Friday, July 28, 2017

Music Friday: Tim McGraw's Girlfriend Has an Eye for Things That Glitter in 'Just to See You Smile'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you hit songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature superstar Tim McGraw singing Billboard's #1 country hit of 1998, "Just to See You Smile."

In this song about selflessness, unconditional love and heartbreak, McGraw portrays a hard-working Texas miner who is willing to do just about anything to make his girlfriend happy — and that includes lavishing her with fine jewelry.

In the very first lines of the song, McGraw sings, "You always had an eye for things that glittered / But I was far from bein' made of gold / I don't know how but I scraped up the money / I just never could quite tell you no."

The miner leaves his job in Amarillo to relocate with her to Tennessee, but the relationship quickly breaks down. The girlfriend finds a new lover and our hero graciously tells her that he's happy for her.

"And given the chance I'd lie again," he admits. "It's worth all that's lost / Just to see you smile."

Released in August 1997, the song would go on to spend 42 weeks on the Billboard Country chart — the longest chart run for any country single in the 1990s.

"Just to See You Smile" was the third single from McGraw's fourth studio album, Everywhere. Both the song and the album topped the Billboard Country charts.

The son of New York Mets star pitcher Tug McGraw, Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw was born in Delhi, La., in 1967. Tim was brought up by his step-dad, Horace Smith, and didn't know that the famous athlete was his biological father until he was 11. He signed his first record deal with Curb Records in 1990 and married country singer Faith Hill in 1996.

McGraw has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and 25 of his singles have gone to #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. He has also won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards and three People's Choice Awards.

Please check out the audio track of McGraw’s performance of “Just to See You Smile.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"Just To See You Smile"
Written by Mark Nesler and Tony Martin. Performed by Tim McGraw.

You always had an eye for things that glittered
But I was far from bein' made of gold
I don't know how but I scraped up the money
I just never could quite tell you no
Just like when you were leavin' Amarillo
To take that new job in Tennessee
And I quit mine so we could be together
I can't forget the way you looked at me

Just to see you smile
I'd do anything
That you wanted me to
And all is said and done
I'd never count the cost
It's worth all that's lost
Just to see you smile

When you said time was all you really needed
I walked away and let you have your space
Cause leavin' didn't hurt me near as badly
As the tears I saw rollin' down your face
And yesterday I knew just what you wanted
When you came walkin' up to me with him
So I told you that I was happy for you
And given the chance I'd lie again

Just to see you smile
I'd do anything
That you wanted me to
And all is said and done
I'd never count the cost
It's worth all that's lost
Just to see you smile

Just to see you smile
I'd do anything
That you wanted me to
And all is said and done
I'd never count the cost
It's worth all that's lost
Just to see you smile

Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Budd Butcher (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

'Jake The Diamond Dog' Shines at Minor League Ballparks From Coast to Coast

For the past 27 years, a succession of golden retrievers — each playing the role of "Jake The Diamond Dog" — have delighted minor league baseball fans from coast to coast. Just recently, however, Jake's brilliant and adorable on-field antics have caught the attention of huge media outlets and made him an instant celebrity.

The current Jake, whose real name is Deuce, took over the role in 2009. The handsome, well tempered pooch is often called "the best darn dog in professional baseball."

If you've been to a minor league contest featuring the Fort Wayne TinCaps, South Bend Cubs, Louisville Bats or Columbus Clippers over the past quarter century there is a good chance that you've already seen one of the Jakes in action.

The current iteration of Jake delights the crowd by taking water bottles out to the umpires in a little straw basket. The pup waits patiently while the umpire rehydrates and returns the empty bottle. The dog is also responsible for taking the game ball to the pitcher before the start of the contest, standing by the pitcher during the National Anthem, shagging foul balls, picking up stray bats and catching Frisbees between innings.

Before the game, fans will often see Jake The Diamond Dog meeting and greeting fans as they enter the ballpark. Pre-game activities also include searching the stands for that day's "Ballpark Sweetheart," who is typically a little red-headed girl with Jake's colorations. During the game, the Sweetheart is introduced to the crowd and Jake brings her a bouquet of flowers.

Adorable pups doing adorable things have become a staple of social media, and Jake The Diamond Dog is riding a wave of popularity. Just recently, he's caught the attention of Inside Edition, People Magazine, the Washington Post and the BBC. Jake also has become a darling of social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Jake The Diamond Dog has his own Facebook page, and this is where upcoming appearances are promoted. The Events section outlines three upcoming ballgames in Ft. Wayne (Aug. 1), Louisville (Aug. 20) and Columbus (Aug. 21).

When he's not performing during the game, Jake keeps out of harm's way by resting in an inflatable dog house on the first base line.

The original Jake The Diamond Dog was trained by Jeff "Dog Man" Marchal in 1990. That dog, whose real name was Jericho, caught the attention of Mike Veeck, who specialized in minor league promotions. Veeck was impressed when he witnessed Jericho delivering items curb-side at a drive-thru farm store, and then taking the customer's money and bringing it back to Marchal. Veeck wondered if Marchal could train the dog to bring water bottles to the umpires. Clearly the answer was yes, and the rest is history.

Marchal believes that Deuce loves his role as Jake The Diamond Dog.

"The dog does a great job and we share a lot of stories with the fans,” he told Inside Edition. “His tail's always wagging. I think he enjoys it a whole lot.”

Deuce is the fourth golden retriever to portray Jake The Diamond Dog. Marchal told Inside Edition that he's getting so many calls for bookings that he may consider training a new "Diamond Dog" in the near future.

Check out the video of Jake The Diamond Dog doing what he does best...

Credits: Top image via Instagram/MelissaBooker. Other images via Facebook/Jake The Diamond Dog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Family's Legacy Lives On as Grandma's Diamond Ring Survives Apartment Blaze

Last month, Wisconsin resident Destinee Fitzgerald woke up a bit earlier than usual to check the time on her cell phone. She became terrified when she smelled smoke in her apartment and heard the the faint sound of a neighbor's smoke alarm. She looked out the window and saw flames leaping from her landlord's air conditioner.

In an instant, she scooped up her four-year-old daughter, Deana Marie, and dashed to safety. Left behind in her bedroom, on top of a framed photo of her unborn son's ultrasound, was a cherished family heirloom — her grandma's diamond ring.

Mauston firefighters arrived on the scene but couldn't keep the blaze from completely gutting her apartment.

It took several weeks before the local authorities deemed the conditions safe enough to allow residents back into the building to salvage their property. Destinee was sure her grandmother's ring had perished in the fire.

“Yeah, I just felt terrible about it,” Destinee told the Juneau County Star-Times. “It was so bad because the ring was something that stood out to me and something I wanted to pass on to my own daughter.”

Destiny's mom, Dana Fitzgerald, had other ideas. She bravely navigated up the badly damaged steps and into the blackened rooms.

“She kept saying, ‘Mom, don’t go up there, it’s not safe,’” Dana told the Juneau County Star-Times. “But I was determined to find this ring. I made it all the way to the back bedroom. I lifted up some soaking wet papers and there was this shiny, beautiful ring sitting on top of the frame of my grandson’s ultrasound. I put it right on my finger so I wouldn’t lose it.”

Dana had received the ring from her mother, Donna "Hookie" Chamberlain, who passed away in 1998 when Destinee was just two years old. Dana was determined to give Deana Marie an opportunity to be the fourth generation to wear the ring.

On Facebook, Destinee summarized her ordeal: "What a crazy couple days it has been. I can't stop thanking God that I happened to wake up to check my phone that night... It's the most terrifying thing waking up to smoke in your home and not knowing what's going on. My first thought was, 'Oh my gosh. Get my baby girl out of this!'"

Destinee told the Juneau County Star-Times that the only reason she had taken off the ring was because her fingers had become swollen during her pregnancy. She reported that the ring is back on her finger.

“Even though it is a material thing, it is more than just a ring,” Destinee said. “There is a lot of meaning behind it because I don’t have my grandma around anymore. I’m back to wearing it every day, unless my finger is swollen, of course.”

Credit: Ring image by Dana Fitzgerald. Other images via Facebook/Destinee Fitzgerald.