1966 Plymouth Fury Sport shiny ragtop car
The weather was wonderful today, here in Toronto. It got into the forties, after this being the worst winter in decades, so everyone is telling me. A little sunshine and some warmer weather are doing wonders for my cooped-up disposition. It’s also making me homesick. Where is home to someone holding passports to two countries and born in a third? Home is where the affinity is.
In a previous lifetime I was sitting in a Gin Joint one day in Niagara Falls Ontario, enjoying an outrageously overpriced adult beverage, a tasty blend of barley and hops. Although I wouldn’t have considered myself a country music fan at the time, I did enjoy the dance that the hot-natured, hard-of-hearing, young lady began to perform once the DJ had cued her music at ear-bleed decibels.
She was good – and fast – but I did get the step broken down into basics. Balancing on one foot, with the other she kicked out, hitting the ball of her foot on the floor, halfway through her arc. As she pulled her foot back towards her, she hit the floor again with the ball of her foot. She planted that foot on the floor, and did the same maneuver with the other foot. It was fun to watch but it sure made her warm – on top of her already being hot-natured – so she had to remove half her clothes.
It took me a long time afterwards to master that simple step. Even re-creating the atmosphere by availing myself of many of the aforementioned barley and hops beverages didn’t make it much easier to learn. Little did I know, I was ahead of my time.
Years later, after moving to Alabama, I learned that the dance was called “clogging”. Clogging is the official state dance of Kentucky and North Carolina and was the social dance in the Appalachian Mountains as early as the 18th century. And it’s fun to watch:
Both of these videos are availaple in 720p if you click on the small gear in the bottom right corner.
I can’t say that I’ve seen too many people who look like or dance like these folks during my visits to Toronto’s Scarborough Town Center Mall.
Shortly before I began working the job that brought me to the United States, Country Music Television – CMT – and their music videos were becoming very popular. One of my favorite tunes – and videos – at that time was this Billy Joe Shaver ditty… Jorger on a Fasstrain…
Back then I struggled with the words a little. Now, they’re as plain as the rear end on a goat. Just in case summa y’all cain’t speak good English, ahmoan put the words below the video.
On a rainy, windy morning that’s the day that I was born in
That old sharecropper’s one-room country shack
They say my mammy left me, same day that she had me
Said she hit the road and never once looked back
And I just thought I’d mention, my Grandma’s old age pension
Is the reason why I’m standing here today
I got all my country learning, milking and a churning
Pickin’ cotton, raisin’ hell, and bailin’ hay
I’ve been to Georgia on a fast train, honey
I wudden born no yestaday
Got a good Christian raisin’ and a eighth grade education
Ain’t no need in y’all a’treatin’ me this way
And now sweet Caroline, I don’t guess I’ll ever find
Another woman put together like you are
With your wiggle and your walkin’, and your big city talkin’
Your brand new shiny Plymouth rag-top car
Yeah it’s hurry up and wait, in this world of give and take
Seems like hasty makes for waste every time
And I pray to my soul, when you hear those ages roll
You better know I’m gonna get my share of mine
Once again, watching the video back in Tillsonburg Ontario, I was ahead of my time. Viewing the video now, I recognize where the street scenes were filmed, in Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia and where I spent last New Year’s Eve in the company of one of Georgia’s finest belles.
The photograph is a little grainy partially because the photographer was a little grainy. It was taken with a cell-phone in a dimly-lit bar and coffee shop in downtown Athens, very close to a midnight that our college student photographer may not remember.
Unwittingly perhaps, it seems like my affinity and therefor ‘home’, has been in the South for some time. Now though, with good reason.Share