Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

People of the Pandemic

Remembering the first days of the coronavirus crisis

Nothing illuminates the beauty of the average day quite so brilliantly as the fear that the average day has vanished indefinitely — maybe for always.

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St. Jeter the Kitty Cat, Pray for Us

Sometimes transcendence comes during a marathon of potty breaks and toddler demands

There are certain things in life that are inevitable, which means that over time, the Litany will likely get longer. If the tradition continues for my daughters, well into their adulthood, it’s very possible that I, should they choose to promote me, may make the Litany myself.

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Dog in the Bottoms

A four-legged role model shows me how to live in the moment

Each time I regain consciousness, I look for Zo’s white tail. Usually, I spot it flicking back and forth — ahead of me, to the left, to the right, sometimes behind. If I don’t see that waving beacon, I call. Soon I hear, then see her racing toward me at full speed, 45 pounds of solid enthusiasm.

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Meeting Aunt Z

A memorable first encounter with Tennessee

Uncle K got to be a good provider, as men were supposed to be then, and Aunt Z got to be a good wife. Best of all, they never had to see each other.

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Barbecuing the Hog

A political rookie hits the campaign trail

There was no sane reason for me to run for Congress, but 1970 was an insane year — and when one is young, all things seem possible.

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Three-Day Business Trip

Third-prize winner in the Tennessee True Stories Essay Contest

I arrived in Zagreb in the evening of Thursday, April 15, 1993 — the first step of a planned three-day business trip. I expected to return home to Bosnia as soon as it was done.

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