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NEW JACK AND MISTY LOGO UPDATE! Thanks to Ann Collins for smoothing the edges! :) --Jack and Misty. (P.S.: Click on logo to see it at full size! -- Jerry.)

January 16th, 2019... In the immortal words of Johnny Cash, come along and ride this train...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

RAILROAD DAYS... A long time ago we were on our way to do a national television show from the PBS main studio in Pittsburgh, and then to a Nashville recording session. Tennessee Birdwalk had become a surprise hit. Sometimes life can be good. The porter showed us to our compartment and stowed our luggage. Orlando was sliding away past our windows, so we settled down, propped our feet on our suitcases, and waited for snow. An official voice over the PA system: "You're invited to the dining car for the hospitality hour", Free coffee and orange juice". Misty said, "Let's live a little", and we staggered forward with the sway of the train. Passing through the club car, the train rounded a curve, and Misty sat on an elderly man's lap. His wife said, "Well, I never" and glared out the window at nothing. She failed to see the humor in it. The best part of the dining car is watching the scenery fly by in sunset colors. Telephone poles tick away the time, and up ahead the train whistle adds to the adventure. At every road and city street, cars are lined up waiting for us to pass by. Make way for the train, the biggest thing that moves on land! We stayed awake most of that night wiping our breath steam from the train window, and watching the sparkling towns and moonlit woodlands fall away behind us. Washington DC was having a brisk morning as we left our luxury train and boarded a coach bound for Pittsburgh, which wove slowly through the gray land Appalachia. There were untidy traces of leftover winter, dingy crusts of snow and slush. Smoky air had left its film on town and country alike, dulling the colors. Trees, houses, factories, cars, dogs, cats, grass, and people all blend to a drab tannish gray. Men in work clothes stand in the cold rain waiting for the train to take them home after another hard day. A pregnant woman struggles to get a baby carriage over the curbside slush pile without dropping her bag of groceries. Clothes are functional. No time for style. A gang of workmen lined up in the aisle waiting to get off, whisper and snicker at our haircut and clothes. We must seem outlandish to them. Misty and I smile at each other, taking no offense. The train stops and they file off, lunch boxes under their arms, heads bowed against the gray rain, each seeking out the dreary street that leads home. The train was owned by The Baltimore and Ohio/Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and the train staff was proud of it: R.G. Whitling, Conductor; L. Boone, Flagman, and E.A. Popp, Baggageman. Their hospitality brought color back to this leg of the journey. Nature soon followed suit, producing a beautiful rocky river that wandered for miles through scenic hill country. Journeys can remain after destinations fade from memory. Copyright © January 15th, 2019 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.


January 8th, 2019...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

SOME MUSIC MEMORIES. We were doing a Southern tour with Leroy van Dyke, and at one place they didn't have enough electricity to run to the flatbed for our show. Leroy offered to let us plug in to his bus generator. It worked fine. People share on the road. Merle Haggard used our PA system when his wasn't working. Walt Disney World put on a Country Cavalcade. The three acts were in three sections of the park and we alternated show times, so the crowd would move from one stage to the next to see all the shows. Roy Clark was at the front by the castle. Hank Williams, Jr. was at the opposite end of the Park, and Misty and I and our band set up in the center near the big merry-go-round. Our section was called Vanity Fair. It was a great day to be in show business. We got some celebrities in our club in Orlando. Roni Stoneman would come in and play her banjo with us. One night she finished an amazing solo and the audience stood and cheered. She said, "I bet you thought I was just a pretty face." Fabian was in the audience a lot, always with a good looking date. He didn't sing, but we'd sit and talk with him. The first time Ferlin Husky came in he sat at a corner table to the right of our stage. We loved Ferlin. He was such a classy guy. When we introduced him to the crowd he stood up and almost knocked himself out on a TV platform over his head. We felt bad about it. In the 1970s we did "The Three Couples Tour": with Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Misty Morgan and me. Good times. Copyright © January 5, 2019 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.


December 31st, 2018/January 1st, 2019...

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

BEING ALIVE. For some people the world changes so slowly they hardly notice it. Things happen on a small familiar set, like a stage play. For others of us, our horizons have grown so far apart it's hard to get our bearings. If I ever do get back to my old neighborhood I'm sure I'll run into a guy I used to know for whom nothing much has changed. Reality is fluid. The scenery of life changes constantly. There is only one thing we can depend on, and that's the thing we fear most: Change. Relationships change, that's for sure. If we're lucky they change into something better... different, but better. Misty is my full time family. After all these years we still have lots to talk about, and we make each other laugh.. Our occasional arguments last only minutes. We were in a bad hurricane in Miami in the 60's The metal posts holding our carport were banging up and down in the 135 mph wind. A guy on the radio yelled "Holy crap! The back door just blew off!" I said, "Isn't he supposed to cheer US up?" I was sitting by the window listening to the sound of emptiness. This is not like listening to no sound at all, because the sound of emptiness contains all the things you hoped would be in it, and all the sounds that once were. ROGER MILLER. Roger Miller walked in on our session at Columbia. I stopped everything and went to meet him. I put my hand out and was going to say "I'm a fan of yours." Before I could, he said "I'm a fan of yours." A high spot of my life. My grammar school was pretty strict, but they gave us education on par with today's colleges. In seventh and eighth grades all us boys had to wear ties. The result was grotesque but funny. The most popular style was this: A blue flannel checkered lumberjack shirt and a bright red rayon clip-on tie with a picture of Popeye on it. Make the days a little longer. I don't know where the time has flown. Lord, I'm having such a good time, I don't want to go home. Copyright © December 31, 2018 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by kind permission of the author.


And now... a holiday greeting from our sponsor:
It's that time of year again, folks. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, like it seems to do every darn year, and in the spirit of old adages like "a new broom never boils" and "a watched pot sweeps clean" (or some such stuff... forgive me, I'm old...) it's time to put this past year's news page out to pasture. But don't worry if you missed anything -- it hasn't gone far. You can now find every little bit of it HERE! (And shortly on the Old News page, as usual.) So on behalf of myself, Lee, and Jack and Misty, let me wish you all a safe, sane and happy 2019! Happy New Year, everybody! Jerry D. Withers, Your Friendly Neighborhood Webmeister™
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