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The Trail Ahead

16 February 2023

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours hand-stitching edging and sewing new buttons onto a rather plain blouse. I’ve purchased some vintage passementerie and braided trims from a woman in Bordeaux. Her supply of “dead stock”, abandoned inventory from over a decade ago in warehouses in France, is threatening to overflow her maison de campagne, country house.


In this instance, “dead stock” does not pertain to loser Wall Street buys. These tangible and potential acquisitions are from the vast unused quantities of textiles, sewing notions, ribbons, even glass and ceramic items that were discarded and dumped, as-is, in abundant piles in bankrupt stockrooms, stores, and warehouses throughout Europe. I always experience an inescapable sense of loss every time I locate a new cache from bygone days, pre-EU. I then do my bit to rescue the little treasures and rework them into designs of the future.


The past is like that. Sometimes it’s best to leave it where it is, but often enough there are bits and pieces of the long-ago that must be reclaimed, restored, renewed, re-vitalized, reformed. Information, factual information is one such parcel of the past in dire need of reclamation.

After finishing my needlework late yesterday afternoon, I decided to become factually informed about a topic from decades ago: the two-car head-on collision involving Barbara Mandrell, and her two children, on 11 September 1984. The coliision proved fatal for the young driver whose vehicle crossed two lanes to smash into the car of Mandrell. Her children were injured, but Mandrell absorbed the greatest impact of the collision.

I’d heard about the accident, and hoped for the best, but did not pay much attention to the details which were, at best, sparse. Even then, I knew that the news, on that occurrence, on any occurrence, is notoriously selective and frequently inaccurate.


I wanted to hear Barbara’s version of her life-altering experience.


I found a video online of an interview of Mandrell, conducted in 1995 by Ralph Emery. This singer was gracious, albeit reticent, in her explanations and memories of the traumatic event. I sensed she was still in the midst of grieving a part of her self that might be lost forever, or until her Maker saw fit to grant her those souvenirs. During the interview, a surprise visit by an admirer arrived, via satellite video. The guest was Rush Limbaugh.

He was a huge fan of Mandrell. He wanted to express his admiration of her, which he did in his bold, jovial, story-telling manner. I was struck by several aspects of this rolling of the tape.

Firstly, Rush was wearing one of those garish ties he’d peddled with fairly good success at the time. Secondly, he looked like the “Rush” that I recall during the 1990s, the real Rush, before it all went so very wrong for him. Thirdly, the ability of a country singer, a star with enormous talents, to converse with a conservative media phenom such as Mr. Limbaugh — and not get subsequently trashed, bashed, cancelled, and wiped off the face of country music: that situation could not occur today.

Lastly, the adamant objection of Mandrell to the imposition by the federal government of the use of seat belts had been overruled that fateful day by her listening to a message sent from her Heavenly Father. She nevertheless expressed a legitimate beef over the Government telling people what to do. This opinion was stated in 1995. I can only guess at her pique over the COVID edicts.


Fortunately, and unfortunately, many of the circumstances and situations that I observed in this 1995 clip could not occur today, including the inane commercials. One was for Cable Connection magazine, so that You would be able to know what Terrific Show to tune into that night. Another ad was for Little Richard, on tour! At the Kentucky State Fair!???


The most telling feature of this digital feature was the freedom for this woman of tremendous musical abilities and renown to speak out, publicly, in an attempt to right the wrongs done her by the woefully inadequate reporting of her quandary, working within the bizarre legal system to try to procure insurance money to pay for her medical bills.


The State of Tennessee, as well as the State of California, at that time, and right until today, require that the victim of an automobile accident sue the perpetrator of the accident to receive financial compensation. I knew a relative who was placed into that situation; several neighbors didn’t speak to her for years. We can thank the lawyers for yet another imbalance of justice and morality.

The sight of Limbaugh from the mid-1990s put me face-to-face with an ebullient and entertaining person who would soon endanger his own life, and his own livelihood. He informed Barbara that “they” had just moved into the house, and invited her and her husband to pay a call.


That house would have been the mansion in Florida where Rush became more and more isolated, to the point of not being in touch with reality. I’d indirectly heard of Rush, during his early broadcasting years of the mid-1980s, here in California, when he worked at KFBK, in Sacramento. I associated with the AP electronics technician who fixed the telephoto machine at KFBK that was chronically breaking down. Rush himself made the “trouble call” and I relayed one of the distress signals to the guy with the black repair bag.

A few years later, I heard of the rise of Rush to national prominence, and, then, after that 1992 election, I listened to him, daily, for several years. His gifts of optimism and chipper sarcasm were inspirational to me. I was in need of insight and encouragement while enduring life in The Suburbs and yearning to move toward my future. Almost palpably, I wished to take hold of my dreams.


One Friday morning, during the summer of 1996, I almost palpably took hold of 20 minutes on the phone with Rush.


I’d called in during Hour 1 of the 3-hour slot. I stayed on the line for a ridiculous amount of time, speaking at regular intervals with Mr. Snerdley, who kept checking to see if “I” was “still there.” “Bo” wanted me to hang in there because Rush wanted to save my call until the top of the hour — the final hour!


I explained to Bo that my two tykes were also waiting for me to make lunch for them. I thereafter made the command decision that those children were old enough to make that meal for themselves, which they did do. In a sense, I have Rush to thank for liberating me from the daily noon-time cafeteria chore.


On that Friday, a co-worker of my husband returned to the office after lunch, after having listened to the Limbaugh show. He told Dear Hubby: “I think I just heard your wife on the air with Rush. She got 20 minutes with him!”

Yessiree, I wasn’t letting Rush get off the line without having my full say. I called up for that first and last time, referring to myself as Debra In Roseville, on the cutting edge of the Frontier in the Suburbs. I’m a pioneer woman of the Leave-Me-Alone-Coalition.


Rush had sounded utterly despondent, and dispirited, and I wasn’t having any of it. He seemed to rise to the occasion of my challenging him to face the trail ahead.


Within our lively discourse, I informed Mr. Limbaugh that the conservative revolution is gonna take a little more time than he plans for it. The saving of America is not going to happen on his clock, or on his deadline, but on that of the Almighty.


I told him about my serving tea to a Clinton voter, who said she’d decided to give Him another chance. Rush was most intrigued by the tea party tale!


And I opined that people do not vote based on ideology but on personality. Liberalism is a personality disorder. Furthermore, there are many people who do not live real lives, but believe in a fantasy world that the politician pitches to them, to get votes. The politician follows the people; he doesn’t lead them.


I confided to Rush that I was afraid of going to my dentist during those stress-free Clinton years because the guy gets my head into a hammerlock — while he personally (cause I’m so special) cleans my teeth and vents about the stranglehold of OSHA. With each scrape of the enamel, he details each and every regulation he has to comply with, in the little office of small small and getting smaller business.


Rush laughed, and the call — and the Show — ended.


My phase of listening to Rush on the radio ended not long after that parley. My home-making job expanded as I took on home-schooling work. The entirety of Suburbia consequently judged me a real kook, one of those black helicopter nuts.

Within a couple of years, I’d move to the country in Newcastle, and Limbaugh would become enslaved to drug addiction. Right after 9/11, I tuned into the Rush Limbaugh show. for an hour, to hear his take on those acts of war; and I confided to Dear Husband that something was very wrong with his speech patterns. His voice sounded “off”. Indeed, it was.


My sorrow over his personal downfall had to do with his personal downfall. I didn’t feel, or think, that he owed the Conservative Movement, such as it was, anything. He owed it to himself to take care of himself. And that one essential and ethical duty he did not do.


After her brush with death, Barbara Mandrell grabbed hold of that lesson, the one that Rush refused to do: get to the heart of oh so many matters. Perhaps it was her musical genius that helped to center this woman on the truly essential in life. A child prodigy at playing the pedal steel guitar, as well as other instruments, Mandrell took up singing to start a second career at the age of nineteen.


She swiftly rose to the lofty heights of being the Queen of Country, a throne other women of far lesser gifts continually plot and plan to seize for themselves. In the midst of surviving trauma, this musician and singer was forced to learn that her beloved profession was changing, for the worse.


In a rare confluence of momentous circumstances, Barbara Mandrell in 1995 was facing the trail ahead that would lead her to retirement from a world that she’d loved, a world that no longer existed. Limbaugh was likewise embarking on confronting a similar trail, although, during those disheartening years of the 1990s, he scarcely possessed the firm grasp of faith that steadied Mandrell on her pathway to prevail over intense physical pain and anguish.


The 2000s marked a watershed for the time-honored and time-revered industries of entertainment and of media. The greed-driven globalists began their abysmal concentration of corporate entities that presently rule over a vile vacuum of arts&entertainment&news.

Those arenas have all washed and sloshed together to form a hideous wave of talentless banality and amoral mediocrity. Offensiveness is the name of the game of performance art that shoves a political agenda down the throats of Americans. And, as Americans, we’ve not the largest windpipes needed to swallow all of that bilge.


During those mid-late 1990s, when I listened to Rush Limbaugh, friends and acquaintances of the liberal stripe would gasp and gape at me and say: “I didn’t think you were THAT type of person!”


I’d ask, “And what type of person is that?”


“The type of person who listens to Rush.”


A circular statement, or reasoning, was all that I got for an answer.


The fallacy of circular reasoning dominates, and runs, the faux world of politics, the faux world of news, the faux world of entertainment. Logically, it must. Faux-anything is a fallacy, and vice versa.

The trail ahead for the sane and patriotic among us is not circular, but linear. That inexorable line is moving, from those unfilled fates of 1995 to fulfilled and undeniable truths, designs of the future called now.

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