Memories and Practical Jokes with the Smathers

Smathers Family Clogging Group

Smathers Family Clogging Group

As I look back at my life, through all the crazy years of growing up, I realize that all my friends and I had one thing in common; Our lives were NOT normal!  We did, however, have quite a few things in common. We were raised at the Grand Ole Opry or in the back seat of a car, riding 500 hundred miles, right next to or under a bass fiddle.  Sometimes we were riding on the top bunk of a camper or motor home.  Whatever the case, our common bond was…Entertainment.

There was so much comradery and respect between our parents, that I think it rolled down to our generation.  Along with comradery and respect came a lot of practical jokes.

One Practical Joke that I recall:

Mark Jones Music Lessons

Dad (Grandpa Jones) and Ben Smathers

Mom and Dad’s (Ramona Jones and Grandpa Jones) friends, Ben and Margaret Smathers had a family group called the Stoney Mountain Cloggers. Their kids, which were a part of the group, were all about my same age, and they were square dancers at the Opry.  Micky Smathers, the oldest son, was getting married, and announced that the wedding would be on stage at the Ryman Auditorium, where the Grand Ole Opry was at that time.

Hal Smathers, Micky’s brother, asked if I would give him a ride to the wedding. Now don’t get me wrong, he was a good friend, but at that time, I would much rather have been spending time with Candy or Debbie Smathers!  They were much better looking and far more appealing to me at that time!!

Mark Jones Music Lessons

Behind the Smathers Cloggers

However, I did pick Hal up and took him to the wedding.  I parked my old white Ford Van in the lot right by the Ryman and we went inside.  The wedding and the reception was over just in time for rush hour traffic.  Rush hour traffic in Nashville is something that I still hate today.  When we rounded the corner, walking toward the van, I realized that the only thing worse than rush hour traffic, would be rush hour traffic in a van with JUST MARRIED and  FUN TONIGHT  written on the windows, while dragging cans, high heels, and other decorative things.  It even had handcuffs hanging from the antenna.

Now, to make it worse, Hal had a full beard, as did I. The facial expressions of people passing us in traffic, was definitely comical.

Judging by how hard Ben Smathers was laughing, it was clear to us that he had something to do with this practical joke, and I always wondered if Dad (Grandpa Jones) might have helped out a little!

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One thought on “Memories and Practical Jokes with the Smathers

  1. Hey Mark,

    Sounds like a good time to me. Practical jokes really only work well with tight friends and family…where everyone can laugh at the fun.

    That had to be funny with two bearded hillbillies driving down the road in a just married van. Probably normal out in California though. 😉

    Talk to ya soon.

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