Today I write this letter to you so that you might better understand the tumultuous transformation that’s currently underway in our nation.
In an earlier incarnation, I was a hyper-masculine, self-indulgent, beer-swilling rebel (without much of a cause). Having miraculously survived that era, I am now an open-minded, relentlessly inquisitive, politically progressive essayist and author. I live with my wife Shonnie Lavender and our daughter Gracelyn (largely outside the dominant cultural paradigm) in the eclectic little city of Asheville, North Carolina.
I’m a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, OpEd News, SelfGrowth.com, and The Good Men Project, a conversation about the way men’s roles are significantly changing in modern life. From 2000 through 2004, I served as an editorial columnist at the Asheville Citizen-Times. My op-eds and essays have also appeared at such online sites as MichaelMoore.com, Common Dreams News Center, Intervention Magazine, Information Clearing House, Truthout, BuzzFlash.com, and Smirking Chimp.
I’ve dealt with topics ranging from racism (and my ongoing recovery from it), my brief encounter with Norman Mailer (“Are you still stabbing your wife?”), opposition to the Iraq War (“A few illogical arguments for the elimination of Saddam Hussein” published before the war began), Al Gore (not the stuffed shirt you might imagine) and the perils of climate change, my seventieth birthday (It’s not that I mind growing old; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.), spanking (and its unintended consequences), why I gave up my last handgun (after my wife asked me the simple question: “What are you afraid of, Bruce?”), trail running in the southern Appalachians, and fatherhood at sixty-seven.
I have appeared on two PBS shows—Bill Moyer’s Now (my fifteen seconds of fame) and Simple Living and in The Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (among others). I was also a presenter for the Climate Project, Al Gore’s initial effort to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis (where I had the opportunity to experience Al in his element).
In 2008, at the age of sixty-five, I was hired as an Obama field organizer in Ohio (even though my boss and our entire staff were in their twenties). After that, I served as campaign manager for several political campaigns including two congressional races (four wins, one loss). During the 1990s, I wrote for Holt, Rinehart and Winston’s high school textbook division (my first real writing gig). I am now writing a memoir with the working title A Tale of Two Fathers: The memoir of one man and his two daughters born 42 years apart.
I currently spend much of my time writing, playing handball, trail running with my wife Shonnie, hanging out with our four cats, and doing my best to keep up with a high-spirited six-year-old on the meandering footpaths of the southern Appalachians.