Monthly Archives: May 2015

Excerpt from Chapter 5 – A Fateful Discovery

2015-05-28_10-48-57In 1967, the summer I turned sixteen and started to drive, I discovered the raw power of alcohol, quite by surprise. Like my ancestors before me and like most kids I knew, I had experimented a little with alcohol. The first time was at Camille’s wedding, which was an unplanned, one-of-a-kind occurrence. I got knee-walking drunk sneaking glasses of champagne and became violently ill later. I thought only an idiot would ever drink this stuff, and I vowed I would never drink alcohol again. But, I did drink again. Continue reading


Excerpt from Chapter 5 – The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

2015-05-14_11-58-56Normally, Dad’s drinking was quiet and subdued, but sometimes there was unexpected drama. At Christmas, when I was sixteen, Dad and I went shopping for a Christmas tree. Each year, this was a major production and massive effort on Dad’s part. He loved Christmas more than anyone I knew. Planning and searching for just the right tree was a welcomed ritual for him. Because we placed the tree in our den, the tree had to be just right. Our den was large and beautiful; sixteen feet by thirty-two feet, and it had a twelve-foot high ceiling. Its walls were planks of pecky cypress and stained a dark, red oak color. Each of the giant beams that spanned the ceiling had been hand-hewed by Dad. The den had a 14-foot long bar made of red oak and a solid brass foot rail. The den was featured in several newspapers and magazines, and when Mom was questioned about the solid brass foot rail, ever frugal, she replied, “Had we known in advance the price of brass, we might have used something cheaper—like gold.” Continue reading