Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Road Goes On Forever

They're turning the Big House, the Allman Brothers' residence from the 1970's, into a museum.

Located on Vineville Avenue in Macon, it looks like a model for a Steak and Ale restaurant. I first went there in the fall of 1975, after visiting Duane Allman's and Berry Oakley's graves at Rose Hill Cemetery for inspiration. Those were the days.

I was sitting in daddy's Amoco station in Barnesville one afternoon earlier that year playing my Les Paul when a bright red Cadillac Eldorado convertible with white leather interior pulled in, occupied by a ragged-looking guy in a beat-up cowboy hat and two girls. The guy got out, said "fill 'er up", and walked into the office.

I'd played in various bands since I was twelve years old, and this fellow looked awfully familiar. I finished the gas, walked into the station to take his money, and noticed him looking at my guitar.

"Anybody ever tell you that you look a lot like Dickey Betts?" I asked him.

He smiled. "All the time, brother." Then he picked up my guitar and wailed out the beginning notes of "Ramblin' Man".

That was the day I got hooked up with the Allman Brothers "family".

"You play in a band?" he asked.

"For a long time", I replied.

"Y'all come down to the farm sometime and let's jam."

Oh yeah.

My buddy and I went down to the "farm" a lot after that. I didn't know it was known as "Idlewild South" then. I just knew we played with the guys, got to know them, and had a wild ride.

Butch Trucks was probably the most down-home person you'd ever want to meet. He was from Jacksonville but loved Tallahassee and the Seminoles and was planning to move there someday. He did, and opened a recording studio. His son Derek plays with the Allmans today.

Jaimoe "Johnny J" Johnson was aloof but personable. A tremendous drummer.

Gregg Allman was quiet but came alive when the music started. He was great, right up to the time he hooked up with Cher. Go figure. After her, what was starting to ravel finally fell apart and everybody went their separate ways.

Richard (he hated being called "Dickey") and I went down to the Big House one night (after visiting Rose Hill) and sat on the front porch of the vacant house. I could only imagine what had happened on that porch but didn't ask. He just sat there, silent. After a while, he simply said, "Time to go."

Within a few months, the Allman Brothers as I knew them would be no more. Leaving the Big House was the beginning of the end of the band.

A few blocks from where Duane, then a year later Berry, had both died years earlier after motorcycle accidents, I sat on a front porch that night with a legend. I realize now that when the Brothers left the Big House, the soul of their music went with them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just A Number

Outside Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University is a larger-than-life statue of Coach Bowden, situated against a backdrop of stained glass depicting the man in church-quality glory.

To say he's an institution within an institution is an understatement.

Coach Bowden is hoping that the NCAA will reverse its decision to force FSU to forfeit fourteen wins by the Seminoles due to a cheating scandal.

It wouldn't be the first time Coach Bowden had problems with his team, which some refer to as the "Criminoles".

Arrests for public indecency, drugs, armed robbery. You name it, they've probably done it. All at the expense of Coach Bowden.

Some say he apparently lost control of his team several years ago. I say controlling college football players is like trying to herd cats. Impossible.

Coach Bowden has 383 wins, one less than Joe Paterno of Penn State. That would be the same Penn State that Bear Bryant and Alabama taught SEC football to in the late '70s.

Coach Bowden is also a devout Christian, active in his church and guest speaker at churches and conferences throughout the Southeast. I've heard him speak, dadgum it, and I believe he's an honorable man, undeserving of this penalty by an organization that needs to clean up its own backyard.

I hope the NCAA does the right thing and allows Coach Bowden to keep the victories. Because fourteen is not just a number. It's part of a legacy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baby Daddy


The following are all replies that Detroit women have written on Child Support Agency Forms in the section for listing 'Father's Details,' or putting it another way.... Who's your Daddy? These are genuine excerpts from the forms. Be sure to check out #11, it takes 1st prize and #3 is runner up.

1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, Makeeshia was fathered by Maclearndon McKinley. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of Marlinda, but I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

2. I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

3. I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party at 3600 East Grand Boulevard where I had sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father, can you please send me his phone number? Thanks...

4. I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.

5. I have never had sex with a man. I am still a Virginian. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son's conception was ejaculate and that he is the Saver risen again.

6. I cannot tell you the name of Alleshia's dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the economy. I am torn between doing right by you and right by the country. Please advise.

7. I do not know who the father of my child was as they all look the same to me.

8. Tyrone Hairston is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him, can you axe him what he did with my AC/DC CDs? Child B who was also borned at the same time..... well, I don't have clue.

9. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Disney World. Maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom .

10. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Delia Smith did a program about eggs earlier in the evening. If I had stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at 8956 Miller Ave , mine might have remained unfertilized.

11. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all, like when you eat a can of beans you can't be sure which one made you fart.

...When anyone asks you about the shape our country's in, just refer them to this post.