Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Blog Year in Review - 2008
Engagement of the Year: Actually this is probably the engagement of the decade and maybe of my lifetime. My youngest son, Luke, pulled it off on St. Simons Island in August. He caught it all on video and it made his daddy and mama cry and about 12,000 other folks so far on You Tube. Not only did we get the incredible video but much more importantly, another beautiful daughter in law will be added to our family in September. You can view the video again by clicking here.
Wedding of the Year: I was there when she was born and had the privilege of watching her grow up and I was there when she got married. A stunning bride and a handsome groom make incredible weddings. Collier and Amanda Watson’s wedding was as beautiful as it gets and I wrote about it in August.
Celebrity Sightings of the Year: Hanging around airports as much as I do, I am bound to run into interesting folks. In March I was on a plane with the famous Smothers Brothers and met them and took a quick picture when we exited the plane. In December, a co-worker and I ran into ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen in an airport and sat next to him on the plane. I wrote about both of these celebrity encounters.
Youngest Senior Citizen of the Year: Hands down, Mrs. Ruth Jones takes this award. You can find my former middle school teacher at an assisted living facility in Fort Valley Ga. You can also now find her on Facebook. I wrote about this incredible lady in December.
2008 Eulan Brown Award Winner: This award given to the person who never gives up and keeps on getting up goes to an incredible young lady by the name of Catherine Carswell. She was the youngest girl ever in the state of Georgia diagnosed with breast cancer. I wrote about her in 2007 and in September of this year, I had dinner with her and her fiancé and her mom – and wrote about it here. This incredible young woman today is cancer free and her tenacity and attitude has inspired a ton of folks, including me.
Most Poignant Moment: It was in Chicago and it was a moment I still think about. I was in that city for a speaking engagement and found myself in a cab with a driver who asked me why I was in town. For the next 45 minutes in Chicago rush hour traffic and freezing rain, this complete stranger and I had a conversation that is usually reserved for lifetime friends. I wrote about this incredible encounter and moment in April.
Picture of the Year: Although I have shared a truck load of pictures I have taken this year, the one taken of me with an unknown bride on a riverboat cruise on the Tennessee River is the one that gets this award. I posted that picture and wrote about my wedding crashing moment in an article called “I Never Even Got Her Name” in May.
Birthday Party of the Year: Although everybody has birthdays every year, none was more special than the one on January 24 when my precious princess, Taylor Reese Goddard, celebrated her first at our home. I wrote about it and shared a few pictures as well. In fact, I shared quite a few pictures of Taylor throughout the year. And If I’m still breathing, you will see plenty more of her in 2009. Remember you have been warned.
Most Deserving Award of the Year: It happened in February at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Banquet in Atlanta when Norman Carter was honored for being inducted into that special fraternity. I have written about this incredible human being and legendary high school basketball coach and his teams several times on this blog. My wife and I attended the induction banquet for her former coach and lifelong hero. It was a chill bump moment and I was proud to be there and proud to write about it here.
Speaking of chill bump moments….
The Chill Bump Moment of the Year: This happened in Antebellum Grove in Warner Robins, GA in September when an elderly female patient who could not remember where she was from or where her children lived sat down at a piano and played every song I requested as if she had the music in front of her. It was not only a chill bump moment but also a tear drop moment. I wrote about this amazing lady and that amazing moment on September 28.
Vacation of the Year: As last year, my family spent another week at Hilton Head at the beach. I posted plenty of pictures here in early July. Nothing compares to the relaxing time I get to spend with my family. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
Weekend of the Year: I was fortunate to join my wife, her brother and his wife, her sister and her husband for a getaway to New York City in April. We stayed in an apartment at a funeral home although I suppose all of us could have afforded a real hotel. I posted several articles here about that weekend. It was truly a trip of a life time and one I will never forget.
Waitress of the Year: I meet a lot of waitresses throughout the year and strike up a conversation with most. Ariel wins this award hands down and it had nothing to do with serving food. This beautiful high school senior had been in an automobile accident a few months before I met her in a BBQ Restaurant in Hayden Alabama. Three of the four girls in the backseat of the car were killed in the accident. Ariel was the other girl in the backseat. I told her incredible story here and posted a picture of her on May 28.
Community Spirit of the Year: I wrote about Red Bay Alabama on June 1. I was there to speak at a banquet honoring all the merchants of this incredible community. I have never been more impressed with the community spirit in a small town. This community also gets the award for having the most copies of my book. The sponsor gave a copy to every couple who attended.
Triplets of the Year: My great nieces, Mary Camp, Southerland and Ridley, are about as cute as cute can be. I have written about them a couple of times and I still don't know how Ben and Elizabeth do it. Now Elzabeth is pregnant again. In the meantime I captured a pretty special moment at the Goddard family Christmas gathering with this pic.
Student Athlete of the Year: I wrote about Georgia Tech football player James Liipfert on August 26. He graduated from Georgia Tech earlier this month and will be playing his final game tonight at the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He may not play professional football but I will guarantee you he will have a heck of a career in life.
Nostalgic Weekend of the Year: We had talked about doing something like this for several years but in August of 2008 we did it. My lifelong friend, Jimmy Childre, Jr and I spent a weekend in New York City. We attended a Yankees game and two Broadway plays. We reminisced, we laughed, we ate very well, we discussed every subject under the sun and we had an incredible time that can only be experienced by a couple of guys who have been best friends for 54 years. I posted several articles here about that incredible weekend.
Most Beautiful Eligible Bachelorette: This is easy. This award goes to Erin Edwards. This Arkansas beauty has it all and is a winner if I have ever seen one. I met her in Bentonville Arkansas and wrote about her and posted her picture here on November 4.
Most Beautiful Not Eligible Bachelorette: This award goes to Chaley Bibb. I wrote about this gorgeous 16 year old girl on November 2. She will make some very lucky guy a wonderful wife – one day. I just hope I don’t have to bury the snotty nosed boy that tries to get ahead of her dad’s timetable.
Blessed Man of the Year: I get this award. I have a beautiful wife of over 31 years who amazingly continues to love me and put up with me. I have three wonderful sons, two daughters in law and one soon to be daughter in law who make me more proud than words can express. And I have a perfect grandbaby girl who calls me Papa.
Obituaries of the Year: I wrote about each of the folks listed below during the year. Each one of them impacted my life in a personal and positive manner and I am a better person for having known them. May they rest in peace.
Neil Hinton, Jr.
Ephraim K. Johnson
Dr. Clifford Ray
And here’s hoping none of us reading this will be listed in the obituaries here next year.
The way I see it, every day above ground is a good one.
Happy New Year.
(FYI, there is a Search Blog box at the left top of this page. You can type in key words or names and hit search to find a previous post if you want to check it out :-)