Month: July 2018

Happy Heat

It’s July. In Memphis. Ask most folks and they will tell you that Memphis is in Tennessee. It’s not. In the geography that counts—the geography of the heart, body and soul—Memphis is in the Delta. The rest of Tennessee may dilute the summer with the shade of mountain trees or rocky-faced roadways or blue-hazed vistas. In Memphis, in the...

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What Makes a Good Book?

A good book should remind you of another book you really loved. Ellen’s incredible imagination, keen wit, perceptive knowing, and spoofy style is reminiscent of John Kennedy Tooles’ “The Confederacy of Dunces,” as she captures the delightful craziness of small-town Mississippi life. Amazon review It should have values you share. gritty...

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Don’t Buy My Book

If you haven’t yet bought TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE, don’t do it. We’re gonna have another big online push AUGUST 1st (of this year.) That’s this coming WEDNESDAY. Five days away. So hold off ’til then. Why August 1st? I don’t know. It’s right after my sister’s birthday, and...

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A Snake Snob

These people live down the way from me. They’re from California. They have a pond in their front yard, and every once in a while a commotion breaks out because they’ve seen a snake around the pond. “It’s a cottonmouth!” they yell, eyes bright. They wouldn’t know a cottonmouth if it jumped up and bit them on the be-hind. I admit it: I’m a snake...

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The Bed Rises

Two weeks ago, this bed was fill dirt. Before that, it was a driveway, a leftover scar from Hurricane Katrina. The bare former driveway. I wish I’d taken a shot of the mountain of dirt we had delivered (but not spread) on the empty driveway. It took a lot of shoveling to get the mountain dispersed. The storm, which hit in 2005, decimated...

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Ladies in Waiting

At the end of the dock on Ocean Isle Beach, three ladies sit. They are waiting on the moon. Together in their small southern town, they were high school friends, skinny as bean poles all. Waved and curled in the 1940’s style, their group was “It.” Now they’ve spread. Not spread as in, “You gaining weight, or are you just starting to spread?”...

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Leg Memories

In 1969, in Jackson, Mississippi, the summer before I entered junior high, I played tennis. I played under the boiling sun. No cloud drifted overhead, no shade cut the heat. In the afternoons, the temperature on the courts hit 110 degrees.   I could’ve chosen the cooler Rubico courts where the adults played, but the hard courts with their slick,...

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