Yes, we keep New Year’s traditions to ward off bad luck

Happy New Year (1910) from Keppler & Schwarzmann
Happy New Year cartoon (1910) from Keppler & Schwarzmann published in ‘Puck’. (US LOC image)

In the US South, superstition is a given. I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood, and regardless of skin color, many people I loved were quite superstitious.

As a young adult, I found it quaint. As a mature adult, I find myself still keeping those traditions to ward off bad luck and bring the good luck in.

One superstition reigned above all else in my grandmother and mother’s minds, though. Continue reading “Yes, we keep New Year’s traditions to ward off bad luck”

Recording group Gunboat Diplomats livens up holidays with ‘relentlessly chipper’ song

New Year celebration 1940
New Year Celebration 1940; National Photo Company Collection; gifted by Herbert A. French, US Library of Congress.

Musical group Gunboat Diplomats never ceases to surprise me, and the latest release holds to that standard. I’ve praised the work of this recording group before, often calling attention to their lyrics for artistic merit. Some of their songs have dark undertones—I really like that. I mean, how many musicians write songs with a nod to Albert Camus? I’d wager more than half of those under 40 couldn’t pick Camus out of a literary lineup on paper. Continue reading “Recording group Gunboat Diplomats livens up holidays with ‘relentlessly chipper’ song”

Why is media giving advice about talking politics at your Thanksgiving table?

firepitI’m amused at all the advice from media about what to talk about at your Thanksgiving table. Whose business is it when it comes to what you and your circle talk about? Why are media even giving us unsolicited advice?

Maybe some families can talk politics peacefully, but I’d say those are few and far between. There’s a smarter option, though, and it should be free of the landmines that some families trip over when it comes to what you believe. Continue reading “Why is media giving advice about talking politics at your Thanksgiving table?”

Freak witch ordered online brings bizarre surprise—what is she saying?

Ghosts at Halloween image Indie Art South
Image by Indie Art South

I have a lot of holiday decorations, so I don’t buy as much as I used to. But this year, I decided to buy something new, and I settled on a witch I found at an online retailer. I told Rebecca this would be a great addition to her Halloween greeting on her public music page.  Once the witch arrived, we got a big surprise.
Continue reading “Freak witch ordered online brings bizarre surprise—what is she saying?”

From Hank Williams’ grave to Tootsies Orchid Lounge, musical ghosts abound

Hank Williams' grave in Montgomery, AL ; photo by Carol M. Highsmith, US Library of Congress
Hank Williams’ allegedly haunted grave site in Montgomery, AL. (Photo: Carol M. Highsmith; US Library of Congress)

Have you ever seen something you couldn’t explain, something others might call a ghost? Or maybe had an uncomfortable moment when something you couldn’t explain happened? I have—it’s a family tradition where I come from. Just in time for Halloween, there’s a nifty list of country music’s most haunted places, and one of them is Hank Williams’ grave. That grave in Montgomery, Alabama was memorialized in a song by none other than Alan Jackson.

Continue reading “From Hank Williams’ grave to Tootsies Orchid Lounge, musical ghosts abound”