Shouting for joy

When I was a child, it was, on occasion, that we traveled up into the mountains to visit what Mama called her “home church,” meaning it was the church in which she had grown up. It was mainly summer revivals that took us there because Sundays were devoted to the church where Daddy pastored. I […]

Storytelling songs

When I was almost 17 and started my career in media by hosting a weekend radio show on a country music station, I was no stranger to country music and the great stories told in its songs. It was at my sixth birthday party that my friends and I did the twist – a dance […]

Radio days

When I was 10 months into my 16th year, I encountered the most fortuitous opportunity. Back then, I always exclaimed of my extraordinary luck but as I have grown older and more knowledgeable of such things, I now realize it was an enormous blessing. I had been placed in a program that was for industrious, […]

Dressing up

A couple of years ago, a national book tour dropped me in Oxford, Mississippi, on a Friday afternoon before an Ole Miss home football game against Texas A&M. After my signing at Square Books, I took advantage of the pretty October day by taking a bench and watching the stream of people around the town […]

Nothing’s quick anymore

Do you remember the days when we used to say, “I’m gonna run into town and run a quick errand. I’ll be right back”? Nothing is quick any more. It takes time and a lot of patience to go out in public and deal with technology and customer service folks who are extremely grumpy that […]

The city slickers

Bree, the 8-year-old daughter of my niece Nicole, was riding shotgun with me one day in Tink’s pickup truck. We were in foothills of the mountains headed to a Sunday afternoon baptizing in the Chattahoochee River. I turned the truck onto a road that runs through a gorgeous, large farm. In the pasture on the […]

Cleaning out, looking back

One of the things about cleaning out, as you know, is the emotional path it leads you down to remembering days passed that have disappeared like a vapor unto the mountain tops. On the top of our kitchen cabinets is a bright multi-colored basket and in it sets a Velveeta cheese cardboard box. Without knowing […]

Loving that swang

About halfway through my morning run, just about the time droplets of “dew” were running down my face and I wasn’t looking none too good for the wearing, a red Ford Ranger pick-up truck pulled up beside me, stopped and a man, gray in hair and weathered in face, rolled down his window. “Boy, I […]

Losing the Poet

One of my favorite characters ever and one that readers have unfailingly enjoyed is my friend, Poet, the scion of a cotton family who speaks in lyrical tones and has always been interestingly unconventional. For Poet, life has never held rules. Let me clarify. He is honorable, kind, smart, and filled with integrity, so he […]

Uncle Oscar and Aunt Fairy

One Saturday morning, I ran by the bank to pick up a checkbook that had arrived and found the place to be unusually busy. I did a double take when I saw my nephew, Jay, a financial advisor, in an office with clients. He’s a family man who devotes weekends to his kids. “What’s he […]

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