A friend of Doc and Marilyn paid for them to go to Hawaii last year. They spent 10 days making new friends, jamming and trying to figure out why they are living in Maryland when there are places like Hawaii where people can live. At the Aloha Flea Market, held at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Doc got to play a ukulele for the first time. It took about 3 minutes for him to get the hang of it, and then he played... finger style blues on it.  He has no sense of culture whatsoever. But, he said he will start building some mini sized guitars now. Six stringed ukuleles. Electric ones. We'll see.

Here I am wearing a "camo" shirt that Doc and Marilyn bought for my birthday present. I hardly think it will ever be worn in the U.K. but it is perfect for Southern Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and some of the other states that I have travelled to with Doc and Marilyn.

Camo is the catch all colour for rural Americans. They love camo shirts,vests,hats, socks, jackets, shoes and boots (every Wal Mart seems to carry an abundance of camo gear); Vehicles painted in camo are perfectly acceptable - as long as they are American made vehicles!

I attended a wedding with Doc. The groom had a camo waistcoat on, and camo hunting boots! The bride had her wedding dress trimmed in camo, as did the flower girl and the bridesmaids! Even the vicar had on a camo shirt with a clerical collar! Camo is de'rigueur!

Here is Doc teaching Justin Vernon, who is a friend of mine from the U.K. (West Wickham, Kent) the joys of shooting tins and fizzy drink bottles!

Rural Americans of all ages seem to be fascinated with firearms and feel a genuine need to own as many as possible. It is considered "good parenting" to teach their children how to shoot at an early age, and to provide a rifle or shotgun for their childrens' 16th birthday, if not younger.  For many, the gift at 13 is a .22 and for the 16th birthday is a 12 gauge or 20 gauge shotgun.

In all fairness, I must say that these teenagers are not the ones doing drive-by shootings or robbing each other. They use their guns for "plinking" tins or hunting to feed the family and possibly for home protection is someone is foolish enough to try to break into the home of a family armed to the teeth!

Justin took to it like a house on fire and spent several hours using up Doc's ammunition. Now Justin wants to be in the RAF so he can fly airplanes and shoot things!