Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twenty-Five Things You May Not Care To Know About Me

1. Christ is my salvation. Theresa is my heart. My children are my joy. God is good, all the time.

2. One of my favorite quotes is by Robert E. Lee, "I am but a lowly sinner, trusting in Christ alone for my salvation." This is one of the truths I hold fast.

3. My other favorite quote is also by Lee, "Do your duty in all things. You can never do more. You should never wish to do less." This is the one piece of advice I wish my children would remember long after I'm gone. I'd like it on my tombstone.

4. I've learned that the meaning of life is found in serving others.

5. Some of the smartest people I've known never graduated high school. Knowledge or money do not make you a great person, what you do with your life does.

6. I wrote my own word processor with search and replace function at the age of fifteen in 1984.

7. I am the descendant of at least 36 Confederate veterans. Only one was wealthy enough to own slaves, the rest were dirt poor farmers.

8. I like all types of music: Tibetan chant, bluegrass, folk, gangster rap, blues, grunge rock...just about anything.

9. My mother wanted to name me after Christy Mathewson, the Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

10. American Revolution General Francis Marion and German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel were two of my childhood heroes.

11. My father died ten years ago, I miss him dearly, but I get to hear his words every time my boys do something stupid.

12. My daughter Abigail has the perfect name, it means "a father's joy."

13. Abigail is just like her mother -- strong willed, temperamental, and a joy to experience.

14. My fraternity brothers Francisco "Chico" Soto and Kevin "Bruno" Brueland kept me alive for the better part of a year when I was dirt poor in college. I'll never forget that. Chico and Bruno are the meaning of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

15. My favorite book as a toddler was "The Digging-est Dog!" by Al Perkins. I also remember my mother reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Gold Bug" to me.

16. My favorite Christmas present ever were season tickets for the Columbia Mets. Relief pitcher Mickey Weston lead me to Christ through the bullpen fence.

17. My wife is my hero. She has more charm and heart than anyone else I've ever known.

18. I saw the movie "Star Wars" (now called Episode IV) twenty-six times in the theater when it was originally released.

19. My favorite foods are catfish stew, South Carolina hash and rice and liver mush (fried crispy with mustard) sandwiches.

20. I secretly regret not having been in combat while in the Reserves during Desert Storm. That said, I loved blowing things up at drill.

21. While in high school I was the editor of the school newspaper, wrote for the Gaston Gazette and had my photographs published in a sports magazine. In college I was a columnist and later news editor for the campus paper.

22. I wish I could play the guitar.

23. Growing up I won state awards in electronics and cooking while in 4H.

24. My favorite Peanuts character is Snoopy.

25. I hope I make my wife happy. She's made my life.

I posted this to my Facebook profile and thought I would post it here also.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Summer Gone

I'm sad to see another baseball season is coming to an end. But it has been a fantastic summer! My family went to a dozen or so Intimidators games and a few Charlotte Knights games as well. It seems that every other game had a cool moment. I won a prize package on Father's Day and we won pizza twice at Kannapolis. At a Knights game Caleb was picked to compete in a between-inning bicycle race down the baselines to home plate. His starting point was about ten feet from Paul Konerko, in Charlotte on a rehad assignment, and he won the race -- the prize was four tickets to any Knights game. Caleb was more excited about passing the players' locker room than being on the field with big league players.

Several times during the season I became absorbed by the game, hearing nothing but the sounds on the field: the forceful exhale of the pitcher as he hurls the ball toward the plate, the thump of the catcher's mit snaring the speeding sphere, or the crack of the bat. How anyone admire the "clink" of aluminum I can NEVER understand. Baseball is an organic game -- dirt infield, grassy outfield, wooden bats, cowhide covered ball, leather gloves, and at one-time wool or cotton uniforms. Baseball is a timeless game to me, at least in some respects. In the quiet moments between pitches or while following a well hit, long fly ball, I could feel my father's presence.

We'll be counting the days until next season....

Monday, March 31, 2008

Without Sanctuary

As part of my job with the school system, I received a request to unblock the web site I examined the site and was disturbed by the images. I've seen lynching photographs before but it has been a while. Anyone of appropriate age should review the pictures on the site.

Slavery and lynching is not the South's only history but it is part of its history. The South was not the only part of the country to experience slavery or lynchings. New York had a large slave population at one time and there were slave cabins next to Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Information about the above photo:

Blue stamp on reverse:

FROM KLUTTZ'S STUDIO E. Council St., near Court House, SALISBURY, N.C.

The mob numbered into the thousands that wrenched five black men from the civil authorities of Salisbury, North Carolina on the night of August 3, 1906. They accused the men of murdering members of a local family, named Lyerly. The New York Times reported that the victims were tortured with knives before being hanged and then riddled with bullets. The authorities in North Carolina, alarmed at what was one of the largest multiple lynchings of the 20th century, took unusual steps to punish the leaders of the mob.

After the Governor ordered the National Guard to restore order, local officials arrested more than two-dozen suspected leaders. One of the killers, George Hall, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years at a hard labor in the state penitentiary. The New York Times predicted that, by taking these measures, North Carolina's Governor Glenn was not improving his political prospects.