Skip to main content

Gospel Grass...The Oaks...Grand Canyon Hiker


Thursday January 4, 2023


Hello Thursday morning. A high of just 44 here today in the land of grits and gravy.



It was back to writing for the first time in a bit. The holidays are over so it’s back to rhyming with friends like Troy Engle up in Pennsylvania as I did yesterday. Troy is such a gifted player, bluegrass singer and writer and has toured a played with a ton of stars that you know and love. So Troy has the talent to take any song idea I bring to the table better. And that’s always a treat.



Yesterday’s idea came from a slogan I read on a church sign that converted nicely into a bluegrass-gospel song tune that my publishing company will be able to pitch easily.


Troy told me he has a show in northern Pennsylvania this weekend and they are calling for snow…and maybe a lot of it. He lives in PA near Baltimore with no four wheel drive vehicle so it will be interesting to see if that show holds up for him. Part of the deal when you live in the north and northeast. 




I was sorry to see that Joe Bonsall the tenor singer for the Oak Ridge Boys announcing that he will no longer be out on the road with the quartet. Joe has been battling a neuromuscular disorder that makes it difficult for him to move. In some recent concerts he’s had to sit and then be helped off the stage. He’s 75. 



I mentioned here in the blog recently that Joe and the Oak Ridge Boys went into the studio and sang on a song I wrote with my friends Rick Lang and Jerry Salley that’s titled “Blue Collar Gospel” that I think will be the title of the new Rick Lang project out this year.  Despite his limitations Joe showed up, was in a great mood by all accounts and sang the heck out his part of our song. I feel blessed to have their iconic voices on this song.


The Oaks will continue to travel and sing with a young new tenor singer who will replace Joe on the road shows but it’s hard to imagine seeing them on stage without Joe. My best to him.




A study of around 500,000 medical records suggested that severe viral infections like encephalitis and pneumonia increase the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.


Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo is calling on health care providers to halt the use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, citing purported health risks labeled “misinformation” by federal officials.


The CDC says whooping cough cases are increasing this year.



Comedian Jim Gaffigan says, “Pie can’t compete with cake. Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen.”



Statistics show that less workers have quit their jobs over the last two years. I’ve quit one job in my life. When I was in High School I wound up working in a factory for a summer right before I went to college as a freshman in the Fall of that year. To this day I can’t tell you what that factory made. I just know I was on my feet the entire time sandblasting the points on some apparatus. I had gloves on, stuck them through some plastic covering over a machine and blasted away until the copper points turned white. (I think) Same thing…over and over and over all day.


It was not the perfect job for a daydreamer and creative sort for sure and I got so frustrated and bored that I walked out without notice maybe a week or so before the job would have been done and I’d be in college. If nothing else it’s always reminded me how lucky I am to get to do something I love so much for a living.


And I’m pretty sure that factory that’s now long gone didn’t miss me when I left.


I have had jobs that quit me…but that’s the only job I ever quit. 



How about 92 year old Alfredo Aliaga who just became the oldest man to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim?  Wow. Hope for all of us. I love the Grand Canyon. I hiked about 3 miles down into the canyon with my great friend and author and professional hiker Roger Naylor years ago. Just 3 miles. And the climb back up to the top of the south rim was challenging to say the least.


Beautiful though. We sat with our legs dangled over the rim and it’s like you’re being swallowed up in a watercolor painting.


But this guy…91 goes from the north rim coming out on top of the south rim in 21 hours and two days’ worth of hiking.  I tip my cap to this man. 




Some Georgia Police Departments are now flying drones out as first responders in some cases. The average response time is just 2 minutes. In 2021 the Brookhaven, Georgia drones responded to 537 calls for service, 8 SWAT callouts and 5 crime scenes photographed.


So these days Frank & Ponch would be flying drones instead of riding motorcycles.



Voters To Vote On Whether To Vote.


Well, that’s got my vote for sure.



I’m off to rhyme with one of my favorite guys Thomm Jutz again today. And since he played and wrote for both John Prine and Nancy Griffith when they were alive, it will be fun to pick his brain again about some of those great memories.


Have a great Thursday!