Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Route 5 Box 109

I'm typing this on Sunday afternoon. We attended a surprise birthday party for a friend last night, and got to spend some quality time with a great group of people. They are collectively known as "TUS" - the usual suspects. Had a great time with some great fellowship. There was a fire built and we roasted hotdogs and just enjoyed each other's company. Before the night was over, though, I had taken my little "travel" guitar out and some of us did some singing. I also added some songs to my "songbook" that I use on Friday nights, so it was relaxing and expanding as well.

Okay - Tuesday morning early. Just didn't feel like I had much to say, so the draft above didn't get added to over the last 48 hours, but now I feel like I'm going to bust if I don't share what's on my mind...

I don't want to get too deep in 'catch up' to miss this moment, so I'm going to share this, and THEN I'll do the catch up thing...

Joe Diffe has a song that really struck a chord with me (no pun intended) so I wanted to add it to my repertoire if possible... It's not noted on any of the lyrics sites that I've searched, so I just used Spotify to listen to it and type the lyrics. I still have to go back and flesh out the chord progression, but here's what I'm hearing...


Somewhere outside of Gadsden I saw mama standing in the kitchen
And along about Decatur I started smelling taters and fried chicken
And then a Trooper pulled me over, said if I drive any slower
He was gonna lock me up for killing time.
He said, "boy have you been drinking?" I said, "no sir I's just thinking,
Bout Route 5 Box 109."

I was thinking about red wigglers and a stringer full of brim.
And the sound the king of spades made in the spokes of my old Schwinn.
I was racing Richie Coleman for a Grape Nehi.
Yeah lately I've been thinking 'bout Route 5 Box 109.

I pulled back on the freeway - found a country deejay out of Huntsville.
I called him up just hoping he'd keep my tired eyes open till I reached Nashville.
I talked and he just listened bout the place that I was missing,
Then he left, when he came back on the line.
Said son the switchboard's blinking, you got half of Alabama thinking,
About Route 5, Box 109.

Bout mama's cathead biscuits, Martha White Self Rising Flour.
And getting rabbit ears positioned for Glen Campbell's Good Time Hour.
And the sound of daddy snoring playing Gentle on My Mind.
Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.

And that bed of black eyed susans in a white washed tractor tire.
And a set of threadbare sheets hanging on a clothesline wire.
Mama's bucket full of Pine Sol making sure that we had shine.
Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.

Yeah lately I've been thinking,
Bout Route 5, Box 109.


Okay. This song REALLY gets to me - not sure why, unless it's just the nostalgia factor, but as I was listening and typing the words I kept having to stop and wipe a tear or just flat out stop and sob. This is one of those songs that make me realize why people that don't sing can sit and listen over and over to someone else singing... It really reaches into your heart and pulls at something DEEP down in our souls.

No, not everything in the song is from my memory, but there's enough there that it hits home... We walked the dogs down the road last night and I had to go into the yard where I did a lot of my growing up. You can still see the basketball hoop in the tree (boy it looks closer to the ground now than it did when I was 8) and the bank going up to the road doesn't seem as steep either. :-)

So - looking at the song - my mama spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and some days I'd come home from school and she'd have made tater logs and fried chicken, just like Q-Mart, only better! And as far as a Route, anyone from the South knows that before numbers on roads (for 911 purposes) it was just Rural Route 1, or 2 or 3, etc. - and a box number if you had to.

I didn't do a lot of fishing, so the wigglers and the brim don't mean as much to me, but I can still relate. I didn't do the playing card in the bicycle tire, but some of my friends did. And yeah, we'd race, but it wasn't for Grape Nehi - it was just for fun because sodas were expensive... Sometimes we'd find bottles to sell back to the grocery store for some candy, but we went home to get our drinks... Lots of time it was red kool-aid.

And then the whole thing about calling the DJ and getting the people thinking... It chokes me up to just think about that part, I guess because I tend to take my music and my feelings (and my words on this blog) and throw them out there hoping people can relate.

Cathead biscuits... We called them that at home, and they were truly home made. Mama would take the leftover dough after rolling it out, cutting round pieces with a glass dipped in flour, then rolling what's left - etc. Anyway, the leftover was just kinda folded up and was the 'runt' on the pan. That's the one I'd go for. I remember a few year's ago we all went to her house to eat and she said she had saved that one for me. :-)

I didn't listen to the Opry growing up, but I understand the importance and the significance of Martha White... And we didn't watch Glen Campbell, but we did have to turn the antenna if we wanted to get UHF or maybe wrestling on Channel 6 out of Kentucky.

And I can't think of Gentle on My Mind without remembering Travis Davison, Sr. kicking into (in the same tune) - "It's knowing that your door is always open and your furniture is gone..."

We didn't have a tractor tire flower bed that I remember, but I think I had a sandbox made from one... And of course clothes on the line were common back then, especially the sheets. 

"Yeah this song has got me thinking - bout Route 1, 38034"


CathyB said...

Jimmy.....I love you.....(just in case you didn't know)

jimmylogan said...

Thx - I love you too - I guess it struck something with you too. :-)

Ruth said...

Love you Jimmy . you need to tell of your love for tater biscuits and better than Melba dressing just a thought. love you

Tammy Jones said...

I love your memories...thanks

Bone said...

Thanks for posting these lyrics. Was searching for them and just came across your blog.

This one definitely hit me deep down, too. It's like the song you've been needing to hear for so long but just didn't realize it.

jimmylogan said...

Bone - I know what you mean... EXACTLY what you mean... :-)

THanks for the comment!