Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Bits and Pieces
After posting 600 articles here, I now have a rather long list of folks who have subscribed to this blog. This means they automatically receive an article via email a few hours after I post it. I can view a list of the subscriber's email addresses but for the most part I don’t know who they are. Since I began I have had a few people unsubscribe. When that happens I get an email saying someone has unsubscribed with a reason code they pick from a drop down box. I have had a few who have died, a few who have changed email addresses and a few who have chosen “undisclosed reasons.” Yesterday I had my first subscriber who unsubscribed because they were offended and/or strongly disagree. They were offended because of my last article about my friends serving our country in Germany. Maybe they were offended because they don’t support the war or maybe because I said I believe there is too much finger pointing and attack ads in the political process and if we are not careful our divisiveness can be our downfall.
I don’t know who you are but as that old song says, “ I got along without you before I met you – gonna get along without you now.”
My lifelong friend, Jimmy Childre, who I have written about several times here, not only called me on my birthday but he sent me a gift. If you remember, he and I recently visited New York City and among other things, attended the Broadway play, “The Jersey Boys”, which is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I have listened to the soundtrack of the play in my car until I have almost worn it out. And Jimmy has been doing the same in his car. The gift he sent me was a CD collection of the real Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Anthology. Unless you grew up in the sixties, you probably won’t appreciate this music. We did. And we do.
Jimmy was written up in the new Wall Street Journal Magazine recently and you can read it by clicking here. Not bad for a boy who grew up in Reynolds, GA.
I saw another lifelong friend and attorney, Chuck Byrd, last week and he highly recommended the book you see pictured here called, Ava’s Man. I read it and I can tell you Ava’s Man deserves a blog all by itself and that will happen soon. There are many quotes in the book that not only made me smile but also hit home. It is an incredibly told story about a family who lived during the depression and afterwards in North Alabama. Interestingly I was reading it while our financial system is in the biggest crisis since the depression. I couldn’t help but think we may be headed for another one. I certainly hope not but after reading the book I think I have a better perspective to handle whatever comes our way. This is not a good book. It is a great book. You will chuckle and when you are done, you will want to hug your kids and play with your grandkids and you will want to know all you can find out about your grandparents.
I lost two long time friends last week. Blanche Perkins, one of my real life heroes, passed away. I was honored to be asked to give the eulogy at her funeral. And my "chocolate cake lady", Evelyn McGill who I wrote about recently, passed away the next day. Although I was unable to speak at her funeral in person, I did get to write a eulogy for her that was read at her funeral.
The older I get the more folks who I have known and looked up to for many years are leaving the rest of us behind. But I realize I am a much better man for having known them.
I was in Houston the last couple of days. I was amazed at the resiliency of a major city to come back and look normal after a major hurricane. Driving through downtown you had to look carefully to even notice any damage. Everybody seemed back at work and it looked completely normal. I had no hot water at my hotel and did not have internet but I paid for my room at the regular rate and did not complain. I heard stories about folks driving all the way to Dallas to get generators after the storm only to get back with it and find there was no gas. And when gas finally became available, they discovered everybody had sold out of gas cans. I have experienced the ravages of the aftermath of hurricanes a few times in the last several years, and people can get testy. But in most cases, the best comes out and people step up to the plate to help each other. And I heard several stories of exactly that happening.
Oh yeah - almost forgot. Last Saturday I turned 54 years of age. It happened peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends.
As Rick Bragg, author of Ava’s Man explained so well, I'll talk to y’all d’rectly.