Was I cranky? No doubt.? Judgmental? Absolutely. Disheartened? Unquestionably. And I’d been unconsciously operating out of this frame of mind for months. Yeah, yeah, I know, given the pandemic, [...]
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.
As I’ve worked on my memoir, what’s become a massive act of self-interrogation, I’ve realized that my disconcerting experiences during the first grade that I've described above profoundly [...]
We have been given an awesome opportunity, a test that requires great courage and a willingness to face reality. In the aftermath of the terrible deaths of almost three thousand people and the [...]
2020 has undoubtedly been a year of tremendous challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic resulting in more than 340,000 deaths so far, a severe economic downturn, and disruption of our daily lives. The [...]
“Don’t trust anybody over thirty!” My rallying cry during the Sixties, when I was twenty-something, seemingly bulletproof and forever young, living as though those days would never end.
Realizing that Shonnie’s graduate studies at Western Carolina University were about to resume and Gracelyn would soon begin online classes at Evergreen Community Charter School, we began planning [...]
I am deeply disturbed by the recent violence perpetrated by officers of the Asheville Police Department, especially their harsh treatment of medics and the destruction of their medical supplies [...]
You may have seen that meme that was going around social media a week or two ago: “Dear 2020, none of this sh*t was on my vision board.” Well, life so far in 2020 has presented a number of [...]
Most of my teachers have faded into a nameless, faceless blur. However, there was one savior in the midst of my 12-year confinement. Ms. Mitchell came to Bel-Aire Elementary (Tullahoma, [...]
YES! We made it! Shonnie’s breast cancer diagnosis in November and Gracelyn’s intuitive sense that it was essential to remain near her mom at all times, led to weeks of unsettledness and [...]
"Finding My Way Back Home" recounts my journey from toxic masculinity to a more mindful manhood, a voyage that includes participating in a transformational workshop, peeling back the encrusted [...]
Fifty-six years ago, New Year’s Eve 1963, I was slogging through six or eight inches of wet snow toward an evening at my favorite watering hole, the Roman Room. A junior at the University of [...]
Seventy-eight years ago today, Sunday, December 7, 1941, my dad, Mack Mulkey, a recent college drop-out working at the local Dr Pepper plant, drove a borrowed pickup truck the fifteen miles down [...]
"A Tale of Two Daughters" is the story of how, and why, I slipped the surly bonds of toxic masculinity and transformed from emotionally-stunted misogynist to awakened advocate of equality, from [...]
Evergreen Community Charter School is currently taking significant steps toward becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
In Knoxville in 1983, I screwed up my courage and began therapy with a local psychologist, John Hoover, a tall, brawny man with an engaging and amiable manner. I immediately had the sense that I [...]
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 [...]
It was a warm June evening in 1961, the night of my graduation from Tullahoma High School. I’d just returned to Tennessee from playing in a high school all-American football game in Fort [...]
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 [...]