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We almost lose Jim... but he saves his nuts

December 15, 2004

A true story from Folk Alley.

This week Northeast Ohio got its first "serious" snow of the season (and I'm sure it won't be our last). Folk Alley Host Jim Blum lives an hour away from our studios in what is politely called the "Snow Belt," an area near Cleveland that is particularly prone to lake-effect squalls. In fact, he often gets stuck in or can't make it up his driveway.

Yesterday, Jim was on his way to Kent in his rickety van previewing folk CDs when he saw a Jeep sliding sideways straight for him. He locked eyes with the driver and knew that his only chance was to off-road it, hoping that he had enough speed not to get stuck and that there wasn't a ditch involved. But instead of steering with both hands, he kept one free to hold on to a can of mixed nuts that he had brought with him to snack on in the car. Seconds from disaster and Jim has the presence of mind to avoid a crash and save his all-important snackfood. That is a great mind at work!

To all of our friends in the North, Winter is finally here. To those of you in warmer climes, we'll see you soon. Please send directions.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at December 15, 2004 2:31 PM


Get on I-70 West. Four tanks of gas and three Polka radio formats later, turn South on I-25.

Once you can no longer hear John Denver tunes on the radio, look for I-40 and take it West through two Navajo-speaking stations. Right about the time you hit "Folk Sessions Live" out of Prescott, turn South on I-17.

When all you can get on the dial is formula Country or tired classic rock, you have reached Phoenix. If someone asks you for your entrance visa in Spanish, you have either gone too far south, or strayed into California.

We'll have the iced tea ready.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at December 15, 2004 3:24 PM

OK, I've printed the directions and am getting a Trip-tik made up on Monday. I seem to have many plastic water bottles in the car ("waiting for recycling"), so I'll just fill them up, grab some gum (for the hills) and I'll be set. I-70 is only a little Hot Country and Contemporary Christian away.

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at December 15, 2004 3:35 PM

Thanks for the directions, Jim.

Fortunately - Jim Blum had a hand free for actual driving in the ice and snow. He usually has a thermos of tea with him - so driving can be a challenge with CDs, nuts, various vegetarian specialties and whatnot to juggle. He needs to be careful - Folk Alley needs him!

Happy Holidays.

Posted by: Robert J. Burford at December 15, 2004 3:39 PM

I thought the original title of the blog was funnier.
C'mon we folkies have a great sense of humor!

Posted by: Missy at December 15, 2004 3:53 PM

"I almost life my life to save my snack" sounds like a country-western top 10 hit.

Posted by: Ben McConnell at December 15, 2004 4:07 PM

Grrr, correction:

"I almost *lost* my life to save my snack."

Posted by: Ben McConnell at December 15, 2004 4:09 PM

I'm with you Missy: the original title was much funnier, and it was simply the truth!

Posted by: Robert J. Burford at December 15, 2004 4:10 PM

Alright - I've been shamed into being more bold. Here's to brassy gals everywhere!

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at December 15, 2004 4:23 PM


Posted by: Missy Gipson at December 15, 2004 4:35 PM

gosh Jim.....Whatever you do don't lose your nuts! We are getting hit with this winterblast down here in northeast Florida this evening. Jacksonville Beach is suppossed to feel like Florida and NOT like the Great Lakes, anyway this site stays on my computer 24/7! I go to sleep everynight with the great sounds of Folkalley!

Posted by: Scott Chesnut at December 15, 2004 7:45 PM

"Hooty - hoo" too to Anne's "Here's to brassy gals everywhere!" My daddy was a career sailor - what can I say?

I would like to invite all Southeastern Folkies to join our South Eastern Regional Folk Alliance - SERFA. Go to on then to the "yahoo serfa" link and sign up to be notified. We are having an ORGANIZATIONAL meeting in Tampa, FL April 1- 3, 2005 (no foolin'- spring is coming). We plan to have a showcase conference in 2006. Y'all come help us get organized. We're taking back the airways with our babyboomer numbers!

Vivian Fulk
Medley Meadows Music and Vineyards on

Posted by: Vivian Fulk at December 16, 2004 6:45 PM

A lesson learned, always keep one hand on your nuts!

Posted by: Jeffrey Stroup at December 17, 2004 5:25 PM

Glad to hear Jim is okay! Growing up in the Chardon/Thompson area gave me a few such harrowing encounters on icy roads myself.

Posted by: Andy Brett at December 18, 2004 10:29 PM

thoe SUVs always turn up in fun stories

Posted by: Stanley Coffman at December 19, 2004 10:28 PM

You certainly have an adventurous life, Jim! It's a bit easier after you retire...(if you can make retirement). If you ever really need to get out of the "deep freeze",...go east to old Route 66 and head west and south till you hit the Okla. state line. You are home free then. You are still in "Folk" country, ...but with temps in the fourties and dry, cool air. The "nasties" don't hit here until late Jan. or early Feb. You could then be on your way to Phoenix. Take care.

Posted by: Tom Glenn at December 20, 2004 12:48 AM

(goof!) Of course I meant go West to Rt. 66.

Posted by: Tom at December 20, 2004 12:57 AM

Isn't this the same guy that set his chimney on fire?

Posted by: David Armstrong at December 21, 2004 2:45 PM

Yes, but he has a great education and a solid day job, so we have to cut him some slack...

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at December 21, 2004 3:13 PM

It is nice to hear that Jim survived the ordeal and didn't crash his nuts!

Posted by: David Gundersen at December 22, 2004 10:21 AM

Peas in a pod?? While Jim was saving his nuts, I was freezing mine in Kiev, Ukraine. Sometime in the hours before sunrise, I had joined the people in the streets for a beer, conversation, and some food (peanuts). The mercury in the thermometer was somewhere near the bottom. So, I guess you could say our nuts were frozen.

Posted by: Stephen Karschner at December 22, 2004 10:43 AM

Well,...This is what I get for bragging about the weather here in Okla.! Looks like we will have a white Christmas after all. It's coming down hard and fast now,...and the temperature is dropping. Oh, well,..I've got my fire and Folk Alley. Merry Christmas, all.

Posted by: Tom Glenn at December 22, 2004 12:18 PM

70 degrees and sunny here in AZ. But come summer, we will have roasted nuts.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at December 22, 2004 3:03 PM

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