Tag Archives: writing

You Belong Among the Wildflowers

29 Nov

Tom Petty makes me think of Alaska.

I was 3,500 miles away from my family, working in Skagway the summer after the release of the “Wildflowers” album and the summer before my senior year of college. The excitement of far-away adventure and the uniqueness of the former gold rush port town were giving way to loneliness as I walked along the harbor. The coolness of the breeze coming off the water and the towering terrain surrounding me seemed to constantly remind that I was a long way from home.

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

Sail away, kill off the hours

You belong somewhere you feel free

Tom Petty reminds me of the importance of finding your voice. And I don’t mean singing. It’s an author’s or songwriter’s unique style and way of communicating things. Petty’s tone changes significantly from “Breakdown” to “I Won’t Back Down” to “Only a Broken Heart” and “It’s Good to Be King,” but that authentic, engaging approach always holds true. Petty’s direct, relatable, even simple lyrics increased his connection with the audience and then the music elevated that meeting place into the stratosphere.

It’s good to be king and have your own way

Get a feeling of peace at the end of the day

When your bulldog barks and your canary sings

You’re out there with winners, it’s good to be king

Tom Petty reminds me of the things I have taken for granted. An artist and performer so good for so long – I used to marvel that his debut hit is older than my sister – perhaps becomes a victim of his own success. Both familiar and unique, his songs earned easy access to my heart and soul. Something so close and comfortable was taken for granted and now the legend is gone. Even his death last month was sadly overshadowed.

Some things are over

Some things go on

Part of me you carry

Part of me is gone


Skagway, Alaska: Among Tom Petty’s many powers, he made a very memorable place even more so. 



My Content Runneth Over

31 Jul

Writers like when ideas come easy, flow freely. As a friend and neighbor of a brewer, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy quality content for the pen and the palate.

You want refreshing? In May, I refreshed a 2014 Eventide Brewing blog from this space into a paying piece on CraftBeer.com. Always good to recycle, I say. It nearly rivaled my grad school accomplishment of getting two paychecks from one course review article, which included a rather enjoyable, complimentary round of golf.

The month before I copy-edited my third beer can design for Eventide. Some assignments are better than others, even if there is no money involved. To refresh an ol’ football coach’s saying: pay is temporary, pride is forever!

I’ll never know the unique feeling a musician gets when he or she hears their song on the radio for the first time, but I was pretty darn proud last month when I first spied my brewer neighbor’s (superbly edited) products on the grocery store shelves. His perspiration and my inspiration turned into validation right there in the Publix beer aisle…

Speaking of musicians, my father-in-law’s band earlier this month contributed their own enjoyable content at our neighborhood pig party, a seven-year tradition made possible in no small part by our generous brewing neighbors. It is better to give than to receive, but I recommend doing both.


Feeling contented with the Gold Standard Band and Eventide beer near.



History and Hers

11 Dec

Four score (in years) and several days ago, an Atlanta writer said, “In a moment of weakness I have written a book.”

That book was “Gone With the Wind” and the author, of course, Margaret Mitchell. Well ahead of her time, Mitchell became famous for writing about well before her time.

The colorful quote about her 1,048-page Civil War epic came on the anniversary of another famous piece of writing, this one all of 270 words. A great writer who doubled as president, Abraham Lincoln issued the succinct yet epochal Gettysburg Address on the same November date.

Abe’s “Gettysburg Portrait,” which would become the model for the Lincoln Memorial statue, was taken on November 8th, 1863, 37 years to the day before Mitchell’s birth.
Relics in The Lee House

Relics in The Lee House