Life’s Playlist…. As Time Goes By performed by Frank Sinatra

Today is my Uncle Billy Maxwell’s 88th Birthday.

For my entire life, Billy has been one of those people who automatically brings a smile to my face.  A gregarious soul that has seen his share of struggles but always keeps smiling.

With his outgoing personality and southern drawl, a loving “hello pad’ner” greeting,  Uncle Billy is full of love.

A few months ago I was sitting in my store when Uncle Billy and his lady friend stopped by for a visit.  They had driven almost two hours for a 20 minute visit.  I loved every second of it.

Uncle Billy has lived his 88 years to the fullest, I pray he has 88 more to bless those of us who love him.

Uncle Billy has been a constant, a classic, a man of God, Family and Love…… As Time Goes By.

Happy Birthday Uncle Billy and thanks for the joy!

 

Sunday Playlist…. Bluegrass Gospel Medley

Life’s Playlist…. All in the Family Theme performed by Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton

On this date in 1971, television changed forever…. at least in the Rumsey household.

On January 12, 1971, the first episode of All in the Family premiered on CBS.

In addition to all the hilarity that would take today’s professionally offended into overdrive, the very first episode featured something else that had never been on TV before…. a toilet flush.  (The sound of the flush anyway.)

All in the Family would never make it onto television today, a shame that we can’t laugh at ourselves any longer without someone being offended.

All in the Family made household names out of Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner.  It was the first of a trilogy that included other shows that were just as politically incorrect Maude and The Jeffersons.

As a family we laughed at All in the Family, we laughed at the jokes and we laughed when “Archie” made fun of people just like us.  We laughed when the shows first aired, for years we laughed in re-runs and my brother even got the full series on DVD for Christmas this year and as we watched a couple of episodes on Christmas night, we laughed again.

All in the Family shined a light on our society, it was often ugly, it was usually inappropriate, but it was always done in humor.

We could all use a bit of All in the Family in our world today.

You Gotta Believe….. GO DAWGS!

Tonight the Georgia Bulldogs will play the Alabama Crimson Tide for the National Championship in College Football.

The game will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

It should be a good game with two SEC power-houses battling for the ultimate prize.

Alabama has been a participant in the National Championship numerous times over the last several years.

The last time the Georgia Bulldogs played for the title was in 1981, in New Orleans, in the Sugar Bowl, against Notre Dame.

In 1981, I was there.

A few days before the game, my parents, a family friend Chuck Foster, my best friend Andrew Lampros and I piled into an old motor home that my dad had borrowed from his brother.

We left Clayton early in the morning heading to the big game in New Orleans.

Over the next couple of days we toured the sights and sounds of The Big Easy.  We enjoyed the classic architecture, the street performers and got into the spirit of the game on Bourbon Street surrounded by thousands of Dawg fans who knew this was our year!

The Sugar Bowl would be played on New Year’s Day and the revelry of a New Year’s Eve celebration was something this 16-year-old and his friend had never witnessed.

We strolled Bourbon Street with my parents and Mr. Foster, no doubt mouths wide open at the sights and sounds we saw.  We made our way into Pat O’Brien’s Bar.  (In those days and especially in New Orleans it wasn’t uncommon to see teenagers in a bar, especially with their parents.)

In Pat O’Brien’s we met up with friends and mama and daddy let Andrew and I indulge in our first “Hurricane.”  A drink made with almost every type of alcohol imaginable topped with fruit juice.

At some point during our stay at Pat O’Brien’s, we were joined by my brother Sam and a group of his friends who were also in town for the Game.

Somehow Sam convinced mama and daddy to let Andrew and I go with them to usher in the New Year on Bourbon Street.  They promised they would get us home safe and sound.

So Andrew and I, and a group of 20-something guys made our way out into the night.  And what a night it was, memories that I still have to this day.

The next morning, after being delivered back to my parents safe and sound, we arose to the promise that THIS was Georgia’s year!  Nursing the effects of the night before, we prepared for the game.

As we made our way into the SuperDome, the Georgia faithful were everywhere, the excitement building to a frenzy as the Dawgs took the field.

That night we won, as the team carried Vince Dooley onto the field atop their shoulders, the Georgia Bulldogs were National Champions, defeating Notre Dame 17-10 completing a perfect season.

Andrew and I made our way out onto the field that night, surrounded by all the other happy Dawg fans and in those moments and the many moments that led up to that victory celebration, I created memories that have carried me for more than 35 years.

We still talk about that trip to New Orleans, it was a time that will forever be etched into our minds as some of the best of our life.

Deep into the second half of the game, my dad gave Andrew and I a life lesson that we still quote today.  As Notre Dame was moving down the field and threatening to score, a lady near us said loud enough for everyone in our area to hear something like “oh, I don’t think we are going to do it, I don’t think we are going to do it.”

Without missing a beat, my daddy yelled out “lady you gotta believe, you gotta believe.”

We did and he did.

Tonight as the National Championship Game is played, there will be young boys and girls in the stadium who will be making memories that last a lifetime.  Memories that they will look back on as they are older and celebrate, they will celebrate the excitement of a night, and the simple moments that merge together for one of life’s greatest experiences.

And maybe, just maybe, they will learn a life lesson…. you gotta believe!

GO DAWGS!

Silent Snow for the Start of a New Year…

This morning as I woke to a new day and a new year, I made my way outside for a quick dog walk in sub-twenty degree weather.

As my eyes adjusted to the morning light, a surprise snowfall greeted me.  A dusting of snow-covered the ground and trees.

And then I heard it….. silence.

The silence and snowfall were the perfect start to a new year.  Like an empty palette the snow-covered the good and bad of last year and provided promise for the year to come.

As gentle snow flakes fell from the heavens, like the wishes of us all for a new year, I stood in the silence and gave thanks to God for a clean-slate filled with possibility.

Isn’t it perfect that a new year starts with the simple beauty of a fresh falling snow?

I’m not one for resolutions.  Yes, I need to lose weight, I need to take better care of myself, I want to write more, be more organized, be a better citizen, boss, friend, family member and on and on and on.

But instead of resolutions, I have made one goal for myself in 2018.

My goal is to be a better person this year than I was last year.

I want to be a better citizen, friend, boss, family member, a simple challenge that holds as many obstacles and rewards as any resolution ever could.

Like every year 2018 will be filled with challenges and triumphs, no goal will ever stop that.

There will be abundant joy in 2018 and undoubtedly deep sadness, but if I strive to be a better person through it all, I am confident I will look back on 2018 and be content.

Like a fresh falling snow, 2018 is filled with promise, my wish for you is happiness, health, prosperity and goodness.

Happy New Year friends, may your 2018 be your best ever!