Ozark; Azaleas; Love Letter From A Red Roof Inn

Well, as millions of fans of dark and dirty doings know, the Netflix series Ozark has come to a close. And, predictably, this saga (44 episodes in all), heavily populated by morally compromised people doing despicable things, does not conclude in a tidy manner. As the screen goes dark and a gunshot thunders a mere moment before the credits begin their final roll, any number of questions are left unanswered about four of the show’s main characters, the Byrde family.

Unanswered, yes. I’d have to say, however, that the future clearly does not look bright for Marty and Wendy Byrde, the married pair around whom Ozark significantly revolves, nor for their 15-year-old son Jonah. Possibly Marty and Wendy’s daughter Charlotte, a couple of years Jonah’s senior, has a chance to grow towards the light. But I wouldn’t bet heavy money on that.

What else would you expect, anyway, from a series fueled by the unrelenting pressures placed upon Marty by a Mexican drug cartel whose monies he must launder if he wishes to remain above ground? Man, the directions in which those pressures take Marty, a financial advisor by trade, and Wendy are head-spinning. And the fallout from their maneuverings affects Jonah heavily, and nearly everyone else they come in contact with too.

Such an intense, over-the-top show! I couldn’t get enough of it. Each season I’d stare at the tube in disbelief as, left and right, minor and major players exited permanently, usually by gunfire. Ozark’s foulness put me in a bear hug and wouldn’t let go. I’ll miss the series. And I’ll pass on to you the one big lesson that Ozark taught me. Namely, don’t f*ck with a Mexican drug cartel, or with any similar enterprise, needless to say. You better believe that I damn well won’t.

I’m not strictly a denizen of the lower realms. So, some things way more positive than Ozark also have pleased me of late. For instance, the spring season. Yes, plant life has been looking good here in southeast Pennsylvania, USA for the last five or six weeks, with maple and oak trees and the like flaunting their foliage, and flowering trees dazzling human eyes with their blossoms. What’s more, most of the azaleas in my area burst into bloom about two weeks ago, adding tremendously to the spring spectacular. Ah, azaleas. When dense with flowers, they are hard to beat.

Fortunately for me, each year I get a mega-dose of azalea magic, because my friend Joyce, who lives nearby, is in possession of azaleas as fine as any I’m aware of. The azaleas in front of her house not only glow in a number of different hues, they also are enormous. I’d guess that the square footage taken up by those plants is about one-fourth of the square footage within her home. That’s saying something.

And, though maybe it’s only my imagination, Joyce’s azaleas look better to me this year, in terms of fullness and vibrancy, than ever before. In any case, I bow to them.

Before I bid you adieu, I’ll say a bit about a song, Love Letter From A Red Roof Inn, that needed no help in becoming a favorite of mine after I heard it for the first time earlier this month. It is a winner. (And, parenthetically, let me note that its title is as cool as they come.) Released in late 2021, Love Letter, by the blue-eyed soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones, unfolds seductively. Lead singer Paul Janeway pours his heart out to the listener, quietly and in a falsetto as sweet as clover honey. Alone in a hotel room, he misses his lady. He’s homesick. He’s on the verge of crying himself to sleep.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones have got what it takes. I’ve seen them on TV and would love to catch them in person. After hearing this song you might want to also. Here, then, is Love Letter From A Red Roof Inn, a recording that would have made waves back in the 1960s and 70s, when soul music by The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Delfonics, etc., etc. rode high on the music charts. Till next time!

119 thoughts on “Ozark; Azaleas; Love Letter From A Red Roof Inn

  1. Jeff the Chef June 11, 2022 / 12:06 pm

    I’ve heard only good think about Ozark, and your comments seem to ice that cake! I just cannot find enough time in the day to watch everything that needs watching, but I’ll add this to my list! Thanks for the music, by the way, as you said, it’s beautifully retro.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane Henders June 11, 2022 / 1:15 pm

    Wow, the azaleas are spectacular! Ours are a mass of bloom now, too; but our garden is so young that they’re only little blobs of colour — nothing like your photos. Maybe someday… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Silver Screenings June 19, 2022 / 5:32 pm

    There’s always great music on this site, and this (new to me) song is no exception.

    Thank you for sharing the photos of the azaleas. I gasped when I saw them. Such rich, vibrant colour! I wonder how well they would do in our gardening zone…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Misti August 2, 2022 / 3:30 pm

    Just now randomly coming across your blog and I’ll make my first comment here about Ozark. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the show at first, I thought my cartel days were behind me with Breaking Bad but I found myself with a lot of free time and instead of doing something more productive binged what episodes were out. I was hoping for redemption for several characters and I still can’t get over Wendy’s brother, but you are right, probably no redemption for any of them. If you find yourself in need of more cartel drama, Queen of the South is one to check out. Maybe slightly less bloody, maybe not. And of course Breaking Bad’s precursor, Better Call Saul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 2, 2022 / 5:11 pm

      Hello there. Thanks for adding your thoughts. My wife and I began an eight-episode series last night: The Staircase, on HBO Max, and maybe on regular HBO too. Colin Firth is in it. The first episode was very good.


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