Author: Rhynes, J.D.

Good practical jokes that just kinda happen

Most everybody that I know in this world loves a good practical joke that, a. Doesn't hurt anybody physically b. Or intentionally hurt anybody mentally. I know that every once in a while all of us have been in a situation where a practical joke presents itself, and for one reason or another we don't take advantage of it, only to regret it that night, laying in bed saying to yourself, damn I should've done it!Woulda,Shoulda,Coulda, only comes around once in a while and you have to take advantage of it when the opportunity presents itself.SOOOO,I made a vow to myself about 40 years ago after passing up a perfect practical joke opportunity that I regretted for months, that I would never, never, never, pass one up again for the rest of my life, and you know what folks? I have not regretted that decision one bit, and at night when I go to bed, I sleep like the proverbial baby. Very contented. So, with that said, the stage is set for two practical jokes that presented themselves some years ago, one by happenstance, and one intentional.

The first one happened at IBMA when we were still in Louisville Kentucky. It was a Sunday morning and I was getting ready to go back to California, when I remembered my granddaughter wanted me to send her a letter from Louisville, just let her know that her grandpa was okay. Now the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, has two towers, and to buy a stamp for my letter I had to go to the West Tower lobby where the stamp machine was. I dashed off a short letter on the hotel stationary to my granddaughter, but a stamp on the envelope, and dropped it in the mailbox. It was about eight o'clock in the morning, so I headed back to the East Tower of the hotel to say goodbye to a lot of my friends. When I walked into the East Tower lobby, I spotted my good buddy Larry Cordle, and who should be pulling on his coat sleeve but none other than Jimmy Martin. As I got closer to them I could hear old Jimmy saying; come on "Cord", old Jimmy needs you to write him a hit song. I know you got some you are saving up, so why don't you let old Jimmy have one? Larry had his guitar case in his left hand, and was pleading with Jimmy to let him go because he had to go to a meeting. I come walking up and winked at cord, and took Jimmy's right hand and shook it, all the while pulling out one of those little cardboard cameras from my pocket. I said Jimmy, would you do me a favor? Of course he thought I wanted to take his picture, so his face lit up like a neon sign, and he said, sure Hoss what is it that you want old Jimmy to do? I handed him the little cardboard camera, and told him would you take me and "Cords" picture? Cord's knees kinda buckled, and started laughing under his breath, saying I can't believe this is happening. I whispered to Cord, standstill dammit, and as soon as he takes a picture takeoff. So I showed Jimmy how to know when the flash is ready and he took our picture, and Cord headed up the staircase to his meeting, telling me over his shoulder I got to have a copy of that picture. I shook Jimmy's hand and thanked him, and headed up the stairway, and that's how my buddy Cord came by the 8 x 12 picture of me and him standing in the Galt House lobby, taken by the King of bluegrass Jimmy Martin.

Here's a little postscript to that story. About 10 min. later I was standing at III Tymeouts record table telling them what had just happened, and we were yakking it up and up walked JD Crowe. He said what the hell is so damn funny? So I relayed the story to him, and he said I've got to have a copy of that picture too. Needless to say, JD Crowe has an 8 x 12 copy as well.

That was the unintentional practical joke. Now for the intentional one, and probably the dirtiest practical joke I will ever be able to pull on Rick Cornish.

About five or six years ago my buddy Ken Reynolds underwent surgery on his back at the hospital in Sonora California. I went over there that morning to be with his wife Grace while Ken was in surgery. Ken came out of the surgery fine, and I stayed until he got into his room again, and then I said my goodbyes and left. There is a shopping center right next to the hospital, so I stopped at a bank to use the ATM machine to get some lunch money. Who should come driving into the parking lot but Rick Cornish. When he saw me he stopped his car and jumped out, and said what the hell you doing in Sonora? [I knew immediately what I was going to do, and I knew that later Ken would get it big kick out of it.] So, I told Rick that I came over to the hospital this morning to be with Grace while Ken was in surgery. Rick got a serious look on his face, and said oh my goodness that's right, I forgot he was having surgery this morning. And he said to me, how's Kenny doing? I conjured up the most serious downtrodden look I could muster, and said in a low voice, he didn't make it Rick. Rick's face kind of blanched, and said what do you mean he didn't make it? So I looked Rick right in the face and said, he croaked, that's what I mean. Rick got real quiet and stood there and looked at me for almost a minute, and he said, you mean he died? I waited about 30 seconds, and said nope, I'm lying to you. Then Rick was really confused. He said what do you mean you're lying to me? I said I'm lying to you, Kenny is fine. It took about another minute for Rick to realize I was lying to him, and then the air started getting real blue and full of cuss words that I cannot repeat here. I think Rick cussed me for 30 min. and never said the same thing twice. Ha ha ha ha. I was NOT about to pass that opportunity up, and Kenny and I both laugh like hell when we bring that up between us. Kenny has always said he would've gave 1000 bucks just to see Rick's face when I lied like hell to him that day.

So, there you are folks, a couple of good practical jokes that came my way while following my musical adventures down the bluegrass highway. Take my advice and don't pass any of them up, life is too short as it is, and life is only what you make it and how much fun you have in process, is what really counts in the end.

Posted:  2/28/2013

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