Saturday, September 30, 2006

Homeward Bound.........

"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Healing happens in all sorts of ways .......I have been trying to heal for the last 6 months . I will never fully be back to where I was at the beginning of 2006 but I am somewhat better since the middle of the summer. This past week I decided to take a step towards some type of closure. I spent some time this week in my home town of Tuskegee ,Alabama. Thomas Wolfe said in his novel "Look Homeward Angel" that you cant go home again . I believe that you can go home. I think we often get so caught up in the daily dealings of life that we forget where we are from........Where our roots are. My roots are deep in Macon county. During the last 8 years when I have returned for some reason or another I have always had this deep feeling of discontent. You see, Tuskegee is not the town it was when I was growing up. There is no one really left from when I was there. The stores are all closed. The homes where people I knew are all run down or gone.
My main purpose of this visit was to say goodbye. To say goodbye to my Daddy. I have been trying and trying to think of something that I could do to bring this closure. I went to Tuskegee for a few hours this week and my Daddy went with me.
I went to my old school .....the house I first lived in when I came home from the Nana's house,my old church, our old business and our house in the country. It was a odd feeling to stand in the church that I grew up in to sit on the pew that I last sat in nearly 13 years ago at my Grandaddys funeral . It was a catharsis. I cried. I saw my Daddy in each of those places. I talked to him and I told him that it was time for me to put some things behind me and to move forward with my life. I have lived with a huge regret for the past 6 months. A regret that I did not get to speak to my Daddy before he had his surgery. Would I have said anything profound to him? Highly unlikely. I would have hugged him and told him I loved him and that things would be ok. I truly believe that my Daddy knew deep down that he would not ever be coming home again. I also think he was prepared for that and had made some type of peace. I have also made a peace. I dont fool myself into believing that things are gonna be all roses from now on. We will have some hard days ahead.... Then the holidays . But life will be better. We will remember and laugh .....we will tell his grandsons how much they were loved by their "Ga".....For me it's now about remembering the things that happened.....The past events that made us a family. I will no longer deal in a "what if" world. Those days are gone. Trying to imagine him here with us does me no good. He is gone, but the memory of him, is as strong as an anchor on a ship.
I went to Tuskegee to say goodbye to that part of me . Perhaps no one will ever really understand what I have done, or why I did it this week. Most of the reasons are still inside me and that's cool.....that's where it belongs. Those things I am keeping for myself. I did it for my reasons and my reasons alone.
I spent a very small part of Friday afternoon doing the last thing I felt I needed to finally do.... I went back to his grave. I stood there for a few minutes and said my last goodbye. I did not go alone and I appreciate my friend and his willingness to go with me . It is very unlikely that I will go back there much in the future. My Daddy lives on with me . I see him in myself everytime I go to a restaurant......when I look at my nephews.....and dozens more.
I went home this past week and I said goodbye. The page has turned .

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends. Walt Whitman maybe I am not "full up on friends". I have said for a long time now that I have plenty of room in my life for people. Young, old, big, small, black, white, gay, straight. But I really dont have room for anymore close friends. That sounds really harsh! It is Harsh. I am a terrible, horrible, harsh guy. Right ? Of course not ....I am a fun, easy going, laid back gentleman who happens to enjoy a glass of Jack Daniels or a good martini. I enjoy good music, good books, good conversation. I enjoy being around folks who also share these likes.....SO why not open myself up to more friends?? God puts people in our lives so that we will be richly blessed by their presence. I am ashamed to say that this only recently dawned on me. Too often I have looked at new friendships as something that will take me away from other things instead of making me a better person in the long run. That ends today. I look forward to good friendships with people like Luke and Jackie....... Although Luke thinks I am a drunk. I am excited about continuing the friendships with John and Laura, Mike, David, Susanne and of course Nick and Laura. I have so many others that I could mention....You all know who you are . I am blessed and will continue to be blessed by all my great friends.
So to quote GWB...."Bring um on" Friendships that is....I am ready.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

But it does hurt!!!!!...........

All I wanted was a haircut .......thats it....Not too much to ask ...right ??? There used to be a time about 20+ years ago when it was easy for me to get a hair cut. My Mother would take me to my Nana's house and Nana would cut my hair. I can still smell the "perm smell" that always seemed to be present at 202 Wallace Drive in Tuskegee. I can see Nana cutting away and the whole time there was a cigarette in her mouth . LOL!! That was circa 1980. Well needless to say things have changed a good bit.
2006--I cant get a decent haircut to save my friggin life. My hair is not hard to cut its thick but its nothing special..... I am looking for nothing fancy ...just a haircut. This past weekend I went to get a haircut. First problem-Everyone else in the the tri-county area decided to get a haircut. I went to three places on Friday afternoon and you could not stir folks with a stick I decided to go back on Saturday. I go to two places....the first is closed and the second is in the mall. I would rather be exposed to the plague than to have to go to the mall, maybe I am becoming my father....I dont know but the mall is not my idea of fun. Throw into the mix that it happened to be some kind of FAMILY- FAIR- AT- THE -MALL- WITH- FREE- BALLOONS-NIGHT.....UGH!!! Anyway.....I go to a fine establishment that will remain nameless for this blog we shall call them "Haster Cuts". There are three women working there ......I sign in and notice that my name is next.....Of course they proceed to take two other women ahead of me !!!! It would seem that they had been there around lunchtime on Tuesday I suppose , and were told to just come back and they would be "worked in"!!
I finally get called and explain what I want....I was pretty clear that I did not want to look like a doofus ....I look like a doofus already without a bad haircut adding to the problem. Long story short....She did a decent job I guess.
SO whats the problem .....I think its our overwhelming amount of choices. If you travel on the Atlanta Hwy , from Taylor Road to Ann Street, you will pass no less than 8 places to get your hair cut.....and many of those are chains. DO we really need that much ? I dont have any answers ....It just chaps me wrong I guess.....!!!!
Good Grief!!
14 days to North Carolina

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This and That.....


Former President Bill Clinton has been making the talk show rounds this past week to drum up support for his Global Initiative. First of all let me say that this guy looks fantastic . After having spent the last couple of years looking sick , it now appears that he is back at his fighting weight.
This seems like a very worthwhile project to be involved with and many people from all across the world are signing up to do what they can to help. Also it is just wonderful to see someone on television that is so articulate, relaxed in intereviews , engaging and smart.
President Clinton seems to be taking a page from an old FDR playbook by saying "Do something, big or small, that makes a difference." That seems to be the phrase I am hearing and seeing the most about this project. Click on the link to get more info.


I ran across an old article I had saved from several years ago that had a listing of books that had been banned for some reason or another in the last couple hundred years. I thought it would be fun to post that and see if any of yall had read any of these "banned" books. On a related note, I was talking to my friend David sunday night and we both talked about how much we enjoy "To Kill A Mockingbird" By Harper Lee. Anyway, that book made the list along with some other great ones. I have never quite understood the "banning" of books. Maybe we could all be a rebel and pick up a copy and either read or re-read one of these books. Enjoy!
  • The Adventures of Huck Finn-Mark Twain
  • The Diary of Anne Frank-Anne Frank
  • The Great Gatsby-F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Martian Chronicles-Ray Bradbury
  • To Kill A Mockingbird-Haper Lee
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin-Harriett Beecher Stowe
  • The Canterbury Tales-Geoffry Chaucer
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings-Maya Angelou
  • 1984-George Orwell
  • A Farewell To Arms-Ernest Hemmingway
  • A Catcher In The Rye- J.D. Salinger
  • The Color Purple-Alice Walker
  • Flowers For Algernon-Daniel Keyes
  • Gone With The Wind-Margaret Mitchell
  • Of Mice And Men-John Steinbeck
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest-Ken Kasey
  • Ordinary People-Judith Guest
  • The Bible-God
On a personal note ....I have not felt this good in months. I dont know if its the weather or what but I feel great. My mood is good. My time out with friends seems to have a new shine to it . Things are going great at work and beyond. Things are good!!!
I only have about 17 days till I head to North Carolina and I cannot wait

I close with a quote.....
"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness"
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What a weekend ................

First of all let me say this .....I am a better poker player than I give myself credit
We had our first card night this past Friday night and I believe the general feeling was that it was a huge success. This might sound weird but I have always enjoyed that image of "the guys" sitting around playing cards, drinking beer, smoking cigars and telling funny stupid stories. Thats what we did last Friday night. The girls were there of course but they were on the front porch and pretty much left us to do our thing. We all had a blast, at least I had a blast and I also got to meet some really nice folks .
I could write lots more but as they say " What happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas"

I recently finished another book about President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This book focused on the last year of his life, April 1944-April 1945. President Roosevelt suffered from congestive heart failure. This is a serious condition today but in the mid 1940s there was really nothing that could be done for it . Imagine this ...You have a serious heart condition, chronic high blood pressure, paralyzed from the hips down and you are running a nation who is fighting a world war on several fronts. It is really amazing that he lived to see a fourth term much less run for one .
One of the problems with his heart condition is that not enough oxygen rich blood was getting to his brain so it was harder for him to make decision or follow conversations . This man was trying to shape the post war world and was having a hard time doing just that.
But he did manage to shape the United Nations. Win a fourth term as President. Go to the Quebec Conference and the Yalta Conference......he did it all while dying.
He was planning a trip to San Francisco for the opening session of the United Nations in late April of 1945 and then a trip to London in May.
Anyway I dig Roosevelt ......

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


So I read Lane's blog today ....just catching up on different things and his blog made me SICK ...He talked about how fall is in the air up in New England and in so many ways it makes me jealous. Fall really is my favorite time of the year. It is a beginning. I know many folks will say "WAIT A DANG MINUTE...SPRING IS WHERE IT ALL BEGINS" but not for me folks.
I enjoy the slow crawl of Summer into Fall.....down here in the deep south we get to see things happen a little more slowly . In the upper regions of New England leaves are already turning and before long that will spread its way across New York , Pennsylvania , Maryland, Virginia and into North and South Carolina. We still have many leaves still on trees at Thanksgiving !!!!!
I enjoy th.t first small small taste of Fall that we get here in the deep south. Those mornings that are a little cooler. Cooler for us is the low to middle 60's. It warms up during the day but it's the cooler nights that sustain me. The lower temps revive me and make me feel good again. I see Fall as a stepping stone being one step closer to Winter and that really makes me happy.

My oldest nephew plays his first football game tonight . He is in the Termite league out at Macon East Montgomery Academy. He is 9 years old and is SOOOOOO ready to play.
My Daddy was so excited when he heard that Hunter was going to MEMA. Hunter is a third generation Gregg to be going to Macon East. Both his grandparents graduated from the school in 1964(the first class in fact) His Dad and his uncle (me) graduated from the school . Daddy would have been equally excited to be going to the games to see Hunter play. I have said it is a year of firsts for the Gregg family, good ones and bad ones, this is a good one. Good Luck Hunter!

If I was a smart man, and had to sit and analyze things I was seeing on television, I would say that the Bush administration was doing a good bit of backpeddling. They still sit on a throne of lies. They are now saying that things in Iraq are not as good as was once thought!!!! WHO ONCE THOUGHT THAT? Bush? Cheney? This mess has been going on for three years. Dozens of former Generals or commanders have issued statements talking about the problems from the start of the war. It makes no sense to me. NONE .
Why dont we invade North Korea? Iran? The international community is pretty sure they have some bad weapons. SO why dont we use the "Iraq Formula" and invade to disarm them and remove a cruel dictator from power?? I am guessing it has alot to do with the fact that they REALLY have these weapons and the leaders of these countrys are nuts. I dont want to go to war with these people . They have nothing to lose . They hate us with such a passion.
Perhaps they dont want Democracy. We have never stopped to think about that have we ? Maybe our idea of a great country run by the people does not sound that great to others . Many leaders in our government today still believe in a "Manifest Destiny". We are to be the leaders of democracy and as Americans it is not only our duty but our right to bring these freedoms to the world. Perhaps we should follow the path of the "Truman Doctrine". That is when nations ask for our help to perserve their freedoms. Orginally started to curb the spread of communism in Europe it could be used today in the middle east or anywhere really. But we should not invade. I think its wrong.