Some people take pride in every chance to relive their glory days, to tell their children tales of days gone by and often remembered.
Some tell stories of incredible athletic feats of yesteryear, and back them up with testimonies from old teammates they see in Wal-Mart or moments frozen forever in framed photographs on the walls of hometown restaurants.
Those stories take them to a time before their backs hurt, before they worked long hours to pay for mortgaged houses.
They take them back to when they had all of the time in the world, when they lived for Friday nights and thought they were invincible. Continue reading →
It was just another Tuesday, and I was just another 15-year-old sophomore in high school.
My mind had little regard for anything except girls, sports, what I’d eat for lunch and how I’d get through math class.
I didn’t have a cell phone or a driver’s license.
I was nowhere near New York City or the World Trade Center.
Terrorism was just a word.
I’m 32 now. Things are different.
I know you might skim this story on your cell phone. I know you might be too young to remember what happened.
Maybe you weren’t even born.
Maybe all you know about Sept. 11, 2001, came from what you’ve seen on social media or heard in history class.
My friend wrote a column about Sept. 11 last week, in which she made a wonderful point about what I remember most from the the day’s aftermath. I’ve thought about you since I read it. I thought about you again this morning, when I saw an Instagram post from a history teacher who had students interview someone who has a clear memory of what happened 17 years ago today to help them see a different picture of one of America’s most disasterous days.
I’ll never forget what unfolded in those hours.
If you can’t remember, and you have a minute to spare, I’d like to try to take you to a time when the history you’ve heard was just heartbreak. Continue reading →
I pushed my lawn chair into the sand and sat.
I was part of a small crowd, which had gathered on the beach to witness the aftermath of a seldom-seen spectacle of nature.
The crowd included several small girls, who giggled as they flipped through pamphlets and stared with wide-eyed wonder at a little indention on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
The spot was the only visible sign of sea turtle nest No. 20, which had hatched a few days earlier.
While the crowd watched, trained volunteers dug into the sand below the spot until they reached the chamber of the nest.
They lifted unhatched eggs, broken eggshells and one dead hatchling from the chamber to be recorded before they buried them again.
All of this amazed the group of small girls, and I heard one of them say they’d seen history.
I smiled and thought about how amazed they’d be if they were ever around when one of those nests hatched.
I saw a sea turtle nest hatch once.
It was something I never knew I needed to see, and something I’ll never forget. Continue reading →
Long ago, I made one of my many bad choices.
I went outside to play, and saw a five-gallon bucket.
There was water in it and a bee on it.
I’d been told bees don’t usually bother you if you don’t bother them, which has since proven to be mostly true, but I was a young boy and it proved impossible not to test such a theory.
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When I was a boy, I had a lot of pets.
They just didn’t seem to want to stick around.
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For the second time in four days, Kentucky flies by me in a blur of white lines and road signs.
Road trips are another story for another day, though, because today is someone’s birthday. Continue reading →
There are some things about the South which are strange to people who aren’t accustomed to them. I’ve noticed this on occasion through the years.
One such occasion happened some time ago, when I returned to work after a short trip to Rite Aid.
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I sat in a mall food court yesterday afternoon.
It was the first time I’d darkened the door of the mall in a while. I’d planned to people watch, because it’s just about the only thing suitable to do in a mall while you patiently wait for a woman to finish shopping, but something was off. Continue reading →
My mama’s daddy died when I was 7 years old, but I learned a lot about him during the 2,815 days we shared. Continue reading →
This story begins in a pool hall and ends in a goat pen.
The middle is quite messy. Continue reading →