This tag is associated with 19 posts

Life and Death and Beer Cans

A year’s worth of changes happened within the last two months. My family moved. My wife and I started a new business. My mother died on Thanksgiving Day. An old friend died a week later. I now live in an old, historic building full of wonders from the past—a museum of sorts. The concrete underneath … Continue reading

On Fixing and Packing and Moving

Moving is hard when you’ve lived in the same home for twelve years. Especially with three kids. My fifteen-year-old remembers our last home, but the thirteen-year-old doesn’t. And Ben, who’s eleven, cried when we told him. All their life’s treasures have accumulated in that one home, and they all need boxed. For weeks I’ve resisted … Continue reading

Cool Kid, Part One of Many

Nike high-tops were all the rage in fourth grade. Boys did not lace them to the top, but instead tucked the tops in their jeans and left the tongues sticking out in front. I told mama I wanted some of the shoes with the big tongues that stuck up. We drove all over looking for … Continue reading

Texas, South Texas, and the Good Stuff from Across the Border

Texas could be four different states. Two at least. I-35 runs north to south and by most standards divides East Texas from West, two worlds that have little in common. Not only are they different regions within the state, but by any reasonable person different regions within the United States. East Texas, from Dallas to … Continue reading


My great-grandfather was a coal miner from West Virginia. Not really, but I used to tell people that when I was a kid. He was, though, a rail road worker from West Virginia, and the rest of what I say about him is true as far as I know. Grandpa hated school. He once put … Continue reading

Jeremiah Was a Bull…Rider

My old pickup didn’t have an air conditioner. The windows were open as we drove down 917 East to Mansfield. A homemade tape of Chris Ledoux was playing: “Well, there ain’t no easy going on the rodeo trail; for every man that’s made it, a hundred men have failed…” “I guess two hundred men are … Continue reading

My First School Paddling

JOSHUA, TX, 1980: Amber (not her real name) sat next to me in Mrs. Yonner’s first grade class. I did not like Amber. She was stinky and sneaky, and she stole little things—pencils and such—from her classmates. One weekend, my dad took me fishing at the Nolan River in Cleburne. I got bored with fishing … Continue reading

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