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Running Down A Dream: June 2009

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Running Down A Dream

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zzzzzz Running Down A Dream: June 2009

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Running Down A Dream

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Running Down A Dream: June 2009

Running Down A Dream

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mamma Won!

About a week ago, Mamma told me that she had entered a contest online. Recently, I bragged on here to everyone what a great writer she is : ) And yet again, she has proven herself by WINNING the essay contest. The writers were supposed to "tell about their Best Summer Experience" And I even learned a few details about this story which I had never heard! She wrote about when Daddy was leaving for Vietnam and she was preggers with my older brother. Her due date was the same time he was leaving. But there's a LOT more to the story. Enjoy!

In thinking back over all my many summers' experiences, one has to stand out above all others. It was the birth of my first baby and all the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to share that precious moment with my husband. First of all, I was a relative newlywed, having been married for twelve months and two days. I was young and in love and knew nothing about having babies. My husband, Larry, was in the Army and scheduled to leave for Vietnam around the time of my due date which was August 12, 1968. But first, he had to attend Jungle School in Panama for two weeks. At this point, we thought he would be allowed to come home for a couple of days after he completed his school, but he didn't have the date for his port of call in San Francisco, so we didn't know for sure.

Larry, being a Lieutenant in the Infantry, was lucky to have been selected to go to Jungle School. Panama was on the same longitude as Vietnam, so it gave him a little time to get acclimated to the hot, humid climate before he had to confront a true combat situation. It also provided invaluable training in survival, escape, and evasion in a jungle setting. In preparing to go to this school, he was given two pieces of advice by a graduate of the course. This buddy had told him to take two items, with him -- poultry seasoning and iodine.

The poultry seasoning was to be used during the thirty-six hour escape and evasion phase where the soldiers were given a huge area to get from Point A to Point B using only a compass and a map and with "opposing forces" trying to capture them. Chickens were to be let loose in this area, and since the soldiers had no food, if they could catch a chicken and eat it, then they would earn extra points. Larry's buddy had told him that the evaluators conducting the operation would taste his chicken and he would get more points if he used poultry seasoning. You had to have a certain number of points to graduate. As it turned out, Larry never saw a chicken and the poultry seasoning remained unused.

The iodine, however: was a different story. It's purpose was to use on cuts which could easily get infected in the hot, moist environment. A few days before the end of the course, the iodine came in handy. One of the soldiers had a bad cut and asked if anyone had anything to put on it. Larry passed his bottle of iodine down along the line to the soldier who used it and passed it back to him. Larry put the iodine back into his back pocket not knowing that the lid was not screwed on tightly. As the day progressed with rain pouring down, he eventually realized that he was feeling an intense burning sensation on his backside!!! This happened right before the thirty-six hour escape and evasion exercise that he had to complete to graduate from the course. The medic that checked him said that he had a second degree chemical burn and would have to go to the hospital immediately. But Larry was not about to let a little thing like a second degree burn on his backside keep him from earning the patch for his uniform that would signify he was a full-fledged Jungle Expert. So he made a compromise with the medic and promised to check into the hospital as soon as the course was over. The medic wrapped him up in bandages which promptly came off as soon as he crossed the first waist-deep stream, but he did finish the course and then, kept his promise. He checked into the hospital and was told that he would be there for a week.

Now, by this time he had received his orders and port of call date which would allow him a couple of days at home before he had to be in San Francisco, but he would not get to come home at all if he stayed in the hospital for a week. With a baby due any minute, he was on a mission to spend as much time at home as was possible. So he waited until all was quiet, retrieved his clothes from the locker and slipped out the window in the middle of the night! Once he was back with his Company, he was able to catch his scheduled flight back to the States. He had a connecting flight in Atlanta with not much time in between. Back in the 60's, they didn't have trains to take you from one terminal to the other, so he really had to hustle to catch his connecting flight. Well, while he was speed walking, the ace bandage that was wound around his leg and backside, began to come loose, and the faster he walked, the more it unraveled until it was hanging out the leg of his uniform, dragging behind him all through the airport for everyone to see! But he didn't have time to stop!

Meanwhile, I was at home, excitedly awaiting his arrival and praying that our baby would come before he had to leave for San Francisco.

Unfortunately, Larry's safe arrival at home did NOT coincide with little Joe Stovall's appearance. My due date came and went. So we started exploring the possibilities of getting a few days extension to Larry's departure date. The first thing we tried was having my ob-gyn write a letter explaining that it was in the best interest of my health for Larry to be with me when the baby was born. That letter resulted in an extension of one extra day. That was great, but it wasn't enough time. I'm not sure who we contacted next, but I remember precisely that it bought us another two days. Still not enough time. However, Larry had been assured by the Pentagon that two extensions was all he could get!

Now, when Larry had joined the Army, he had been told that if he ever had a problem that he couldn't solve, the best thing to do was to visit the post chaplain. So he gathered me up, looking like a watermelon about to explode and we went to Fort Campbell, about an hour's drive from where we lived and presented our case to the head chaplain. He was a seasoned Colonel who had served in World War II . Larry told him that he wasn't trying to get out of going to Vietnam, that he just needed a few more days so that he could be here when his baby was born. This Colonel told Larry that he thought the request was reasonable, and he picked up the phone, made a call to Headquarters, Department of the Army and got Larry's date of departure extended for two more weeks.

We were thrilled, and Joe Stovall arrived on August 22. We had run the gamut of emotions and were very thankful that we were able to spend this summer experience together. Larry even had five whole extra days to get acquainted with his son before he had to leave. Saying good-bye to my husband with a new-born baby in my arms, not knowing if I would ever see him again, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I made a countdown calendar out of colored paper and white stickon numbers that showed how many weeks were left on Larry's tour. Every Sunday night, I would flip a page in the calendar and we would have one week less to wait. I would prop Joe up next to the calendar and take his picture. That way Larry could see how much he had grown on a weekly basis.

Forty years later, we have a total of four children and seven grandchildren. Larry has been home for the birth of every single one of them. I guess unless you have lived through it, no one can understand how it feels to be separated in war times. But having triumphed over so many obstacles and having had a compassionate chaplain make it possible for us to share the birth of our first child, definitely made that summer experience the best I've ever

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

"Make Way for the Ducklings" Ohio Style

We played in the most beautiful park in Urbana, Ohio.... and the ducks and geese kept crossing the road near the pond behind us! It was very storybook!

And we had some of THE most enthusiastic audience members last night!!! Lots and lots of beautiful girls came out and danced and sang the whole show. They REALLY wanted to do a little "post-show". And they didn't seem to care that the stage was already getting torn down! You can watch a quick clip of their adorableness right here. SOOO SWEET!!!

Look at all these sweet faces!!!

I signed my first handkerchief! It was beautiful, and the sweet lady who had me sign it said she was putting it in along with the others she's had signed by Dolly and Tammy! What company to be among!

We had friends from the Lazy Chameleon :)

And lots of new friends as well! We loved Urbana!!! Thank you for having us in your beautiful town.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The "I'm Breaking Up With You" Do Not Disturb Sign

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Love All These Random Energy Drinks!

Hutto's a Quarterback?

Tom Brady as....

...Charlie Hutto??

I love it.

Peace. Love. Fiddle. and Back On The Road Tomorrow!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White

James, Cinnamon, and I spent the day in the studio with the Sonic Fedora. We're so close to having this thing done. At least the sonic part of it. Everything's coming together. And I'm getting anxious! :)

Today is one of those days I will never forget. I will always remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that Michael Jackson had died. I just can't believe he is gone. He was such a huge influence on me. As a child, I was obsessed with his videos - especially the Making of Thriller and I'd learn the choreography to everything (but who didn't???) And I still cite him as a huge influence on my music, even though I usually get a laugh or a weird look when I do... especially since I'm a country girl. But I don't care!!! He was such an incredible artist.

I'm so glad he was in rehearsals for his "comeback" shows, and was at least gearing up to what he loved most in this world.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ice Cream Truck Madness

An ice cream truck just drove past the studio playing "What Child Is This?"

I know it's exactly six months until Christmas today... And don't get
me wrong, I think I'm as excited about that as anyone can be... But that's pushin it... I mean, it's way too hot for Christmas...

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I would hire the Sonic Fedora for his wall decorations, alone.

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That's a Pretty Site

We have been COMPLETELY OUT of cds for 2 weeks. That's ROUGH!! :) But we are fully re-stocked with 1,000 more to go. And pretty soon we'll have double that with NEW cd's. Ahhh I can't wait. Tomorrow, we go in for more mix time with the Sonic Fedora. And maybe a visit to the taco truck. Who knows? :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Last Unicorn From Outer Space

Last night, I posted this blog... but you never saw it. And I did not realize until today!!! I got a new phone, and I'm having some technical difficulties with the email. So, here's what it said :)

EVERYONE should have a roommate this awesome:

This picture was emailed to me while we were out on the road. All it said was "The Last Unicorn from Outer Space"

Katie and I recently had an interesting conversation about unicorns... so I guess you could say there was somewhat of a reference point. However, we were talking about normal unicorns as opposed to extraterrestrial unicorns.

My favorite part was the explanation:
Katie was cooking and she used to much tin foil. She didn't it to go to waste. She made a unicorn helmet out if the remaining tin foil, which says a lot about her aforementioned awesomeness.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Curious

Does anyone else feel the need to walk all the way through those little line dividers thingy's they have (Like at the movie theater.... roller coasters... Dunkin Donuts... airport security) even when there is no one in the line? I always feel like I am cheating if I just go straight up to the front. But if it is a REALLY long one, then you just look silly winding back and forth for no reason.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day From The Road

And Anniversary to me and James :)

We spent ALLLL day in the car...

View Larger Map

The day consisted of lots of phone calls to Dads across the US and even Chile!

And Movie Showings included:
"Pirates of the Carribean 3"
"That Thing You Do"
"Girl Next Door"
"Old School"
"Wedding Crashers"

Good movie day! :)

You think I should go to bed? It's 5:30am.... Later this week, my goal is to be asleep BEFORE the sun rises. You gotta set your goals high, folks.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm being followed...

...By a rock.

Can you tell we're in the middle of watching Pirates of the Carribean 3?


Why All The Water

Look at how cute these waitresses are from Cowboyz!!! They wear chaps, cowgirl hats, cute little country girl snap button shirts and daisey dukes.

Happy Father's Day!!!
April and Ed came to the show last night, too. And tonight April told me what an amazing Dad Ed is, and she wanted me to dedicate a song to him. Since I didn't have any songs that lyrically made sense... I dedicated "When You Say Nothing At All" cause my own Daddy loves it when I sing that song. And it was a good chance for all the ladies to take their men out on the dance floor :)

What is with us and the rain lately?? It started raining on us while we were eating outside on the boardwalk... and we had to grab our food and run inside. And tonight onstage was a bit like Chinese Water Torture... water kept dripping on me. I don't understand where the leak was from, but no matter where I went on stage, the water followed. It wouldn't be that big of a deal if I wasn't worried about it dripping ON my fiddle. If it got on the bow, there would be no more sound. :( And that would make me sad. Tim kept trying to strategically place himself so that the water drip between his arm and the bass... I don't think it ever worked though. :)

Hope everyone is have an awesome Father's day!!! I'll leave you with some more photos... we drive 16 hours back home tomorrow...

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

On The Boardwalk

Ocean City, Maryland. I like playing in cool places.


It's like he's still here with us :)


We're currently all hanging out in the band house after the show - it's 4:15 am... The night has been filled with a great show and LOTS AND LOTS of hilarity. We're currently waiting on the sheets to dry so we can put them on our beds and go to sleep!!! It has been one loooong night, day, and night all over again.

We had to drive through almost all of last night and most of the day today.

Last night (this morning...) I actually had to pay full price at a hotel for us to sleep a total of 3 hours. Wooo hoooo!!!

Cowboyz is great. It is this awesome club right across from the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. They are open for dinner and then party the night away. :)

I have to say thank you to CAT Country 97.5 and 105.9 for having me on the show today. They gave away Kenny Chesney tickets during my interview to help promote MY show. (Thanks, Kenny... I appreciate it) ; )

Johnny, the owner and DJ of Cowboyz modeled my shirt all night long. I love it!

James' mother and step-dad came down from New York today to see the show!!! The band, Tamara, and I went to eat at Denny's after the show.... and this Denny's DEFINITELY used to be an indoor pool. The meal consisted of lots of laughing, I was crying at one point I was laughing so hard. I love those nights.

Stanley and Donna!!! They read about the show in the paper (I talked to a lot of people who came out from reading about the show... YAY!), and stayed the whole night. Stanley is a huge fan of the fiddle, and knew quite a bit about Columbia, Tennessee. He knew Sterling Marlin grew up there and was impressed that my Mamma cleaned his teeth before :) I dedicated a fiddle song in the first set and we opened the second set with Tn Waltz just for him :) I've never done that before at a show, but it was really awesome!

Other awesome folks from the night!

We do it all over again tomorrow!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Bridge!!

Crabcakes - here I come!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Holding On With Dear Life

Today we simultaneously did something very stupid and very necessary. And there wasn't even really a choice in the matter.

About 20 minutes before we were supposed to take the stage, the city manager, the guy who hired us and one of the coordinators of the event came to me in a bit of a panic. We looked to the North and could see ominous black clouds rolling in. There were talks of hail and the storm was coming QUICK. They wanted to know what I wanted to do. I REALLY didn't want to cancel completely. But I wanted to let them make the call. There were already lots of people in lawn chairs with coolers, plus all the vendors who had set up for our concert.

We decided to just move all the gear as close to the inside of the tent as we could and wait it out a little bit. HAHA!! That was funny.

People started bringing in tarps and we began covering everything up. There were 5 other people helping us out. As we were covering the gear and amps and such, the rain started POURING. Thunder and lightening was all around us. We all were working as quickly as possible, but in the blink of an eye, we were all holding onto the tent with dear life to keep it from blowing off the stage. If it had blown off, everything would have been ruined. And I kept seeing images of the tent hitting someone in the face... James, Tim, and I were all holding onto the same center piece and it was STILL lifting completely off the ground even though we were holding on with all our might.

The stupid part? The rods of the tent were metal. Every time the lightening would strike, we'd all quickly let go, but have to grab on again immediately to keep it from ripping off the stage. The bridge in the middle of the tent was bursting at the seems with water and every now and then a waterfall would pour down and soak us even more. I was shivering because I was COMPLETELY soaked from head to toe.

It was a terrible day to wear a white shirt.

Once the rain let up for just a bit, Tim uploaded this pic to facebook:

I love technology... he uploads a picture while we're still in the middle of the storm.

Here's us once the rain stopped...

And here's what the stage looked like.

The entire stage was a pool... my amp had water in it, and James' drums were covered with water. But everything turned out fine. I haven't tried to turn my amp on, but they let us use a hotel room to change out of our soaked clothes. And I used my hair drier to rid my pretty little Marshall of all unwanted water.

I kept saying prayers while we were out there. Once it all started, there was no time to think. It would have been really hard to get away without getting hurt by debris. I heard reports that a lady died just a mile or two up the road from us. And one of the guys with the concert was in shock afterwards. 2 Oak trees had fallen on his house and car while his wife and 4 kids were in the house! But they were all ok. So thank goodness we were all ok. It was quite a way to wait out a storm. I prefer not to get caught like that ever again. It was awful.

Whew. Now we're getting a head start on our drive to Maryland. Hopefully we'll get to at least play our shows there!

Hope everyone is staying safe!
Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Live at Five!

What a Downpour

Tonight we drove through some Biblical rain - I'm talking brighter than stadium lights lightening... torrential down pour kind of rain. I had the hazards on and was going about 30 in a 55 for quite a while. Whew. That makes me feel like I just worked out. It is mentally exhausting. And I'm not usually the one driving through that kind of stuff - it's typically James. I don't know how he does it sometimes!!! One day, y'all.... one day, we'll have a driver... a PROFESSIONAL.

We were watching the Tom Petty documentary tonight - Running Down a Dream :) Sound familiar? Yeah, every time we watch it, I get so much more out of it. One of the things he was talking about that stood out tonight was when he said:

"At first you can't get the gigs. Then, after a while, You can't get OUT of the gigs"

He was talking about how much they were on the road there for a while when things were really picking up. And just how hard you have to work to get it all off the ground and running. It's comforting. When I look at guys like that who have had legendary careers... telling stories about exactly what all we are going through... hoping to get to where they are now... I feel like I am doing the right thing. We all end up with different versions of the same stories. Which is really pretty cool when you think about it.

So here's to Running Down My Dream. (I'm raising my water.... cause it's all I got)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do you think it makes me skinny...

If I eat them? This is why I love Jimmy John's. :)

Brought To You By Standard Candy

I was rummaging around looking for something at Mamma and Daddy's today, and I came across a bag of Grand Ole Opry Memorabilia from the time I performed on the show when I was 12.

There's so much I didn't remember!!! I remember Billy Walker introduced me, but Mark Collie was also during my time slot? Wow! Plus, Riders In the Sky, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Lorrie Morgan, Grandpa Jones : ), Bill Anderson, and Jeannie Seely were all on that same night.

That night was such a blur. I remember rehearsing that afternoon with a piano player, but I didn't play with a band until the actual performance. I remember them showing me "the circle" that had been taken from the Ryman stage where I would be standing. I remember lots of flashing lights. And I remember doing the Opry Backstage show with Bill Anderson who had me play "something on the fiddle" and I had no idea how long to play so I just kept going.... :)

What an incredible experience.... then... I flew back to L.A. to keep auditioning for tv pilots... What a cool life I've already been livin!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bloody Band House

Last night, I wrote my blog well after midnight, not knowing the evening had just begun :)

The guys went to hang out at Spinnaker after our show, and I didn't go because I was trying to save what little voice I have left. I have had a rough past few weeks vocally for a number of reasons... and I've just not ever had quite enough time to heal. After a weekend of solid singing, I'm mute. But that's all part of the job. I sure am thankful I don't have this problem as much as I used to!

I went and picked the guys up later in the evening, brought them back to the band house, and they were all fired up and having a good time. :) They were kicking the soccer ball around (thanks to Miguel) and all of a sudden Tim notices there is blood all up and down the hallway of the band house. "Oh good Lord" I think to myself.

Now this band house is well... eh em... not the cleanest of places. I can only imagine what goes on in there normally... ESPECIALLY when it is not MY band. But regardless of how clean or dirty it is, I am always going to treat it like my own house.

Tim shouts, "Who's bleeding?" Miguel emphatically says about 6 times "It's not me, It's not me" And then we all see the huge pool of blood soaking into the couch under his foot. Miguel, in very Chilean soccer-player mode, did not even realize he had stepped on a shard of glass in the band house (Yeah, I know... why was the shard there? Who knows) and cut his foot pretty deeply.

I grab my keys and head straight to Walmart to get to hydrogen peroxide, and heavy duty cleaners, towels and scrub brushes. I must say that I was enormously impressed. By the time I got back, the guys... even though they may have been falling over a bit to do so... had almost all of it cleaned up! I'm not sure what they used??? But everything I got at the store took care of the rest.

You would have never known it... except for the fact that NOW there are about 16 beautifully sparkling clean spots throughout the house that show up worse than the blood did... ;)

After cleaning Miguel's foot with the hydrogen peroxide, I put liquid bandage on it. I felt SOOOO bad because that REALLY REALLY hurt him. He spent about 20 minutes solid screaming and punching his heel over and over again. He even asked me to punch it for him for a while... But I do think we made sure it wasn't going to get infected, which was my biggest concern.

Between Miguel limping everywhere, and me mouthing my orders in the restaurants to James for him to interpret to the cashier... I bet we were quite the sight, today.

The party don't stop when you're in my band!

Peace. Love. Fiddle. And Clean Spots.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Because THAT Sounds Appetizing

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunset Cannon Shoot

Yesterday a band called "Stainless Steel" opened for us - a steel drum and a singer/guitar player. :) That was a first!

Today we played the afternoon beach party at Schooners. I kept looking to my left - where I could see the ocean. It starting POURING rain during the second set... but the bet part? It was pouring if we looked to our right and when we looked to our left, it wasn't raining at ALL!

We finished our last set 2 hours tonight before we normally even start playing at Spinnaker... which is so funny. I can't believe we are already done. :)

We met some other Nashvillians tonight:

Schooners is known as the last "local" beach club. Every night at sunset, they shoot off a cannon to celebrate. EVERY night ;)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Spring Break Match Made In Heaven

Couples that meet randomly on spring break in Panama City actually DO last sometimes!!! :) The proof was tonight at Schooners.

Chad and Amanda got married tonight on the beach and then they had their reception at Schooner's. I think tonight was the first time I have ever eaten wedding cake on a break during a show! ; ) They were so sweet.

Ray Tate and Renea Tate Coker grew up with my sister, Stephanie, and they saw my name on the poster for Schooners earlier in the day. They came back to the show tonight, and we figured out that we hadn't seen each other since I was 5 years old!

We had some other Columbia, Tn natives that showed up and I also met a fellow BGA Alum tonight! What a small world.

I leave you with Blair, the bachelorette of the evening... she was on quite the scavenger hunt tonight. She had to find ALL kinds of crazy items.

Tomorrow we play the afternoon beach party. Woo hoo!!!

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