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The Dog Star Rages and Leos Roar

Posted: Aug 04, 2008

It is August and the dog days of summer are upon us. The ancient Romans noticed that the hottest days of the year, late July and early August, coincided with the appearance of Sirius –the Dog Star, in the same part of the sky as the Sun. Sirius is the largest and brightest star in the Canis Major constellation. It is a fiery time for dogs and lions.

This weekend both Billy Bob Thornton and I celebrated our birthdays. His is today, August 4. Mine was Saturday. Both of us had a huge weekend. BBT had three shows (two in Huntsville and one in Memphis—see Gritz for full details), and I had a minimum of one party a day for four days, including a spend the night party (yes, that is what we call them in the south—not a sleep over) at a friend’s fabulous condo at Two Rivers located at The Pointe, a gourmet dinner party (prepared by my sister and her husband Billy C. Farlow) and a pajama breakfast at a friend’s “fantastical” home on Elk River. I wore my “Obama pajamas,” i.e., my Obama “Change We Believe In” tee shirt that I had purchased at the Delmore Days at Athens State University. Speaking of the Delmore Brothers, Debby Delmore just wrote me that the Delmore Brothers will be inducted (posthumously) into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame on August 30. Watch Swampland for a feature on the Delmore Brothers and an interview with Alton’s daughter Debby.

Well, I finally got to meet the infamous Michael Buffalo Smith this weekend. What a delightful and talented man, but I fear he will never want to spend another night in my house on Elk River because he is not allowed to sleep past 5 AM. My friends hate me because I wake up in the morning feeling as good as I will feel all day and generally wake them up, too. After all, I am up, why isn’t everyone? My sister had to tell me not to call her before she had her second cup of coffee, and my longtime friend and travel buddy taught me years ago never to speak to her in the mornings unless I was spoken to. Unfortunately, Buffalo did not have that luxury. I was chattering and pouring him Billy Bob’s “Boxmasters” coffee before he even had one eye open. Buffalo had told me when he first arrived that a friend of his enjoyed my writing so much that he wanted to marry me. Well, I am sure that notion is gone with the wind.

My birthday weekend culminated with a trip to Shoal Creek to the home of music man Dick Cooper. Cooper’s lovely home, situated on a shady bluff overlooking the water, was the venue for one of his renowned Sunday evening soirees—a wide-open jam session featuring food, booze, friends, and music, music, music. Buffalo will be telling all about it in his day four of Buffalo Roaming. As I was the designated driver for Billy C. Farlow and I wanted to be sure I could negotiate those serpentine back roads leading to Highway 72 while it was still daylight, we had to leave the party before the jamming really got going. I can’t wait to read all about the fun I missed. But after this weekend, I am beginning to think it really is possible to have “too much fun.”

To segue from Billy Bob to Beijing, I cannot fail to mention that this past week also marked the beginning of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a fellow southerner and one of the greatest Olympians of all time—Jesse Owens, winner of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. His statue, by Birmingham sculptor Branko Medenica, stands in the Jesse Owens Memorial Park near his birthplace of Oakville, Alabama.

---Penne J. Laubenthal

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michaelbuffalo says...

Of course, I hit the wrong key! Sleepy! that last line obviously includes the word "heart," not herat.

michaelbuffalo says...

Penne... Now that it's been a week, I am finally getting over the LARGE time in Bamalama. Just wanted io thank you for you hospitality and the great dinner you cooked. It was GREAT to finally meet you (as well as your sister Peggy) and great to see Billy C again! He jammed big time at Cooper's! ... Man the whole week was so much fun! Glad you had a happy Birthday. Billy Bob had a great one on Monday in Memphis too. You Leo's ... Billy said during his interview with A&E "I'm a Leo, which means neither my hear NOR my herat will fit through the door!" LOL. Keep up the great writing! See you soon.

SouthPaw says...

Sounds like a party!!

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