John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for November 12, 2020

I LOVE A RAINY DAY

It started to rain about 4:30 yesterday, here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. It rained off and on throughout the evening and overnight we had a few thunder boomers. It is supposed to rain throughout most of the day today.

I just love a rainy day. With my wife at her place of work, and me staying home today, it's just me, Reggie (my dog), and the two cats. Plus the clouds, winds and the rain. Tune in some piano music of Brahms and Faure, orchestral music by Vaughan Williams and you have the makings of a dull, depressing day.

Before you read any further, please know that I am not depressed. A psychiatrist once told me that dark clouds and rain, listening to classical or slow music written in minor keys, and mulling are signs of deep depression. But there are exceptions to the rule. The exception for me is that these things, combined together, helps my process. I am better able to think clearer and can be creative. Hey, I am writing these words in an intelligent, understandable way aren't I?

Why a cloudy, rainy day? Why Classical music written in minor keys? Why be alone?

When one had had a series of rough and not so happy days, many men would end up at a bar or tavern, sit there and drink the night away. I don't drink - except the occasional 8 oz. of red wine my doctor "prescribed" for me to help bring my HDL's (good cholesterol) up and keep it above 40. And yes, I have a prescription, because I asked her to write on in case one of my church members catch me purchasing a bottle at the grocery store. "See there! I am taking this for medicinal purposes. My doctor says I need it. I am not a hypocrite. I am not an alcoholic." First of all, I hate the taste of everything alcoholic from beer to champagne and anything in between. It all gives me indigestion and I end up burping all night long. I have to take my medicine (wine) during the day so that I won't choke on it at 2 o'clock in the morning. Second, I can't see what all the hubbub is all about when drinking, especially around other folks in a bar or at a party. It does nothing for me. I think that was the way, growing up, all the teens around me thought, believing I was boring, not fun to be around. I did not get anything out of partying."

Back to this rainy day - yeah! Bring in the clouds and I am less likely to turn on talk radio and get pissed off by the news of lying Democrats, cheating politicians, elections being stolen and globalists trying to end the American system along with its sovereignty.

STOP IT JOHN! It's raining. Listen to the music! Let it drown out the clarion calls to tune into Glenn Beck and Andrew Wilkow. Listen to the pitter patter on the roof top!

For me, two words stand out on days like this: "Mulling" and "Moping." "Mulling" means to think about something or someone deeply and at length. "Moping" means a feeling of rejection, dejection and apathy or to wander around listlessly and aimlessly. The first word is positive, the latter is negative. Most people mope on days like this, and indeed I understand why. Rain keeps one from being and/or feeling productive and active. You sense that there is very little you can do on a day like this. Getting outside and doing things in the yard, with the kids or with friends is not practical and virtually undoable. For me, rain makes me mull. If I can't move and push my body into action outside, my brain kicks into gear and I can give that organ a good workout. Hence, right now, I am mulling.

Right now, and without the benefit of any music playing for this moment, my mulling is taking me back to a radio studio I was working in back in 1989, filling in for the overnight announcer who was on vacation. A friend of mine called up and invited himself to bring us something to eat and sit in studio while I played the tunes. It was raining that night and while Joe and I sat there, eating burgers and fries and listening to 70's music, I came across Brook Benton's song "Rainy Night in Georgia." I said, "Hey, it may not be in the rotation tonight, but I am playing anyway. It kinda fits, even though this is not Georgia, but Virginia." I remember how rainy those nights could be in Georgia too, as I lived near the metro Atlanta area from 1973 to 1977, attending college there. The spring time rains were known to spawn a few tornados too.

"Rainy Night in Georgia" - Pardon me while I cue up this tune and mull over the words as Brook sings ...

Hoverin' by my suitcase
Tryin' to find a warm place
To spend the night
Heavy rain fallin'
Seems I hear your voice callin'
It's all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
Lord, I believe it's rainin' all over the world
I feel like it's rainin' all over the world

Neon signs a-flashin'
Taxicabs and buses
Passin' through the night
A distant moanin' of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
Such a rainy night in Georgia
Lord I believe it's rainin' all over the world
I feel like it's rainin' all over the world

How many times I wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it or think of it
Well it's life, and you just got to play the game

I find me a place in a boxcar
So I take my guitar
To pass some time
Late at night when it's hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I feel fine, I

But it's a rainy night in Georgia
Baby, it's a rainy night in Georgia
I feel it's rainin' all over the world
Kinda lonely there and it's rainin' all over the world

Oh have you ever been lonely people
And you feel that it was raining all over this man's world
You talkin' 'bout rainin',rainnin', rainin', rainin', rainin'
A-rainin', a-rainin', rainin' over the world
I said now rainin',rainnin', rainin', rainin', rainin'

A few weeks later, my friend in the studio that night came on board to be a fill-in announcer at that same station. His name is Joe Collins, a legally blind radio whiz who instinctively knew how to program a radio entity as well as technically keep it on the air. That made him a combo Engineer/Jock/Program Director. Back in 1989 he was just eighteen years old and right out of high school, but he would go on to do big things. Me, I blew out in radio. Not once, twice or three times. Try five! Anyway, that night, in the studios of WTAR I sang to Brook Benton while Joe would tell me stories of how when he was a kid, his father and mother would take him, his brother and sister on trips to the western part of Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee and how he remembered that song coming on the car radio and his dad singing to it.

Rainy Night in Georgia was written by Tony Joe White 3 years before Brook Benton recorded it. What White was thinking when he penned these words is intriguing. He said in an interview:

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn't have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard "Ode to Billie Joe" on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I've been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I'm going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn't really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought ... well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

In a way, that last sentence of White's forms the main purpose of these blogs: writing what I have experienced and what I know about. As I said above, I lived in the Atlanta area in the mid-70's and am familiar with all the things he talks about and then shares in the song. Marietta was about 15 minutes from my dorm and those very train tracks which brought those box cars through the town had to pass through Atlanta and many went south into East Point, the town in which I actually lived.

Looking out my window right now I see the light-to-moderate rain falling. There is a flash flood warning in my city. It has already rained about 3 and a half inches with another six to eight hours more. Two houses down and behind me, the neighbors back yard is completely under water. With my window slightly ajar, I hear the pitter-patter of the drops falling. The only light on in my office is the computer screen.

As I said, shrinks would say I am depressed - alone, in a mostly dark environment, welcoming the cloudy skies and the rain, listening to mood music and pondering all the things that are bringing me this quiet time. Truly, it is a blessing. I have always welcomed this type of scenario. I am very much at the height of my creativity during these times. I think clearly, I write better and with no distractions, I can see wonder in all that is around me. I even compose better sermons and lessons for my church when it rains!

Yep! It is a rainy day in 'Ginia. In twelve hours it will all be over and the sun will shine tomorrow. I welcome that sunshine too! For it will be cooler and drier. Yesterday, we set a record high temperature of 83-degrees. It was November 11th for Pete's sake. If I want that type of weather in mid-November I would move to Florida. So tomorrow, the weather becomes normal for this time of year. 60 degrees, sunny and the leaves will turn, albeit so quickly before they fall. We will get our six days of Autumn this weekend. And that is about all of Fall we get annually - 6 days!

You all have a great day now, wet and all. As for me, I am cranking up the Vaughan Williams Symphony # 5.

Blog for November 11 Blog for November 13

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.