Sunday, February 8, 2015

A day with the Coach....

I don't remember the day in great detail.

I was playing golf on Pinehurst #4, an absolute gem.

The sky was a vivid Carolina blue.

Only fitting, as my playing partner was Dean Smith.

Since the news broke this morning of his passing, I've

been trying to bring him back in my mind.

Here's the big stuff of what I remember of those five

hours we spent together.

He was a competitor, and took great joy in telling me about being

the golf coach at the Air Force Academy.

He was patient. Especially with me, as I was a three putting machine.

He was gracious to all he met, and he met a lot of guys that day.

He had a good sense of humor. (Reference my putting comment)

He did not cuss. I don't remember a single four letter word.

He was first class. All the way.

Rest In Peace, Coach.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The truth in the tooth...

Our grandson Mason lost another tooth the other day.

Our daughter/his Mom posted on Facebook...

"I get the joy of playing Tooth Fairy tonight. Magic."

Yes it is.

Yes it was.

I thought back to maybe 25 years ago.

There was a loose tooth in the house.

We had a "Tooth Fairy" art figure, and as each new day began,

Jessica would find her a little closer to her bedroom.

Eventually, her tooth escaped her mouth and was carefully put in

a little pouch, and placed under her pillow.

In the morning there was money.

The scenario plays out, generation after generation.

And in it's playing out, our kids hopefully realize the magic

we experienced with them.

They should also get a glimpse of the fact that what they

feel for their kids, is what we feel for them.

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Boy, you don't know cold..."

70 years ago today, my Dad turned 27.

I don't think there was any celebration or official observance.

Perhaps his Mom and Dad had a little party of some sort.

Maybe baked him a cake and sang him "Happy Birthday".

He was absent from any festivities at home.

I'm not even sure that he realized it was his own birthday.

He was busy in Europe, trying to not freeze to death

or get shot or blown up.

The Battle Of The Bulge had begun three days prior,

and within a few more days, his unit would be ordered

to turn north and drive towards the little town of

Bastogne, Belgium.

That battle would last well into January, coupled with

the most bitter weather Europe had endured in 50 years.

When I was a kid, I complained about being cold.

"Boy, you don't know cold.", he said.

Five words formed a lifelong lesson.

Happy Birthday, Pop.

I love you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Daddy/Daughter Time........

32 years ago this morning I was on the air at K92-FM/Roanoke.

Marianne called the hotline at around 8:20am.

"What's goin' on?", I asked cleverly.

"My parents sold their house.", she replied matter of factly.

"Anything else?"

"Oh yeah. My water broke!"

And I was off....

Our daughter Jessica was born at 4:43pm.

When we left the hospital with her the world

looked different.  Because it was.

One new life that would depend on us.

I remember the feeling that I just couldn't wait to hear her

laugh for the very first time.

And there have been many laughs since.

"Do the funny thing at the door!!!", she would squeal at bedtime.

And I would oblige by pretending to hit my head on the wall

or some such nonsensical act.

Teaching her to fish and shoot.

Participating in the Y Princess Program together.

She was "Little Eagle" and I, of course, was "Bald Eagle".

Earning our deputy black belts in Taekwondo together.

Good stuff, those Daddy/Daughter times....

Don't blink.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Merry Meltdown......

At present, you can't walk in our home. Anywhere.

Because there's Christmas stuff.  Everywhere.

Lights. Ornaments. And every St. Nicknack that we

could unpack.

Sort of a "Christmas Chernobyl".

I do most of the heavy lifting. Carrying the tree inside.

Trying to be gentle as I navigate the attic pulldown steps

with the 57 pound Rubbermaid container full of oh so fragile

somethings Christmasy.

I practice my Yuletide Yoga as I try to twist and turn myself

into position so as to be able to plug in the window candles.

All of the outlets for them reside behind heavy furniture.

But as crazy as things are now, I know that in a few days,

my bride will have everything decorated perfectly.

She has the spirit.

She has the eye.

She has the patience.

Our home will look like something out of "Southern Living"


Well, our downstairs will.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

51 years ago today......

I was in the 4th grade, and on the playground behind Hilton Elementary

School in Newport News, Virginia. We were learning how to play a game

called "Steal The Bacon".

I remember there was a guy on a ladder painting the backboard of the

basketball goal.

Someone came out and told us that President Kennedy had been shot.

Everything after that is a blur.

My Dad kept all the newspapers. I now have them.

I have been to Dealy Plaza in Dallas. I have been on the infamous

"Grassy Knoll". I have looked from the window that was allegedly

Lee Harvey Oswald's perch inside the Texas School Book Depository.

It is a most surreal place.

The debate between "lone gunman" and "conspiracy" will continue

forever, I suppose.

51 years ago today.

I remember.

Do you?

Friday, November 21, 2014

I can hear memories....

I read something somewhere that our sense of smell

is our most memory inducing sense.  I can see/smell how they came

to that conclusion as anytime I'm in a high school gym I am transported

back to eighth grade and Coach Byrd's class, and trying to figure out how

to properly wear an athletic supporter. Good times.

For me I think it is sound, specifically music.

Last evening I sat in my chair, clicking away on my Mac.

Somehow I wound up on YouTube.  It's never a short visit.

One link suggested another, and I rolled through songs from my


A Beatles song reminded me of the playground behind my elementary

school, and how the boys would split up in groups of four and pretend

to be the Mop Tops. The girls would chase whoever had dibs on being

Paul or John.  Somehow I was always Ringo.  I was OK with that because

I was most concerned about cooties.

A Chad and Jeremy song reminded me of seeing them on an episode

of the "Dick Van Dyke Show".

A Doobie Brothers song and I was back in Roanoke, Virginia.

Dan Fogelberg and I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The old stuff is still fun to listen to, and your subconscious remembers

all the lyrics. (Or at least what you think were the lyrics...)

But... the music takes you somewhere.

And a lot of times, those places are not physical.

They are emotions and feelings.

Joyous. Silly.

Love. Heartbreak.

Carefree. Bulletproof.

Time travel.

Thanks YouTube.