Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I was rushed to the hospital yesterday, from this very library-I was in terrible pain, sweating, gasping for breath, with Sarah standing about ten feet away, and I'm thinking, "What if I fall over dead, and my daughter has to see this?"

As it turned out, it wasn't a heart attack, or my appendix~I had a REALLY bad intestinal blockage. One X-ray and an enema later, I was on my way home, sore (still am), but much better.

Makes me think, though.

I can nuke a pound of weenies, wash them down with a Coke, and call it breakfast, eat steaks that're still quivering, ignore the pains, stiffness, and other hitches in my git-along, and pretend with all my might that I'm still living the NorthCoast Rock-and-Roll Lifestyle.

The tour bus stops here.

I finally have the kind of life I wanted, but never dared to dream for, and I'll not disrespect it or the good Lord Who gave it to me by acting like a teenager anymore.

I don't have to take up a life of rocking chairs and mush, but I've GOT to watch what I'm doing from now on.

I can still listen to the music....it doesn't get old, or make you fat.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Over the years, some of the details have become fuzzy, while some remain sharp-I remember the sound of bees wrapping up their day's toil, preparing to head home, and the fact that I wanted to see "The Addams Family" and "The Munsters" later that evening-this tells me that this was in September rather than over summer vacation, as both programs had just begun airing.

There were about ten of us, all told, out there playing in the yards, Mike and I in ours, Tony Calhoun, his younger brother, and a couple cousins in the Craighead's yard next door, and the four youngest Jackson kids in their yard, just rippin', runnin', being kids.

I dunno who threw the first rock, although I always suspected Netty Jackson, tomboy that she was. It landed in our yard, and Mike picked it up, and threw it back, hitting a Jackson in the leg, as I recall. Well, one rock led to another, until we were all throwing rocks.

Calhoun's younger sibling hit Mike in the back with a rock, so I threw one at him, catching him just above his left eye, drawing blood. Calhoun stepped over the low fence between the yards, brandishing a stick, which he broke over the top of my head. I stepped back, and let fly with a chunk the size of a potato, which caught Tony upside the head.

This went on for another few minutes, until three mothers ran into three respective yards, shutting down the action. Mike and I were hustled into the family car, off to St. Joe's. All of us wound up at the ER, for minor dings-I took four stitches in the top of my head, Mike had two near the back of his head, and Tony got three or four in his head.

Us kids were all sitting there, laughing and carrying on as we were treated, but our mothers weren't speaking to each other, and didn't for a week or so.

Heck....we had fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As I mentioned before, I spent most of my high-school years at Clearview, although most of the kids I grew up with went to Admiral King.

Clearview was okay-I wasn't in the mood to conform with anyone's ideas as to who I should be, except my own. You had your typical mix of kids, the Breakfast Club would've been right at home there, even in '74. I was a blend of Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, and Ally Sheedy.

I enjoyed some of my classes, and got along with some of the students and staff. I loved my junior English class, taught by a fantastic woman named Ms. Darcy, who passed away a few years ago. She (indeed, all the teachers I liked) made the subject interesting, and they took me (everyone) on a day-to-day basis, rather than just deciding we were "rotten kids".

I could've done a lot better, but I just wasn't interested....I suppose I was a mess. I was getting high by then, not all the time, and I don't recall ever coming to school high, but I had that "F%$# IT" mindset going full blast then.

I quit school two weeks before graduation-I wasn't graduating anyhow, as I generally did nothng in class but talk, and I'd been suspended twenty-three times that year.

I got my GED in 1990.

Kids....don't try this at home.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Since I started this blog, I've written a lot about my friend, Micheal McDowell, and the good times we had. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rest of his family, as they always treated me as one of their own.

I really didn't know Mike's mother that well; she died when I was a sophomore, and before then, I generally saw Mike at school.

Still, she was one of those kind, laughing Southern black ladies that make people feel welcome.

His dad was "Pop" to all of us, and he treated us like his own kids, even when we were all grown. He was hard working, honest,

easy-going, and he passed those qualities on to all his kids, even to a degree those who weren't of his blood.

I rarely saw Mike's brothers, but his sisters loomed large in my life. There was Laura, beautiful, sexy, great to be around.

Inez was like one of the guys, always making people laugh. She was the mother of Betty, whom we called Scoobie when she was little-Scoobie would hang out with us and listen to rock, dancing and turning the knobs up.

Then there was Sylvia....she was like someone of Faerie, ethereal, pretty, kind, gentle, and loving; I carried a torch for Sylvie I never would've admitted to anyone, even myself, and I'll bet a lot of other guys did, too. She made a dynamite pineapple upside down cake, and loved making sure we were well-fed when we were around the house.

Sylvie died a few months after Micheal, from diabetic complications-when I saw her at the house the day of the funeral, she'd gone blind.

Pop's been gone almost as long as my mother, and I miss him, I miss them....I miss them all.