Essays: On The Road And A Little Off

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Southern Humor and an Homage

Nashville, TN June 5, 2003
-- There is a sweetness in
Southern American humor; born not of stereotypical
hillbilly icon but of the actual and genuine progeny of
men who had a sense of home, yes, and of freedom. And a
righteous desire to be able to sell their cotton to the
English without a tariff. It's all economic, kids, but
we're talking your basic gentleman here.

Last time I saw John Wyker, I think it was, he carried me
(as we say in the South) out to visit with my old bandmate
Owen Brown. Owen has, because of being loved by all,
acquired a lot of nicknames, not one of them derogatory,
over the years. "Owen Brown, the Round Mound of Sound."
"Owen 'Downtown' Brown."
Suffice it to say again that Owen is loved by all.

But the latest one, Wyker tells me, came about when
our friend, I think it was Bo, from Sweden came to hang
out in the Shoals. In Sweden, like most everywhere, W's
are pronounced as V's. So naturally, Owen Brown became
"Oven Brown" for a while. Like I say, Southern humor is
sweet. And sometimes a little odd.


Ol Panama, he be feelin like a ol black man wid de
blues today. He be sittin at the bar listenin to
Eddie Floyd an he be musin'. He be feelin' like a ole
black man wid de blues and he be musin' an sittin at
the bar.
What he musin' about, sittin' there feelin' like a ol
black man is how much he owes to black culture because
if they wasn't no black culture, Panama would not be
able to sit around feelin like a ol black man with the
blues. He would have to sit around with a vague Germanic
sense of malaise. Life is sweet.