The Further Adventures of Grumpy Walker
A Life in Pictures

Saturday 9: Ode to Billie Joe

I remember when Ode to Billie Joe came out! I was 15 in 1967 -- in between Freshman and Sophomore year in high school. I didn't really like the song because it seemed very soap opera-y to me. I mean, of course it was a baby they threw off the bridge, right?

Anyway, on to the Saturday 9!

Ode to Billie Joe (1967

If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.

1) This song takes places on "the third of June," which is described as "another sleepy, dusty" day. Describe the weather where you were on Friday, June 3, 2016.
Kinda rainy and cool, but it cleared up, and got warmer and more humid as the day went on.

2) In this song, the family sits down to eat and discuss the doings of their friends and neighbors. Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister were at the table. Who did you have dinner with on Friday?
I had dinner with Joe at the Capitol Diner in Harrisburg, PA. We took the quick trip there to go to the Hershey Bears hockey game. (The Bears are the Capitals' AHL affiliate.) Alas, they lost to the Lake Erie Monsters, 5-3.

3) Young Billie Joe MacAllister playfully put a frog down another kid's back. Do you see many frogs where you live?
I haven't yet, but I'm sure there are frogs here. I live by a river, after all.

4) This song made Mississippi's Tallahatchie Bridge famous. What's the name of a bridge in your neighborhood?
The US422 Bridge -- I don't think it has an actual name -- over the Schuylkill River. I drive over it twice each workday. However, there's a brand new bridge right beside it named the Sullivan Bridge. It's a bridge for hikers and bikers that links the Betzwood section of Valley Forge National Park with the main part of the park. Thank goodness! The only way across the river for hikers and bikers now is an extremely narrow wooden addition to the 422 Bridge, which was tacked on as an afterthought.

5) Bobbie Gentry often performed with Glen Campbell. Mr. Campbell's family is very open about Glen's battle with Alzheimer's. Is anyone in your life facing this terrible disease?
No, thank goodness.

6) "Ode to Billie Joe" was made into a movie directed by Max Baer, Jr. Mr. Baer is better known for playing Jethro Bodine in a famous 1960s era sitcom. Can you name it?
Byyyyy doggies, yes! The Beverly Hillbillies! Let's all go for a dip in the see-ment pond.

7) Bobbie Gentry made one of her last public appearances in 1981 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Johnny is now seen in reruns on the Antenna TV channel. Think of the last TV show you watched. Was it new or was it a rerun?
It was last night in the hotel; a rerun of Big Bang Theory.

8) In 1967, when this song was popular, Sweden changed its traffic laws and Swedes began driving on the right. Have you ever driven in a foreign country? If so, did you have a hard time adapting to their laws?
Yes, I've driven in Canada. I had no trouble adapting to their laws, once I realized that the speed limit was in kilometers per hour.

9) Random question: Which would you rather have more of -- compliments or hugs?
I have to choose? I think I'll go with hugs.

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