The smells of memory

It was after a speaking engagement in Chattanooga when I was signing books that an arm slipped over my shoulders from the back and a woman leaned forward to press her cheek against mine. Before I saw her, I smelled her fragrance. I stopped, my Sharpie paused inches above a book, and I drifted back […]

Ruby and Louise

On the drive home from a speaking engagement in Savannah, I answered a call from Tink, who sounded fairly frantic. Whenever possible, he travels with me. But for that trip, he was on deadline with a movie script so he had stayed home and stayed up all night, working against the hours that were ticking […]

Albany, Georgia needs us

[Editor’s note: An EF3 tornado with winds of 150 mph struck Albany and south Georgia Jan. 22, 2017.] On the Rondarosa, we have such frequent phone and DSL problems, that we’ve become good friends with our repair guy, Mike. Such good friends that we have his cell phone number. I called him one day and […]

Charlie, the patriot

It was on the eve of our national election that I ran upstairs to file a couple of things in my office. As I started to leave, a large storage box caught my eye. I had not noticed it before. I opened it and discovered that Charlie Tinker was wanting to talk again. Charlie, you […]

Can we do it again, again?

Several years ago, I struck up a friendship with a reader named LaTrelle. It began because she was on the mailing list of my weekly newsletter so she’d often reply with her thoughts and comments on what I had written. This went on for a few years until LaTrelle encountered what would be the difficult […]

The 3 cousins

It was a typical Sunday family dinner, all of us fresh from our churches and gathered together for the sake of being together. Conversation bubbled over in six or seven different conversations, a cacophony of various pitches. No one really listens to anyone at these dinners. “How did your ball game go yesterday?” I asked […]

A hymn for Lewis Grizzard

Before our dear friend, Ed Parks, died, he would invite us up to his house in Highlands on a Sunday and say, “We’ll have supper then we’ll go over to the Little Church in the Wildwoods and sing.” It is a tiny church perched on a perilous hill where a hundred folks crowd into the […]

The Yankee and his music

Tink returned from a trip to Los Angeles and was recounting a conversation between himself and a friend during lunch. (Many in Southern California continue to be amazed that Tink, a Yankee-born-turned-Southern-Californian has found his very happy place in the South.) “Do you have to listen to country music all the time?” asked Tink’s friend […]

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 […]

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