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Family Tradition

11:33 p.m. Aug. 9

NASHVILLE, TN.—A long day on the road began by touring the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg (pop. 400), located in Moore County–which is dry. What a cruel joke. But they do put Jack in their candied apples. Over lunch Lynne Tolley, the great grandniece of Jack, told me, “Anything that comes with vanilla, you can use Jack Daniel’s instead.” See?

This is one blog that gives you a belt.

Then there was the matter of tracking down some of that new Hank Williams Jr’ Family Tradition B.B.Q. Sauce for my pal John Soss (no pun intended)……

“Football season is approaching very quickly,” Bocephus said in a statement that accompanied my sauce. “All my football buddies at training camp keep calling and wanting my BBQ sauce so we are now bottling it and shipping it to all my rowdy friends.” I haven’t tried it yet and likely will have to wait until I return to Chicago. But Hank Jr. dishes up BBQ Rub, sauce and a 6-oz. bottle of Jalapeno Hot Sauce (visit I will give you a report and any other barbecue sauce observations are welcome.

Around dinner I found time to hang out with my 3-year-old nephew Jude, his Thomas train cars, my brother Doug and his wife Molly. They took me to a wonderul place called Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, an ice cream stand on the corner of Charlotte Avenue and 53rd Ave. North on the west side of town.

With vintage awnings and old picnic tables the place looks like 1962, the year my brother was born. Its a legendary Nashville joint that was resurrected by Claire Mullally, a former New York entertainment attorney who is married to songwriter Greg Trooper. And Bobbie’s is across Wendell Smith’s, an old school ‘meat and three’ restaurant—and liquor store!!! I had a Bobbie’s chocolate shake and Jude and his family downed the fresh Belgian-style French Fries. Bobbie’s ( a Emmylou Harris favorite) is also known for its Sweet Potato Fries served with a homemade sweetened sour cream dipping sauce. Doug and Molly treated, perhaps to ease the pain on my expense report.

Readers may know my brother is a singer-songwriter in Nashville. [I’ll be posting his website on ‘Favorite Links’.] There are thousands of other singer-songwriters who live in this town and many of them have families. Some had families. They have all made difficult sacrifices -but they are not my kid brother. I don’t have kids. Sometimes when I am alone driving in my car I weigh the impulsive wonder of a road trip against a more measured path. I was in such a hurry to get there, maybe I never got it. But then Jude kept smiling to interrupt those thoughts. Each of his brown eyes were as wide as the moon that danced across the Cumberland River. In those eyes I saw trust in tomorrow, a different inspiration for travel and the road to reconnect. Yes, we had a good time.