Category: Huntsville Times Columns

A Writer’s Worst Nightmare

I always get a little nervous on the second Saturday night of each month before my community column is published in the Sunday Huntsville Times.

Basically, I’m afraid that the editor will make a change that will drastically alter my column and make me look like an idiot in front of thousands (well, okay, maybe a couple of hundred) of people. I have visions of people coming up to me in Target and saying, “Hey aren’t you the guy who writes that drivel in the Sunday paper?”

Last Saturday night, all that pre-publication angst turned into a writer’s worst nightmare.… Read the rest

And Away I Went

I got in the truck… and away I went.

Oh, that’s right, most people like reading the first paragraph, well, first:

A burned out ignition coil on the last day of a beach vacation is a real buzz killer. Oh, and another thing: The nearest dealer was over 150 miles away in Montgomery.

For the record, I’ve complained to the editor about the disappearing-first-paragraph problem in the online edition, and he said that The Huntsville Times doesn’t own the website but instead contracts out so therefore they have no control over it.

I say it’s about time The Huntsville Times joins the 21st century and creates their own website like so many other newspapers have.… Read the rest

I Got In The Truck

tow-truck.jpgI promised everyone more details regarding my “mad, moonlit dash into L. A. (Lower Alabama) with a chain-smoking, Diet Coke-swilling insomniac tow truck driver named Keith.”

In my community column in this coming Sunday’s Huntsville Times, I’ll deliver.

Looking back, I had two choices. I could have simply given the keys and a note to the dealer to Keith and had him deliver the car by himself and checked on it the next day as we drove through Montgomery on the way home. Or, I could get in the truck and see what adventures lay in store along U.S. 331 on a Friday night in the heart of the Deep South.… Read the rest

Here’s Your Handy Huntsville Guide

It’s the second Sunday of the month, and The Huntsville Times has published my latest community column entitled, “New to the city? Here’s a handy guide for you newcomers.”

Sigh. You know the drill. Here’s the first paragraph:

We moved to Huntsville 15 years ago this month. Back then, what I really wanted was a reliable newcomer’s guide. There are probably folks migrating to Huntsville from northern Virginia as part of the BRAC move who feel the same way. Maybe some of them will even read this column.

And here’s the rest.

For the uninitiated, BRAC stands for “Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.”… Read the rest

15 Years In The Rocket City

src-time-lapse.JPGI’ll be reflecting back on lessons learned over the past 15 years of living in Huntsville in this Sunday’s community column in The Huntsville Times.

We moved here in March 1993, and I’ll admit that it took me some time to get used to the place. We had lived in a “big city” for the previous 7 years (Birmingham and then Nashville), and I often pined for the culture, excitement and choices of a major metropolitan area. But once I settled down and became more rooted in the community, the place sort of started to grow on me. Or maybe I grew into it.… Read the rest

Bad Number

Okay, so I’ve written my March column for The Huntsville Times, and I do a word count and find out that I’m pushing the maximum limit of 680 words.

No problem. I relentlessly self-edit (a skill that all of you–some more than others–should practice each and every day), and I whittle it down. I redo the word count. I stare in horror:


I’m thinking: better add a few words.… Read the rest

An Interesting Turn of Events

Talk about an interesting turn of events.

Yesterday, Eyegal, Number One and I made our way down to our favorite beautiful old downtown church for a Lenten liturgy fix. I had not adhered very well to my promises this year, and I was eager to make amends. Lent, after all, is not merely the stuff that you must brush off your clothes.

The rain poured hard as the service started, and the sound of it pelting furiously against the roof lent an air of drama to the lectionary readings. The music soared, drawing us away from our selfish, petty concerns and upward and outward toward Higher and Holier Things.… Read the rest

Interesting Feedback

A patient’s wife whom I’ve known for years saw me poke my head out into the waiting room the other day and ran over to give me some feedback on my recent newspaper column.

She cocked her head to one side, tilting it slightly forward, raised a single brow, and without so much as a hint of a smile said, “I saw your column. Now that was interesting.”

Not “Great column.” Not “Nice.” Not “Oh how sweet.” But interesting, very, very interesting.

“Well thank you very much,” I replied, not quite sure whether I had just been complimented or not.… Read the rest

I Won’t Forget the Flowers

As promised, here’s the link to my second community column for The Huntsville Times.

And, once again, they left off the first paragraph in the online edition. For the record, here it is:

“Another Valentine’s Day rolls around, and my mind is drawn back to 1976–and Annie. I sang her song, and it didn’t matter that she was John Denver’s wife because it wasn’t really about her.”

I don’t know why they keep leaving off the first paragraph. I’ll have to ask the editor about that. Fortunately, the print edition was fine, and they even used one of the pictures they had taken instead of the first one I sent in, the one Eyegal calls my “terrorist” passport photo.… Read the rest

Scandalous Stuff

Just a reminder for those of you in the Huntsville area, my 2nd Sunday column will appear in the Forum section of The Huntsville Times this week. I’ll post a link to the online edition as soon as it’s available.

This one will contain many embarrassing tidbits from my past (and present), flashes of 1970s nostalgia, sexual innuendo galore, the usual soaring prose laced with biting humor, Eyegal in all her beauty, glorious, never-before-seen metaphors along with a salute (sort of) to a certain upcoming holiday. All kinds of scandalous stuff, really.

Now that I have your attention, I hope you’ll read it.… Read the rest

6000 Pennies for My Thoughts

4540259_55e51f2a6b.jpgRemember the old expression, “A penny for your thoughts?”

Well, if someone ever says that to you, my best advice is to hold out for more. You see, I’ve discovered somebody who’s willing to pay me 6000 pennies a month for my thoughts! Not Bob Woodward. Not George Will. Not Dave Barry. But me. Little old me.

Now I know how excited The Soggy Bottom Boys must have been when they found out that they could actually get paid for singing into a can.

I’ve been dropping a few hints lately that I might be branching out a bit from blogging this year, and I’m pleased to report that has come to pass.… Read the rest