by Marisa Bush
These were written sometime between 2000 and 2005, but I am not certain of the date.
my first reflection:
Like many Southern kids growing up in the 1970's, I knew Hee Haw like the back of my hand. It was a Saturday evening institution. Living in Ridgetop, Tennessee, near Nashville, meant that from time to time we'd run into country music stars. One NewYear's Eve, I literally bumped into Conway Twitty in a bowling alley. My mom worked at the grocery store in town where Grandpa Jones and his wife Ramona were frequent customers. I learned where Grandpa and Stringbean lived almost as soon as I learned my own address. Our little community was proud to claim such fine citizens.
As a teenager, I found other things to do most Saturday evenings, but my friends and I still enjoyed running into Grandpa and others at the bank and the grocery store. When I met a young man from a neighboring county and brought him home to Ridgetop with me, I had to take him on the tour that included the home of Grandpa Jones and the cabin where Stringbean lived and died.
After I moved away from the area, I really began to appreciate the unique experiences I had growing up there. Not everyone can brag about going to Opryland on their neighbor's Opry Star pass, though in the Nashville area, it probably wasn't that unusual!
In 1995, when my son was seven weeks old, he had surgery to repair a cleft lip. During the surgery, I saw a video of ''Act Naturally.'' This wasn't the video of Buck Owens and Ringo Starr - this was a promotional video that, as far as I have been able to determine, only aired on TNN one time, that morning. This video included lots of old footage of Buck and the Buckaroos, and it rekindled my interest in country music and the show. Unfortunately, at that time, TNN had stopped airing ''Hee Haw'' re-runs, so I had to scour the TV listings for any specials including footage I could find.
In my adulthood I have learned a lot that I didn't know about the stars of ''Hee Haw.'' I was only two years old when the show first aired, so I don't remember a world without ''Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me.'' I don't remember Buck Owens being at the top of the charts for weeks and weeks. I don't remember Roy Clark breaking ground for country stars to appear on TV, when he was on ''The Beverly Hillbillies.'' I DO remember when Buck Trent was the banjo player for Porter Wagoner, and I remember when I heard that Don Rich had died. I was confused because they kept showing him on TV. I didn't understand the magic of film and re-runs!
I am SO, SO glad that Gaylord Entertainment has partnered with Time Life to release "Hee Haw" on DVD. I've always said that I have no problem with re-runs of ''I Love Lucy,'' but if that show still has fans 50 years after it aired, ''Hee Haw'' probably does too. I think they will find it was well worth their investment. I am also glad people are finally giving classic country music a little of the respect it deserves. For a long time I was afraid it would die when my generation is gone. My parents' generation went from getting all their entertainment from the radio to the information age we live in now. Will the music of their childhood and mine be forgotten? I certainly hope not.
Well, I'll let you get back to enjoying what I've been able to gather of ''Hee Haw'' on these pages. Come back when you can stay longer!
my second reflection:
I dug out my overalls this weekend.
I don't have any "Hee Haw" overalls. Never did, that I can remember. Seems like my brother did, though - I don't know for sure. I have a pair of good old Gap overalls that my mom gave me a year or two ago. Mom, if you ever read this, I could use another pair of overalls. Christmas is just around the corner, you know. I can wait that long.
But back to the overalls. I love my overalls. I picture myself looking like Cathy Baker with my blonde hair swinging (it's not quite long enough to swing yet, though) as I work. Of course, I don't get to wear overalls to work, because I work in a doctor's office part-time, and in a hospital sometimes too. However, I've started selling collectibles and occasionally antiques in a nearby antique mall and my overalls work great for hauling stuff around and picking up treasures at yard sales and thrift stores.
I think if I don't get any for Christmas, I'm going to buy some more for myself. I may look more like Junior Samples than Cathy Baker in them, but I don't care. I feel happier in them for some reason, and I know I look better with a smile. Doesn't everybody?
Well, I'll let you get back to enjoying my ''Hee Haw'' pages. Come back when you can stay longer!
rissystreasures.com / classiccountrymemories.com / hee haw tribute page / singingbush.com