I’ve slid off icy roads twice in my life. In each case it was around Christmas time and my mother was involved.
The first time was shortly after Christmas 1977. She and I were driving to Roanoke in a blue, 1972 Chevy Impala sedan, heavy as an elephant, but rear wheel drive. Most likely we were aiming to exchange some presents or burn up some gift cash at a post-Christmas sale.
I had my learner’s permit, and we had just covered “steering into the skid” in my driver’s ed lecture. I was eager to convert all that theory to some practical experience on the fresh veneer of slick, blue ice which covered the roads around our house and glistened invitingly in the mid-morning winter sun.… Read the rest
The recent national conversation on bullying has–no surprise–sparked a nostalgic neuron or two inside my rapidly-balding head.
I was an easy mark for playground bullies at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in the late ’60s and early ’70s. I was short, nerdy, carried more than my share of baby fat, and I cried a lot. By the time I was in 3rd grade, I was nearsighted and had to wear glasses, the only one in my class. To make matters worse, whenever a wasp flew in my direction, I would try to make it “go away” by holding my breath until I nearly passed out.… Read the rest
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
I recently passed my fifth blogiversary without so much as a blink. I completely forgot about it until someone else who started blogging about the same time as I did mentioned theirs.
The Purveyor eyed me warily as I walked into his shop, located on a charming, picturesque side street just off of Main in historic downtown Lexington, Virginia. I apparently didn’t strike him as fellow traveler on the wine tasting circuit. Perhaps his nose was finely attuned to sniffing out “Who’s Who” in the world of high-brow alcoholic beverages.
Maybe he simply smelled the moonshine in my blood.
“So, which of the Villa Appalaccia wines do you like best?” I asked him. Eyegal and I had veered off the beaten path coming up from Alabama for my 30th high school reunion and driven down to Meadows of Dan.… Read the rest
All day long I dream of sausage (and BACON!!). I just can’t help it.
It started last Friday on the drive from Huntsville to Durham, North Carolina where we witnessed a Man (as in Saban)-made disaster: a towering tsunami sweeping over and flooding the horseshoe-shaped bowl of Wallace Wade Stadium, turning it into a mini-Bryant Denny for a day and coloring it all houndstooth and crimson.
I should have been focusing on the game at hand, but I couldn’t avoid looking ahead after I spied those bronze memorials of a mama pig and her little piglets in the plaza in downtown Asheville.… Read the rest
Just to show you what kind of marriage Eyegal and I have, when it came to planning our 25th anniversary trip to New Orleans, one of the most discussed points on our itinerary was where we would watch the US v. Slovenia match on Friday morning.
The answer is our room at the Park View Guest House in the Garden District over a traditional Southern breakfast. Not exactly fish and chips at Wembley, but it’ll have to do.
I jest of course (slightly), but you know you’re made for each other when you can sort through your priorities like that and still stay married.… Read the rest
School’s out for summer, and that means fraternity life at the Zeta Theta Theta (ZΘΘ) House is in full swing. Personally, I have no problem believing we humans share 99% of our DNA with the apes.
Rush Week in the primate cage is what you get when you throw together 17, 19 and 21 year-old territorial, testosterone-saturated brothers who aren’t used to sharing the same living space. They screech, pound their chests, burp, practice various olfactory assault techniques on innocent passersby, trash the kitchen and endlessly debate the age-old question, “Who da man?”
So far, they haven’t flung any dung at each other, but it’s only early June.… Read the rest
My earliest memory is of waking up around 3:00 AM demanding my bottle. My mother, desperate for sleep, stumbled into my room, leaned over the edge of the crib with half-closed eyes staring down at me, and handed me one.
It was full of Coke, not milk. I grabbed the bottle and eagerly started to suck its sugary teat. Minutes later, I was back to sleep, and so was she.
I’m pretty sure my mother didn’t read about that little trick anywhere in Dr. Spock. She was “winging it,” as they say. What would I want if I awoke crying at 3:00 AM?… Read the rest
I’ve received quite a few compliments on my “old-timey” eye exam header at the top of my blog. Glad y’all like it. I think it symbolizes what I’ve been trying to do here at Ocular Fusion over the years (“Just looking around and trying to put it all together”).
That, plus I like black and white, old school pictures. We’ve had a blast going through Mom’s pictures since she died and found some real gems. It’s always good to be remember your roots.
Of course, any eye-savvy folks out there can immediately spot the irony: Old Timey Eyeguy is not really “fusing.”… Read the rest
Number One Son and I had just been discussing what could possibly be on the palms of Alabama’s new Nike Pro Combat player gloves, and it didn’t take us long to find out.
We knew that the Crimson Tide was among several teams that would be receiving the new gear, which featured a particular avatar representing the “spirit” of each team, but Bama’s was missing from Nike’s preview website.
But when Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Mark Ingram scored his first touchdown in the BCS Title Game against Texas, he flashed the new gloves toward the camera for all the world to see.… Read the rest
The first time I saw Cameron Indoor Stadium, I walked right past it without even trying to go in. I figured anything that storied and sacred was probably locked. I was seventeen years old and too wet behind the ears to realize that in order to gain entry to the places you wanted to go in life, sometimes all you have to do is walk up to the door and knock.
Instead, I walked over to the tennis courts and watched the men’s team practice. It was September 1979, and my father was having coronary bypass surgery at Duke Medical Center on the other end of the quad. … Read the rest
If I had a shred of innocence left in me by the summer of 1968, it was all gone by the time Mom gave me “The Talk.” No, not that talk. The one about Santa Claus.
Martin Luther King, Jr was gone and now Bobby Kennedy was dead too, and the world seem to be spinning out of control. I watched Memphis burn on TV and remember seeing the thousands of grieving onlookers who lined the tracks and payed their respects as Kennedy’s funeral train traveled from New York City to Washington, D.C. I was a mere preschooler, but it didn’t take some preternatural sixth sense to tell that most folks thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket.… Read the rest
Forty-eight years ago today, I made my debut at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. My arms may be too short and my back a little stiffer these days, but that building was torn down in the late 70s to make room for a new medical office complex, and I’m still standing. So I guess that’s saying something.
There was a time earlier this year when I wasn’t sure I would be by now, though. You see, I became quite obsessed with the idea of whether or not I was going to make it past 47 years, 118 days because that’s exactly how long Dad lived.… Read the rest