Mountain Top Party Line

Ivalien Reynolds is pictured in an October 1980, along with her Aunt Clayton and Uncle Oscar at Mabry Mill. “Those were good times and I dearly miss them,” Reynolds said.

(Editor’s Note: Ivalien Reynolds is currently undergoing treatment for a health condition after suffering a fall at her home. She asks that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Ben Williams, a fan of Ivalien Reynolds’ Mountain Top Party Line and a columnist for our sister paper, Henry County Enterprise, graciously offered the column below.)


Hello! I’m Ben R. Williams, and I write a weekly column for the Henry County Enterprise (SUBSCRIBE TODAY!). Every week, literally tens of people read this column, and I hear some of them even enjoy it.

One of those people is Ivalien Reynolds, who normally writes the Mountain Top Party Line. Unfortunately, Mrs. Reynolds recently suffered a fall, and I’m stepping in for her this week as she recuperates and gets back into fighting shape. Get better soon, Mrs. Reynolds! Just think of all the people who read the Mountain Top Party Line each week, and how bitterly disappointed they’re all going to be when they see how I butcher it! You’re in my thoughts, and I know you’re in the thoughts of all your loyal readers.

I read a story recently about a little girl who started feeding the crows around her house, and in return, they started bringing her gifts — coins, bits of metal, basically anything shiny they could find. Inspired by this, I’ve started throwing out snacks for the crows whenever I see them around my yard. I’m hoping they’ll eventually start bringing me presents, and over time, I can train them to help me out on a bank heist.

Christmas is approaching fast! I finished all my Christmas shopping early this year. Whenever I’m doing my Christmas shopping, the same thought always drifts through my mind: “Man, I know too many people.”

I’ve started setting out a minnow trap in the various creeks on my property. After I catch some minnows, I take them out of the trap, photograph them, and then toss them back into the creek. I’m trying to identify all the different species. It just goes to show you: I need to get out more.

My old buddy Ryan came down from Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. A few years back, Ryan was the rhythm guitarist in my band “Death Newman,” which was a hard rock tribute to the music of Randy Newman. I met up with Ryan at a brewery owned by a mutual friend of ours; he played a fantastic set, and it was wonderful catching up with him. His wife Bekuh told me that Death Newman has developed a small but loyal following in Philadelphia. I’m thinking we should do a reunion show in Philly. I bet we could completely sell out a storage shed, or maybe even a two-car garage.

One time I was sitting on a porch with a guy and we heard something rummaging around in a nearby tree. He said it sounded like a raccoon, and I said, “Nah, sounds more like a possum.” I was just messing around, but about five seconds later, a possum poked its head out from between the branches and the guy thought I was Jeremiah Johnson or something. I didn’t go out of my way to tell him any different.

I recently went through the Hardee’s drive-thru to get a biscuit, and when I got to the window, the cashier told me that the nice lady in front of me had paid for my biscuit. I thought that was very kind, so I told her I’d like to pay for the car behind me. When I got the receipt, I discovered that the car behind me apparently contained the entire 1985 Chicago Bears defensive line, and they had all skipped dinner the night before.

TRIVIA TIME! Did you know there was a swimming pool on the Titanic? Believe it or not, that swimming pool is still filled with water to this day.

Inspirational thought:

“History is a made at night. Character is what you are in the dark.”

—Lord John Whorfin, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension

Get well soon, Mrs. Reynolds!