No traffic. Beautiful soft gray light. Relaxation and peace are my moment. And the soothing soft hum of the truck. I’m a lucky man. low clouds, wispy mists brush the hill tops. Hard rain, wipers, lights, downhill brakes. Downshift, second gear. Grayson County absolutely magnificent in this weather and spectacular light.-Roy Burke 2009 county road log excerpt
Doc loved Christmas in his own way. In 1988, to celebrate his move into his new home and new way of life in Stone Mountain, he created one of his greatest cassette mix-tapes Bell Wringer:A Humbug’s Christmas(tape #319 in the archive). You can see his original playlist below. This Maxell UDXL 90 minutes-worth of his lavishly curated collection of Christmas music runs the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the canon to Scrooge McDuck. Clarence Carter’s Back Door Santa? Natch. Harvard Glee Club? Of course. He gave me a copy for Christmas that year, and for the quarter century or so afterwards we regularly set aside a holiday season opportunity to listen to it together at his Stone Mountain home, lights strung across the INSIDE of the house, an obscure college football bowl game soundlessly providing our ‘fireside’ holiday glow as we soaked in the music, sipped some liquor, and talked and laughed about the world at the end of another year.