Author Archive

As Little Children

August 3, 2009

The class was discussing argumentation, and I mentioned that bias is often encountered when trying to persuade others to accept one's point of view. "Are bias and prejudice the same thing?" a student asked. Caught off guard, I read the … (read more)

Look At Me

June 17, 2009

I first looked at page 186 over a half-century ago; now it's my computer's screen saver. For my tenth birthday, Mama gave me a small black Bible and said, "Son, wherever you go, take it with you, and when you're … (read more)

Little Mama's Found

May 10, 2009

I was thinking about Little Mama the other day — about the time she got lost. It was a Sunday morning in May, and my daughters wanted to play awhile before getting ready for church. They headed straight to the … (read more)

To Wake Again

February 29, 2008

Slow down! That was my New Year's resolution. As Wordsworth would say, "The world is too much with us." Even as I slide down the slippery, senescent, sixth-decade slope of life, I still scurry sunup to sundown, as if I … (read more)

Thank You, Montague

November 10, 2007

As always, I started walking when the sun first lightened the horizon. This daily routine provides time to meditate and to recite poetry. A favourite quotation from Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin In The Sun, came to mind: Child, when … (read more)

Three Strikes, I'm In!

September 5, 2007

It was four o'clock in the morning on a moonless, muggy night — just the way I wanted it. With 240 pounds of bulging blubber and mushy muscles on a five-foot, eleven-inch frame, I wanted no one to see me … (read more)

Sufficient Unto The Day

June 27, 2007

During ginning season, one-eyed Deacon hauled cotton seed to the oil mill. Between trips, he helped me with my after-school and weekend chore — hammering together metal ties and buckles used to bind bales of cotton. I liked the old … (read more)

Penny Parable

March 12, 2007

How Anna loved finding coins! She would show me each one and then race off again, zigzagging, pigtails swishing, searching the sidewalk. It was our Saturday morning ritual. We strolled around town, window-shopped, and rested in front of the coffee … (read more)

Croak, Son, Croak

December 24, 2006

"Son, why didn't you sing today?" Mama asked. "You love singing carols." She was right. I knew them by heart, having listened to her Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole Christmas albums over and over again. There are … (read more)

Christmas Biscuits

December 23, 2004

"But, dad, we ginned cotton straight through the Thanksgiving holidays," I moaned. "Can't we at least get off a few days for Christmas?" "Son, we finished early last year, and you hunted all winter," he answered. "Be thankful for that. … (read more)

Thanksgiving At The Gin

November 22, 2001

The hardest job I ever had was managing my father's cotton gin. That fall three decades ago, when I returned home from overseas military service, he said, "Son, I'm tending to the harvest. You'll have to learn to operate the … (read more)

Soar, Eagles!

June 27, 2001

Eagles know when a storm is approaching long before it strikes, and fly to a high spot. When the storm strikes, the majestic bird opens its wings, letting the winds lift it above the storm. The eagle does not escape … (read more)

Easter Hands

April 15, 2001

A long, long time ago, on a remote Mississippi Delta cotton plantation, an old man told a wonderful story to a group of children that not one has forgotten. The old storyteller's name was Jaybird. As he slipped into the … (read more)


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