpa took her down into the woods on the tractor and she “helped” him tremendously by telling him when the cart was full.  she was my assistant when i watered the flowers and i watered her, too.  she helped with snapping beans and setting the table, she tickled us awake in the morning and we told millions of knock-knock jokes that made absolutely no sense and then heartily laughed at our silliness.  she’s such a city girl, asking “does grandpa take the train to work?” and occasionally embellishing her speech with a distinct new york accent.  she loved the birds and even the bugs, and especially noticed (as i’d hoped) the summer sound of cicadas/tree flies.  “i hear music…what is that?”  i told her they were crickets and made their sounds by rubbing their back legs together.   the next day she was drawing a picture that was a “pretty cool guy” “pirate” named “gilgert matey, you can call him matey” and as she worked, she asked again about the crickets:  “why do they do that?”  i told her that sometimes they were just talking and other times, when they get real loud, they are singing like a choir.  she asked, “what do they say?”  oh, stuff like: hi, did you have a good day?  yes, i ate a lot of bugs!  great, me too, let’s sing!  “what do they sing?”  well, happy songs.  we admired her progress on matey, then i began another story, but she stopped me and said: “shh.  listen:  they’re singing Christmas.”     i listened; she was right.  

havin' fun with emma


yet another week-end wrap-up

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

olivia came to visit Saturday morning!!! it was a short visit (from about 8am to 11am), but we managed to pack it with play:

camper's okay, but tape measure is fascinating

she loves to water the flowers

grandpa helped a little

after jess and olivia left, i headed over to the track and had a Fantastic bit of luck:  won $19.40 on a $2 show-bet.  YES.  lana and charley were there and sister came over to visit with the birthday girl.  i didn’t get any pictures (lana is glad) because the camera battery was dead. 
lana and i were back together on sunday to attend the new harmony theatre’s presentation of  “the glass menagerie”.  their productions are always top notch and that’s a wonderful play. 
we’re gearing up for the big Visit from the newyorkers this week, cleaning and such, and i reupholstered my dining room chairs—check them out over at my gardening blog, where you can also get a glimpse of my tomato crop. 

big week ahead:

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm

it’s soo-oo damn hot….but we’re getting ready for some company….

saturday olivia will drop by with her mom for a quick-visit to the piano and the camper.  they have plans for 11:30,  so after they leave i’ll be goin’ on over to the track to snag a table at my “new spot” for cousin lana’s something-something birthday.  i do hope the humidity lets up so my poor old cuz can breathe.  sunday we will be over at new harmony (lana and i) to the theatre:  the glass menagerie.  i’m sure it will be good (also air-conditioned). 

then we’ll have to get in gear to prepare for melissa and emma’s arrival in the hoosier state.  i’m driving to indy on the 21st to meet up with the jose’ folks and bring the dashing duo to sonnystone.  they’ll be here the 22nd and 23rd, then we’ll drive them back up to indy for a flight out.  it’s a quick trip, but mel has to be in nyc on sundays, so what can you do?  i’m happy with it.  i know that we’ll go to ellis on friday afternoon, but otherwise, the plan is to just be together.    after we drop em and her mom off at the indy airport, we’ll swing by lafayette to see olivia before heading back home (this on the 24th). 

ya’ll are welcome anytime…..

the sunday opener at ellis

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 10:00 am

it feels so exhilarating to walk into Ellis Park for the first time each summer—as exhilarating as you can muster in oppressive heat and humidity.  post-time is 12:50 this year and we got there around 11:30 to get our usual spot.  now, our usual spot isn’t in the shade until 1-1:30 except for some small slivers where we shoved some chairs and waited.  by the time we sang the national anthem i had sweat entirely through my clothes and as i removed my hat, my eyes were covered with streams of sweat.  though this experience is not new, i am older.  i’ve always resisted the idea of sitting in the clubhouse air-conditioning watching the races on tv, rationalizing that you weren’t really at the races unless you’re hanging at the fence shouting and rooting your horse in.  but sunday i discovered the best of both worlds.  after the first race we gathered our duds and went on down to the beer garden.  we elbowed our way onto some stools that were directly in front of the tv’s, but with a grand view of the horses being shown and led out.  sitting under a canopy with large fans blowing from every corner, having our dollar beer served to us, betting booths close by, plenty of  people shouting and rooting for their horses, and re-runs of close races with angles we could never have seen at the fence…’s my new spot, folks.  

the beer garden from my barstool

that was a close one

i did move my sweaty self  around to take some pictures of the horses, but the day was so bright that most of the them are rather blown out.  i started out badly, losing an across-the-board wager in the first, but i rebounded and won in each of the others that i bet.  i can hardly wait to go again this friday!!

American roots music via southern Illinois

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm

the trip over to carmi for the smithsonian exhibit was a hoot.  the museum is a small one, filling up an old store with antiques that the local gentry are very proud to display.  upstairs was The Exhibit, also small.  they had added some posters about local musicians and had highlighted their high school “music night”, so at the end i heard some really fab high-school-band music.  while i was walking around taking pictures, a local lady asked to take a picture of me playing a frottoir and i was happy to oblige. 

it was a nice exhibit, though, and i truly love all of the music they highlighted…………


does anybody out there remember the sunbeam bread girl?  my grandpa thought my sister looked just like her when she was little–she probably did, but i was jealous!!  there was a huge billboard over on hwy 41 that had her swinging (in a swing) that was so cool.  anyway, i hadn’t seen her in a while, so i snapped a pic:

tomorrow is opening day at ellis park, so i’ve got to get some rest……………

the camping trip

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

hello from big meadow family campground

it’s great to be camping again.  our camper is much smaller than our old one, so we’ve come up with several ways to improve storage and organization.  the campground where we stayed had very small sites and we hope to have more room around us on subsequent visits, but it was a nice place full of friendly, dog-loving people.

our first day in townsend we were up way early and headed over to Cades Cove and discovered/remembered that the loop is closed off every saturday morning until 10am for bicycle riders.  hmmph.  so we drove on over to gatlinburg to the winery;  we still had to kill an hour or so before they opened, so we drove an arts and crafts trail and arrived at the smokey mountain winery about 10:15, bought 3 bottles of wine (mountain red, blackberry, and may),and a souvenir wine glass. 

the wine taster

Back at the campground afterward, we walked next door to a tubing place that put in the Little River right across the street.  the water is very low and seems like we scooted a lot, but we really enjoyed it.   

that evening we drove back into the park to a Quiet Walk that i like.  we feasted on a hobo meal and went to bed early so we could wake up early and really go to Cades Cove, which we did:

cades cove

cades cove

i took tons of pictures, as you would guess, but i won’t make you look at all of them.  besides,  i know you’re just dying for me to get to the part where i get  thrown off of the tube and bruised and cut and…well.. 

 after we got back from cades cove, we discussed going over to cherokee as we’d planned and it just didn’t sound like too much fun.  we had really liked tubing, so we decided to go to another place who would drop us off farther upriver where there’s more water.  we went to cowboy tubin’ and they shuttled us up the Little River to the entrance of the park where we’d seen plenty of tubers, so we were quiet excited to go.  not very far into the trek, we headed into a current that was like the River Rampage at disney, only…well, this was really not disney.   we both hit the current in a spin and got thrown from our tubes, casey first, so he had stopped on a big rock island and saw me shoot out (bathing suit went down to my waist, so the kids who helped us up and fetched my tube got a real show).  that part was just funny, though.  we were right in the middle of the “rampage” you might say and i was now afraid/unable to get on the tube feet-first, (which the shuttle-driver- lady told me to do) so i did the WRONG thing and jumped on the tube on my belly and went down the rest of the way.  while i did manage to stay on my tube, the rocks were very sharp and i felt like i was a pinball going back and forth between them.  my knees, legs, and elbows were beat up, bruised, and bloody by the time we got to a calm pool.  it seemed to take forever to get to a spot where i could climb out and assess the damage, though i kept telling casey:  i think i’m bleeding.  (he  just laughed, which is not the proper response)

left knee injury

if you know me very well, you know that i don’t usually take any risks of hurting myself, so i’m amazed that i can honestly say this was a lot of fun and i would do it again—only feet first….it was another hour after the injury before we made it back to our take-out spot, but i cleaned it all out with old crow when we got back to the truck.  i’d planned to cook another meal that evening, but instead we went over to the old smokey joe’s bbq (now called little river bbq) and let them serve us. 

i’m lovin’ my new camper.  already planning the next trip.  till then…….

from the campground:

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

11 miles out of e-ville, at at the ky gas station, the left-hand tire on the camper was flat as a…whatever is really deflatedly flat.  good place for that to happen, though, if it must happen.  so we put on the brand-spanking-new tire that husband had so thoughtfully bought and headed down the road.  we’ve had the experience of 2 flats, on the actual road, coming and going, so we’ll be shopping for a spare while we’re here.  but we are here, only an hour later than planned.  the air is cool and full of the wonderful smell of charcoal-grilling. the campground etiquette of friendly smiles and waves is still charming—though for me a little bit of friendly goes a long way.  the bath house is small, but very clean and air-conditioned;  there’s only one other pop-up camper in the place, so most of the campers have their own bathrooms and  i’m thinking maybe 2 showers is enough.  word is that they’ve repaired/improved the road through Cades Cove, so we’ll probably head over there first thing in the morning.  for now, though, i’m listening to casey snore and planning to join in the chorus.

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