The Banks County News
November 21, 2001
New Toby Keith song has patriotic theme
Fans of Toby Keith got a real treat at a recent concert in Hiawassee
as they got to be among the first to hear him perform a powerful
patriotic-themed song which is especially moving following the
events of Sept. 11.
The concert came on the heels of the recent tragedies the country
is facing and personal troubles Toby has encountered with a stalker.
These factors may have led to Toby being more subdued than in
earlier concerts I've been to this year, but he still brought
the packed house to its feet throughout more than an hour of
playing old and new hits.
The most moving part of the concert came when Toby performed
the patriotic song about "Old Glory" and patriotism.
Standing center stage with the spotlight on him, stage lights
formed a huge flag behind him. A spotlight was on an American
flag in the corner and Toby played on an acoustic guitar painted
like an American flag.
"Now this nation that I love is under attack," he sang.
"...a sucker punch came flying from somewhere in the back.
Soon as we can see clearly with our big, black eye, we're going
to light up your world like the Fourth of July..."
Toby also performed his next single, "My List." He
recently performed this on Touched By An Angel and has completed
a video for it.
"This song is about reshuffling your priority list,"
he said before singing it. "It is a very timely thing. You
might want to check the words out."
The lyrics include: "Go for a walk, say a little prayer,
take a little breath of mountain air...It's time I make time
for that...Start living. That's the next thing on my list."
Toby opened with a rollicking version of "Country Comes
to Town" which set the pace for the evening. The screams
from the audience started then and didn't stop until well after
he had left the stage over an hour later.
He changed one of the lyrics to fit with the recent surge of
patriotism across the country. "I'm American, baby, I was
born and bread here." he sang as screams and cheers came
from the audience.
I loved the ad-libs he slipped into some of his songs. In "I
Wanna Talk About Me" he changed one lyric: "I want
to talk about Georgia."
Other songs Toby did include: "I'm Just Talkin About Tonight,"
"I Wanna Talk About Me," "My List," "Should
Have Been a Cowboy," "I Wish I Knew Then What I Know
Now," "Blue Moon" and "How Do You Like Me
The Easy Money Band once again did an outstanding job. The guys
even did a little dancing this time around, which was pretty
funny. Toby also again spoke on behalf of rednecks and pointed
out he had been named national spokesman for the American Redneck
"It's my job to go around the world and check on the population
and it's well represented here tonight," he said.
I've seen Toby on stage in everything from a denim vest and jeans
to all leather. In Hiawassee, he had on a white cowboy hat, white
button-up shirt, black jacket and black pants.
For more information on Toby Keith, check out his web site at
www.tobykeith.com. I enjoy checking out the message board where
fans leave notes on various topics. It was great to meet a Maysville
woman at the concert who I had communicated with through the
message board. It was the first Toby concert for her and her
husband. It was my third and I hope to go many more.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate
editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.
November 21, 2001
Ghosts of Thanksgivings past
Hasn't the weather been beautiful. Pleasant afternoons, warm
sun. Fall has got to be the best time of the year.
But here I was, stuck in bed, with another bug! (Now, what is
the purpose in getting a flu shot if it doesn't work?) I looked
out at the sunshine and decided sick or not I was going outdoors
to enjoy at least one of these beautiful fall days before the
cold weather sets in.
Bundled up in spite of the 70-degree temperatures, I sat and
looked out over the field and trees. The beautiful colors just
a week ago had all but disappeared. Leaves were falling all around.
It was so peaceful, so calm. The chickadees and nuthatches were
shuttling back and forth from the feeder. The cardinals, a bit
shy at first, not used to the stranger in the green robe and
indian blanket, soon came down to feast on some sunflower seeds.
Squirrels wrangled with each other high in the oak, fighting
over the few acorns the tree produced this year.
One would grab an acorn, stash it securely in its mouth and take
off down the tree to bury it for a future snack during the coming
Nature might get to slow down, but we have to speed up! The Holidays
are just around the corner! Aaaaarrrggh! Christmas shopping!
Thankfully breaking that train of thought was the sound of hundreds
of fluttering wings and noisy cheeps and tweets. The invasion
had begun. Robins flitted from tree top to tree top. The moved
in waves up and down, from the ground to branches.
The locals were putting up quite a racket themselves. The chickadees
and nuthatches really didn't seem to like the new arrivals. They
stopped coming to the feeder and retreated to branches scolding
the rust-breasted newcomers.
My grandmother used to say when the robins came through, it meant
cold weather was on the way and here to stay. Grams. I had to
smile as I thought of her bustling around the house getting ready
On Wednesday, she would bake all the goodies. Pumpkin, apple
and (the disgusting sounding) mincemeat pies. I never quite understood
what was in a mincemeat pie as a kid. And I never felt the need
to pursue an answer to that question. The name was enough to
back me off. Besides, pumpkin was my favorite and so as long
as I saw a couple of them cooling on the racks on the dining
room table, I was content.
Of course, keeping the family out of the baked goodies was always
a challenge she seemed to enjoy. We'd beg and beg, "Oh,
we can cut one of these pies."
"Oh no, you can't," she'd say, feigning frustration.
It didn't matter how much we threatened or begged, she never
gave in. The pies were for Thanksgiving dinner, and that was
In the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, my dad and grandfather
would get up and go hunting. They were supposed to bring home
Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the time they did, but Grams learned
it was best to be prepared. So she'd be up with them, making
dressing for the turkey that seemed near as big as me. They'd
tell her, "You don't need to bake that bird, Ma. We'll be
bringing home the main course." She'd just look at them
with a raised eyebrow of experience. She wasn't going to get
caught short of food for the clan.
She'd have the turkey roasting in her coveted electric roaster.
The only time it was used was during one of the holidays."
She 'd get her baster out and would cluck over that bird that
like a hen over her eggs, constantly dousing the turkey with
The ham, dotted with cloves, pineapples and cherries, would be
in the oven. I still remember that sweet smell as she'd open
Mom would be getting other things ready - the deviled eggs, the
sliced cheeses, the cole slaw.
Later in the morning, the men would return home, either in victory
or with a great story to tell about how they "didn't feel
like shooting anything today."
They'd clean the rabbits or the pheasants (if it was a good day)
and givethem to Mom to work her magic. She knew how to tame those
critters and turned them into the most delicious dishes.
Pots and pans simmered with veggies and giblets and gravies.
Rolls would be in the oven warmer.
When the whole family had arrived, and it was a big family, Grams
would go turn off the TV, much to the dismay of the male portion
of the family into a game on the little black-and-white screen.
It was dinnertime and everyone would be at the table at the same
time to say "Grace" and eat, or else. With Grams, you
really didn't want the "or else."
There was very little room for our plates on the table. It was
covered with every dish known to our cooks.
It wouldn't be long before the turkey, the ham, the rabbit, the
pheasant were just a pile of bones. All the veggie dishes would
Finally! Time for the PIES! Gramps and I had this thing with
whipped cream. It was much more fun to squirt each other than
waste it on a piece of pie!
My recollections were rudely interrupted as Lyla, my white Persian,
suddenly jumped in my lap and the birds went berserk. There were
so many flying every which way, she was like a rubber-necker
at an accident on the interstate. She wanted so bad to jump at
one of them, but choosing which one set her into a frenzied spin
that took her to the ground in a way most un-cat-like manner!
I laughed at her indecision, which is the wrong thing to do to
a cat. She gave me one of those "cat-looks" - like,
"I meant to do that."
I picked her back up and she sat in my lap, still watching, but
now more demure. I gave her a hug.
I felt suddenly sad. Homesick. Started to miss the fun times
of many, many years ago. If only
But, Lyla wasn't going to let me indulge in self-pity. No. She
cooed and purred and rubbed against my cheek bringing me out
of the shadows of the past, chasing the ghosts away.
"Hmmm." I'm going to have to do something special this
year for my "family" (three cats and four dogs). As
I scratched her ears and looked into her deep-yellow eyes so
filled with contentment, I decided, she was definitely going
to have some bird this year.
Now just how big a turkey am I going to need?
From somewhere, I thought I heard Grams say, "12 pounds
ought to do it, dear."
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.