The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Thanks to Andy and Big Ed for encouraging me to get this old blog started up again. And to Buck and Barry the Barbarian for their kind comments on my previous post below which was my first one for quite awhile. I've read all your blogs some over the past few days, but haven't commented.

Why haven't I posted for a while? The grandkids left over a week ago. Why didn't I jump right back into the fray and lay down some scintillating wordplay or slicing political commentary of a quality not seen since H. L. Mencken was ripping it up?

I got some reasons for you...

1. We've been planning our 50th wedding anniversary trip. It seems like yesterday when we ran through the falling rice and squeezed into that little open top Fiat outside Joyce's Daddy's church in Elkton, TN, and headed south to Decatur, AL. That's right Decatur dammit. It wasn't Hawaii, or Niagra Falls, or even Gatlinburg. It was Decatur and I'm proud of it. Kinda. I'll tell more about our anniversary plans later and post some old pics. But I'll tell you this much now. We ain't going to Decatur.

2. We shopped online for a new camera for about three days. Thankfully, Joyce is very thorough about this sort of thing. I'm much more of an "Okay, that looks good, I'll take it" kind of guy. We finally ordered an Olympus Stylus 7040. I'll tell you more about it when we get it and I post some pics. Here's a pic of it:
3. It's been very hot. And humid. Did I mention humid? I know Andy will say we're wusses way up north here in TN, but damn, it has been hot. The temperature here in Middle TN has been averaging around a 1000 degrees every day. I'm not lying. And if you add on the heat index you feel like you're inside a solar flare. And the humidity. It's so bad you can stick a straw into the outside air and take a drink, that is if you like scalding water. Which is also pretty much what the air feels like when you inhale some of it.

Okay. I know my computer is in an air conditioned room. Still, just knowing that kind of HOT is out there makes me feel like I'm in a 50's movie version of a Faulkner story, like the one they made out of "Barn Burning,"  Long Hot Summer, where every one sits around fanning and sweating and fanning and sweating. Especially Big Daddy (Orson Welles); he sweats a cistern full. Newman sweats a lot too. But Joyce says his sweating is kinda sexy. Anyway, that kind of heat sucks the life right out of you.

5. I've been spending a lot of time in the mornings revising a mystery novel I've been working on which I hope to place with a POD publisher in the next few weeks. It's a vanity thing I suppose and few people will read it, but I enjoy doing it. It's title is Blood Country. The narrator, Joe Rose, is a Nashville sideman (guitar of course) whose day job is as a P. I. The plot is derived from Hamlet and concerns a dark secret a Country Music family dynasty is hiding. I may write more about it later.

6. Letdown. Joyce and I worked in over 20 college drama productions over the years. I directed and she did set decoration, makeup and sometimes took an acting part. If you've ever been involved in anything like that, you know it's a lot of long hours and hard work over 6 - 9 weeks, which for a college production leads up to about four or five performances. In short, you work your butt off, there's a tremendous elation on opening night which carries you through the remaining performances till you strike the set, party until late late, and then suddenly it's all over. There's a big let down. A BIG LET DOWN. It's like that with the grandkids. The house is filled with their great noisy joy and and energy and laughter and then they go home and the house is quiet again. It takes awhile to get back to where you were before.

7. And the seventh reason builds on what I said in #6. I've been in a "Lately I've Let Things Slide" kinda mood. You ever get in one of those?  Nick Lowe has. Be careful when you listen to this song. Especially if you've felt that "hammer" in your head that he describes. Don't play it in the dead of night. Play it in daytime, outside with people around.

But now I've stopped the sliding. I'm working. I'm posting. Good to be back.


  1. Finally getting around here, Dan. Dan, I'm not gonna call you a wuss. I know it's hot. It's hot EVERYWHERE!

    I read a funny from Basil the other day. He said, "It's so hot, I'm working up a sweat just trying to cool off."

    Pam and I went to Texarkana on our honeymoon. Texarkana!?!? And, I was proud of it, too.

    Looking forward to more details of the 50th!

    Good to have you back. Seriously.

  2. Ah. Much to comment on here! But first... Nick Lowe? THIS Nick Lowe? I was thinkin' there have to be two... but a quick check of the track listings in the discography tells me no, they're one and the same. Quite a lot o' distance between "Switchboard Susan" and this tune!

    Nice looking camera!

    50 years? YOWZA. There just aren't that many successful marriages these days, let alone two people who make it to 50. I'm MOST impressed... good on the both of ya.

    I hear ya 'bout let downs, I put up a post last week about just that.

    Hot. Not so much here but we're drowning in the humidity this year, which is QUITE unusual for the High Plains of NM. I don't like it ONE lil bit, either.

    I know I forgot sumthin' but I rambled on enough already...

  3. Welcome back & Happy 50th! I'm looking forward to reading Blood Country. Nice to see the additions to your post after your sojourn. Makes my day a little brighter.
    HOT! not in Montana...In a loud clarion voice from my office to the kitchen,"Hey Sara, guess what? Dano's posting again"

  4. Andy, I like Texarkana. We pass thru there on our way to TX regularly. But the traffic is always pretty bad if you get of off I30 though so we usually stop up the road in Hope.

    Yeah Buck, that's the right Lowe. There's at least one good video of him singing this song (and you can see he's aged like we all have) but I chose this one because it emphasized the lyrics. I've gathered from viewing the photos on your blog that you know quite a bit about cameras, s when I do a post later about the new Olympus, I'd appreciate any insights you might have. I read that great "let down" post of yours by the way and it's what got me thinking along those lines for that part of this post. I probably should've given you a hat tip for that.

    George, it's good to hear from you again. I'll bet it is a little cooler up there in Montana. I'll keep you posted on Blood Country. Say hi to Sara for me!

  5. Well Dan, I really don't have an opinion on Texarkana, other than it's where we spent our wedding night.

    At the Holidome at I-30 & Hwy 71. April 7, 1979.

    Well, come to think of it, I guess I do have an opinion on was an awful good place that night!

    Just sayin'...

  6. BTW, Dan. I'm sure you know about this. But, I just ran across this...and I had never heard about it.

  7. 50 years married? Wonderful. Congratulations.