Saturday, July 19, 2014

It is Possible to Die of a Broken Heart

Saturday 9: Ring of Fire
(because country music was recommended by Colletta's Kitchen's Sink)

 If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.

1) Recorded by Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire" was written by his wife, June Carter. Johnny's daughter Roseanne says it's about "the transformative power of their love." What's your favorite love song?
A. Longer, by Dan Folgerberg.

2) Though more than 50 years old, this song is still popular today. Country Music Television named it one of the best and most requested of all time. Are you a country music fan?

A. Not particularly. I grew up listening to country music as my parents loved it but once I learned I could change the knobs to the pop music stations (nowadays called Adult Contemporary, I think), I never looked back.

3) This recording features mariachi horns, inspired by Mexican folk music. Have you ever been to Mexico? 

A. No. 

4) Cash's birth certificate said, "J. R. Cash," and "J.R." is what his parents always called him. When he enlisted in the Air Force, Uncle Sam refused to let him simply go by initials, so he chose the name "John." If you could choose a different name for yourself, what would it be?

A. Susan Pumpernickel.
5) Cash and his first wife, Vivian, had their first date at a roller skating rink. Tell us about one of your first dates.

A. My husband and I met beneath the goal posts of the annual James River/Lord Botetourt football rivalry on October 15, 1983. Some of our friends conspired to put us together and then they backed off while I stood there and pretended like I didn't know anything about football and asked him stupid questions about the game. He asked me out for the following night and I had to turn him down because my parents had already made plans for us to go out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary, which was October 14. After the game let out, I went over to Mike's Market for a soda and a candy bar, and he appeared there, too. His friend drove my friend home, I drove us both to the Ramada Inn, which at the time was the closest place with a dance hall, we shared our first kiss - not a hotel room - and that was the end of that. Or the beginning, I should say, since we've been married for almost 31 years.

6) Cash died in September, 2003, four months after he lost his second wife, and love of his life, June. The cause of death given was complications from diabetes, but his children believe he died of a broken heart. Do you think that's possible?

A. Yes, I think it is possible to die of a broken heart.  
7) Cash was known as "The Man in Black." What color do you wear most often?

A. Denim blue.

8) There's a Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. What's the last museum you visited?

A. Last fall we visited a cool little depot in Clifton Forge that had been turned into the C&O Museum. I've always liked trains.

9) A stretch of Tennessee Highway 31E is known as "Johnny Cash Parkway." What street in your town is named for a famous person?

A.  We have an Etzler Road just down from us which is named after my husband's grandmother's family. The Etzlers settled in Botetourt before the Revolutionary War and some of the family continues to farm what is commonly called "King's Grant" land, which means that the original deed came from ol' King George himself. Or at least that is what my husband tells me, I didn't bother to look it up to be sure it's true. At any rate, they've been here for more than 200 years so I would think that's long enough to warrant a road name.


Speaking of my husband, he's doing well following his run-in with a hay baler on July 5. He had a few stitches out on Friday and his arm looked better than I expected when they took it out of the huge cast they'd had it in. They looked him over, put saline and hydrogen peroxide on him, and put another cast on him. He still has stitches that will require removal at a later date. His recovery will probably be slower than he would like but I think he was damn lucky not to lose his hand or arm or even a finger. He's still intact and while he has some loss of feeling and numbness, there is a possibility that will return with time.


  1. Loved all the Johnny Cash themed questions. And yeah I think it is possible to die of a broken heart.

  2. Glad to hear that James is doing better and fortunate was a food way to describe it. Also enjoyed the Johnny Cash trivia.

  3. I think that it is indeed possible to die from a broken heart. It happens to couples who have been married for many many years. One dies and within days or a few weeks the other one passes away as well. The heartbreak of losing their long time love is simply an unbearable loss for them and their heart simply gives out. A very sad and yet beautiful thing. It happened last year to a couple I knew.

  4. oh wow anita, i didn't know etzler was part of your husband's clan. i've been meaning to go see the one on blacksburg that sells bacon! it was good seeing you yesterday and i wanted to let you know that if you need anything from the store at all, anything, just let me know and i can pick it up for you...i'm there daily, no seriously, i'm there daily!

  5. It would be fun to have a street named after your family. Glad your husband is doing better.

  6. I'm not much of a Country Music either.
    Glad to hear that your hubby's recovery is progressing :)

  7. i'm glad your husband is doing better. i loved the sharing of your first date.

  8. What a great love story! I haven't thought of Dan Folgelberg in years! Used to like his music. So glad your hubby is healing well. What a scary accident and he is very lucky. Like you said, it could have been much worse.

  9. Nice choice for favorite love song. I'm not a big fan of country music, though there are some songs/artists I like. I actually visited a museum yesterday, in the state Capitol. I was early enough for Concert on the Square that I decided to visit the observation deck, which I have not been to in a couple years. After, I meandered through their exhibit on the building and renovation of the Capitol.


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