Friday, July 26, 2013

Check This Out....




           I came across this interesting tidbit while checking my Facebook this evening. It appears that Lifed.com also recognizes the talent of my friend, Scott Thompson because in their post regarding teens, they quoted him. Look for yourself here. Scott shares the stage with Tine Fey, Michael Crichton, and Ray Bradbury. Not too shabby.

            Well done, Scott!!!!
 
 











Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Read Scott Thompson's Short Story Memories from the Future.


            Most of my blogs are planned out ahead of time with a framework in my head before typing. Occasionally, I am struck by something which moves me to react instantly. Welcome to today’s blog. This one is by the seat of my pants without any thought out construction so bear with me.

          
  This is my friend and YHC fraternity brother, Scott Thompson. To be upfront, I do not know Scott as well as I would like to. He was a few years behind me and the bedrock of our friendship is based on way too much drinking out in the North Georgia Mountains along w/ the occasional toga party. (Hey, we were in a frat, what do you expect?)

            Scott was always a classy guy and one I thought of nicely but other than drinking beer and talking about Upsilon Sigma Delta, we didn’t have all that much to say. Through the magic of Facebook, I go to know Scott a little bit better and found that my first impressions were dead on. Scott is a classy guy, a great Dad, good husband, quite witty, and one heck of a writer. Don’t ask me. Check out his Amazon page.

            Scott wrote his first book last year. I wish I could say it is the best thing I’ve ever read but truthfully, I haven’t read it yet. It’s on the pile to get to but I have been playing catch up with reading for fun since that was put on hold for my masters. By the time I graduated in 2009, a huge pile had grown which I’ve been slowly whittling down ever since. Take into account, I dropped everything when I discovered George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and you can see why Young Men Shall See is on the stack.

            Anyway, yesterday I got a notice via Facebook that a short story was available for the kindle by Scott. I jumped on it immediately. I didn’t get a chance to read Memories from the Future until I stopped to get a bite to eat today while shopping.

            What did I think?

           
At least it was not as bad as this guy, Sheesh....
Damn you, Scott Thompson. You made me cry in the middle of Panera over my chicken w/ wild rice soup. To add insult to injury, it was those big streaming tears that a guy can’t blame in congestion or dust in the air.

            Scott, your short story was beautiful. I read a lot and I read a bit over everything so it’s not uncommon for me to read some sort of love story. Rarely have I read a love story clearly written from a regular guy’s point of view. Notice I said guy and not man. Plenty of stories are out there written by men though I can’t name one off the bat right now.  Hemingway, Shakespeare, and Conroy have all written good love scenes yet I’ve can’t remember the last time I read something about a guy falling on love with the girl of his dreams that spoke to me in such a modern voice.

            It was supposed to be an enjoyable diversion as I ate my lunch but I became so enthralled with Julian’s point of view of working up the courage to speak to this beautiful woman that lunch was forgotten until I read the last page.

            Few stories have ever gotten me to ignore food so obviously I loved Memories from the Future.  I’m trying to be careful how I phrase everything else so as not to spoil anything.

            I mentioned regular guy’s point of view because Scott nails it so well. As the story unfurls, we read about how our protagonist, Julian, is fighting up the courage to speak to the lady who catches his eye. I think we’ve all been there.

Quite honestly, Memories took me back to a chilly winter day a little over two years ago when I was sifting through the latest profiles on my E-harmony account. I came across this picture and was too afraid to click the message button.
 

“She’s out of my league.” “I don’t do the kids thing.” “She’ll never go for a guy like me.” These were the sentences running through my brain as I stared at my future wife’s profile. Whenever I think about that anxiety, it takes me back to being seven at the Milledgeville Rec. department and standing on the high dive board twelve feet in the air.

Do I jump? Do I walk away?  Love is a lot like that and Scott Thompson nails it in his story. Thanks, Scott. It may have been four pages but it was the best four pages, I’ve read in some time.  

Does Julian talk to the girl? Does it work out? Check it out and see for yourself. It will be the best 99 cents you spend today.
 

Monday, July 22, 2013

First Pic of the Royal Baby

We here at The Tide got access to the first picture taken of the yet unnamed royal baby. Here it is:

 
 
 
We here at The Tide would like to suggest possible baby names or combinations there of:
 
                         Darth,  Robby,  Elvis,  Tecumseh,   Travelling Jack  
 
Congrats, William and Kate. Welcome to parenthood. It's a bit bumpy but if you take a minute to laugh and love each other, it'll be the best ride of your life.
 
--Robby Richardson
 
 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Hail to the King, Baby or Micturating with Hollywood's Most Famous Chin


            Being a teacher usually leads to the need for a second job to supplement the actual career. I’ve always made a point to find part time jobs that were fun in some aspects. When I moved back to Savannah, I became a ghost tour guide. During my first marriage, I’d escape Satan’s Step Daughter to the boys club which was Charlie’s Package Store. During my Snellville days, I worked part time at a bookstore that I think has gone out of business called Chapter 11.

            During my three years selling books I had some outstanding experiences. The opportunity arose to re-touch base with author, Terry Kay and YHC alum, Zell Miller. The author who wrote the Junie B. Jones series refused to travel so the publishers sent out an actress to play the title character who’d show up in a purple school bus.  Imagine my surprise when “Junie” hit on me after her show while I thought I was just being helpful by suggesting decent places to eat nearby. Awkward.

There was an outstanding day when Oliver North announced over conservative talk radio how be signing at our store later that day he’d love to personalize each and every copy of his book which went directly against the strict orders given by his handlers/publishers. My entire day was spent dealing with pre-Tea Party readers and how I was wrong to deny customers.

            At one point some guy from NC was shouting at me via his phone how I didn’t know shit because he heard Ol’ Ollie say he’s personalize on Sean Hannity. I took a moment in reminding my caller who he was speaking of the same guy who lied to Congress so what chance did any of us have for anything being true? The only sound was the laughter of my manager who was motioning for me to just go ahead and hang up the phone.

            This particular event would lead me to another book signing where the author had requested volunteer staff who were assertive and familiar with his work. It was 2005 so this guy hadn’t hit the pop culture status he has now. I knew him from the Evil Dead movies, the Sam Raimi Spider-Mans, and Xena. Only one other co-worker, Sandy my asst manager, had any idea why we should be getting excited about the chance to work with Bruce Campbell so we signed right up and was accepted.

 
            Campbell was in town promoting his new book Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way and decided to hold a screening of his first attempt at directing his own picture The Man with the Screaming Brain. By this point, I had worked several signings but never been to a screening before so to quote REM, I was feeling “kind of psyched.”

            About an hour before the Plaza Theater opened its doors for the signing,  Sandy and I were given the task of going through the line and passing out index cards for the attendees to write their names for personalized autographs. (You’d be surprised at the number of authors or their handlers who don’t go for the personalized touch but unlike Ollie’s folks, Bruce was all about it).     

The line wrapped around the Plaza theatre and well into the sidewalk along the street. It was also the craziest assortment of people I had ever seen at a signing. Even Sandy was taken off guard and she’d been with Chapter 11 for ten plus years. The crowd looked as if Dragon Con had dropped off all their Evil Dead fans right in the parking lot of the Plaza Theatre. It would also be Chapter 11’s only time that I had the honor of sharing with the crowd how chain saws wouldn’t be allowed inside for the signing.  After a huge crowd sighing “Awwwww” about fifty people walked back to their cars to lock up said apparatuses.
borrowed from http://blog.analogmedium.com/2007/08/stacy-attack-of-schoolgirl-zombies-2001.html
 

With that uncomfortable chore finished, Sandy and I returned inside just in time to have our own meet and greet with the most famous chin in Hollywood, Bruce Campbell. I was very impressed with how gracious Campbell was and insisted we all call him Bruce. After some questions and joking around, Bruce got right down to business.

Bruce started off, “I want to take a sec to thank you guys from your normal routine. I am guessing this is your normal crowd you guys deal with at these singings.” After a laugh or two from us, he went on,” I realize there are some Grade A weirdoes out there and some are just downright scary but I want you guys to realize those weirdoes got me here and help put food on my family’s table.”

Campbell went on for a few more minutes and I realized how in addition to being a nice guy, he was also pretty sharp on the best way to play a room. He was the first to admit how he was nowhere close to big Hollywood bucks so these people had to walk away feeling great about meeting Bruce. Campbell also interjected that if he spent five minutes with each person we’d get out sometime next week so it’s also imperative to keep the crowd moving.

            At this point, he requested an assistant to stand beside him to keep things going and had no problems telling one of the attendees “no” to things like pictures and such. Odd how Sandy and the other Chapter 11 volunteers all turned and looked at me.

“Big man, “Bruce Campbell said looking at me. “You up to this task? Your job is to take the brunt when the fans are irritated they don’t get what they want. No shame in saying no.”

“I work with special ed high school kids kicked out of their regular schools and one step from prison.” I responded to the Evil Dead star with a smile.

“Shit, I should hire you on fulltime, Big man. What’s your name? ” We both laughed and a partnership was created.

So that was my next four hours with Bruce Campbell. He’d sit at his table while I stood next to him and would interject when someone wanted a pic with him.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Campbell but time doesn’t allow for this.” Became my patented response as Bruce would look hurt leaving the fans sympathetic to him while I received more than my fair share of boos and hisses.  We were both playing a role here and I was actually digging mine.

Campbell was shrewd. When I’d say no to a fan for whatever various reason, he’d stop and talk personally with them about a variety of subjects ranging from the best places to eat around Atlanta to his favorite drink recipes. I began to realize it was Campbell’s way of personalizing the fan experience so each fan walked away with a special moment with Bruce. Pretty cool and I learned how to make mean Dark and Stormy.
Campbell also suggested garnish w/ coconut
 

About three hours in, Bruce said he needed to take a break from all the signings. He got up and began to walk to the restroom when he turned to me and whispered, “You’re my body guard on this one, Robby. I gotta pee and don’t really want my fans to see all of me if you know what I mean.” We both chuckled as I escorted Bruce Campbell to the restroom.

I stood outside the restroom as the Plaza staff put up those velvet ropes keeping the hallway clear. It was then when I also began to feel that pressing need to pee too and realized matters must be dealt with. I walked in the Plaza’s restroom leaving a buffer urinal between us and commenced business.
 

“Sorry, Mr. Campbell, I said as I relieved myself. “I swear I’m not a perv but had to really pee too.”

Bruce Campbell laughed. “No worries and it’s Bruce. Mr. Campbell is my dad, Robby”  

We both stood in silence and peed.

It’s an unspoken law between men that while peeing you do the following:

1.       Eyes forward with no accidental side glances

2.      Draw no attention to yourself

3.      You also do not speak to others around you  (unless drunk )

 

Imagine my surprise as Bruce Campbell becomes Chatty Frickin’ Cathy while we are

peeing. “So you do a lot of these signings, Rob?”

            I am frozen because all man rules are being broken here. I know everything is on the up-and-up but still bathroom stuff has always made me self conscious. My brain was a whirl. Finally that little voice I have learned to listen to over the years began to yell inside of my head.

            “Dumb Ass! If Bruce Campbell wants to chat with you while you guys are peeing, you do so!!!” 

            I relaxed and answered,” I do a few but rarely anyone big because I work in one of the smaller stores located out of the Atlanta perimeter.”

            W chatted as things wrapped up and we began to wash hands. My head was scrolling with questions to ask. My brain searched for that just right thing to ask. I wanted to say something about all his work with Sam Raimi but knew Campbell had heard it a million times. Finally, it hit me.

            “Got a crazy question for you, Bruce.”

            “Hit me.”

            “Okay, you are fantastic with your fans and quite frankly, much nicer than several authors I’ve met but I got to ask, how does it feel when you meet a fan who has Ash tattooed on their body?  I mean you have become a permanent fixture of that person.”

            Campbell began drying his hands and pondering.

 He smiled and answered, “Honest answer? It scares the hell out of me.”

We both laughed for a second and he went on,” Sam and I did some crazy movies that we both love dearly and it thrills me to see others share in our love. Yet it’s just wild to me that someone would want to put my mug on their arm or elsewhere for good. Don’t think I don’t appreciate it but it’s a bit unnerving at times.”

We began the trek back to signing table. As we walked out the restroom door, Campbell slapped me on the back and said,” That’s a great question.”
 

The next couple of hours were a blur with more of the previous. Me saying no to a fan while Campbell played up to his fans. It was impressive. I began to realize this guy may never hit Tom Cruise status but he was quite comfortable in this element. Bruce Campbell meet with folks from all walks of life to the little kids with his dad who just watched Army of Darkness to the stereotypical overweight guy who fashioned a homemade chainsaw to wear over his hand. Campbell signed everything from DVDs, posters to a few arms that were headed to the tattoo parlor to be permanently inked. Campbell looked at me on those and we both smiled at our private joke.

It looks like GAULS but Bruce really signed ELVIS
Bruce was kind enough to sign my 50,000,000 Elvis fans action figure and chuckled as he did right before the signing ended and his screening began. He invited all of the volunteers to watch for free and I wanted to but unfortunately, it was already approaching 9pm and I had school the next day. Sandy stayed and said it was awesome especially when Bruce did a Q&A with the crowd afterward.  
 

I did hate that I missed that as well as a free movie with the writer/director/star but I had learned early on how it never pays to go into school. In retrospect, I’m glad it went this way. I had several opportunities afforded to me that day. I spent several hours working alongside with Bruce Campbell, got something signed and even a picture together. I am guessing there are several people who can say but not everyone has the distinction of claiming they got to pee with Bruce Campbell.
Lousy shot of me. Awesome Star to work with
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PhotoBomb Wednesday.... Again? The Robby AC is Out TOur 2013

 



                Yeah, I know, I know. It’s supposed to be Photo bomb Tuesday not Photo bomb Wednesday hence the title. Well, Monday was a bit packed as you’re about to see and yesterday was spent in the pool. It is summer after all not to mention by my brief summer vacation.

            Monday was one of those days that while loads of fun with the kids and something I hope they’ll remember, it was a bit tiring out for me. Our AC until was being replaced so we had about eight hours to kill and not much in the ol’ bank account to fund anything too expensive. WWTBGD (What Would the Big Guy Do?) became my mantra for that day so we hit the Coastal Empire for a little exploration and adventure.

            The kids had never been out to Wormsloe on Isle of Hope so this was our first stop. Unfortunately, I had forgotten Wormsloe was shut down on Mondays but we still got a few great pix. My nervousness about keeping Roni and Jude form getting bored began to go away when they were very obviously impresses by the entrance and how the live oaks, according to Jude , “created a tunnel.”


I just wished they'd come out of their shell....
            I explained to Roni and Jude about how Noble Jones had come over on the Queen Anne with Oglethorpe in 1733 and became the colony’s first doctor when the original doctor died on the voyage over. As a thank you, Oglethorpe gave 500 acres to Jones which became Wormsloe. Jones had the foresight to know his land would go to his sons so he began planting live oaks along the entrance as a future wedding gift to his son.  That wedding gift would lead to be one of the most photographed pictures in the Coastal Empire and has one of my favorite views of Savannah since I learned how to ride my bike and explore.
 
 


            Over Sunday dinner, the kids had asked about Bonaventure Cemetery and how it fits into Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil so this seemed like a reasonable next stop and apparently a good choice, Roni and Jude were enthralled. I was also surprised about how many tourists were out there.
           
We stopped at the Gracie Watson plot and I told them all about how Gracie had died of pneumonia leaving her parents so upset they hired a sculptor to create a life size statue of their beloved daughter. The kids were impressed at the details. Unfortunately, vandals back in the 80s broke her nose off (which has long since been repaired) so a fence is up now.
            I told the kids about walking up to the plot about when I was their age and spent forever looking at the detail on this sculpture. I get the reasons why there is fence now but I hated that the kids couldn’t see all the tiny details that still stick with me. I told them about how Gracie’s shoes have buttons and if you look real close, you can see how the sculptor carved stitching into the buttonholes.
            I also explained how this was the site of Kim and I’s first official date. I took her to a picnic at Bonaventure. We had to go every little detail from the stories I told to what the menu was on the picnic. (It was sliced mangoes with raspberry lemonade served with a basil chicken over bow tie pasta. Thanks Fresh Market!)
          I had seen people leaving toys out here for other graves but never for Gracie. It seems fitting and we had wished we had brought some too.





No idea what this means but thought it was interesting looking
 

 
"Can you smell what the Ty is cooking?"
            We made a quick stop over at HISRadio which my cousin runs quite well to drop off a cooler they left at the Geeky Hut during our Fourth of July festivities. This is our Cousin Ty and future world renowned athlete. Here he is showing off his latest sports acquisition.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

            If you have drove into Savannah via DeRenne Ave then the giant globe should be a familiar sight. On our numerous drives up from Milledgeville as a child, the Globe was always a welcome sight. Combined with the smell of Union Bag and watching Mom spray her White Rain hairspray, I knew I was minutes from Grandma’s macaroni & cheese.
            The Globe was originally used back in the late 50s as a natural gas storage container then painted to resemble one of those globes you’d see in a classroom. Around 1998,  SCAD repainted it to look like it was in space. Hurricane Floyd is also on there if you look carefully. If you’ve ever seen Forces of Nature which Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck, the globe is featured as a sandwich stand.
            Most people don’t know there is a mailbox behind it which resembles the Moon. My dream is to run a tour company out of this place one day.
 
 
 
             
With the tour winding down, we had movie plans to meet up Roni and Jude’s cousins to go see Despicable Me 2 over in Pooler. After a careful selection of Gummy Coke Bottles for Jude and Roni selecting Circus Peanuts, we were off to pick up Kim at her workplace.

        
    The new Savannah Morning News is pretty fancy but I do miss it being located downtown. I get why they moved and the new digs are impressive and up with the times. I just love seeing that older building and picturing hard boiled news men wearing ties and fedoras working on their stories. It’s kind of hard to picture that here.
            The Robby AC Tour 2013 wrapped up with the ladies heading back to the newly air conditioned Geeky Hut while the men struck out to ATA Karate. Here you can see the day taking its toll on Jude. Frankly, at this point, I knew exactly how the Little Man felt and fell asleep during his karate myself.
 
            Well, this wraps up the tour. Please gather your belongings and head to your nearest exit. We here at Broken Compass Tours recognize you have many tour choices to take here in Savannah and we appreciate you for choosing us. May the beer always be cold and your compass always point south.
Later.
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Big Daddy is re-introduced to John Candy


          The idea of getting older doesn’t really bother me too much and it’s an experience I am actually getting a little used to. Creaky joints and the loss of my 20/20 vision is somehow compensated with the consolation that some parts of life are starting to make sense while the rest is just something more for me to figure out later.

            My new found “Big Daddy” role has led me to my latest discovery of finding new layers in my old beloved 80s movies. Recently Kim and I were you in the NC Mountains for her family reunion and to pick up the young’uns from their grandparents. One morning, Kim and I were watching the TV in our bedroom when Summer Rental came on VH1 Classics.

            John Candy was always one of my mom’s favorites so it’s theoretically possible I have seen every John Candy movie close to a dozen times courtesy of Video Barn back in my Young Harris days including a few screenings of Delirious.

            Summer Rental is no exception. In addition to Mom’s almost scary obsession of John Candy, the Big Guy also loved this one. As a teen ager, I found the movie amusing but I guess I never got it like they did. I can remember watching Candy try to plow through all those folks on the beach without any luck. Mom would chuckle to the Bug Guy, “Reminds me of someone else I know.” The Big Guy would always be in his recliner smoking one of his More cigarettes. He’d take a drag then wink back at my mom. I’d just shrug my shoulders and wait for the movie to be over so they’d go to bed and I could watch videos.

            Sitting in that bed in NC and watching Summer Rental with Kim, I just about reenacted the whole scenario from my teen years but with a major difference. I could finally relate. The whole beach sequence mirrored more than a few of the Richardson family outings to Tybee Island. Don’t even get me started on the whole beau hunk lifeguard talking to Candy’s daughter bit even though I suspect Kim would be a bit amused on this one.

            As the whole idea of Big Daddy grows on me, I am finding just how much I enjoy all of these old type moves and even some of the new ones. Adam Sandler is my version of John Candy. Somehow Big Daddy led to Jude and me viewing Grownups. We watched that one right after our recent trip down to Darien to see Rags and Sanders so it’s no surprise how much that one hit home.

"Mr. Rags and Robby are in this," according to Jude.
            On our wedding day, Kim promised me “magic and surprises” and so far there has been no sign of letting up. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or it’s due to all the new experiences that come with being Big Daddy. It may even be a combination of both. I’m not just enjoying all these new insights into life that pop into my head, I relish them much like the family that has chosen to be with me.


            At some point over this holiday weekend, I’d like show Roni and Jude another John Candy movie which may be my favorite, The Great Outdoors. I’m guessing while the kids are laughing hysterically at the raccoons, I’ll be relating a bit more to Mr. Candy.
 
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PhotoBomb......Wednesday?


          I have told tales for my friend, Jeff Ragsdale, before. He’s my old frat brother and part of the infamous Cruise Ship Tacky Tux night story as related here. Over the years, Rags has become one of my closest friends and since 1989, many of my up and my downs have been experienced with him by my side.
Halloween 1994
John Gideon aka Greg Allman, me, Randy Arnold, and Jeff Ragsdale
 
 

            Rags recently bought an old house and had it renovated in Darien, GA which is only an hour away from us. For months, we’ve been trying to synch our schedules to get together. We’ve been especially anxious because we both have 9 year old boys that Rags and I hoped would hit it off.  

            Seeing that the Geeky Hut had a busted AC unit and we had a clean schedule, Jude and I hoped into the Black Pearl and headed down to the Ragsdale Ranch South.
 
 
           I figured Jude would have no problems getting along with Rag’s boy, Sanders, but I still had my worries mainly because this was something Rags and I wanted so badly. Two old frat brothers watching their kids run off and play together and the adults complained of grown up stuff like property taxes and how our beautiful wives tolerate us.
            I’m not sure if Sanders and Jude enjoyed being around each other. What do you think?  
Raising the Proverbial Roof....



               Yesterday was filled with moments of immense joy for me. Bonding over Legos, Sanders and Jude had the best time yesterday. Rags took us to Skipper’s Fish Camp which was awesome and a few blocks from Rag’s new home.
              Skipper's is located right on the river front so of, course, exploration must occur followed by a few game of corn hole. The Dads played the Sons for ice cream. Shocker when the Dads lost. Hmmmm.......

Jude loves oysters

Sanders amazes me at how much he looks like his Dad and his Mom




Ragsdale for the lose...
 
As we left, Rags suggested the boys walk home. My first instinct was to nix this idea but Rags re-assured me it would be all right. I realized quickly how much the sleepy town of Darien was much like the Savannah I grew up with and knew there was nothing to be worried about. (Even though I did keep an eye on the boys most the whole way home). Here the boys are trying to race the Black Pearl back to the house.
"On you mark, get set
 
 
 
 
After some frozen treats courtesy of the good folks at Dairy Queen (Rags wonders why there is no Dairy King. There is a Burger King after all), we headed back to the front porch. Sanders and Jude took off on bikes for some riding around the neighborhood.
Watching Jude take off on his borrowed bike, soared me back to childhood and a time before I-pods and cell phones. I can remember riding around Grandma and Pop’s neighborhood for hours back before Harrock Hall had paved roads. Hours were spent kicking up dust on those roads as I take the old one speed around.  It made me more than a little sad that we don’t live in an area good for Jude to ride like that nor have any friends close by.
 
 
 
This picture really summed my day up for me yesterday. Every now and then you take a picture which captures that moment and this is mine. Somehow watching Sanders and Jude walking along the road under a canopy of live oaks and a curtain of Spanish moss resonated inside of me.
That little voice in the back of my head which I now pay attention to me told me something important was happening here. At first, I thought maybe a story idea may pop up from this image and it may still. For some reason, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn running along the muddy banks of the Mississippi came to mind which made me smile. When I tried to go coastal with that literary image, the best I could do was Toomer and Ben Meecham from The Great Santini which somehow didn’t quite hit the mark though a hell of a story.
Jeff Ragsdale and I met in the Fall of 1989. I’ve have watched this guy go from being the life of the party (which he still is) to a respected member of his community teaching Sunday school and even the treasurer of his PTA. (Hell, I can remember a time when our fraternity wouldn’t even accept a check from Rags)
Rags and I have stood by each other when our girlfriends dumped us, making a dreaded call to the West GA Registrar’s office to figure out the minimum GPA we needed to be eligible for graduation, and at many other times. This was the guy who was in the waiting room at Crawford Long Hospital and held my sister, sobbing when we got the news the Big Guy didn’t make it. A few times, Rags even blessed me out about getting my act together when it came to my health and gave me a much needed wake up call.  
Quite truthfully, I could write a blog alone on my hysterical friendship with Jeffery Howell Ragsdale, Jr. For a quarter of a century, we’ve woven in and out of each other’s highs and lows. Though, I do my best to be my own man, I fall into the same trap all adults create for themselves where they compare their lives to those around them. Rags has always been my litmus test for adulthood.
Yesterday, I sat on a front porch in Darien GA while enjoying a pleasant coastal breeze with my life-long friend where we experienced yet another milestone. I watched my step-son hopefully make a life-long friend for himself but at the very least, I watched Jude have a blast and maybe a memory or two on our Guy’s Day. The words escape me today to wrap this one up in a clever way. Maybe I’m being too emotional. Maybe I just can’t find the words. I have no real idea.
I do know that once again I am reminded of how lucky I am in my friendship with Rags. I thank him for giving me yet another milestone in our big ol’ bucket list of life and I look forward to what my future brings with all of this.  Whatever happens, I am betting there will be creases in my face from all the laugh lines.
And now Sanders and Jude rapping "It's Raining Ice Cream" :
video