Into the Ozarks

It’s been more than a year since my son, Evan, and I waded into a stream together. He spent his past two months and college summer break mostly in Spain with international studies; along with a few short jaunts into…

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Friends Past, More Than Passing Friends

Originally Published February, 2014

I wonder about the meaning of the word “friend.” Exactly who and what is a friend? Distinction is claimed by those who have friends. Being a friend to someone gives us purpose and a sense of belonging to something or someone bigger than ourselves. Some who claim the title of Friend are a bit on the fair-weather side. Others don’t mind the storms and walk with me through it.

The famous Tobacco Road.

The famous Tobacco Road.

Part of the cluster of universities.

Part of the cluster of universities.

Some friends surfaced along the snow-banked streets of Tobacco Road recently. If you’re an ACC basketball fan, you’ve heard “Tobacco Road” from Dick Vitale and other commentators who call ACC basketball games. Tobacco Road winds its way from Winston-Salem to Durham and features the four major universities whose addresses are clustered along this historic metaphor of a path. The once thriving tobacco factories and warehouses of Leggett-Myers, Bright Leaf and American Tobacco gave identity to this region of North Carolina. Today, most of the factories, warehouses and buildings have been re-purposed to office spaces, apartment flats, specialty retail and restaurants. Reinvented and resurrected for a new purpose.

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Best-Laid Plans

Best-Laid Plans

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. All his life, my son Evan was groomed for Oklahoma State University. After moving to Oklahoma in the early nineties, we embraced college football game day experiences on Saturdays in…

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Focus FORWARD: A Seminar for Men

FIRST ONE’S ON ME Focus FORWARD A seminar for men facing life stage challenges. Discovering the purpose for your life, healing beyond divorce, relationship changes resulting from the loss of a spouse or partner, regrouping after career transitions, setting goals,…

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Memory Boxes

The silence of my Saturday mornings is usually broken with the question, “What are we going to do today, Daddy?”

By the time my daughter, Kendall, wakes up nearly half of my day is over. Hers is just starting. The caffeine that ran through my veins hours earlier has long run its course. As she’s gotten older, I’ve become accustomed to bacon, eggs and toast for lunch. The parent of a teen must have created “brunch.” When it comes to sleeping patterns, she’s a typical teen. When it comes to all else, she’s anything but typical.

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Sweet Potato Fluff

It’s the holiday season. For more decades than I can remember, the aroma of sweet potatoes baking in the oven fills the air of my mother’s kitchen and roams its way into every room of the small square footage on the corner that is my boyhood home. Eventually these unearthed pearls of southern soil are pulled from the oven, cooled on the counter, peeled and pulverized into a consistency the likes of Bob Evan’s microwave mashed potatoes. I know about Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes. They’re an easy few minutes in the microwave, then ready to serve. Even I can’t mess up this mash. The perfect side-dish fixed by a fast-paced dad getting a late start on dinner. I’m sure you can relate. We do what we have to do, right?

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The New Woman In My Life

I left the office at 4’Oclock on Friday. I couldn’t wait to see her. I missed her birthday the Sunday before because of an early morning meeting out-of-town on Monday. She didn’t seem to mind. I offered to celebrate with her early before I left. She wouldn’t have any part of it.

“I can’t celebrate my birthday early. Let’s just wait until you get back home. I’ll be gone on my birthday anyway.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind celebrating early.”

“You may not mind, but I do. I can’t celebrate early because it’s not yet my birthday.”

She was emphatic. I let it go and resigned myself to the fact that this was one sale I wasn’t going to close.

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The Captain of The Neuse

Standing 6’ 4” broad shouldered, sporting a thick stand of wavy black hair, stylish facial scruff, and bronze tan, he looks more like a model than a commercial fisherman. He presents a soft spirit, smiles more often than not, and has a laugh that bubbles up from his diaphragm and resounds in a deep choppy base-like chuckle that bursts out in rhythmic waves of twos or threes.

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Win a Fly Fishing Trip!

Father's Day is full of children writing letters and cards to their dads, but this year I hope you will consider writing a letter to your child. Bring a letter you’ve written to your son or daughter to my June 14 book…

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