Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: The West

Here is the final part of a four-part series about a mythical episode of Gone Barefoot, which would be a two-hour clip special with highlights of the series' runs symbolizing all 50 of the United States and Washington, D.C.  This post details the 13 westernmost states of our country.

Mountain states
  • New Mexico - Bryson acts out his Western-movie fantasies in Showdown at Las Positas. (Season 4, episode 3)
  • Colorado - Bobby Ray and Jennifer join members of the U.S. military in watching a college basketball game in South Korea. [The state is home of the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, and NORAD among other facilities.] (Season 5, episode 2)
  • Wyoming - Ralph tries on a loincloth as part of a weekend of prehistoric hunting and gathering. (Season 3, episode 1)
  • Montana - Bryson is treated to a night of old Western movies thanks to a big screen and a generator. (Season 2, episode 7)
  • Idaho - Ralph reveals her crush with Beatha McCaughtry, performer at the Irish dance show in the New Jerusalem.  [Ireland and Idaho are both famed for their potatoes.] (NBS)
  • Utah - Popeye visits the hall of records in Johnston County to answer his questions about Barefoot family history. (Season 1, episode 5)
  • Nevada - Belinda marries two of her dolls: Sarah Michelle MacSmelliefoote and Benjamin Jeremiah Boogerberger. (Season 1, episode 6)
  • Arizona - Hambone and her chaperone Ralph pass pre-show time by visiting a nature preserve in the Golan Heights, which has a similar climate and ecosystem. (Season 5, episode 6)

Pacific states
  • California - The Honey Bees, a "lip rock" group that includes Hambone and B.W.'s cousin Beth, perform at a special youth event. [This symbolizes the youth and reinvention associated with the "Golden State," which I know so well as a lifelong resident.] (Season 4, episode 6)
  • Oregon - Bryson's dream treehouse opens. (Season 3, episode 2)
  • Washington - Belinda and Bryson engage in their first apple-picking contest.  (Season 1, episode 3)
  • Alaska -  The family makes quilts, blankets, and even footwear to prepare for winter. (Season 3, episode 6)
  • Hawaii - B.W. surprises the house by dressing as Elvis Presley for a show, and in fact even wears a lei to honor his comeback show in 1968. (NBS)
Thanks for taking this journey with me!

One other thing to tell you about: I am working on another group photograph, and it's the biggest to date.  I have doubled the size of the Barefoot Mommas' Club to 24, and their new "publicity photo" is based on one which contains a reality TV star.  I will work on it in the coming week and show it to you all late Friday or overnight Saturday next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: Midwest

This is part three of what I now know is a four-part series dealing with a mythical episode of Gone Barefoot honoring its 50th episode by re-airing scenes dedicated to every state in America.  The Midwestern states are the subject of this post.

Great Lakes states
  • Ohio - Lil' Jack intercepts a pass to seal a victory for the family's football team in its debut at its new stadium.  (Season 4, episode 7)
  • Michigan - For Christmas, Buddy Wayne receives a street-legal version of a NASCAR "Generation 6" race car.  (Season 1, episode 13)
  • Indiana - B.W., Bobby Ray, and Bunky battle for the family go-kart title at Matt's American Boardwalk in the New Jerusalem. (Season 5, episode 7)
  • Illinois - B.W. introduces bean blossoms to his property.  (Season 1, episode 11)
  • Wisconsin - Brandy and her cow Ellie take on Hambone and her cow Mildred in a spirited milking contest.  (Season 1, episode 2)
  • Minnesota - Hambone climbs onto a freeway overpass and shows a very provocative sign which actually has an innocent meaning that's only apparent when one really reads the fine print.  [She shows "loon-y" behavior, get it?] (NBS)

Great Plains states
  • North Dakota - The Barefoot Mommas' Club stages a flapper party. [Much of the music reminds one of Lawrence Welk's bandleader music; Welk was born in Strasburg.] (Season 3, episode 8)
  • South Dakota - Belinda recites the list of presidents like those at Mount Rushmore. (NBS)
  • Nebraska - Bobby Ray shows how he deals with slaughtering cattle. (Season 1, episode 7)
  • Kansas - Ralph finds a bounty of grains in the briar patch during the "roots of man" weekend. (Season 3, episode 1)
  • Missouri - Brenda shares her recipe for an "all-in-one" barbeque sauce, using influences from various styles of BBQ, including those of Kansas City and St. Louis. (Season 3, episode 2)
  • Iowa - Harvey makes his professional mixed martial arts debut. [Many MMA fighters have backgrounds in wrestling, which is a statewide passion.] (Season 5, episode 2)
Next week, I'll go out west to my home region.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: The South

As promised, it's on to the Barefoots' home region, "the land of cotton" where "old times there are not forgotten," in the words of the famous song "Dixie."  But please - don't look away!

Southeastern region
  • Kentucky - At the end of the renewal of their wedding vows, B.W. and Brittany Raylene do their first dance to their hit song "When the Bough Breaks." (Season 4, episode 8)
  • West Virginia - Bunky and Hambone star in the comedic play "Sweet Fanny Adams." [That just sounded like a good Ulster-Scot name to me.] (Season 4, episode 2)
  • Virginia - B.W. visits the Confederate leadership conference for the first time.  The president of the new Confederacy is Lyman Bowling Jr., originally from Roanoke.  (Season 2, episode 1)
  • North Carolina - In the perfect symbolism of Heaven being the real home of every Christian, Brenda reunites with Bryson in the show's most emotional moment ever.  (Season 1, episode 1)
  • South Carolina - The Barefoot Mommas' Club shows off at its inaugural fashion show, in the style of the Charleston gentry.  (Season 1, episode 7)
  • Georgia - Hambone steals the show with her body-percussion rendition of the classic country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" in New Jerusalem.  (Season 5, episode 8)
  • Florida - Boca Raton's Brittany Ramos - who visited the farm as a result of winning the first season of BMN Superfan -  has a scary moment in the beehive.  (Season 3, episode 3)

Mid-southern region

  • Alabama - Lulabettie Plumpkin, the "queen of maids," gives a stem-winding speech at B.W.'s first Idealia leadership conference.  (NBS)
  • Mississippi - Brandy gives the Miss Idealia crown to her successor, Brandon resident and Millsaps College student Megan Turnipseed. (Season 6, episode 3)
  • Louisiana - Jennifer goes on the road to promote her debut novel Black Crow on the Window, a mystery novel set in New Orleans.  (Season 2, episode 5)
  • Texas - The farm receives a "bi-horn" (hybrid bison and longhorn cattle) from the Ribble family.  (Season 3, episode 5)
  • Oklahoma - Buddy Wayne learns real Cherokee dancing and crafts from the Mantooths during the leadership conference.  (NBS)
  • Arkansas - An unofficial belly-flop contest breaks out at the end of a 15-person hunting trip at Camp Paradise.  (Season 5, episode 1)
  • Tennessee - Brenda's hand-cranked radio discovery allows her to sleep to the rhythms of her favorite country songs. (Season 1, episode 8)
Of course, for my next post it's on to the Midwest.  Maybe by the end of the weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: East Coast

First of all, happy Valentine's Day to you and all of your loved ones!

As promised, I now start to present the summary of the special episode of Gone Barefoot that would dedicate one scene to each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.  In this post, I travel back to the East Coast.

The episode information is included if it was part of the main show.  However, some scenes were bonus scenes, outtakes, or "throwaway" segments (short vignettes used to break up long commercial sets).  In that case, the letters "NBS," for never before seen, are used instead

New England region
  • Maine - Belinda draws a "rainbow lobster" (fish with colored stripes on the outside) after seeing a description of it in a textbook at her one-room schoolhouse. (NBS)
  • Vermont - The family enjoys a "Jack Attack" ice cream cake, which has three layers and seven different ingredients. [Why ice cream?  Ben & Jerry's was started there.] (Season 5, episode 6)
  • New Hampshire - Bryson climbs the tree outside the one-room schoolhouse and the rest of the school joins in.  (Season 6, episode 2)
  • Massachusetts - In a letter to Buddy Wayne, singer Melanie MacMelville describes her family's cranberry bog.  (Season 2, episode 3)
  • Rhode Island - Popeye invites his immediate family and B.W. to a floating party, at which Hambone "flirts" with her nephew. (NBS)
  • Connecticut - Popeye competes at the World Series of Bunco at a local casino. (Season 5, episode 2)
Mid-Atlantic region
  • New York - Bobby Ray, Jennifer, and Belinda visit the memorial for victims of the September 11 attacks.  (Season 5, episode 8)
  • New Jersey - A benches-clearing brawl changes the course of a championship softball game. (Season 5, episode 3)
  • Pennsylvania - Belinda and Bryson enter the schoolhouse for the first time.  (Season 2, episode 1)
  • Delaware - In her quilting debut, Brandy shows off a design with lots of diamonds. [This ties in with the state's nickname of "Diamond State" and also evokes the Brandywine Valley.] (Season 1, episode 4)
  • Maryland - Hambone gets "crabby" after being told she would be chaperoned for the family's trip to perform in New Jerusalem. (Season 5, episode 5)
  • District of Columbia - B.W. reveals the locations of all seven of his "Beulah" guitars, including the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in - where else? - Washington.  (NBS)
Next time, I'll go down South.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state promotion

This week's photo montage would honor 50 episodes of my favorite TV creation, Gone Barefoot.  The idea is to have a special two-hour episode in which past highlights are shown, hosted by BMN outside advisor Steve Beverly and featuring a live studio audience.

How were the clips chosen?  Since this is the 50th episode, one segment will be dedicated to each of America's states and another to Washington, D.C.  OK, so that's actually 51 segments, but at least no one can complain about being left out, unless one lives in the external territories.  Each segment - taken both from Gone Barefoot and other productions of the Barefoot Media Networks - is considered the most appropriate fit for the history, culture, and lifestyle of each state.

As part of promotion of the episode, there would be a print campaign with 51 different images, getting people in each state and in D.C. to tune in.  Each ad is set in a landmark located in that state.  So I decided to do the ad that would appear in this state, California. 

After considering the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hollywood sign, I settled on the iconic trees located in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the central part of the state.  The trees there are the tallest, largest, and some of the oldest in the world.  Buddy Wayne poses between the trees with a cheeky slogan based on the tradition of lovers carving their names on them.  Only this time what's carved is the bare footprint that I've made a symbol of the family.

The footprint is from the Barefoot Chiropractic & Wellness home page and I've used it before; a notable use was in the welcome sign to the family cottage.  To make this version look like a carving, I used the multiply blending mode for the layer it was on.  The show and network logos are those I contrived myself.  All text other than that of the show title was created in Myriad Pro font, with some of it rasterized.  The Gone Barefoot text was created in Smarty Pants BTN.

(Original photo courtesy

I will think of the specific scenes and will present them in a post next week.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

So much for flu-like symptoms...

Unfortunately, I have not felt my best this week.  On Monday, I went ahead with taking my line-dance class at ABC Adult School despite a headache, sore throat, and a sudden spike in body temperature which made me feel cold.  By early Tuesday morning, all that was unbearable, and that day I was rushed to a clinic.  There, a diagnosis of flu-like symptoms (why not the flu itself, that's what it amounts to for me) was made and I missed every other class this past week.  I hope to return this coming week after extensive treatments and medication.

In the meantime, I know that my second family can always cheer me up.  So it should come as no surprise that I somehow found the strength to create these two projects. 

Up first is one I completed just minutes ago, which shows Hambone's first-ever car, a 2007 Dodge Charger.  No doubt she was inspired by the Duke cousins' version -  the "General Lee" - as featured in The Dukes of Hazzard.)  This was purchased from her "kin" at Barefoot's Auto Mart in Dunn, NC.  The location I dropped her and the car into could either be the backyard of where "the 13" live or the frontyard of where her father, Popeye, and his 10 brothers and sisters grew up in.  (In fact, the picture is a Google Maps snapshot of 11390 North Carolina 50 in Meadow, once home to a real Alonzo Barefoot.)

Now I bring to you a publicity photo relating to the scene on episode 9, season 5 of Gone Barefoot.  As I have written, a massive recreational outing was arranged for most of the Barefoot family performers just before their show in New Jerusalem; it took place at Matt's American Boardwalk and bowling was one of the activities that took place.  This particular game has Popeye and the members of the Barefoot Mommas' Club, and I would have them in this pose before play begins.  The faces of the five replace those of actual bowlers in a seniors' league at Buffaloe Lanes in Erwin, NC, as published in The Daily Record.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BMN Superfan season 3, episode 10

At the start of the season finale, Shandi Finnessey asks the final three: "What are the two things that [every other competition show] has at about this point in the season?"  Jamie quickly answers, "They meet their loved ones, right?"  It then takes a little longer for someone to figure out the second right answer, but finally Curtis says, "And then we see who we knocked out."

During the breakfast, the family and friends come out: Curtis has his parents, Mary and David; Jamie her high-school teacher Mark Rockwell; and Aubrey has her mother, Barbara; Aubrey thanks Barbara for her strength after the death of her father and older brother in the year before Aubrey was cast for the show.  Once the meal is over, the finalists, family, friend, and helpers come together to clean the property and give the animals final feedings.

Then the ousted contestants return and everyone takes a place in the stands to witness the final challenge of the season.  Before that occurs, Shandi announces that the final jackpot amount is exactly $100,000, as Labell presents a check for $14,000.

At this point, the final challenge for the season is laid out.  It's an illustrated time line
of nearly 100 years of Barefoot family history.  All pictures are in black-and-white, although some are modified to remove the original colors.  One at a time, each finalist runs the course to put the photos in the correct chronological order of when they were taken.  Whoever has the slowest time will be eliminated immediately, leaving only two for the final judgment. (Adrian Van Bracklin Orr and family, from screen capture of a 2013 episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC)

"The worst part of this game is not being able to tell who these people really are," Aubrey comments.  "It's clear that a lot of these were childhood photos and you had to try to conclude who they look like now."  Still, she figures it out the best, placing the 10 pictures in correct order in a time of 7 minutes, 33 seconds.  Jamie (9:30) defeated Curtis (9:49) for second place.

After the goodbyes to Curtis, Shandi reveals that America will decide the winner of the season between Aubrey and Jamie - in just a few minutes!  When the obvious shock wears off, she elaborates: Throughout the season, several hundred fellow fans had received preview versions of each episode.  In addition, they had already seen their original audition tapes.  Now, copies of the final challenge are being sent by e-mail and social media, notifying them of who the finalists are and asking them to vote for their favorites.

Two hours later, Shandi gathers the finalists together and asks a few questions.  Among them is how they thought their games went, and what each would do with the money.   After building the necessary suspense, she opens the envelope and announces that Aubrey Chapman is the winner of BMN Superfan season 3.

Aubrey thanks the obvious sources - God, Jesus Christ, Barbara, co-workers at K-Love, and a few others.  She then points to the sky and says, "Dad, this moment is yours too!"  Shandi asks Barbara for her late husband's name, and she says Ken.  Shandi: "Ken is indeed proud as he watches from upstairs!"

The show ends with the Barefoots returning from their show in Jerusalem.  They encounter a letter from Labell congratulating them on the show and explaining all that happened at the farm while they were away.  He adds that there was a competition show and that those who worked on it have a gift for "the 13" - an autographed picture of all of them.  Buddy Wayne closes out the season by saying: "This is something we would love for our memory wall.  Thank you, Labell, and thank you to our helpers.  Now we can celebrate!"