My $30 Bottle of Coca-Cola

bookstore window

Look! There's Murphy's book!! Right next to Davis Sedaris!!!

Things to keep in mind:

June 8, Saturday: Book signing at the Winchester Book Gallery, 3 pm


June 21, Friday: Longest Day Jam 9 am-9pm. Winchester. If you can't come you can donate online. We've already raised $2685!!!


July 19-21: First Women's Banjo Camp!!!! in Winchester. Spread the word! We still have room for more women!




Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

Folks, I'm heading to Nashville Thursday morning, so I won't be blogging about our 24th Tip Jar Jam (unless I can find time to do it from my laptop while I'm away....not likely!)


I'm going to Nashville to give the first presentation on my book, Pretty Good For A Girl: Women in Bluegrass. I'll be speaking at the prestigious International County Music Conference held at Belmont University in Nashville. I've presented papers there twice before, the first one on Sally Ann Forrester, the second on Bessie Lee Mauldin, both of whom are are in my book. So, I'm not as nervous about this presentation as I might be.


I really enjoy this conference because I get to rub elbows with many of the major writers in the bluegrass and country music field. So I've gotten to meet that late Charles Wolfe, who wrote a number of excellent books, including Good-Natured Riot, a wonderful book about the Grand Ol' Opry; Nolan Porterfield who wrote the definitive biography of Jimmy Rodgers; Bill Malone, who wrote the earliest and best book on the history of country music, Country Music U.S.A.; Wayne Daniel, who wrote Pickin' On Peachtree, a book about country music in Georgia; and Richard Smith, who wrote Can't You Hear Me Callin', the biography of Bill Monroe that stirred up so much ire in the bluegrass community. And lots of others.


So my paper is written and I've been practicing my performance, recording it on my I-Phone! I will speak for about 22 minutes and then answer a few questions.


Now, about the title of this blog! [Minimal bluegrass content.] Our local square dance club, the Apple Valley Squares, held a big dance last Friday night which featured a fast and furious caller who kept us hopping! And thirsty! The host club always provides snacks and drinks, so my friend Becky said she and her husband Tommy would be bringing the drinks, the "soda pop" as they call it up here. Or sometimes just "pop." Or sometimes just "soda." Very Northern. Down in Georgia, we called everything Coke (short for Coca-Cola; even shorter than Co'- Cola). We even called Sprite Coke as in "What kind of Coke do you want?" "I think I'll have a Sprite."


Well, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Coke drinker. And I don't mean Diet Coke, either. Or Coke Zero. I want your honest-to-goodness Classic Coca-Cola. No Pepsi products for me. No RC. No Shasta Cola. (Remember that???) And I knew Tommy was also a Coke drinker so I didn't bother to grab a cold can of Coke out of the fridge to bring along, since I knew there would be plenty of Coke there.


Imagine my surprise and dismay when I got to the dance to find NO Coca-Cola. Only two big liter bottles of some off-brand drink. Yuck. Naturally, I complained to Becky. "Where's the Coke? I thought for sure you'd be bringing Coke!" I've forgotten what her reply was, but it sure didn't seem like a big deal to her. So I settled on drinking water. But I had been hoping for a caffeine boost, since I had been babysitting all day!


So we danced a few dances and I was drinking my water and eating my No Bake Cookies which were fast disappearing (which is always gratifying). Then after one dance, I walked back to the eats table to see a great big liter bottle of Coke sitting there. Becky was also close by, as was her daughter Sara. I said, "What's this?" Becky says, "You said you wanted Coke!" I said, "Did you call Sara and have her bring down a bottle of Coke?" "YES!" was Becky's reply. (They do live near by and Becky is a mover and shaker, a "get 'er done" girl.)


I turned to Sara, a perky twenty-something who was looking cute as a bug in her nursing uniform, having just gotten off her shift. I said, warmly, "Thank you! I really appreciate your bringing this." Her extremely swift reply was: "Is it worth a free guitar lesson?" Well! With everyone standing right there looking at me, what could I say but, "Sure!" (I knew from Becky that Sara had been "fooling" with the guitar, as the saying goes.) I also quickly added, "You are your mother's daughter!" And that, folks, is how I ended up paying $30 for a liter bottle of Coca-Cola!


Postscript: Later on during a break in the dancing I was rehashing all this with Sara's dad, Tommy. (Square dancers love to rehash!) Tommy said, "I think Becky put Sara up to that." "Really?" I said. "Yeah," said Tommy, "she'd have never thought of that on her own."


So naturally, the next time I met Becky at snack table (where we gravitate after every dance!) and she and I were rehashing my $30 bottle of Coke and laughing, I said, "Did you put Sara up to saying that?" She said, "No! I did not. She thought of it all by herself!" "Really?" I said, "Tommy was sure it was you!" "Nope," said the proud mother, "it was all Sara!" Indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree. And I guess Sara fell on the Becky side of the tree, because I know Tommy would never have done anything like that!


I guess I'll be giving my Coca-Cola lesson when I get back from Nashville. Who knows? Maybe I'll get Sara hooked on playing bluegrass! That would so be worth $30!


And that, folks, is your blog for this week!