Monday, January 19, 2004

Black Sabbath, Cemeteries, and Shoe Buffers

I spent Sunday driving around listening to Black Sabbath's first album, which always reminds me of my brother and the blue shag carpet in his bedroom--fish net hanging in the corners of the ceiling. I remember thinking when I was a kid how "evil" it sounded to my mom, so of course all us kids loved it. And now, I think I love it even more. It has got to be one of the best rock-n-roll albums out there, to this day. And I'm gaining a new appreciation for Ozzy too. I hear there's talk about making a movie about his life.

Here's a Johnson City reflection that perhaps fed the music scene in some, albeit small, way:
Donnie Poole and Carmen Botkin and I were inseparable from third through sixth grade. I'd go spend the night with Carmen, who lived just up the road on Hiwassee Hill from Donnie. Seemed like the three of us were always hanging out in an old cemetery near where they lived that's now I-26. I don't know what's happened to it and haven't driven around there to see. It was just above a rock quarry dug out by workers at Magnavox that used to have a plant off the old Milligan Hwy. We'd hang out at the rock quarry too--pack backpacks with grape Nehi and food and hike down there. I remember at that cemetery most of the tombstones were old and broken, and there were big holes near graves--it was just a shambles, weeds and everything. There was one grave for a child who was stillborn, which happened to be Donnie's birthday, October 10th--can't remember the year. We'd stand there and creep ourselves out about it, then run like hell.

I also remember us playing with a Ouija board quite a bit. We'd usually go in a bedroom closet where it was dark and seemed scary. One day, we decided to hang out in Carmen's parent's bedroom closet because it was bigger and had carpet in it. I can't remember what questions we asked now at all, but at some point when things got really mysterious--the needle wasn't moving and we were waiting---Donnie reached over and turned on this electric shoe buffer that was in the closet. Me and Carmen nearly hit the ceiling, then laughed until I thought I was gonna die.

Some really great memories from growing up in JC.


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