Birney Imes: Winter solstice

December 22, 2009 10:36:00 AM

Birney Imes - [email protected]


Had I remembered Monday was the winter solstice, I might have done something different than take a mid-afternoon stroll on the Riverwalk. Though, I''m not sure what that would have been. As far as I know, we have few practicing Pagans, Druids or anyone else in these parts who might be celebrating an event that has been observed through the millennia.  


Experts believe that 4,500 years ago Stonehenge in southern England was the site of a barbecue and mid-winter celebration that took place on this day. We have a barbecue celebration of sorts on the Riverwalk, Harvey Myrick''s Grilling on the River, but that is in April, and, as far as I know, is not tied to any particular celestial occurrence. "Solstice," by the way, is Latin for "sun stands still." 


In Columbus, the first afternoon of winter and the shortest day of the year was warm, sunny and fair. There is something extraordinary about winter light in this part of the world. The sun comes from the south and stays low on the horizon. Its clear light bathes the stark landscape in a reddish gold, giving the world a poignant beauty. 


Monday afternoon the Riverwalk was a popular place to be. An awkward young poet scribbled his verses and names of classmates on the cement with sidewalk chalk; two young girls lost in conversation meandered along, oblivious to their surroundings; a server in a local restaurant walked, escorted by her young son on a bicycle; a smiling, white-haired dance instructor jogged with a friend. 


All of this played out against the timeless backdrop of the Tombigbee quietly making its way south. 




Lost in translation 


A Dutch reviewer probably had nice things to say in his native language about Big Joe Shelton''s Black Prairie Blues CD. When his review was translated into English, his appraisal of the Columbus native''s music took on new meaning. 




PIGLET JOE bell BARREl - BLACK PRAIRIE BLUES (alto 45 record). 


Piglet Joe Shelton is an warbler/accordionist from the region Black prairie in Mississippi and Alabama.  


A lot well-known blues artiesten come from that region. I think of among other things Howling Wolf, Bukka White, piglet Joe Williams, Carey Bell, Eddy Clearwater or recently died Willie King to call of it a number.  


Piglet Joe brings here with its link Mississippi blues an boogie to 15 numbers where it is very difficult quietly continue sit.  


At hearing this disc, I think wolf especially of Howling and of John Lee Hooker.  


Very nice debut of this artist. 




Joe, I think you''ve got some good liner material here for your next CD. 




No smoking soon 


As the table of regulars at the Kountry Kitchen disbanded Monday one of them said, nodding at two women smoking at a nearby table, "A few more weeks and we won''t have to put up with that." 


That we still have people smoking in restaurants and public places seems, well, barbaric. Thanks to the city council for putting a stop to it. 


Wishing you a piglet, I mean, a big Christmas. 


Birney Imes III is the immediate past publisher of The Dispatch.