Friday, May 26, 2023

the class of 93... thirty years later: the last will & testament

So it's our last will & testament, read on Senior Class Day in May 1993. 

Everyone in the class, with a few exceptions missing, turned in what they would "leave" to whoever they wished. Lots of inside jokes, nearly everyone wished graduation success to the following year's class, and the word "ability" is mentioned about 800 times.

I tried to type out exactly as typed, which by the way was then printed on a word processor, and lots of notes written in the margin. I also typed in the misspellings on some names, some grammar, and some sentences.  Some corrections were made (then, not by me now) and I tried to list anything marked through just for posterity - though some things were just marked out too much (I still wonder what Shannon Williamson left Manda Donaldson and Amy Zorn)

And a few nods to "finding true friends", which I'm sure is a definite sign of being 17 years old. Or now. Sometimes things remain the same, eh? 

So here is the Class of '93's Last Will & Testament. 

Beth Adkison - I leave to Amy Zorn the directions to get to that place. (We still haven't got there, but don't worry, I'm starting to remember.) To Jenny Day, Julie Dunn, and Lynne Mock I leave shoes for the summer. To Christy Maloy and Amy Farris I leave an automatic truck and the nicknames SPIN-OUT and PUNCH-IT. (I'm sure Felicia Simmons head, and my rear-end think so). To Nicole Wilson and Jeromy Howell I leave all my typing paper, correction tabs, and the knowledge to press reprint. To Misty Kimble I leave a boyfriend for each week of the year. To Tammy Ward I leave a Barf Bag, and to Felicia Simmons, Jackie Warren the best of luck, because you'll need it. To Kecia Slosh Morgan and Nicki Rowboat Vann I leave these nicknames. And to Christie Mock, Kathy King, and Jan Lolley (who we all know as Air Heads) the ability to blow up a balloon. To Joni Floyd and Amy Bowers "YOU'RE BLOND SO GIVE THE ACT UP." Good luck Class of '94

Greg Avant - I leave my parking space to whoever gets there first.

Top Row: Jan, Kecia, Tammy W, Brian
Middle: d$, Daniel, Chris
Bottom: Johnny, Michael K, Nicki, Brandi
Bottom right: Victor; Bottom small: Misty

Michael Creech - I leave to Karen the ability to do what she wants and not get in trouble. To Brenda good luck in the future and maybe you'll make it. To Angie I leave all my love.

Wade Fulford - I leave all the luck in the world to Kim.

Shane Gillis - I leave Michael Mock some bifocals, my beautiful truck and my high standard taste in women, and to Craig McCollough I leave an eye. To the Junior Class I leave Avery and Drew

Brian Green - I leave to Craig the ability to stay awake at the wheel. And to the rest of the class of '94 Good Luck.

Rodney Hornsby - I leave to my sister Christie the ability to play basketball and to the Varsity Basketball team good luck in the future. Special thanks to Mrs. Rials and Coach Thrasher.

Wendy Marsh - I leave to my Home Ec. Class the willingness to do class work. I leave to the Junior Class the school. I wish Mrs Gilly the best of luck at good ol SHS.

Misty Kimble - To Victor and Shannon, I leave the ability to drive from the back seat. To Nichole I leave the bathroom in pizza hut. To Joni, a certain curb on the Geneva-Enterprise highway. To Kecia I leave a video of herself in the Hotel room in Panama City. To Tammy Ward, a full WalMart bag. To Beth Adkison, I leave all our good times and laughs, also the ability to sleep without getting a holy blanket. To Felicia, Kathy, Chris McCall, Jackie, and Lynn Mock, all my love and the best of wishes.
To [redacted] I leave a friendship that I never thought would [line incomplete]

Drew King - To Mike Mock my good reputation with teachers, and to Craig McCollough a socket set to take the screw out of his leg.

Johnny Knowles - I leave to my brother Adrian my wealth from broadcasting and the ability to pass

Michael Knowles - I leave to my brother Eric the ability to graduate, and do it within the next five years.

Jennifer Lambert - To Kam I leave the ability to play with a big glove. To Paula I leave the 4th of July!! To Jason I leave the ability to do good in school and stay out of trouble.

Jan Lolley - To the class of '94 Good Luck and to my little brother Andy, all my love. And the Leah Hutchinson I hope you get to be on Saturday Night Live one day. To the Class of '93, thanks for the memories

Chris McCall - To my brother Douglas I leave the school bus, since I won't be here to take him to school next year. To everyone else who asked me to leave them something I leave my spot in the parking lot. Ya'll can fight over it later [final line crossed out, can't tell what it is]

Stan McDuffie - I leave good luck to next year's baseball and basketball teams I leave my brother Ross the best of luck and the ability to sleep in English class every day and still pass. To the Class of '94, best wishes and thanks for being cool about everything

Victor Miller - To Kim, Jenny, Joey, and Lynn the gossip table in the dungeon. Toby, some "good ole" common sense. Stacey, Tracy, Amanda, and Michele, the ability to master the pronunciation system of French numbers. To Nicole Wilson, the skill to keep on asking, "But why Mrs. Davis?" Julie Dunn, his empty seat on bus, 75-1, and the ability to pass notes about everything in Mrs. Rials class and not get caught. Kellie, Erica, Amy, and Andrea the ability to "work it girls." Rory Farris, the ability to keep worshipping me, although I'm gone. To Bradley, the hope and ability to graduate and the ability to speed and not get stopped. Good Luck

Christie Mock - I leave to my brother the best of luck with the rest of his highschool years. I love you and may all your dreams come true  I leave to my brother Chad all my love. And to the Seniors of 94, may you have a fun and exciting year. Good luck and God Bless you all!

Kecia Morgan - To the Class of '94, I wish you all the best of luck and hope you all have a wonderful Senior year! To Misty, Nicki, Tammy T., Tammy W., Felicia, Jackie, Beth, and all my closest friends I leave all my love and I hope that we will always be the best of friends. Good luck! To Steve Dillard, I give all my love.

Latoya Morgan - I leave to Tita, Tarlisha, Christy, Tracey, and Mel, the ability to achieve all your goals. I hope that you will do well in school, sports, and the band. I leave to Bradley, Shannon, Larry, Kantrell, and Gregory the ability to behave, because you really need it. I also leave Patrick, the best of luck in all you do.

Stephaine Phillips - To Kam and Paula, I wish ya'll the best of luck with your senior year. I hope its your best yet. To the Lady Tiger Softball and Volleyball Teams, I wish you the best of luck next year, I know you can bring home the state championship. To my brother Jeff, I wish you the ability to sleep in class and also be able to keep your grades up. To Jacklyn, Good luck with everything you do. Always hold your head high and you will accomplish everything you set your mind to. To the Class of 94, I wish you the best of luck. I hope your senior year is the best. 

Monty Powell - Enjoy life and never take things too seriously

Brandi Schertal - I leave to Kam, Paula and Letita the ability to go to state in volleyball and basketball. I leave to Kam Johnson & Paula Baxley my Accent (HA! HA! BIG JOKE) Good luck to the class of '94. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, since I've been here.

Felicia Simmons - I leave to my her sister Amy the ability to get out of the car correctly and not to take notes in Mrs. Daniels room and still pass. I leave my love and best of luck in life to: Amy F., Christy Maloy, Tammy W, Jackie W, Misty K, Beth A, Kecia M, Chris Mc, Victor M, and Cathy K. I leave to Beth A, the ability to know when an ant is biting you. To Mrs. Peterson the number afer "40"

Jason Slay - I leave to John Slay that ability to drive and graduate. To Drew King the ability to graduate and to Michael Mock a bottle of roach killer. To Daniel Stephensons [sic] and Joey Stephens a Key to my house. I also leave to Daniel Stephson [sic] a newspaper. To all of my  teachers of the past, best of wishes. And to Mr. Johnson, extreme thanks. I also leave to all Agi. students my ability to ace the hunter safety test and still shut-off their TOE

Jason Smith - To all my friends at Samson High, a big "Good Luck" and to Julie Dunn, Walt Logan, and Jeremy Howell the ability to "break it down"

Joey Stephens - I leave to my sister Jennifer the ability to graduate and the best of luck during high school.

Top: d$, Nicki, Shannon
Middle: Traci, Jennifer, Susan
Bottom: Latoya, Christie, Clay

Daniel Stephenson - To Toby Chastain I leave the ability to change his name from ugly tackle to strong tackle. To the class of '94 the ability to keep the fun going and all my love to Beverly. To my Brother David I leave ability to graudate & party hard

Tammy Thomas - I leave to Rona Mock my highwaters, Amy Farris the ability to beat up Shannon Bowers. To my sister Jamie all of the love and luck in the world, and to Coach Baxley I leave her all of my love and a bunch of Thanks for shaping me into a good athlete and for letting me know that someone really does care. 

  Nicki Vann - I leave to Kasee Mock and David Chancey the ability to make it one more year. I leave Misty K. Kecia M. and Beth A. all of the memories and all of my love and the best in the future. I leave Tony Hornsby the ability to get along with Mrs. Daniels. I give all of my love to Chad Davis. I leave to my sister the ability to go to school and graduate. 

Chad Ward - I leave to the class of '94 all the best, and the ability to graduate.

Susan Ward - I leave to Kimberly Davis, Julie Dunn, Jennifer Jones, Brandie Hamic, and Kelley Wise a package of dry Gatorade (Remember that at Cheerleader Camp this year.) Good Luck to the Classes of '94 and '95

Tammy Ward - I leave to Heather Ward the best of her school years and good luck. To Amy Farris good luck with the guys and my love.

Jackie Warren - I leave to Tanya Merritt and Beth Edison the ability to make good grades and graduate. I also leave to Tanya Merritt a paint brush for those deer and chickens, that Sunday afternoon. I leave to Johnathan Aplin the ability to graduate and give everyone who works at Ground Control a hard time. I leave to Nicole Wood the ability to borrow all those neighborly things, and the ability to be friends with most people and to graduate. I leave to Kim Linton the ability to learn how to drive a truck without wrecking it. To Felicia S. Beth A. Tammy W Misty K. Kathy K. Kecia M. Nicki V. and the rest of my friends all the luck in the world and my love.

Leslie Whigham - To my brother and sister, I leave the ability to graduate and find true friends. And to the class of '94 & '95 best of luck.

Shannon Williamson - I would like to leave to: Manda Donaldson and Amy Zorn (unintelligible). Melanie the ability to hit Jimbo and J.J. back. To Andre a smile, to Christy Poon a frown. To Traci I leave thanks for being a good friend. 

Tonya Windham - To my brother Tony, I leave the ability to graduate. To Tracey and Stephanie my messy room and a bottle of aspirin. To Julie, Andrea, Tanya and Shanna, the ability to stay in band through your senior year.

Avery Baine - To my cousin Tanya, the ability to graduate, and to Kelly all my love

Traci Baine - I leave to Kam the jug and christmas lights. To Paula Tulips and the ability to touch your toes. To Amy Zorn a disguise so she won't be seen where she shouldn't be. To the Lady Tigers, best of luck in all 3 sports. I hope you go all the way. 

David $ - To Jason Howell the ability to get away from Subway with only minimal bruising. To Heather Chancey the ability to tell the Archibald joke, To Cristie Wright the ability to learn how to play tennis. To Rona, I leave thanks for being my friend. And to all the Junior High Students who made me one of their favorite seniors - Good luck!

Anthony Landingham - I leave my brother Douglas the ability to graduate within the next five years and find success in his life.

Previous: The Samson High Class of 93 History

Next: The Bahama Cruisin' Epic Poem  

Thursday, May 25, 2023

the class of 93... thirty years later: class history

 As a sort of "class historian" of Samson High School Class of '93, because I'm a legit nerd and keep everything like a Hoarder Lite, I've managed to hold onto a few documents that honestly no one in their right mind should still have.

Not that anything I have is bad or scandalous, but who else has their Class History and the Class Last Will & Testament still on the original paper, with the original notes written in (including the Last Will & Testament that is signed "not cleared" by a teacher).

So as we celebrate 30 years since we walked that football field to get our diplomas, I thought it was finally time to print and preserve what our lasting legacy is. 

In the next few days, I'm going to post and publish the aforementioned papers, as well as my own writings - the class haikus and the "Bahama Cruisin': The Epic Poem" senior cruise recap 

But first... the Samson High School Class History, transcribed directly from the paper upon which it's typed, copied in the same format. I added the years above each section, just for context, since most of us are too old to do math now. 

I dare say this is the first time this has seen the light of day since Class Day, 1993.

Here we go:

We started our schooling years in kindergarten.
This was the year Chris McCall got in trouble for throwing foam during naptime.
Tonya Windham got a paddling in the bathroom. She got another one when she said it didn't hurt.
If you've ever noticed Nicki Vann's nose, you'll see a scar. She got it when Latoya tried to staple her nose together.

In first grade, Marsha Richardson joined our class
In the process of attacking the monkey bars, Stephanie Phillips became the first in our class to lose her front teeth.
This was the year we began our traditional Civil War... like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going, and going, and going...

We were finally second graders, and Stephen Stowe, Vanessa Olive, and Jackie and Felicia joined our class.
Misty Kimble took two karate lessons and became known as Kung Fu Kimble when she bodyslammed Susan Ward.
Greg Avant hit puberty early when he gave Jennifer Lambert a big box of chocolates on Valentines Day to win her heart.

In third grade, Tywania Phillips joined our class and jumped right in to the Civil War, pigtails and all.
Playing house became serious when Kecia Morgan and Jerry Hysmith got married... thank goodness there were no children born.
This year, the I've only Got Nine Toes Club was formed, it's founding member - Anthony Landingham.

We knew we were moving up in the world when we entered fourth grade, and a brand new school was built just for us.
Yes, we thought we were all that when we became the Seniors of the Elementary School
We were cursed this year when Victor Miller, Beth Adkison, and David Dollar, and Brian Green joined our class.
And David Dollar got the wonderful Samson welcome when Shane Gillis, and Drew King would chase him home everyday, cussing and shooting birds at him
Girl trouble started early for Jason Smith, when he couldn't decide between Susan and Nicki - so, because he could, he chose them both. 
Michael Dumas made our trip to the capital exciting, when he got sick after eating the animal food and throwing up on the way home.

Mrs Wikel's Class, 1985
In Fifth Grade, Shane Gillis, Shannon Williamson, and Jan Lolley became part of the Class of 93
Gerald Smith began his career as an arson when he set fire to the woods behind the school
The We Hate Everything But Boys Club was founded... only if we were still so naive.
Jason Smith became jumpsticks king, but endured heavy competition

We were finally sixth graders, and we moved over to junior high school.
Michael Creech, Lee Futch, and Drew King and Tammy Thomas joined our class this year.
This was the year we got used to living without chewing gum, because Mr. White threatened us with the paddling board.
The new fads this year were Reeboks, Converse, and beginning band.

In Seventh Grade, Latoya showed us all her violent side when her and Sambo Cade got into a knockdown drag out brawl.
Coca Cola shirts and Mrs. Brooks parts of speech tests were the hottest things going this year.
Mrs. Williams locked Victor in the closet, and she tried to give Shannon a lick, but Shannon convinced her she'd just had surgery on her butt.
Tonya began her attitude when she told Mrs. Brooks, "You're crazy!!" where Mrs. Brooks replied, "I am not crazy!!!"
This year, the class of 93 joined Avery.

The Class of 1993... in Eighth Grade, Coach
Week's civics class
In Eighth grade, our class took our second field trip, with Coach Chastain to the falls, where the word Tree became a new saying. 
We all had Mrs. Free believing that Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and our Nigerian exchange student Hakeem Olajuwan were absent from class.

We finally were Freshman, and we had a
mere four years left.
Joey Stephens, Wendy Marsh, Christie Mock, and Cleve Kirkland joined up with our class.
The Greg to Diamonds Foundation was formed,
raising 15 dollars for Greg to buy a ring for Jennifer.
This was Mrs. Peterson's first year, and Hold the Phone became a familiar cliche, and Drew earned the name Drewski
Traci continued the war when she and Tywania got into a fight.
New Kids on the Block were hot this year, as Susan, Traci, and Leslie became big fans

Our Sophmore [sic] year soon came, and Driver's Ed was the most dangerous class with Shannon backing into a hill and David driving on the wrong side of the road
Everyone got an A in Chemistry with Mrs. Collins and Mr. Farris
The Fulfords began a road kill tradition when Clay attacked an alligator and took it home.
War raged on as Jennifer and Kecia got into a heated argument, Felicia bodyslammed Wendy, and Misty tried to pluck Amy Bowers.
Drew reminded Mrs. Willis that her literature class was not a sex education class.

Juniors at last, and the saying Hoop! There it is! became famous.
Brian Green began taking the Freedom of Speech a little too far.
Johnny and Wendy became a famous couple coming home from ESJC
Traci Baine lost her necklace at the prom, and only she could find it.
Sherella joined our class this year.

We are now seniors and what a memorable year it has been.
Jan Lolley showed us all her intelligent side when she asked if leather came from animals and what Ray-Bans were.
Misty, Nicki, Beth, Tammy Thomas, Brian, Drew, Daniel, Shane and Wendy got kicked out of JC's haunted house for unknown reasons.
Lydia and Sherella became famous for their great hair.
Felicia, Jackie, Christie, and Tammy Ward became known for their gossip table in ag class.
Cathy King and Brandie Schertal joined our class this year.
Joey, Clay, Wade and Daniel's skateboarding days came to a delay when Officer Morgan pulled them over for riding on the back of Traci's car.
Monty became famous for his quiet little get togethers and Greg's grandmother knew he didn't have the flu.
Greg also went into the remodeling business when he attacked Chris and Chad's cars.
This became the year of the sucker punches, right Michael and David?
Jason Slay joined the I've only got nine toes club this year.
This was the year we set a record for having three Miss Samsons and we even had a Miss Peanut, Jennifer Lambert.
1993 will be remembered as the year of our Bahama Cruise, where Drew found our what Security meant.
The group was known as Eric's Groupies
Brian Green got personal directions to Kentucky

Tonight we graduate, and although our high school years will end, we have made some memories over the years that will never go away.

Up next: The Class of 1993 Last Will and Testament 

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

don't let them rewrite history

Okay. Soapbox time. This is long, sometimes meandering, and I put Biden and his idiot Press Sec on full blast. I also go after other members of the Admin, including Fauci, who is a straight up a** clown. And Trump doesn't go unscathed either.

If you only want to hear what gives you warm fuzzies, keep scrolling.

I just heard a soundbite from the worst Press Sec this country has known in modern times, the esteemed Karine Jean-Pierre. Matches up with the worst POTUS we've had in my lifetime.

So she tells us: "Kids have lost so much in the pandemic. This is why, when the president walked in, he made a priority to open schools one of the things that was important to do"


I am passionate about this -- not only in everything that we were lied to about, including masks, social distancing, vx, vx mandates, lockdowns, and especially school closings, but I'm continually angered by the fact there is no accountability for those who did this to us and worse, their attempts -- and by many the allowing to do so -- of rewriting history.

Do not let them rewrite history. They did this. And they think you are too stupid to remember or understand.

Let me explain.

Trump pushed for the country to be locked down in March of 2020. He was president, and he should have fought harder to open back up within weeks. Heck, I'll even give you "months" for the "we didn't know what we were dealing with" responses.

But by summer, when the data began to come in, when we had a good understand of who was really in danger with Cvd, the country should have opened back up. Didn't hear the data? Thats because a lot of doctors and scientists who had such data were being attacked, suspended, and deplatformed -- we know this because of the lawsuits we are seeing now.

Trump's biggest mistake was not firing Anthony Fauci, who from March 2020, my wife said, "He's a clown. No one should listen to him. But they will."

Because of Fauci, and American Fed of Teachers Randi Weingarten, and other complete idiots in power, schools remained shut down. States had control, but they were being leaned on by the federal government, teachers unions, and the CDC. Oh, and Fauci, who declared "I am the science". It's a circle... Fauci can say he "recommended", and lean on the CDC, and states/schools consult the CDC who tell them what to do, based on Fauci's very strong recommendation.

Do not let them rewrite history.

My kid, for whom online learning is a colossal waste of an attempt, had no structure of schooling for almost 7 months. He's autistic. Lack of structure was devastating for him and for our family.

The school opened later in the fall of 2020, with a demand of masks and distancing. My kid, like many, learns from facial expressions, mouth movements, word structure - and he was deprived of that. We thank God that our area had a summer school for a few hours a day, a few days a week over the summer by a few teachers who understood the urgency and fought for that to happen.

Nonetheless, he regressed. Third grade was not a good year for him, and I know many parents can say the same.

That said, many of us tried to tell all of you that masks were not the safe-haven they were promised. We tried to tell you that "social distancing" was ridiculous and did not work.

When we tried to tell you that kids should have been back in school that August. I even wrote a post about it and was blasted for it.

I was unfriended.

I was taunted.

I got messages about my "reckless statements", one from a nursing student who I worked with a Starbucks, who told me I was a fool and that "your son will be fine missing a little more school until it's safe". Then she blocked me.

Steph and I kept reading, Steph and I kept researching, Steph and I kept trying to find data. My position never changed. Theirs did.

And then Biden took over. Trump, for better or for worse, gave these decisions back to the states (OMG HE'S A TYRANT FACIST!! Shut up. If he was a tyrant fascist, he never would have given control back to the states.)

Biden made everything 100x worse. He derided Trump for the vx, then tried to take credit for it. Then he tried to force corporations to force vx on everyone to come to work, and to make sure every kid was vx'd.

Do not let them rewrite history.

Because we were told if you had the vx, you won't get Cvd.

Then we were told if you had vx and boosters, you won't spread it.

Then we were told if you had it, and more boosters, you might get it, and maybe spread it, but you won't be really sick.

And that they were safe. Completely safe. All of them.

My own family was facing a decision on what to do if my wife, who had just been promoted, was told to get it and whether she would leave. Would we have to hire tutors for our kid because if schools forced it, he couldn't go.


Literally tried to force a medical procedure on EVERYONE, stemming from companies that legally could not be held responsible for the results. People were being censored on social media, accounts banned and suspended for merely asking the questions of "Okay, is this actually right?"

I was DM'd by people I knew and generally liked... called a coward because I wouldn't get the vx.

One conversation asked me "why are you so scared? its been given to millions of people and its safe. And you are responsible for your son and his well-being, so if you dont get it, at least protect him!" Then I was told later that "people are questioning your positions, and wondering if they should even come to you for their trips".

I was called a bad father. I was told that maybe our family shouldn't come around some gatherings because of smaller children that may be present. Our position never changes. Theirs did.

Do not let them rewrite history.

And it turns out... we were right. Masks by and large didn't work. Vx are turning out to be quite the issue for a lot of people (note: i didn't say ALL). And Biden turned around and blamed Trump for the misinformation on the vx, after trying to take credit for it when he thought it was working.

Fauci lied.

Biden lied.

Weingarten lied

Congress lied.

And now... in 2023... they are all trying to tell you it wasn't them. They didn't do it.

Weingarten recently said she pushed for schools to be open as soon as possible. Fauci said that it wasn't him who pushed for any mandates, he only made recommendations. Biden is saying that one of his top priorities was to reopen schools from Day 1.

Those who got the vx and still are happy they did - awesome for you, and I hope it helped you. I don't blame you. You made the decision you thought was right for your family.

I blame this administration for trying to force it on all of us. I blame this administration for trying to take the decision of my family's well being and livelihood out of my own hands.

Do not let them rewrite history.

Remember what they said.

Remember what they did.

Remember what they tried to force all of us to do.

Oh, and hey you people who unfriended and blocked me. My position never changed -- and I was right about all of it.

If you called me a coward and blocked me, please don't send me new friend requests, I will delete them. And have.

Do not let them rewrite history.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

that pyramid book scheme

Facebook is a funny thing -- you'd think after a certain amount of time people would stop falling for the "I am telling Facebook they do not have permission to use my photos, and I'm going to make this known right here in this post so ol' Marky Zuck will see it" hoax that likes to pop up every now and again. Then the person doing the post advises you to not share the post, but instead gives you instructions on how to copy and paste into your own Facebook feed. 

This, as well all know (or most know, as there are some that don't) is false, and Zuckerberg and his META Minions could care less about your declarations of what Facebook can and cannot do -- they have your pics and such, and that's that. 

I think the one that makes me kinda angry are the posts that declare that some big company -- Ford, Chick-Fila, some RV Camper company -- will give away a massive amount of prizes, from free vehicles to free lunches, all you have to do is like the post and share the post and such.  

This is false, and frankly, when I scan these posts and the comments below them, I always see people I know and am FB friends with, and automatically question their intelligence for believing in this utter nonsense -- sure, you are probably smart, but come on... 

Disney, who is usually tagged the most on these and thus makes me the angriest, is NOT awarding you free vacations for liking and sharing their ghetto page titled "DISNEY.WORLD THEME PARK" with just under 8,000 followers and two out of date pics, one of them a hand with chubby hands with nails coated in chipped nail polish holding up a set of park ticket cards that haven't been used since Bob Chapek had a high favorability rating in the company itself. 

If you share these type posts, I make fun of you. Seriously. (also sharing these is a form of phishing, and you are opening up your account and in many cases, other people's accounts to information gathering to all sorts of nefarious companies, so don't ask "What could it hurt" because it could hurt)

But then there is the book exchange. 

You know the one, the one that suddenly pops up and takes over your Facebook feed for a few weeks with your friends and family wanting you to be a part of a program that will garner you reading material for days and weeks. 

 I am looking for people to participate in a huge book exchange!

You can be anywhere in the US!
All you have to do is buy your favorite book (just one) or gift one you own and send it to a stranger! l’ll send their name and address in a private message…
You should then receive roughly 36 books to keep!
An easy option is to order your favorite book from Amazon and have it shipped directly to your person.

This should be fun… And what do you have to lose other than one book!?  

That was actually taken from a post from someone I consider an absolute dollface and a long time friend, so if that's you reading this, I promise, I'm not making fun of you -- that would come if you shared that aforementioned "Free Disney trip!" post.


I am the last person to toss water on someone's joy... but I also don't like that joy to be based on a false premise...

However comma

Let's talk about this Book Exchange program that promises that for the cost of one book, you'll receive up to 36 in return.  That might be idealistic, but hey, what if you get only 18 books in return?  You probably won't like all of them, but if you like 12 of them, you can pass off the other 6 to friends, and now your friends have new books (and they may have a lot of them, because what if they also did the Book Exchange?!) and you have 10 new books to read. 

Say it with me... WHAT COULD IT HURT??? 

While I'm no math scholar, I have yet to figure out how this works, and how you only send 1 book and get 36 in return.  

So to be clear, you spend a little money, then recruit a bunch of friends to spend a little money, and... they in turn recruit friends to spend a little money... and those friends recruit friends to... um... 

Truthfully? That sounds a lot like... a pyramid scheme. A well intentioned one, one that isn't promising untold riches, unless you count the hours of wordy entertainment as untold riches (you can count reading as riches, sure, but you get what I'm saying, right?)

Let's play this out. 

I get six of you in on my Book Exchange (to get 36 books, I have to get 6 people, and they have to all get 6 people) -- Jenn, Kyla, Heather, Amy, Nikki, and Mikey.  Mikey is going to send Star Wars comics, so just ready for that.  

All six of them recruit six people, so we now have 36 people in the mix.  If all of them send me books -- so now I have 36 books, or 35 books and an old copy of Star Wars Old Republic #188 (thanks Mikey).  Because I started this shindig, I made out like a banshee. A reading banshee. Of Inshiren.  Great movie. 

But why would they all send me books?  The instructions are a little vague on most of the posts -- if I recruit 6 people, and they all send me one book, then I have 6 books.  

I've only sent one book, to Kyla (it's a coloring book #BecauseKyla) as per the instructions, so the rest are bookless? They send out a book to someone else, and that person... sends a book to someone else?  Where does the 36 come from? 

Also, let's not forget the fact that as this begins to spread, with me sending books to a stranger, I now have in my hands someone's address, someone I do not know, nor do they know me. Which means someone, or someones plural, have my address... in the day and age of Instagram and TikTok and other social platforms, the information super highway is littered with vehicles of personal data, but are we willingly just tossing it out there in this? 

Here's an explanation from, and I'll toss in some names to help make it more personal:

When user A (let's say "Nikki") messages user B (d$) on who's account the Book Exchange post appeared, making Nikki excited because she's a rampant reader... Nikki tells d$ she wants to participate in the exchange, so d$ provides Nikki with two addresses, one for Nikki to mail a book to and one to pass onto Nikki's followers that end up wanting to take part once Nikki posts the Book Exchange post on her own feed.  

Wait. What? 

Here's what had to say:

The number of recruits needed at increasing levels forms a geometric series (6, 6², 6³, 6⁴ …). It starts with 1 person but just 8 levels down, it requires more than 1.6 MILLION people to keep it going.

So... yeah. 

In my pretend Book Exchange, if it works like it's supposed to (and really, does anyone know how its supposed to work?) I'll get 36 books... but by the time you get a few layers down, people are sending books and getting nothing back.  People at the top get the goods, people at the bottom don't. 

Also called "A Pyramid Scheme".  

Or Biden's economy, but again, I digress.  

Honestly, the idea that you will recruit 6 people to send books, and those people will recruit 6, and those people will recruit 6 is far fetched -- I mean, I can't get some of you people to like my Disney Instagram (@TheMagiconaDollar  and the only commitment there is a click to Follow which results in endless digital pixie dust).

Part of me wants to join a Book Exchange to see what happens because it might make for good material. In fact, I think I'll do that.

Having said all that... let's recap...

  • Facebook is not going to care about your permission given or taken away when it comes to pictures, no matter what you say in your post
  • Disney, Ford, Chick-fila or other companies are not going to give you free stuff by sharing the post
  • Book Exchanges don't work. 

Happy reading. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

to campbell, on your 11th birthday

 Dear Campbell,

Well, nothing like waiting til the last minute of the year to type something up for you, huh kid?

You, enjoying some of that birthday
ice cream (sorbet) at Crystal Palace
I know, I know, I usually go on a bit about your year, about the music you loved and things you did and places you went, but I just ran out of time... especially considering we were in Disney World on your birthday (lunch at Sci Fi Dine In Theater just for you!) and then time just go away from me... 

So I hope you'll forgive your Dad this one year for making it much shorter. Your 10th year of life wasn't a lost year by any means... in fact, I kinda came up with a Campbell Top Ten of songs:

  1. "Break My Heart" by Dua Lipa
  2. "Levitating" by Dua Lipa
  3. "Rollin' in the Deep" by Adele
  4. "Unstoppable" by Sia
  5. "Forget Me" by Louis Capaldi
  6. That "Six Small Wheels" song from one of those Thomas specials
  7. "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from Encanto
  8. "I Like You" by Post Malone with Doja Cat
  9. "Streamlining" from one of those Thomas specials
  10. "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd

That last song, "Blinding Lights" was your number one in 2021, but its waned a little in the last 12 months. 

Either way, this was the year you really started talking. From the presentation that everyone cheered about from school, to telling your RPM therapist that God promised you you would speak, this was the year that you really came into your own as a person, with a big personality, with a big kind heart, and continued love of trains, airplanes, Disney, and people.

Keep it up.

That's all. 

I promise next year's letter will be much better.  

I love you kid

Your Dad

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

movie monday football

Fun fact... I actually wrote this article in 2013... I've been looking over my 30+ drafts that I've written off and on, some totally complete, one or two being completed parts of a series that is unfinished, and some half done. I even have a pointed piece about the kid who caught flack for smirk smiling at a fake protester on the steps of the Capitol -- I'll probably hold onto that one. 

But either way, here is a post about my favorite football movies... I added a few lines and did some grammar correction, but otherwise, here ya go... 

For our inaugural Movie Monday.... since football season is winding down, at least college wise, I thought I'd celebrate America's true pastime with my favorite five football centric films...

5... "The Replacements" (2000)
When pro football teams all go on strike, replacement players are used, including on the Washington Sentinals, where their star QB takes a slide instead of scoring a game winning TD so he wouldn't be hurt.  Enter Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), who, together with his grizzled coach, Gene Hackman, and a wacky cast of teammates played by Faizon Love, Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau and Rhys Ifans, have to win three of the final four games of the season to make the playoffs.

Sure, its silly.  And goofy.  And its so much fun.  And the incredibly cute Brooke Langton is Annabelle, Shane's love interest... this movie is also known for its great line, "Pain heals. Chicks dig scars.  Glory?  Lasts forever."

What happened to Brooke Langton?  She's 50, she's still working, and still beautiful. 

4... "Remember the Titans" (2000)
Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is hired on to coach a racially divided Williams High School, taking the reins from Coach Yoast (Will Patton), who stays on as an assistant.  Set in 1971, the school is awash in racial prejudice, as Coach Boone is told that if he loses a single game, he's fired.  

The movie, sometimes being a little sappy and predictable, is solid, fun and weaves a great story.  The cast is also stellar, with Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris as the main white and black dudes on the team who (naturally) find a way to come together, with supporting roles by Kip Pardue as the surfer QB, Ethan Suplee as the token fat guy, Donald Faison as a RB named Petey and a young Hayden Panettiere as Coast Yoast's daughter.  Oh yeah, Ryan Gosling is in this too. 

Fun fact... of course, as most films based on a true story will go, this one plays a little fast and loose with the truth -- turns out, by many accounts Coach Boone was quite the jackwagon in real life -- and lot of the racial tension drummed up in the movie was really just drummed up for the movie. Alas, Hollywood.   

3... "The Waterboy" (1998)
What a stupid film.  It just is.  And I love it.  Do I really need to tell you the plot?  Adam Sandler is Bobby Boucher, a Cajun in Louisiana who is recruit by Mr Coach Klien (Henry Winkler in this don't-take-myself-so-serious phase) to play football for the terrible South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs, after being rejected by the U of Louisiana Cougars... and of course, it all climaxes in... The Bourbon Bowl.  Of course it does.

You know the lines... "been playing the foosball behind mama's back!?" and "water sucks! it really really sucks!" and "I saw Vicky Vallencourt's boobies and I liked them too!"... love this movie.

2... "Necessary Roughness" (2001)
If you are sensing a trend here, of me liking bad football comedies, you are right.  And this one is the best of the comedic bunch.  Scott Bakula!  Sinbad!  Robert Loggia!  Larry Miller!  Harley Jane Kozak! 

Yeah, you probably know those names, and you definitely know the faces...  The football season approaches for the Texas State Fightin' Armadillos, but with most of the previous players suspended and coaching staff fired due to NCAA sanctions (the accusations here are very similar to the real life charges against Southern Methodist University, which was handed the "death penalty" in 1987--more on this later).

Enter Coach Ed Gennero (Hector Elizondo) and his assistant coach Wally (Robert Loggia), who are forced to not only deal with the NCAA restrictions, but also the ones placed on the team by the mean Dean Elias (a wonderfully smarmy Larry Miller)... Dean Miller has left Coach with only 17 players allowed on the team, forcing them most players to play offense and defense, hence, "ironman" football.
The quarterback?  A 34 year old former high school star named Paul Blake (Bakula) who never attended college and has eligibility, who also convinces a TA named Andre (Sinbad), who also has a year left, to play.

And the movie takes off from there, with supporting roles from Jason Batemen, and Kathy Ireland as a the soccer star turned female placekicker (Kathy, I've always loved you from when I was a teenager... but acting is not your forte)... Harley Jane Kozak as a professor, who becomes Paul's love interest and continues to spurn the advances of Dean Miller,  thereby fueling the Dean's hatred of the team.... Rob Schneider, before he got too ridiculous in movies, as announcer Chuck Neiderman and finally, the university president, played by former US presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson.

I love this movie and watch it every time its on, no matter where I catch the film.  Its funny, predictable and a little (a lot) ridiculous, but its so much fun.

Trivia... Texas State wasn't a real university until 2003, when the real life Southwest Texas State University shortened its name to Texas State, with the mascot the Bobcats.  In the movie, the first opponent that the fictional Texas State Fightin' Armadillos plays is the Southwest Texas State U Bobcats.  Irony.

1... "The Blind Side" (2009)
There are some who would say this film is sappy.  There are some who would say this film is made to directly pull on your heart strings.  There are some who would say that it took a little section of a mighty fine book and made an entire movie about that one section.  And they would all be right.

That doesnt change the fact that I am in love with this movie.  I love everything about this film, from the cast--Sandra Bullock in her Oscar winning role... newcomer Quinton Aaron as the lead character of Michael Oher... Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy... Kathy Bates as tutor Miss Sue... young Jae Head as the youngest son SJ, who has some of the best lines... and of course, the good-lookin' Lily Collins as, conveniently enough, Collins Tuohy, the daughter of Leighe Ann and Sean.

You perhaps know the story, as the Tuohy's, a well to do family in Memphis, TN, ends up not only befriending but becoming the caretakers of Michael Oher, who has been shuffled around from foster home to foster home, running away each time to return to his drug addicted mother. 

The movie then chronicles Michael's story, as everyone discovers how he's been lost in the education system and how he's helped, loved and redeemed by the power of one family loving on a stranger who becomes their friend... then son.  In addition to circumstance, the other foes in the movie are an NCAA investigator who come around, questioning the Tuohy's care for Michael when he chooses what school he'll go to, and gangsta's from the Michael's old neighborhood.

How much do I love this film?  Its currently my 53rd favorite film of all time, has a total re-watchability factor (like "Necessary Roughness", I can pick this movie up anywhere and watch it to completion) and is based on a book that is also extremely awesome.

Honorable Mentions:
"Rudy" (1993) - Like it.  Don't love it, not nearly as much as everyone around me does.

"Jerry Maguire" (1996) - Considered putting this on the list, and it would have ranked #1 if I had--its my 35th favorite film of all time--but to me, this is not necessarily a football movie, not like the ones listed above.  Football plays a part, but its a football agent story.

"The Longest Yard" (1974) - The original with Burt Reynolds, not that travesty made a few years ago with Adam Sandler.

"Varsity Blues" (1999) - I only list this here because I've rewatched it recently.  It holds up, if only for the great cast--Scott Caan, Ali Larter (besides the whipped cream, I mean), Amy Smart (underrated as an actress) and of course, the late, great Paul Walker.

"The Last Boy Scout" (1991) - Like Jerry Maguire, football plays a part of the story, but is not the story.  But I do love me some Last Boy Scout, so I had to mention it.

"Quarterback Princess" (1983) - A made for TV movie with a very young Helen Hunt, a female who quarterbacks a high school team.  This used to come on cable all the time when I was a kid, and I watched it at least a dozen times.

Worth noting...

There are a couple of football documentaries that must be mentioned, including "Pony Exce$$" (2011), a film that takes on the SMU scandal as I mentioned above... "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL" (2009), following the rise and fall of the 1980s USFL, including an interview with who the movie suggests might be the culprit--Donald Trump... and "Undefeated" (2011), the story of the 2009 high school team seeking its first playoff win ever...

(ps... I've never seen "Brian's Song")

Monday, March 14, 2022

a porter waggoner name drop

It's 11:52 at night. and I've got 7 minutes to finish a task.

One of them is writing. Writing something. Anything.

I love writing. For a long time, it was how I thought I'd make my living. I won "Most Talented" in the Senior Superlatives voting in the fall of 1992.. me and Christy Mock, who was an incredible singer and over these last 30 years has spent time performing in the country music circuit, including many concerts with Portner Waggoner. 

That might be the first time in 1100+ posts and 17 years of this blog I've mentioned Porter Waggoner. 

And now I've written 100 words. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

to campbell, on your 10th birthday

This is the 10th in an annual series of letters written to my son, Campbell, who turned 10 in December 2021 - you can find the previous letters at the bottom... 

While I usually write it on his birthday, I didn't get the time to devote to it this year like normal, but I wanted to knock it out before the year officially ended.

Dear Campbell,

Your love for trains did not diminish, as 
evidenced by the 3000 Thomas and Lego Duplo
trains we have, and that stop all the world
if we are around tracks when a train goes by
First of all, kid, what right do you have being ten years old? How did that even happen? How on earth has it been ten solid years since you came to us via Mommy's tummy and God's divine hand? 

If you remember, you were actually supposed to be born two weeks later -- I think December 17th was your expected date -- but you decide to come a wee bit early... your mom had just gone to the hospital for a check up and the doctor said, "Hey Steph, you are having a baby tonight or tomorrow."  And there went the rest of our lives, huh.

Second of all, this year has been... well, I'd say insane but that's typical for our little family. Full of stress, joy, faith and much, much more. 

Usually I fill this note with recaps from the past year, starting with any pop culture things you picked up on... well, without going down that road too much, I can say this is the year you picked up on Top 40 radio.  Okay, so remember when Mom had the grey car, the Honda, and I had the red car? And you rode with me to all of your stuff in the red car?  Mom got a new white car, a Toyota SUV, so this is what you wanted to ride in all the time. Unfortunately, I had satellite radio in my red car, but Mom did not in the white car, nor did she have a CD player, so we listened to Magic 96.5, Mix 97.3, and (sadly enough) 103.7 The Q.

Taken at Ady's Racers in December...
you had a huge grin because it was
a pretty amazing day
And you became a huge fan of Maroon 5, The Wkend, Pink, Lewis   Capaldi, Adele, and especially Dua Lipa. As the songs caught on,   you just listened, learned, and sang -- and you know their other   songs too. When Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" comes on, you yell   "ROAR!" and when The Wkend's "Blinding Lights" played, you   holler "Save... Yo.. Tears for another day..."  You spent the first half of the year obsessed with "Blinding Lights", and the back half of this year all about up Dua Lipa. 

If "Break My Heart" is on, you want  "Levitating." If that one is on, you yell 'BREAK MY HEART!"  And   at bedtime for at least the back half of this year, you ask to hear both of those songs, and if there is time, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele.  And you love "Easy on Me", but I'll be honest with you, I can only handle hearing that one the 38 times they play it per day. 

Of course, it can backfire a bit... we have to watch constantly what is on, as the song title and artist displays on the screen, and I'm not a fan of Doja Cat, whoever the heck that is, and I don't want you walking around saying "Oh My God" (the Adele song) or "[D-Word] It Feels Good to Be Me" (Ed Sheeran). It's bad enough you like to quote Justin Timberlake, saying "Rocka My Body". 

I'm so happy you love music so much. You are doing awesome with piano -- Ms Alaina loves having you.  You do gymnastics now, and you are doing so super good at the vault -- you love just running and hurling your body at a soft mat, which is terrifying to watch, but also fun to watch you come up smiling at a maneuver well done.  

We spend much of the summer at Alabama Splash Adventure - and you finally hit all the slides (except for the free fall slide, which is pretty much a plummet straight down -- you can't do that one right now because you sat up on it and thats bad news).  We spend 3-5 afternoons per week at Next Levl, to the point where they all know by name and give you high fives. We hit any combo of Whole Foods, Publix, Target, and Wal-Mart 3 or 4 times per week, and you love them all. Sprouts too, but the buggies are smaller and you have to walk with me -- and you can be a handful sometimes, champ. 

A lot happened this year in our world around us. It struck me and your mother both how perceptive you probably are right now at everything, and while we don't talk a lot of news around you, you undoubtedly have picked things up along the way. Joe Biden is our president. This note isn't to tell you what you should or shouldn't think based on what we believe -- but as you read this, whatever age you might be, I hope that you have learned from both of us that facts are important. Look at both sides. Then figure out what you believe, and then ask yourself why. 

A great moment in November when we met up with
my very good friend Lindsay in Hollywood Studios,
and it was so cool to have her meet my little family tribe.
FYI, Campbell, like when you met Heather a few 
days prior, you held Lindsay's hand, and was quite 
the flirt.

Sometimes though, faith is all you have... and I think we started to see some of that, especially in May, when I felt like you... well, you had a breakthrough.  RPM, your therapy, has had its ups and downs. Sometimes we walk out and I'm excited you've just done so well. Other times, its been a tad bit frustrating. And sometimes we leave, and I'm all like "Well, ok. Guess that was that."

And sometimes you bust through and say whats on your mind. Back in May, with Ms Lanae, she asked you the questions and you answered. You told her that you needed more Jesus in your life. You told her that your super power was C-A-R-I-N-G.  You said your mom was cool... and your dad too. You said you loved school. When asked if a boy or a girl would be better at something like engineering, you said "does it matter?" 

Along the way in those specific sessions, this also happened -- I'll just pull from the Facebook post I wrote on May 7, 2021... Steph and I have been saying for years that he has a lot to say, he just isn't sure how to say it. This week, I've watched him speak. I've heard what he's had to say. And I'm over the moon hearing his thoughts. Simple, some sorta philosophical, some random, some just black and white.

At RPM, his communication therapy, he spent time answering open ended questions, never being led to an answer, he said the following... and these are pretty much verbatim, not embellished for impact.
--"It is fine to hope I never grow up"
--"Old people think they know everything"
--When asked (as part of a conversation about stereotypes) if he thought girls or boys would be better at science and math, he responds, "I think it don't matter"
--"One hour is long for me"
--Regarding being emotional, "it's bad to cry too much" (he's a sensitive soul)
--"Screaming is not bad if you mean to agree to stop head from hitting on the wall"
--When asked what language he wanted to learn, he said "French". When asked why, he said "It is a Floody language". When asked what is 'floody' about French, he said "It floods your head with sounds."
--"I find it weird in life I sometimes smile..." (he didnt get a chance to finsh this statement, as someone interrupted, but I do wonder where he was going with this.)
Autism. Always presume competence. And underestimate Campbell Dollar at your own peril.

Campbell, we love you so much. We love that you still believe in Santa, even at 10--or at least you play it off. We love that you are using your imagination so, so much right now. We love that you sing constantly, that you are such a helper at school (to the point where the teachers have to tell you that they can handle the leadership part, and you can just sit). We love that you love on your friends Hillary and Jack and Lily and more.

We love that Kindness is a central theme with you. We know it means something.

And obviously I have no proof, but I feel it in my soul that you and God have a connection. Whether He talks to you, or you talk to Him, or (more likely, it happens both ways, your mom and I want you to never forget how much Jesus loves you, died for you, rose for you, and will never stop loving you.

When asked about places you'd like to go, you told Ms Lanae... "I want to go to Washington. And be president. And hit the world with kindness" (direct quote from C Dollar) We love you, son. Your Dad

Birthday letters to Campbell...

Sunday, September 12, 2021

the levity of donna tucker


The only picture I own with myself and Donna both
in frame. She's the one on the far left, holding the
finger gun to my head. Fun fact - with the three girls 
forming the semi-circle with Donna, I actually
went out on a single date with one, dated another
for about five months, and cannot remember the name
of the third. Ah college. 
As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 ends,  I always find myself bemused by one anecdote that pops up in my head. On a day filled with chaos and tragedy and the unknown, with buildings burning and collapsing, and people losing their minds -- and rightly so -- there was one single moment of levity in that entire day... and maybe for several days.

Donna Tucker.

As a junior at Troy State, I met Donna as she was an incoming freshman. You know those people that you like, you enjoy being around, but neither you nor they put up any effort to really spend a lot of time together -- you see them around, are very friendly and genuine with each other, then you bid your adieu until the next time?  

That was me and Donna Tucker. She rushed and pledged Alpha Gamma Delta (my personal fave of the sororities full of girls who would never go out with me) and I was Farmhouse, so we definitely crossed paths routinely. Yet, we never got to know each other.

And that was okay. I'm not lamenting that Donna and I were never BFFs, or that she didn't pay more attention to me -- despite her beauty and her loud personality, I never really dug her romantically. She was just... Donna Tucker. Cute, funny, outspoken Donna. She loved Jesus, and I considered her a friend.

And when I graduated from Troy State in March of 1998, and then moved to Birmingham in August of that same year, she wasn't on my list to try to find and say goodbye to. Conversely, when she left Troy, she never had any reason to find me.  

Because that's how we are with people, and that's quite alright to be that way. We can't be besties with everyone, we just don't have time for it. But we can still be friends, good friends for coffee and conversation, without having to keep up with each other. Good friends for a smile and a laugh and sort of inside joke that's a callback to something long ago and even gas.  Like, for the car, not the Taco Bell kind.

You see, September 11th, 2001, was the last time I saw Donna Tucker, or heard her voice, or heard anything about her at all.  She may be single now, living in Tacoma. She might be a married stay at home mom to five kids over in Homewood. She could be a successful exec at an Atlanta area corporation, or an artist with an Etsy shop... I legit have no idea. I even tried to look her up on Facebook tonight, but found nothing.

Like all of you who remember that day, September 11th, was a crazy day. I saw the news about the plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers (I was there a mere 3 years prior!) and watched in disbelief as another plane flew into the the tower, then saw the news coverage switch to Washington DC because there was an explosion at the Pentagon and heard there were more hijacked planes on the way to Disney World or Chicago or Los Angeles or wherever (it twas a blessing indeed that only four planes were taken, with only three getting to their intended targets).

I was working at 106.9 The Point, though you would know it now as 106.9 The Eagle (actually... I think at that time it was Oldies 106.9...) but either way, I was sort of interning with Rob & Shannon in the mornings as the events of the day unfolded. And around 9a, I still had to actually go to work on the other side of the building.

No one was really working, to be honest. Everyone sat in their cubes, stunned, trying to read stuff on the internet as page after page would load and crash, or not load at all, due to being overwhelmed.  MSNBC's page had the familiar picture of the South Tower with the explosion shooting from the side. Fox News page wouldn't even come up. I meandered my way through the morning and finally got to lunch, and had to get out of the office, even for just a minute. 

Of course, I knew gas was going to go up, because in times like these, it always did, so whether I was a reacting to the problem or was part of the problem, I headed for the BP station on the corner of Lakeshore and Columbiana to fill up my tank.

And as I stood there, mind whirling from everything, I heard, "Well hey David Dollar". I turned around, already knowing the face I'd see because the voice is so recognizable.

And I was right.

"Hey Donna Tucker," I replied, with a smile. 
"Been a morning, huh?" she said back, with words that seem empty, things you'd say as you passed someone familiar in a grocery store, then hurried past and then spent the next 1/2 hour scoping the aisles to avoid more conversation. No, Donna was real. It's all she knew how to be, really. 

"Yeah, you could say that," I chuckled with exasperation. 

Is this what we actually said? I have no clue. But it is the air of the words we chose. Friendly. Light. Fun. Authentic.

I asked her how she was, where she was, and she told me of her then-current life, which seemed pleasant enough.  She asked me the same type questions, and I answered in kind -- single, working, no I havent seen ____ but I've heard he's here -- and our conversation lasted no more than a few minutes, however long it took for my car and her car to top each top off with fuel.

We said our goodbyes, wished each other well, climbed into our respective vehicles, and our paths, that only slightly intertwined years before and had only for a moment touched on this day, then diverged out into different directions once again. 

It was the calm of my entire day.

I went home for a minute, back to my apartment. I shed a few tears as I watched more footage in my room. It took a deep breath, went back to my car, drove back to work and finished the day. The next few days were the same -- the radio station was like other stations, both TV and radio, with wall to wall coverage for at least three days. Even if I wanted to get away from the news, and there were times I was ready to leave it, it was all around me. At home, I could shut out the world if needed, but myself and my roommates Mikey, Shawn, Tom, Tommy, and anyone else there discussed it all at length. Probably needed to, just to voice our thoughts.

But Donna Tucker. For 7 minutes on September 11, 2001, there was no attack. There was no collapsing towers or thousands of lives lost.  For about 7 minutes, I had a warm, pleasant conversation with Donna Tucker.  It was exactly what I needed.  A friendly -- and beautiful -- face to look at, and a perky and wonderful voice to listen to when the whole world had collapsed into ugly and horrible. 

Strangely, Donna doesn't cross my mind often, and that's not an insult to my memory of her, as I can pretty much guarantee "d$" is never top of mind for her either... but she does come front and center in those front and center lobes of my brain on 9/11.

She was my levity.  She was my calm.

Thank you, Donna. And I hope you are well.  And as the world once again falls slowly apart, maybe another gas station meet up would be helpful.