Doc And Marilyn’s Thanksgiving Plans and Recipes

Thursday, November 18, 2010 10:02 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday which means that they get together with friends and family and eat too much. Americans eat too much most days as it is, but on Thanksgiving, eating too much is the primary purpose of getting together with their friends. It is a communal gluttony.

Traditionally, they consume vast amounts of turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie and whatever else the friends bring to contribute to their sumptuous baccalaurean festivities.

I rang up Doc to ask him what were the plans for their Thanksgiving meal.

Doc: Well, we’re havin’ some friends over to eat and play music an’ then eat some more. Big Dave’s comin’ over with some of his friends, an’ Thurman Goodlett an’ his girlfriend Amy an’ that boy what Marilyn’s seein’ Gavin, he’s comin’ over an’ whoever else drops in. It’ll be a good time.

Tondeleo: So, Doc, are you having the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey with all the trimmings and all of that?

Doc: Well, we’re gonna do the best we can. I usually make my special which is two cans of Hormel chili mixed with two cans of Manwich.

[Editorial note: Hormel is a brand name that makes various tinned meat products. Their “chili” is a high fat, high sodium version of Chili Con Carne. Manwich is a product that is a catsup based sauce that is intended to be mixed with a pound of minced beef.]

We mix that up and put cheese sauce on it. I got a secret, Tondy. I use Campbell’s Cheddar cheese soup for my cheese sauce. The other part of the secret is this. You don’t add no water to it. Just heat up two cans of it right outta the can. I learnt that one from a gal I knew what worked at Earl’s Truck Stop over to Bel Alton, back in the 80’s.

Marilyn is makin’ up her tuna loaf what she serves on aMarilyn Tuna Loaf bed of lettuce. It ain’t really a bed. It’s just lettuce spread out on a tray an’ she puts the tuna loaf on it. It looks fancy an’ you know how Marilyn likes fancy.

She goes all out cooking on Thanksgiving, Tondy. She puts cut up pickles in it and chopped up boiled eggs and onions and instead of mayonnaise, she puts in ranch dressing and a little mustard. Then she puts it in her bread pan and cooks it in the oven. Her mama taught her how to do that.

We’ll have that, an’ ice tea, tater chips an’ dip, an’ probally ice cream.

Big Dave’ll bring some deer meat. He’ll soak it in beer and black pepper and Old Bay overnight an’ then smoke it in his smoker for another day. He’s a good cook, Tondy, a real good cook.

Then I guess Thurman’ll bring some apple cider or somethin’ and Gavin’ll bring somethin’ too. He’s pretty good with catfish. He deep fries it an’ we put the cheese sauce on it. That boy can fish and he can cook. He’s all right in my book, an’ Marilyn’s half cuckoo over him.

Tondeleo: Doc, I don’t hear anything about vegetables. Are you only having meat? No veggies?

Doc: Veggies? Uhhh… veggies. Uh, yeah I guess we could get Marilyn to fry up some potatoes an’ carrots. Fried carrots is good. An’ probally some greens cooked up with pigs feet. That ain’t too bad.

We’ll eat it an’ probally all take a nap out on the porch or in our trucks if it’s colder. Sun comin’ in throughDocStevens, Marilyn G the glass makes you feel good and sleepy.

After that, we’ll get out the guitars an’ probally sing an’ play music an’ Thurman’ll dance an’ then later we might look at some tv. I don’t know. But it’ll be good an’ we’ll be real thankful. The good Lord’s been mighty good to us this year. Mighty good. We got strength an’ health. We got a roof over our heads, ‘lectric, food on the table an’ friends an’ loved ones. It don’t get no better’n that, Tondy. We’re thankful to the good Lord up above.

Y’all ain’t even got no Thanksgivin’ over there to that England, Tondy, but we got it ‘cause we’re thankful.

Doc Stevens and Big Dave on Their Loss of Interest in NASCAR–part three

Sunday, November 7, 2010 8:00 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I didn’t know what a nerve I had touched when mentioning NASCAR racing to Doc and Big Dave. I had stuck my head into a southern hornet’s nest! Here is hopefully their last rant on the subject.

Doc: When I was a boy, we went to the Firecracker 400 in Daytona…

Big Dave: They call it the Coke Zero 400 now! What’s THAT about? Racers drinking diet colas! They used to drink beer.

Doc: Well, that was my daddy’s dream, and he saved his money up and took the whole family! We camped out and went to the race and stayed in the campground at night with a lot of other race fans. None of us had any money. We just liked racin’.

It was Fireball Roberts was in a Pontiac, and Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarbrough and Junior Johnson, an’…NASCAR 9a

Big Dave: Back then, they all had the kind of motor that came in their cars. Fords had For motors. Pontiacs had Pontiac motors, and they ran them as fast as they could.They really raced each other!

Now, they have restrictor plates on the motors, whatever kind they are, and they all have the same horsepower and no one can make his car any faster. That’s why they all clump up on the track! They can go full throttle the whole race now and all be the same. 

Doc: Yeah. Back then, they had more control. The mechanics could make the motors fast as they could, and the driver had to do more. So they had to be better back then.

Big Dave: Guess what the cars cost back about 1970? $20,000! My Dad told me that! And people was all complainin’ already that it was gettin' to be only for rich guys. $20,000!

Now it’s about 15 million for the car and about 12 million a year to be good! I read that in a magazine at CVS.

Potomac 1Doc: I ain’t never gonna see that kind of money in my life. That’s why I don’t go to NASCAR and I cain’t even afford tickets. We go to the dirt track down to Potomac Speedway on Friday nights down at Bud’s Creek, Tondy. It still got local boys in it and local cars. They spend money, but it ain’t crazy money. It’s money what a workin’ man can earn and can get some help from some sponsors. Like NASCAR used to be 50 years ago.

Big Dave: NASCAR! I remember when it was always for a long time the Winston Cup. Then they called it the Nextel cup! Then they changed it again to the Sprint Cup. If Starbucks pays ‘em enough, they’ll call it the Coffee Cup. I ain’t interested.

Doc: Me neither.

Doc Stevens and Big Dave: More on “Why We Lost Interest in NASCAR and Aren’t Gettin’ It Back”

Saturday, November 6, 2010 4:24 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I know absolutely nothing about racing or cars. But I know that NASCAR is a big deal with Americans. It used to be considered a southern activity for blue collar workers to enjoy and over the years it went more mainstream and lost a lot of its original fan base. Doc, Big Dave and their friends are part of the original fan base who are totally disenchanted with what NASCAR racing has become. That is all In know about it!

Doc: My daddy is from down North Carolina where NASCAR has been big since it got started. Down south, race cars really got started from boys runnin’ shine [moonshine whiskey], what fixed up they’s cars to outrun revenuers. They took out the back seats, lightened up the cars a little bit and put cutouts on the exhaust..

Big Dave: Cutouts are just a Y pipe welded into the exhaust system with a flap in it so you can bypass the mufflers, and get a little more power. It made the cars loud, but a little faster. Most places made it against the law to have cutouts on your car…

Doc: Anyway, that’s how the idea of fixin’ up your car to see how fast it would go came from down south. Then they set up race tracks to see how long you could drive that fast.How long could your car hold up?

They started finding out that some boys could fix they’s cars up better n’ other NASCAR 6boys, so they made different classes and wouldn’t let a boy what modified his car race ‘gainst a boy who was just drivin’ his car the way it came.

My daddy said he was at races down to Charlotte [NC] at the first speedway, where if the winner had even changed one thing on his car, like the springs, or manifold, they would kick him out of the race, cause it wasn’t “stock;” it was modified.

They had roll bars, seat belts and helmets but that was about it. And the drivers ain’t wore no coveralls covered in advertisements. They wore whatever they wore, t-shirts, jeans, an’ a helmet! That was at Daytona! Everywhere!

Big Dave: All the cars back then had to be something that you could buy at the dealer, and then you might modify it, or make it a little lighter or a little safer, but it was still a car like anyone else could buy. You didn’t have to be rich back then to do it. About anyone with a car and some tools and some friends could get in there and be somebody.

Doc: It weren’t all big money back then. It was about local boys fixin’ Nascar 4up they cars and goin’ as fast as they could, an’ then the fastest of ‘em went to other tracks til they found out who was the fastest. They mighta got a local garage to help ‘em out or sponsor them, but it was local an’ pretty much honest.

After the race, all us local boys would try to make our cars as much as we could like the fastest ones. You could do that back then even if you ain’t had big money.

Big Dave: Once it got to be about the money, it all went downhill. The tickets cost too much for a workin’ man to go and take his family and friends. We used to all pile in the car and have a day at the races. I could pay cash for the tickets. I cain’t to that anymore.

Now, you got drivers that didn’t know anything about cars. All they knew how to do was drive in circles for a long time, and give a good interview. The mechanics did all the work. But it was still just drivers and mechanics for a long time. Not now. Drivers, mechanics, engineers, publicity agents, I heard they got make up artists! Race car drivers with make up artists for commercials! It’s all about the products, big millionaire companies and all their rules.

A driver isn’t even able to go out and act like himself now. He is a representer of the company who pays millions of dollars to make him a super star. He is like a dancin’ bear in a circus, if you ask me. It’s a cryin’ shame.

Doc: Yeah. Back in the day, you could watch a NASCAR race and could see cars what looked like your car and yoNASCAR 8u could pretend that your car was somethin’ like the car on the track. If you had money, you could go to the dealer and order the parts you needed to make your car run like the car at the stock car track. You ain’t doin’ that no more! You could be a multi-brazilianaire and not be able to buy them parts at the Ford or Chevy dealer!

I ain’t talkin way back to my daddy’s day. I’m talkin’ in the 70’s the cars still looked like what they were. They were CARS. Real cars that was made up to race. Like GTO’s, Monte Carlo’s, Road Runners.

NASCAR 9Lookit the Monte Carlo’s out there now!. It don’t look like no Monte Carlo I ever seen. It looks like a plastic piece of junk with stickers all over it. Ain’t no Chevy motor in it. So why should I care if it beats a plastic Ford what ain’t got a Ford motor in it? I DON"’T! 

It ain’t about the cars no more and ain’t been about them for probally twenty years.It’s about big money and makin’ the drivers into rock stars and takin’ away they freedom. I seen on TV that two of ‘em got fined for speakin’ they mind about NASCAR! And they ain’t even allowed to give they’s names!

Big Dave: It’s all gone corporate and they' took all the fun out of it years ago. More about buyin’ souvenirs and NASCAR toys an’ all that. It ain’t about racin’ the cars anymore. That’s just a back drop – to keep you distracted into thinkin’ you’re watchin’ real mechanics and real drivers in real cars out there really racin’ each other with all their might…

Doc: Which they AINT. So I ain’t interested in somethin’ what ain’t real.

Doc Stevens: Why We Lost Interest in NASCAR Racing a Long Time Ago.

Thursday, November 4, 2010 4:18 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: Most rural Americans have been stereotyped as being lifelong NASCAR racing fans. Lately I have heard Doc and his friends grumbling about why they don’t follow NASCAR racing anymore. Most of it is beyond my comprehension, but I recorded parts of Doc and Big Dave discussing their disenchantment with NASCAR racing.

Doc: Well, most of the problem with NASCAR started a long time ago, Tondy. NASCAR stands for something like National Stock Car Racing…

Big Dave: Actually, it’s the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing…

Doc: The point is that it started off as STOCK car racing,Nascar 1960 2 meaning that they was basically racing cars that you could by from the car dealer. Lookit this picture from 1960 NASCAR Daytona race! It is a CHEVY! Got a bumper, a grill, and they just lightened it up a bit.

It was Fords, Chevies and Plymouths and Pontiacs and Chryslers and all that, and you could buy cars like them at the dealer.

What got it popular was, if you was a Chevy man and your buddy was a Ford man, you could go to the race and see which one held up the best, and you could see how they ran when they was drived by the best drivers. If a Ford won the race on Sunday, then sales of Fords went up on Monday. True fact.

That’s why the factories and car dealers got involved. So of course, they started changing what they called a stock car. I think back in the 60’s my daddy said that by then a car could be called stock if they made at least 500 of whatever parts it needed to be made.

Big Dave: I remember that. If Junior Johnson or FireballBig Dave 9 Roberts won the race, you could go to the Chevy, Pontiac or Ford Dealer and if you had the money, you could order a car fixed up just like theirs. I knew a boy in Kentucky back in the 70’s what had a 1963 Ford factory race car. Name was Mark Robinson. He wasn’t rich, neither. His car had been ordered new from the factory like Fireball Roberts’ car. Had aluminum bumpers, fiberglass front end and trunk lid and small seat inside for the driver and a 427 motor. He drove it on the streets. These were called factory race cars.

Doc. Try goin’ to the Chevy dealer an’ orderin’ a car like whatever Chevy won a NASCAR race lately. It ain’t happenin’ cause they ain’t STOCK cars no more and haven’t been for more n’ 20 years or even more.

When a Chevy wins a NASCAR race, it don’t mean nothin.’NASCAR 1960 3 It don’t say that Chevies are faster n’ anything else. Cause it ain’t a real Chevy. None of them is really cars what you can buy from a dealer. That’s what killed the pride in it, Tondy.

Big Dave: And that’s when it become more about the driver than the cars. The cars ain’t nothin’ you could ever own. So you at least figure you can drive like the driver maybe…

Marilyn: Jeff Gordon is the world’s fastest Christian! I learned that on King of the Hill…

Doc: Then, Tondy they been ruinin’ it more and more cause the drivers ain’t allowed to really RACE each other till right at the end. Everybody knows it and the drivers is up front about it. They just go roundy round til the last part of it. People wanna see them race each other the whole time, every lap.

Tondeleo: Maybe they are trying to play it safe?

Doc: And racin’ aint about playin’ it safe. It’s about which car is the fastest ad the best drived, and it ain’t been about that in a long time.

Big Dave: Yeah, that’s why we go more for drag racin’. A man ain’t got to be a millionaire to go in there and race and have some fun doin’ it. No matter what you drive, you can race it. Even a pick up truck.

Doc: Yeah, there’s big money in drag racing, too, but the little man can still be part of it, and you can go to the track and if you’re not racin’ you still know a lot of the drivers and some of them is your friends, so it’s a lot better. Ain’t nothin NASCAR can do to catch my interest anymore.


Doc Stevens on the Elections and Politics in General

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:30 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I was reading online some of the election results in the US, and it prompted me to go back through my notes to find some of Doc’s comments on politics, policies and government. Here are some quotes that I ran across:

Doc: “It ain’t about just minding your own business and let people do what they want to do. We OUGHT to care what someone else does. You can't pee on your side of the pond without it coming into MY side of the pond.”

“Worserer than that, once people start peeing in the pond, it’s hard to get it out.That’s one thing wrong with America. We’ve had people peein’ in our pond for fifty years an’ now we want to get the government to get it out. Well, they cain’t! They was half the ones peein’ in it in the first place.”

“If you spit in the ice tea, we all got to drink it. So, YEAH, I care what you do even if you are a grown up with your own choices. You can spit in your own cup of tea, but don’t spit in the pitcher. We’re gonna go round and round if you do.”

“As for politicians. Tondy there is somethin’ special about a person what wants a job what depends on other people votin’ on him every four years. Like, he has a need to know that he is popular more than that he just did a good job. I think, get out there and do a good job at whatever you can do bein’ the best person you can, and help everybody what you can, an’ keep doin’ it even if aint nobody knows you’re doin’ it but you an’ the people you’re helpin.’”

“What we got in government right now is folks in high places what ain’t got no backbones. They know right from wrong, or they used to. But once they get elected, they get scared they won’t get re elected, so they do whatever they got to do to keep that job, whether it’s right or wrong. So we vote ‘em out ad put in another bunch to see if they’ll do any better. But what happens? Same thing! They get in office, and it goes to their heads and they forget the little man, which they USED to be!”

“I ain’t never runnin’ for no office. I gotta first be able to run my own life, even if my life is a little simple one. I’d rather do right in my own life than to be in charge of a bunch of other things and mess it up – and get corrupt like people gets when they got too much power. I’m a God fearin’ man, and don’t want to become a  people fearin’ man, which I would be if I was a politician. That ain’t no kind of life.”

“My daddy used to say he’d rather be first in charge of his own bass boat than be second in charge of a someone else’s sinking battleship. I agree with that.”

“But somebody’s got to do that job. It ain’t me. This whole mess the country is in is way too evil and too deep. Ain’t nobody gonna solve it with a tummy rub. It’s like stickin’ your head into a hornet’s nest and hopin’ you can make them like you. Ain’t gonna happen. Ain’t no President gonna make it happen, ain’t no congress and senate, ain’t no governor, either. Only God can straighten out this mess, but they made it plain they ain’t want him. So, it’s just gonna get worse. Well, worse til they can’t take no more and calls on God to help them. But I ain’t see that comin’ for a long time, Tondy, a LONG time.”

“I'm gonna write a song about it. I already sung it, but ain’t got Marilyn to write it down yet. It’s called Mr. President, you need to talk to the King.” By King, I mean God.”

Doc and Marilyn’s Halloween Talk with a Witch.

Monday, November 1, 2010 1:52 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: Americans celebrate Halloween in a very big way. To me it is insanity, the amount of money they spend. They decorate their homes with orange lights and simulated cobwebs, and go all out with the costumes and fancy dress. It is definitely a money maker for the merchants. It is nearly as big as Christmas as far as parties and decorations are concerned.Doc Playing 1

Doc and Marilyn played at a party where there were all sorts of people in fancy dress, and many of them were outfitted as monsters, crime victims covered in blood, and of course, the requisite demons and witches.

During a break, Doc and Marilyn were talking with a woman dressed as a witch, and during the course of the conversation, she told them that she was a “real” witch. Doc told her he wouldn’t bragging about it if he was her. Not about being a witch. But then, again, that was her business.

She went on and on about being a witch, and Doc asked her what she meant by that. She told him that she could cast spells on people.

Doc said that he probably could, too, but that he doesn’t. He said he thought that pretty much anyone could speak for bad things to happen to other people, if they wanted to be mean about it. He said he reckoned there was already enough bad things on the earth without trying to make it even worse.

She said, "I can call on demons to come up here and deal with my enemies."

Doc said that the way he figured it anybody could call demons to do anything, if they really wanted to.

She said that a lot of people were scared of her because she can call on devils.

Doc shook his head and said, that he wasn’t scared if she calls devils, cause he didn’t think demons would pay any attention to her anyway.

He informed her that devils weren’t exactly known for being cooperative. He told her that he liked having FRIENDS that he could call on.

Not only that, why would she want people to be scared of her? It’s hard enough to get people to like you, and he couldn’t imagine trying to get people to be scared of you.

Then he told her that he had to get back to playing his music and he hoped she had a good time and that she would find out how much fun it is to have some friends to call on instead of devils.

Marilyn let her know that devils weren’t very good to have for friends anyway, because for one thing they are invisible and for another, they are nothing but mean. She let her know that Jesus was a better friend, because even though he is invisible, he is nice.

And with that, they began their second song set.

The witch stood there tapping her feet, looking at them with a blank look. I think she was trying to figure out how come they didn’t understand what she was saying, or something like that. I am not too gifted at reading peoples’ facial expressions. But she had one!

Doc told me afterwards that she was probably a pretty nice person who just got hurt a lot and maybe she didn’t like people anymore, or something like that. He said he hoped she could make some friends who would be good to her.