JUST PLAIN TALK: Welcome to 30A Songwriters Festival with world-class music
Many visiting South Walton for the 30A Songwriters Festival may not realize we have world-class music the other 51 weeks of the year. Don't take my word for it; ask Sam Bush. South Walton may not be Nashville, but we don’t get snow. We don't have Austin City Limits, either, and we could use city limits, but that's another story.
The stories behind the songs fascinate me. On Sam's last record, one song was from a cassette he misplaced years ago (it was a cassette). John Prine said he never knew anyone named Sam Stone, "it just rhymes with home," but he knew. Hayes Carll's daddy is still alive; I've met him. But it makes a heart-rendering story in "Christmas This Year." I am sure he has some good-looking cousins, genetics being what they are. My wife holds the record, though, for pretty cousins.
For my Christmas this year, one of my compadres surprised me with a vinyl copy of Bob Marley's "Legacy." I was disappointed, but not with Marley. Instead, a publicist inaccurately called "Buffalo Soldier," a song about black men being conscripted to fight Indians. Let me correct them. During those times, the Army didn't draft anyone, white or black.
The 9th and 10th Calvary, the 24th, 25th, and Second 38th Infantry served in the Spanish-American War and border hostilities against Mexican soldiers and militia. Buffalo Soldiers had lower desertion rates and fewer court-martial cases than white troops. After their white comrades struggled, they also quelled domestic violence in Johnson County, Wyoming. Once the ruckus died down, they became some of our first National Park Rangers. Unfortunately, it's a great song marred by a historical revisionist/record company hack pushing a political agenda.
"Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival."
Worse than Madoff, Elizabeth Holmes
Holmes' guilty verdict was an unexpected birthday present. I don't countenance thieves, never have. However, Holmes' antics raise the bar. The first whistleblower was Tyler Shultz, former Secretary of State George Shultz's grandson. His disclosures caused a family rift with grandaddy falling for Holmes' schtick. Fortunately, they made amends before Secretary Shultz died.
It's bad enough to hurt other families, but Holmes got pregnant and had a baby knowing she was guilty and facing a lengthy prison sentence. The kid will grow up like Tupac Shakur, I guess. She used her baby as a pawn to generate sympathy. It didn't help with the jury, but the "jury" is still out on the judge's sentence.
She did professional women no favors, either. When confronted with overwhelming evidence, she threw her boyfriend under the bus, claiming it was his fault. Women have enough misogyny to face without another woman making it worse.
Many Madoff investors got restitution; the gains were ephemeral. The money Holmes raised is gone with the wind. One of those scammed was Betsy Devos. A hundred million is a lot of money, even to a billionaire.