Thank you for the huge role you've played in our lives, Howard. Thank you for keeping the main thing the main thing. Thank you for being you.
In 1958 during my sophomore year at Tullahoma (Tennessee) High School, every boy in the school was ordered to the gymnasium bleachers with the male teachers for a sex education talk by a local [...]
Early in 1999, Shonnie, in her professional capacity, was setting up at a health fair at the Asheville Civic Center. While we rather liked being committed to one another but not married, we'd [...]
January 1, a new year, some might say a clean slate. During my wild impetuous youth, the first day of the year typically meant horrendous hangovers and, at some point, the hair of the dog. In [...]
Yes, I'm excited today because my personal essay "With over 40 years between the birth of my two daughters, I am two different fathers" is featured at the Washington Post On Parenting section.
Seventy-fucking-five. Three-quarters of a century. Thirty percent of the time the U.S. has existed. In my twenties, seemingly bulletproof and brimming with bravado and condescension, I’d [...]
We popped into French Broad Food Co-op during the Women's March in Asheville on Saturday for a few snacks and something to drink. And as I wandered the aisles, I thought, maybe it's time to re-up [...]
Wow, 2017 is about to come to an end, and in some respects, none too soon. But despite the extraordinary political challenges we’ve confronted in our nation this year, 2017 has been a fulfilling [...]
Shonnie and I were recently interviewed for the BedLoveBeyond podcast, this episode about couples with significant age differences (Ours, by the way, is 28 years.).
Today I write this letter to you so that you might better understand the tumultuous transformation that’s currently underway in our nation.
I believe we, the citizens of this nation, have been asleep for the past several decades. We began to pay more attention to our TV shows, our favorite celebrities, our sports teams, our fancy [...]
I am a recovering racist. I grew up white in the South of the 50s and 60s. Most of the schools I attended were segregated. And I have rarely had more than superficial contact with men and women [...]
Brighten up your day with this poignant ad from 84 Lumber. Better bring some tissues.
The first presidential inauguration I attended was Richard Nixon’s in 1969. Well, I guess I should say that I was actually there for the counter-inauguration . . .
Well, another year has passed, and what a year it’s been. It will be intriguing to see what 2017 will bring. In the meantime, Shonnie, Gracelyn and I want to share what we’ve been up to in 2016. [...]
On a warm Texas morning on Wednesday, November 3, 1948, I remember my mom, Sue Mulkey, a life-long Democrat, gleefully asking our next-door neighbor, “Well, how do you like our new president?” [...]
One might think that Donald Trump is brimming with high self-esteem. He is not. What Donald Trump demonstrates is pseudo-self-esteem. He unconsciously hides his fears, insecurities, and [...]
I wrote this op-ed for the September 15, 2001 edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times. As you read this my wife, Shonnie, will finally be home. That will never be said again for thousands of our [...]
I wrote this on December 31, 2010 and am reposting it in honor my daughter Gracelyn’s 6th birthday today. * * * “What is your purpose in life?” the guardian of the gate at the men’s retreat [...]
Facing what seems like an endless stream of news about racialized conflicts and violence, many people call for us to get beyond our history and find solutions for today, concrete actions we can [...]
In 1958, during my sophomore year at Tullahoma (TN) High School, all the boys in every class were ordered to the gymnasium bleachers with the male teachers for a sex education talk by a local [...]
Well, they didn’t pry it out of my cold, dead hands. But my only remaining firearm has just left the premises. Having grown up and lived in the South I’ve owned shotguns, .22 rifles, and an [...]
Here’s a commentary about violence in our nation that I wrote for the Asheville Citizen-Times late in 1999 that seems unfortunately appropriate for these times. [...]
Last evening Shonnie, Gracelyn and I were in the kitchen cooking dinner and listening to This Land is Your Land: Songs of Freedom. Buffy Sainte-Marie and her rendition of “The Universal [...]
My great-grandmother, Mae McCarthy (better known as Ma), who enjoyed dipping snuff and preferred another layer of body powder to regular bathing, had a Victorian attitude when it came to [...]
Guy Clark died today at the age of 74. Rest in peace, Guy. Pack up all your dishes. Make note of all good wishes. Say goodbye to the landlord for me. That son of a bitch has always bored me. [...]
It was, in the end, about a 21st century governor who joined a short, tragic list of 20th century governors. You know at least some of these names, probably: Wallace, Faubus, Barnett. They were [...]
What do guys really want? Male stereotypes might have you believe that joining our pals for binge watching NCAA basketball tourney games while consuming lots of cold beer and hot pizza fulfill [...]
The relentless march to war by the Bush administration and camp followers proceeds. Congress has folded like a cheap suit, giving the President the authority to bully another second-rate power [...]
While living by myself in a little cottage on Mount Bonnell outside Austin in the early nineties, I was without a significant other for the first extended period in my life. Fortunately (though I [...]
Below is my recent letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times backing Jasmine Beach-Ferrara for Buncombe County Commission. BACKING BEACH-FERRARA FOR SEAT ON COMMISSION When Amendment One passed in [...]
Saturday morning, alone in the mist and drizzle. Stillness envelops me. No sound but my footsteps, the drip of the moisture from the trees, the occasional songs of the birds. How blessed I am to [...]
Well, we’re back from Costa Rica doing our best to keep alive the Tico lifestyle of pura vida: Go with the flow! And in that tradition, we wish all of y’all a meaningful holiday [...]
“Don’t trust anyone over thirty,” I arrogantly proclaimed during the Sixties, when I was twenty-something and imagined I was bulletproof and would remain forever young. [...]
I’ve been curious for a while about the prevalence of storage unit facilities in the U.S. and whether this phenomena exists in other nations. So, here are the facts: The United States has [...]
The Journey by Mary Oliver One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – – – though the whole house began [...]
A few years ago, the late state Sen. Jim Forrester described Asheville as a “cesspool of sin,” and the folks who live here began creating bumper stickers, shirts, and jokes lampooning those [...]
Below is an op-ed I wrote in 2001 in my role as a columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times. In light of recent decisions by the Boy Scouts of America, it seems timely to repost it now. * * * [...]
I have lived with several Zen masters—all of them cats. —Eckhart Tolle In 1999, a few months after Shonnie and I were married, I got a mid-day call from her at her office at the Mission Hospital [...]
“What is your purpose in life?” the guardian of the gate at the men’s retreat demanded. “To work toward a more compassionate, just and sustainable world,” I immediately replied. “You may enter!” [...]
Our parenting choices have been made with discernment and purposefulness with the intention that Gracelyn remain authentic, powerful, creative, self-sufficient, grounded, happy, healthy and [...]
Our four-year-old daughter Gracelyn is quite the rhymester, frequently making up poems and songs for her own entertainment and, so it would seem, for ours too. So, at Lake Eden Arts Festival [...]
Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, it was clear that marriage equality was on its way throughout our land. It really wasn’t a matter [...]
We didn’t tell her what to think, Or any rules to follow. We didn’t tell her what to feel, Or how to anger swallow. We couldn’t teach her to be real, And not to feign emotion. We wouldn’t tell [...]
In light of current events in Iraq, I’m reposting a piece I wrote in 2007. George W. Bush’s ill-fated decision to frighten this nation into an illegal, immoral, ill-conceived war against [...]
In honor of our 15 years of married life together, an encore post of the story of how Shonnie and I met and fell in love. I first laid eyes on Shonnie Lavender in 1995 when we both joined the [...]
Everyone’s heard the old saying “You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground.” Well, when we were kids, one of the ringleaders of our gang would say to one of our [...]
it’s 3:23 in the morning and I’m awake because my great great grandchildren won’t let me sleep my great great grandchildren ask me in dreams what did you do while the planet was plundered? what [...]