This morning was a perfect wake up. Nobody else was out of bed and it was perfectly quiet. After gusting winds over the last two days, there was barely a breeze and the ocean looked to be perfectly still. Gradually, the sounds of life began, first as a simple conversation with my wife, then with the pounding rubber of joggers out for a run and the whir of bike tires as Schwinn’s sped by. Before long a surveyor’s measuring tape was plotting a lot for new construction. The day had started. The quiet was gone. So it is with people.

My wife is the best. She puts up with the up and down moodiness that I can spread around in ways that can be most difficult. She has a way of keeping us three boys in check so that the house can stay far away from the frat atmosphere we would allow it to devolve into. My wife is an equal in every way which props me up when I need and knocks me down when I need that as well. I can’t imagine being without her because life is never as good as it is when we are together.

I don’t know what is the most important lesson a coach can share, but I know Coach Farrior said something that inspired me off the basketball court. I wrote an essay in his History class. I have no idea what it was about, but he took me aside and talked up my writing. I may or may not be any good at getting my thoughts on this electronic paper, but I know that the encouragement Coach Farrior gave me helped inspire me to write more at a time where I could have just as easily not written. Thanks, Coach Farrior.

There was a moment in fifth grade when I thought I had done the scariest thing ever. I rode the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens. I spent a summer working the ride in green suspenders. We rode every morning. After awhile the thrill waned a bit. Then a few years ago my wife and I took BG in and found that the thrill had come back…for the roller coaster…the thrill has never left for my wife. Hopefully, we all feel about “The Monster” as Vincent Price did when he asked me, “May a ride again?” Of course…

Mr. Ellis, I was in seventh or eighth grade when you called me to your office. I was scared, but knew what was coming. I skipped lunch detention thinking basketball would keep me out of trouble. You made sure I understood that being an athlete came with a responsibility to set a good example. Sometimes I did, sometimes not, but I always heard your voice telling me to do better. I hope my students get that lesson from me. And to think it happened because you taught me instead of just putting me in after school detention.  

Thank you, sir.

The enduring smell of my school years came straight out of the James Blair kitchen. Was there anything better than the hot rolls that brought that fresh, homemade smell out into the cafeteria? No matter how much food I had stuffed into my face, I always had room for a few of those rolls. No butter, no nothing, but great tasting flavor.
The rolls also tasted good because of Mrs. Byrd who knew how much I loved those rolls. She let me charge them a few times and for that I will always be thankful. 

I think that I’m drooling.