Butch, Sundance, and Jimmy

Yesterday, sitting in my recliner on a Sunday afternoon, half-awake, my cell phone rang. It was Jimmy. I knew he had just been released from OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. I jumped from my chair and ran outside because my phone has lousy reception inside the house. I sat down on the diving board next to the pool and remembered another pool, bigger and typically filled with screaming kids, the pool where I was baptized, at Green Valley Bible Camp near Rogers, Arkansas on a hot July day in 1972. Jimmy and I talked like the old friends we … Continue reading Butch, Sundance, and Jimmy

Flashes of Wonder

If I wrote like my wife talks, I’d write narrative like a kid writing home from summer camp, “I had oatmeal for breakfast and we played softball and I outran all the boys in a foot race and we had hamburgers for dinner…” But, I write like a Red Bull-drinking cat on a hot tin roof, leaping from topic to topic not waiting to interrupt myself if new sentences emerge from side streets like kids chasing the siren song of the ice cream truck. Karen and I had such a good weekend that writing of it demands a linear narrative, … Continue reading Flashes of Wonder

Caddying for the Younger Generation – Part 2

I sat on my hotel bed the night before the opening round and read about notable players including a golfer from Shreveport named Hal Sutton who had already won the Western Amateur that summer. I’m playing with Hal Sutton who would win the PGA in 1983 and was Ryder Cup captain later in his career. And so on the biggest stage in amateur golf I would be playing with one of the best amateur golfers in the world. The first hole at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland is a par four dogleg right that demands a power fade to follow … Continue reading Caddying for the Younger Generation – Part 2

Caddying for the Younger Generation

Francis Chan put hands over his face and agonized about whether to speak the unspeakable to a traditionally proud and spiritually cloistered group that appeared from his stage perch decidedly gray, liver-spotted hands enshrouding the candle lit flame that once was a raging bonfire. He was speaking to me and to my elders and leaders in Churches of Christ. His message was the empowerment of younger people, the enabling of their talents, the unleashing of their spirit in the Church and having the wisdom and discernment to know when to get out of the way and let God’s will and … Continue reading Caddying for the Younger Generation

Limestone School part 6 walking home

As John Welch’s arm exploded through the safety glass just above the brass push bar he realized the race had been won and the battle lost. Our third and fourth grade classes routinely made the sixty yard sprint across the playground from the north wing to the south wing of Limestone School rewarding the win, place and show runners with the spoils of being first in line for lunch. We had no grand illusions of gourmet meals. Our goals were attuned to completing lunch quickly and excusing ourselves to the asphalt playground to maximize our time playing workup-style kickball, foursquare … Continue reading Limestone School part 6 walking home

Limestone School part 5 the neighborhood

I grew up alongside Kevin Arnold of the Wonder Years only without a Jets letter jacket. Those neighborhood landmarks and watershed moments and the guys I ran with, through the streets and adjacent woods just a couple blocks north of Limestone School, are etched in the granite of my adolescent memory. So this section is about my first love and stupid things I did that were never revealed…and it’s about my Mom…who was an anchor of my early life and a beacon for the neighborhood I lived in as a buzz-headed kid growing up in the tumultuous sixties. While others … Continue reading Limestone School part 5 the neighborhood

Limestone School part 4 sliding candy and crooked forks

Brach’s hard candy slid across the gleaming tile floors of the main hall at Limestone school like tiny hockey pucks propelled by the hand of Rusty the janitor who kept the cinnamon, butterscotch and peppermint treats in a coffee can in his supply closet. The pine scent floor polish and a strict discipline of machine buffing created a brilliant sheen enhancing the illusion that the candies in cellophane wrappers accelerated as they neared our greedy hands at the ends of the hallway north and south, where stairs descended to intersect another hallway running east and west at each end of … Continue reading Limestone School part 4 sliding candy and crooked forks