Category Archives: Happiness

The Essential Question

What can we learn from the life of American singer Linda Ronstadt? The essential questions of life–and a great deal more. Continue reading

Posted in Autobiographical, Childhood, Courage, Creativity, Dolly Parton, Happiness, Music, Screen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Man of Value

Values over riches, people over things: remembering my father and dealing with the grief. Continue reading

Posted in Autobiographical, Beauty, Blooming, Childhood, Creativity, Dementia, Family, Freedom, Happiness, Ideas, Knoxville, Love, Music, Tribute, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coming Home to Myself

For the ones who had a notion,A notion deep inside,That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive . . . Bruce Springsteen, “Badlands”, 1977 A few months before Bruce Springsteen wrote his elegaic anthem “Badlands”, I left my … Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's, Autobiographical, Bruce Springsteen, Childhood, Courage, Creativity, Dementia, Education, Family, Freedom, Happiness, Home, Ideas, Knoxville, Love, Music, Op/Ed Thoughts, Tribute, Women, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day the Music Lived

Buddy Holly’s quintessentially American music could have died with him in a plane crash in 1959. But the power of his idiosyncratic genius lives on. Our music is what defines us and our music is what saves us. Continue reading

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Blooming Out of Season

Nearly a decade ago I planted two camellias in container pots just outside the front door of our home. I never thought they would live for long–in containers, mind you– in the mercurial climate of East Tennessee. But my sister, … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiographical, Backyard Nature, Beauty, Blooming, Dance, Happiness, Ideas, John Irving, Music, Op/Ed Thoughts, Stage, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

His Heart’s Eye Is Open

I grieve for each passing year that Daddy is not here to fervently hope that Clemson can beat Alabama for the NCAA football Championship. I grieve that he missed by 11 months seeing his great-grandson Lincoln’s endlessly fascinating face. I … Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's, Autobiographical, Childhood, Courage, Family, Happiness, Ideas, Love, Op/Ed Thoughts, Wonder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding Darcus

Since at least 1992, I have been searching for my grandmother, Darcus Montgomery. She gave birth to my father in April 1935, and only four months later–in early August–she died. Naturally I assumed Daddy’s mother died from childbirth complications, and … Continue reading

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