The Little Redhead Girl Who Made Me Cry

If you have a Facebook page, you know that sometimes you will see the same post posted by one or more of your friends. Sometimes it can be weeks, months or even a year before you see it again, but you will. That was the case with a recent post by one of my high school teacher friends.

Even though it wasn’t the movie I saw, I still answer this question with “Annie.” No, I didn’t see the movie until much later in life (and against my will, by the way), but I did see the play. It left me terrified and sad. I believe I mentioned this once before in passing, so I figured I would tell the whole story.

Elementary School – (Third Grade I think – about 1978-1979)

The Broadway play, Annie, debuted in 1977 and was a HUGE hit. A year or so later, the upper classmen of our school put on the play for us. Darcia (a fourth grader, if I am right about being in third grade) was cast as Annie. Darcia and I would remain friends throughout school and played in band together in high school.

I remember they took our entire class down to the gym and we all found spots on the floor to watch the play. I remember you really had to look up to see the stage from where we were sitting. The play, of course, opens in the orphanage. The kids are treated poorly by the alcoholic Miss Hannigan. I remember hearing “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” and feeling bad for the kids.

Then there was Annie – Darcia. Darcia was one of the prettiest girls in school. She was also one of the smartest. Anyway, she was perfect for the part. If you remember the story, Annie has half a locket that was left with her on the doorstep of the orphanage. Annie hopes that one day her parents will return for her.

As a young boy of 8 or 9 years old, the thought of this scared the hell out of me. I couldn’t comprehend it. Why would parents give their child to an orphanage? Would my parents ever not want me? Why was this mean woman treating these kids so bad? Don’t they have it bad enough? So many thoughts! So many things ran through my head. I highly doubt I caught most of the rest of the play because I was so deep in thought.

Here was a beautiful little girl, just hoping for a good “tomorrow.” When Annie sings that song, I remember feeling so sad for her! I wanted tomorrow to be better for her, too! I will ruin the end of the story for you – there is a happy ending and Annie winds up in a wonderful home, adopted by Daddy Warbucks. Despite the happy ending, I was left traumatized.

I remember going home that day and feeling so much sadness. I went to my room and just cried. My mom came in to see just what was going on. I begged her with tears in my eyes to never make me an orphan. At that particular moment, she had no idea what I was talking about or why. I remember her looking at me and asking me why I was talking about that.

I remember explaining to her that we watched a play about orphans. I’m sure she figured out quickly that it was Annie. I told her about the little girl who was left there by her parents and the more I explained, the harder I cried. All my mom could do was hug me and tell me “it was only a play” and that she was not going to make me an orphan. She must have thought I lost my mind! I can only imagine what she told my dad when he got home!

I remember still being upset at bed time. That play really stuck with me. It was quite a long time before I didn’t think about it.

I remember seeing Darcia on the playground during recess, or in the hallway or in the cafeteria at school and she always smiling. That smile always helped me to remember that she was not an orphan and was a very happy person.

Darcia is also friends with the teacher who posted the question. When she saw my answer, she replied by saying, “Please don’t tell me it was the fourth grade play version!” To be honest, I thought I had shared this story with her before, but I guess I didn’t. I can look back on it now, and chuckle that the play affected me that much, but then again, I’ve always been the one to cry at the silliest things (Just recently, I cried at an episode of Bluey my daughter was watching!)

One thing is for certain, though, Darcia was one hell of an actress, and her performance in the play was award worthy!

“The sun’ll come out … tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow …. there’ll be sun ….”

Coming Soon – Song Draft

One of the blogs I follow – Slice The Life (See his site here: is hosting a Song Draft next month. Over 12 weeks, I’ll be choosing my picks (songs) much like one would draft a player in a Fantasy Football draft.

A few of my blogger friends took part in his last “draft” which was all movies. They had genres to draft (Sci-Fi, Western, Comedy, etc…) and I wish I had been able to take part in that. It was fun to read the various reviews and thoughts on the movies and why they picked them.

For the song draft, there is no specific genre required. If I want, I can pick all Dean Martin songs, all instrumentals, or all songs with numbers in the title. This is my first time participating in this sort of draft, so I think having genres may actually have helped me pick the songs a bit more, but having the freedom to pick from whatever songs I want is kind of cool, too.

I plan to do this much like I did Tune Tuesday, where I focused on one particular song. I actually went back through and looked at all the songs I wrote about (I think I got them all), so I wouldn’t repeat any. I have already listened to all the songs on my iPod in hopes that some would really stick out. There are a few. I’m not really sure how I plan on picking my songs, but I’m excited to be a part of it. Look for it to begin sometime in July!

Thanks to my pal, Max of the Power Pop Blog (See his site here: for inviting me to be a part of it and to Hans at Slice the Life for allowing me to be a part of it.

You Give Me Fever …

Been a crazy week here. Ella wasn’t feeling all that great Monday night and then woke up Tuesday with a 104 temp. We began to alternate the Tylenol/Motrin every four hours and were told that if the fever continued on Wednesday to do a Tele-Med visit. Wednesday morning, the fever was still there, so we did the video visit with the doc, who insisted that we bring her in.

Once we got to the office, the fever had broke, because we had given her Motrin before we left. The doc checked her out and she was diagnosed with another ear infection. We were told when she was born that she may have issues with her ears (There were issues with her newborn hearing tests.). Sam immediately asked about ear tubes. Did you know you have to get 6 ear infections in 12 months before they will even consider putting tubes in? I didn’t.

At any rate, she was sent home with an antibiotic and she’s been doing better. By Saturday, she was like her normal self. I was called off work Friday night, so I was able to get some sleep. Saturday was sunny and hot. We had heard about a splash pad near by and we decided to take Ella there. She loved it!

At first, she was a bit apprehensive, but once she saw other kids running around, she was screaming with joy and running all over the place.

We all got a little sun Saturday. I was hoping to go back there today with her while Sam slept, but she spiked her fever again. I kept her inside most of the day. I made a trip out to Meijer with her to pick up a few things and when I got back she walked right to her stroller. She signed “more” to me, and I knew we had to take a walk. Because it was so sunny, I didn’t want her out there too long, so we did a quick walk around the block.

After her nap, she wanted to go outside. I had filled her pool, and figured she might want to just play in it. She sat in it for a bit, but for the most part, she wandered around the yard, playing on her slide, and “sunbathing”

She’s been on the antibiotic for a few days now. I am hoping that she feels well enough to go to the splash pad tomorrow.

That’s one way I won’t watch your show…

I don’t watch a lot of new TV shows. This is partly by choice and partly because of the lack of time to watch (or that I have better things to do!). I don’t think that there has been any new show over the past, I don’t know, 5 years that I was really excited to see. The last show I wanted to see was Timeless in 2016 (A time travel show that I thought was pretty cool and sadly cancelled).

Now, call me a prude, old fashioned, or whatever you want, but I just read about a show that may or may not be a good show. I won’t ever watch it because of the title. Annie Murphy stars in a new show called, “Kevin Can F**k Himself.” Does the show really need to be called this? “I Hate Kevin” would get the point across, too, I’m guessing. How are the TV ads going to be able to say the name of this show?

Shows with profanity in the title are common for Annie, though. She’s known for being on the hit Schitt’s Creek. Playful title, but still profanity. I’ve never seen that show either, by the way. Yeah, I know, I’ve seen all my friends rave about it on social media. I know it won all kinds of awards. I just don’t have the desire to watch it. The name doesn’t even have anything to do with it.

I’m not saying I never swear. My co-workers can attest to that. Lately, though, I have been getting that foul mouth under control and I am very aware of the words I use. Now, can I promise that if I whack my thumb with a hammer I won’t swear? I hope not, but there is still the possibility.

In an 2012 article from Deadline (which you can read here:, it recalls the 2009 show that starred William Shatner – $#*! My Dad Says. The show was based on a blog, which I think also became a book. The Parents Television Council didn’t care too much for the title and asked people to boycott the show.

The article also goes on to mention shows that were in development that used expletives in the title. Those included two using “Bi*ch” – Don’t Trust the Bi*ch in Apartment 23 and Good Christian Bi*ches. Then there were plenty with the F word – Oh, F**k! It’s You!, How the F**k am I Normal?, F**k! I’m in My Twenties, and Grow the F**k Up!.

Remember the old George Carlin bit, “The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television?” I won’t list the words here, but I know a few of them are common place on prime time TV – and NOT just on the cable channels. It’s sad. Most kids are familiar with those seven words and more by the time they are in elementary school. I remember the first time I heard my grandma slip with the F word. She caught herself, we didn’t know what she said, but it was obvious that it was a bad word.

Today, these kids aren’t phased by those words and incorporate them into their daily talk. Just the other day on the phone my oldest (19) let an F bomb drop. He apologized immediately to me, but I know that he is using it frequently with his friends. My youngest (13) has also been known to let a swear word slip in front of me. It’s common place today.

Ok, I will get off my soapbox. Think of me what you will.

Senior Cars – Did You Paint Yours?

33 years ago today (June 9, 1988) I walked the stage and was handed my diploma (ok, it was actually the diploma case) at my high school graduation. Exactly 25 years later, I would walk the stage again and receive my college degree in Sleep Medicine.

On my way into work tonight, I saw a car driving on Woodward that belonged to a high school senior. With all the driving I do, I am really surprised that this is the first car I have seen painted up, even though this wasn’t all decked out. On the back window was painted “Class of 2021 and #done.” I believe the students last name was also painted on the side window and perhaps his schools mascot. I didn’t get a real good look at it, but it reminded me of the fun I had painting my 1984 Ford Escort as a high school senior.

My car looked nothing like the one pictured above. We certainly didn’t have the florescent colors and such to do something that detailed. My car consisted of quotes from the friends and relatives, references to some of my favorite celebrities, and of course, inside jokes.

I am sure that somewhere at home I have pictures of just the car, but tonight I was only able to find this picture of my brother and I before I left for graduation. From this picture, I can see a reference to my Uncle Tom (Rozmo), a nod to Dr. Demento (the radio host who played novelty songs), “Do the Hucklebuck” (which is a song from a Honeymooners episode that my buddy Steve and I laughed at), and D.A.K. (which is a reference to my government teacher – Mr. Kuisel. All of his shirts had his initials on it.). I can also barely make out “rippin'” on the hood, which was a phrase our buddy Kenny (also known as the Old Stoner) used to say.

Not seen in the above picture, and the only ones that I can recall off the top of my head, is a nod to the great Soupy Sales, a reference to the song Rag Mop (which is a song by the Ames Brothers that my buddy Steve and I performed in a lip synch show), “Double Pinochle” (which was something we always hoped for when we played cards, BTI (a reference to a nickname we used to call a teacher), and “Bite the Bag!” which was a quote my Uncle used to say from some game they played. I am sure there were more silly inside jokes, but until I find the pictures, I am not going to be able to remember them.

33 years later, when I look at my senior picture, I laugh at the cheesy mustache, marvel at the amount of hair I still had, and wonder just what I would tell that kid if I was staring him in the face today!

“Shine” On

From the National Day Calendar:

Every June 5th is National Moonshine Day which recognizes a beverage with a notorious record of blurring the lines of history and the law, turning ordinary men (and women) into criminals and common criminals into legends.

Moonshine traditionally is an illegally distilled spirit. Mostly made from a corn mash, moonshine is a distilled whiskey that is typically produced by an individual illegally without a permit. Also known as white lightning, mountain dew, homebrew, hillbilly pop, rotgut, and too many more to list here.


Distilling skills first came to the United States with the Scotch-Irish as they settled in Virginia.

Temperance laws and prohibition legislation were passed in several states before the Civil War, but it wasn’t until the turn of the century that the temperance movement picked up steam. By the time the 18th Amendment was ratified early in 1919, over half the country was dry.

Prohibition lasted 13 years. It created a demand for moonshine, unlike any that may have existed before. Moonshine became big business overnight.

Modern Moonshine

These days, moonshine in the legal sense has a following.  Small-batch distilleries are producing legal moonshine giving moonshiners a new name.  Bringing moonshine out of the woods and going up against other whiskeys for a place on the shelf.  Many are packaging their homebrews in canning jars, embracing their rich history while at the same time experimenting with flavor and branching out with food pairing similar to that of wine and beer.

The Dukes

I first became familiar with moonshine when I started watching the Dukes of Hazzard. Uncle Jesse and Boss Hogg were old moonshining buddies before becoming “enemies.”

From the show I learned that it was alcohol and illegal. Moonshine always seemed to come in a jug marked with X’s. Here’s a little fact I learned while researching this blog:

The X’s on the moonshine jugs represent the number of times a batch was run through the still. If marked XXX, the moonshine is pure alcohol.

My Moonshine Experience

When I worked in Country Radio, I got to go to a lot of concerts. I almost always got to go back stage and meet the artists because we usually had things for them to autograph for charity auctions.

I was backstage at a Montgomery Gentry concert. We had finished the traditional Meet & Greet and I was heading back to my seat. The record rep called to me and asked me to hang backstage. We went and hung out with the guys on their bus. They had a cooler/fridge loaded with beer and alcoholic beverages.

When the guys got up on stage, we were all still hanging on their bus. By now, the opening act (I can’t recall who it was) had joined us on the bus. That’s when the mason jar came out.

They began to pass this jar around. The liquid inside was a brownish color and there was some kind of fruit in the bottom of it. The record guy asked me, “Ever had moonshine?” I assured him I hadn’t and he passed me the jar. I didn’t know what to expect.

It was obviously home made and it burned like nothing I had ever experienced as I swallowed it. It was SO strong and it tasted like turpentine (not that I have ever tasted that before). It was probably the nastiest stuff I have ever tasted. These guys were passing it around and swigging it like it was milk or something. I was lucky enough to only have to take one more sip, before passing it to my right. Every time it circled back to me, I’d just keep passing it and no one noticed.

A couple years ago, we were at a party where a friend had made “Apple Pie” moonshine. This was actually very good and truly tasted like a piece of apple pie!

I guess moonshine is sort of a “novelty” drink now as you can go to the store and find various flavors of it in the aisle with beer and wine. I’m going to guess that these are a whole lot milder than the stuff I had on that bus!

Happy 79th to Capitol Records

On this day in 1942, Johnny Mercer and Glenn Wallichs launched Capitol Records in the United States. Wallichs was the man who invented the art of record promotion by sending copies of new releases to disc jockeys. It wasn’t until 13 years later, in 1955, that the now famous Capitol Records building was built.

The first artist to record at Capitol was Martha Tilton in April of 1942. She recorded the song “Moon Dreams”

Capitol Records was home to some of the biggest musical artists in history! Here are just a few:

Nat King Cole –

(Mona Lisa, A Blossom Fell, Answer Me My Love, Unforgettable)

Louis Prima and Keely Smith –

(Just a Gigolo, Old Black Magic, Jump Jive & Wail, What is This Thing Called Love)

Peggy Lee –

(‘Deed I Do, Fever, Big Spender)

Dean Martin –

(That’s Amore, Return To Me, On An Evening in Roma)

Frank Sinatra –

(One For My Baby, I Get a Kick Out of You, Love & Marriage, All The Way, Young At Heart)

The Beach Boys –

(Help Me Rhonda, Fun Fun Fun, Surfin’ USA)

The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney –

(TOO many to list!)

Stan Freberg

St. George and the Dragonet, Yellow Rose of Texas, Heartbreak Hotel, The Great Pretender)

The Bee Gees, Garth Brooks, The Letterman, Jerry Lewis, Heart, Al Martino, Johnny Mercer, The Steve Miller Band, Katy Perry, Sammy Davis Jr., Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gene Vincent, Bob Seger …. The list goes on and on!

So many amazing singers and talents sang in the Capitol Records studios. Happy Birthday!!

The Things I Notice …

Ella brings me books to read all the time. Yesterday, I read Goodnight Moon more than once. I get to the pages above and all of a sudden, I start thinking. “Is this rabbit a millionaire?” “Does he live in a mansion?” Look at the size of this kid’s room!

Our master bedroom at home isn’t this big! In our room we have our bed, a night stand, a big and small dresser, a small book shelf and that’s pretty much it. Look at the space in this bunny’s room! You could probably play football in it! Two big picture windows, a large book case with more than one set of the Encyclopedia Britannia on it, a fireplace, huge area rug, artwork on three walls, a fireplace, and a tiger skin rug!

Is it just me, or does it seem like this kid is a bit spoiled?

Sorry. Rant over.

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Pet Peeve

I have a few pet peeves. One of those is people who say “Happy Memorial Day.” To me, this is an example of someone who just doesn’t get what the day signifies. Memorial Day is not like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a birthday. Memorial Day is a day for remembrance and honor! I saw “Happy Memorial Day” countless times on Facebook, on TV, and heard it on the radio. Please stop. For those who need a refresher – this is for you:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties.  Please remember that when you are having your back yard BBQ next year.

A Busy Weekend

As most of you know, Sam is 5 months pregnant. We decided to stay close to home for the holiday weekend. There were a lot of things to do around the house and some shopping that needed to be done. We took a trip to Sam’s Club and picked up a bunch of stuff there, and then ventured up to Birch Run so I could get a few pairs of scrub pants for work.

The weather was just beautiful. Ella got plenty of time to play in the sandbox and on the trampoline this weekend. We also got to go out and walk the neighborhood a few times. One walk had a purpose.

Our neighborhood has a “group” on Facebook. A neighbor posted a picture of his daughter in front of her Melissa and Doug Lemonade Stand with the request to “make her day” by purchasing a glass for just fifty cents!

NOT my neighbor’s daughter…

We grabbed the stroller and walked a few streets over and grabbed three glasses of lemonade. I made sure to give her an extra fifty cents as a tip! Ella loved it!! So did we. As we started to walk away, another neighbor drove up to purchase some. We were certainly glad to help make her day.

Cool Treat

I think ice cream and summer holiday weekends go together. We decided that we wanted to grab ice cream on Monday. It was about 6pm, and I knew that the local Dairy Queen was gonna have a line of cars out to the road. I remembered that about 7 miles down the road, there was a little ice cream shop. They serve regular ice cream and soft serve, and since Sam was craving Moose Trax, we drove there.

The line was not long at all and we were at the window in less than 5 minutes. This place gives you plenty of ice cream! Their scoops are huge! Sam got her Moose Trax, I got mint chocolate chip, and we got Ella a scoop of chocolate (with sprinkles). She started to eat it at one of the picnic tables, and then they started to get busier, so we drove home to finish. Ella loved her ice cream. After she got toward the end, she actually picked up the bowl and started to drink it like soup or something!

Another First

We cooked out for the first time on Monday. I grilled up some burgers and hot dogs. I also cooked up some potatoes on the grill. Sam cooked up some corn on the cob. We decided to let Ella try some. She put the holders on the ends of the corn, Sam showed her how to hold it and she was off! She pretty much ate two cobs of corn. I wish I knew how to post a video on here. I took some video and asked if she liked her corn (as she was munching away on it). She shook her head “no” and kept eating, only to put it down and say “mmmmmm!” Love this girl!!

Bonus Vacation Day

Because the holiday falls on a day that I don’t normally work, those of us who work on Tuesday were given Tuesday off. Sadly, Sam still had to work, but I took advantage of the day with Ella. We went for a walk around the neighborhood, and then spent all morning at the park. She got to swing on the swings, play by the slide, walk by the creek, talk to the dogs that were out being walked, and run around like crazy!

We always start at the swings, and when I said it was time to go, she signed “more” and pointed to the swings. I took her back over to the swings and she got to swing a little bit more. She LOVES swinging! I was able to snap a picture that I feel sums up what summer should feel like:

Loving summer!

Back to Work

I have to be back at work tonight, but I got to spend some extra daddy/daughter time with Ella as mommy slept. We usually play on the floor with her toys. Today, she wanted to go down the little slide we have in the house. She must have done that about 35 times. Then she grabbed the stuffed Curious George my dad gave her and sat him on the couch next to me. She climbed down, grabbed a book and started “reading” to George. It was so sweet.

Listen up, George! I’m a Pout Pout Fish …

It has been a while, since we had a nice family weekend together. What a blessing to spend it with my wife and daughter.

Gone Fishing

The back lake – Caseville

One of my favorite fishing jokes comes from Soupy Sales:

Two guys are out on a boat fishing and one guy is pulling in all the fish. His fishing buddy hasn’t had even a nibble the whole time they’ve been on the lake. So, he asks his buddy what his secret is.

“Well, when I wake up in the morning I look at my wife. If she is sleeping on her left side, then I fish off the left side of the boat. If she is sleeping on her right side, I fish off the right side of the boat.”

His buddy asks, “Well, what if she’s sleeping on her back?” The guy says, “Then brother, I certainly don’t go fishing!!”

First Fishing Memory

Before my grandparents bought their trailer in Caseville, we would occasionally go up and stay at the trailer owned by my great aunt. I remember my dad and my grandpa took me out to a small lake (pictured above) where I first was grossed out by putting a worm on a hook. That lake would eventually be right behind the lot where my grandparents trailer would be.

I remember my grandpa helping me with the bobber that would float in the water. I also remember my dad putting a bell on the end of my fishing rod. There was no way a 7 or 8 year old kid could miss a fish if the bell rang and the bobber was pulled under the surface of the lake. Sure enough the bell rang and the bobber went under and I started reeling in.

What was on the end of the line was the ugliest catfish you have ever seen! There was no way I was touching that thing and my grandpa grabbed it, pulled it off the hook, and tossed it back in the lake. The lake was stocked by the guy who lived across the street from my grandparents as I recall. There were perch, bluegill, catfish, and pike in the lake.

Anyway, when we got back to the trailer, I was so excited. I told my mom, my grandma, and everyone else who would listen that I caught a fish. I don’t think there was a phone at my aunt’s place, and I asked my dad how I could let my other grandparents know about my fishing expedition. He suggested I write a letter, which I did. I am sure we never mailed it, but I did tell him about it when we saw them.

Uglier than the catfish? Yes.

The pier at Caseville

When we weren’t fishing at the back lake, we would go and fish of the pier in Caseville. I remember going to the store and my dad buying us some cheap plastic tackle boxes for when we went fishing. I don’t remember for sure, but I am almost positive that it was my brother who knocked my grandpa’s tackle box off the pier and into the water. One of my favorite pictures of my brother and I was taken on the pier. As you can see, I obviously dressed myself … what the hell am I wearing in this picture?!

Brothers on the pier – Caseville – 1979

One day while fishing off the pier, my mother got a bite. She fought and fought whatever fish was on the end of the line. I remember the excitement of wanting to know what it was. When she pulled it out of the water, it was a huge sheephead. I remember my grandpa saying that those were great fighters, but that was about all they were good for.

Me, the sheephead, mom, and my brother.

A few years later, I caught a fish off the pier and brought the dumb, smelly thing home with me, so I could get a picture with it. I used to love this silly “fishing” hat I am wearing in the picture.

Skidway Lake

There was another fishing trip that I took with some friends from school. We all went up to my pal Steve’s mom and dad’s place. I believe that the fishing trip only consisted of one trip to the lake to fish. The rest of the time was spent by campfires drinking beer and telling stories.

My best friend had quite a few that night and when we all went to bed I could hear him getting sick. I chuckled about this at the time, but when I woke up in the morning and found that he had puked in my shoes, it wasn’t so funny.

The actual fishing was fairly disappointing. These fish were fairly tiny. I think Jeff pulled in the biggest fish of the day, and it was nothing to write home about!

Fishing with my boys

I’m not sure why, but I only went fishing once with my sons. We went to a small lake near the house.

They were excited to go, but once they got there, they got bored quickly. I instantly remembered feeling that way as a kid. I would cast into the lake and want a fish immediately! I didn’t want to just sit there waiting.

When a fish finally did bite, they were so tiny, they could have been used as bait!!

It has been forever since I went fishing. As a matter of fact, that fishing trip with the boys was the last time I went. I’m sure that if I opened up my tackle box, it is probably a mess. I don’t even know if I still have my fishing pole. I may have to go out the garage to see if my pole is still out there.

All I need now is a few friends (one of them hopefully with a boat) and a day off to go fishing….I’m long over due to drop a line in the water. Where’s my bobber?