Exit Polls Show Major Mitt Romney Win in Florida GOP Primary

From the Drudge Report comes the exit polling data some two-hours prior to the polls closing in Florida’s Republican Primary.  It will be a major victory in a big important electoral state for Mitt Romney.  Newt Gingrich gets shucked like an ear of corn tonight.

EXIT POLLS 5 PM ET: 46% ROMNEY 32% GINGRICH 12% SANTORUM 7% PAUL

Buds Sprout In Madison As Temps Feel Like Spring

While sunny skies and warm temperatures made for lots of giddy people today there was one sign of spring that is just too early.  I noticed today that buds are prominent on some trees.    Pictured below are either buds on a Magnolia tree, or a Tulip Tree on Madison’s isthmus.  It is just way to early for these signs of warm weather.  After all, it is only January 31st, and this is still Wisconsin.  But this warm weather sure does feel nice!

Nancy Reagan Says Ronnie Did Not Pass Torch To Newt Gingrich

Another push-back from those who want Newt Gingrich to end his campaign.

Calling himself “the legitimate heir to the Reagan movement,” Newt Gingrich recently cited a 1995 speech by Nancy Reagan in which the former First Lady said that her husband “passed on the torch” to him.

“In 1995, Nancy Reagan at the Goldwater Institute was very generous,” Gingrich told voters in Florida on Sunday. “And she said ‘Just as Barry gave the torch to Ronny, Ronny has passed on the torch to Newt.’”

But as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports, Gingrich appears to be taking that comment out of context.

Sources close to Nancy Reagan said the speech itself was written by the host at the Goldwater Organization – where Mrs. Reagan delivered the remarks – and that she was referring generally to Congress and not specifically to the former Speaker, Mitchell reported on her MSNBC program.

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Grand Old Stage At Ryman Auditorium To Be Removed, New One Installed

This is one of those stories that makes sense on the one hand, but is filled with sentimental attachment and difficulty on the other hand.

The famed stage of the legendary Ryman Auditorium where the longest running radio show in America still is staged during the winter months, and broadcast over WSM will be getting a major make-over.   The place where Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, and Ernest Tubb sang and performed for many years will be removed and replaced.    The stage where the stars of classic county once stood will be gone.

The stage is to be replaced by a more durable Brazilian teak, though an 18-inch lip of the blonde oak at the front will be retained for history’s sake. The original hickory support beams underneath will be reinforced with concrete foundations, crossbeams and joist work that will help triple the load capacity.

Many years ago the curtain that goes up at the Opry was replaced, with the old one cut into small sections and used as additions to certain album purchases.  I own one of those sections, and posted about it in 2008.  It would be wonderful if the old stage could be cut up into small sections and either auctioned off, or placed for sale.  I have the perfect place to show it off at home, and hope that the Opry owners are thinking of making use of the old stage floor.

What a story that old wood could tell.