Today, December 28, 2021, Shonnie Lyn Lavender celebrates her 50th birthday--half a century! And to commemorate this milestone event, you are invited to share a memory, what you love about [...]
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 have contributed to The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Medium, OpEd News, SelfGrowth.com, The Good Men Project, and The ManKind Project. 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). In addition, my wife Shonnie and I did an interview for NPR’s Story Corp in 2009, and I recently pitched the first episode of my podcast to This American Life. I also served as 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 progressive 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 which I intend to complete by the end of 2020.
I currently spend much of my time writing, playing handball, trail running with my wife Shonnie, joining my family in rousing games of Boggle, and doing my best to keep up with our high-spirited, fiercely independent ten-year-old daughter on the meandering footpaths of the southern Appalachians.