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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

Bobby & Joanne

I really, really love 'Bobby and Joanne! Bryan texted Mallory.

Bryan is one of Mallory's favorite people, and they keep a pretty regular conversation going. He gives updates on the goings ons in Nashville and the larger world, and she tells him the weird things Scott says in his sleep. Or, at least that's what Mallory tells Scott she's saying. But also, Bryan is the ultimate encourager, and is the kind to tell a little folk duo that they're doing a good job.

Ok, so... I know Thelma and Louise and I know Butch and The Kid. But who are Bobby & Joanne?

Bryan is also one to ask the hard questions.

Luckily, this one we had an answer for.

Though Mallory grew up in Western PA, much like herself, a few family members slipped out of northern Appalachia in favor if better jobs elsewhere. Mallory's Great Uncle Bob was one of those. When the steel mills shut down, he was looking for work. And the work he was doing was in Alabama (this is the part where, prompted or not, Mallory is prone to explaining how "Steeler Nation" and the term "yins" went out like an evangelical on fire due to work-searching folk like Uncle Bob. But let's try and keep this brief, huh?). Which is why, when Mallory and Scott still lived in Nashville, they got to spend a bit of time with Uncle Bob & Aunt Joanne-- who were just a morning's drive away near Huntsville, AL. Pay attention, here, because Uncle Bob will make another appearance on this record, too. And not just because of Joanne's pineapple upside down cake. Bob, Mallory's mother's father's brother, rolled a few family stones away and untied a few family secrets, too. It was from Bob that Mallory learned that her great-times-many grandfather was the first to successfully engineer the seamless steel pipe. It was also from Bob where Mallory learned that second marriages are sometimes stronger than firsts, and it's okay to love again. Joanne was, after all, his second. And they had built a wonderfully difficult and solid life together.

Bobby & Joanne isn't about these family secrets, though. This account is rather about a phone call received in early spring 2015. There was a car accident. Bob and Joanne were gone.

Mallory and her sister rallied their partners and the kids and made a slow trip down to Alabama. There were family members they'd never heard of, and some they did and never met. The service was difficult and the preacher dug for souls. But the one resounding, true statement that was uttered over and over by friends and family was this--

"At least they went out together. They wouldn't have wanted it any other way."

Like Thelma and Louise. Like Butch and The Kid. Accident or on purpose, we don't know the details. But when you take on the big adventure of love and the road, you know one thing for sure. If you're going, I'm going, too. Where ever that is. It's the only meager sneer we can make at Death. And, by golly, we'll take that shot best we can.

When we're good and ready.

Uncle Bob, top left.  Mallory's Pap-Pap, top right.

If you're interested in another blog written about Bobby & Joanne, you can find Mallory's entry from her blog, Quartz from Pallets, written a couple of years ago after the incident first happened. And if you'd really like to, you can keep on reading through. She keeps it updated almost every week.

As always, you can catch up on our record on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, or get your physical copy here.

And for this week's extracurricular listening, Scott's Spotify Playlist is below! Duos Done Did Duos is the name of it. You know, just duos singing about other often more famous duos.

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