Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm goin' to Jackson--Turn a'loose of my coat!

     Our family took root in and around Jackson, TN, right after the last Ice Age! Depending on what day you asked him, my dad was from Jackson...or Greenfield...or Gardner Station...or Martin...or....You get the idea! My grandparents' four sons were reared in Jackson and all of 'em, to a man, were dad being one! The town went ahead and named a street in honor of this family, perhaps to just get it over with! An aunt was the original checker at the A & P grocery store, I feel sure! Her husband, my uncle, kept a separate kitchen where he prepared his own meals at their home. I never knew if it was because of her cooking or the fact that she worked at the A & P and she had been nibbling all day. Dad played tackle on the Union University football team back when the university even had a football team. His plaque on my den wall says that he was selected to the Union University All-Time Football Team. He was mighty proud of that! He even used to tell the story of when the University of Alabama came to town and Union beat 'em! That was a very, very long time ago! Another brother went to work for Belknap, and he raised cattle and tobacco down by the Cumberland River in Middle Tennessee, and one raised a ruckus every chance he got! Characters!
     But, I digress! While all the aforementioned characters and their wives have crossed over Jordan now, I still like to return to Jackson. A couple of favorite places to go are Clark Shaw's Old Country Store and Steve Patterson's Music Highway Crossroads. A lot, and I mean A LOT, of bluegrass and old-time music happens around there every Thursday afternoon and evening. The history of Casey Jones and railroading in West Tennessee is in the very wood and bricks of those stores at I-40 Exit 80A.
     Here are some of the great folks and their music which I encountered on a recent trip back to Jackson-Madison County, Tennessee.

Stop in and jam at Music Highway Crossroads in Jackson, TN

Steve, Jeff, the gang, and Tony visiting from Alaska

Play it sweet there, Mama!

We'd like a chocolate soda and two straws, please!

Marilyn, Bobby, Coley and the gang at the Old Country Store

Betcha me and my big brother here can out-pick ya!
     Stop by this amazing corner of the world for some home cookin', down-home pickin', railroad stories, and buckets full of memories! Yes, those two young men with mandolins can out-pick ya!
     We're gonna snowball Jackson (even in this heat!)...Look out Jackson town! That's what we like about the South! Pick away, y'all!