An Ode to August, One of My Favorite Months
I have always loved August, a turning-point month, a balancing of nature.
The heat of summer lingers, but evening cool-downs hint at autumn’s return.
August rekindles fond childhood memories of first moving to Nashville in 1960.
My parents were country music fans, and many a Friday or Saturday night
Was spent at the Ryman Auditorium, which hadn’t yet heard of air conditioning.
Hotter than those Sultry Sirens on the Grand Ole Opry stage that dad loved.
Mom liked the men from Little Jimmy Dickens to Hank Snow to Hank Williams,
But even more, she loved those guitar-shaped fans handed out at the door.
Two moves later found us near Tampa, across the Bay five miles from the Gulf.
It was a Coming of Age, of boundless optimism, those Augusts of the late ’60s.
Every August afternoon of my teen-age years was spent at Clearwater Beach,
Soaking up the fun and sun before school resumed – after Labor Day.
Gentle waves rolling in like a warm saltwater bath; dazzling white sand beaches;
Talking to all the girls we could; hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream cones;
Debating who was better – the Beatles or the Beach Boys; this after dad relented
And finally started letting me listen to the Monkees and other rock ‘n’ roll groups.
I went to high school in Atlanta and developed a passion for sports
That resulted in my entering journalism field and becoming a sports writer.
August meant the stretch run of Braves’ baseball season and the beginning
Of fall football practice for the Falcons. And for us at Briarwood High School.
Those hot August nights also meant concerts, movies, hanging out at the mall
With guys who would be lifelong friends – Steve, Warren and John – even though
We rarely each other now, scattered as life has led us in different directions,
But those bonds forged back then that remain unbreakable even today.
August of 1973 meant starting classes at MTSU, a new chapter of life.
It was the beginning of a wonderful period of growth, where more friendships
And careers were developed that have now stretched over decades.
August is now a time when other peoples’ children are starting back to school
To make their own lifetime of memories. I hope they are wonderful memories.
August is still an exciting time personally, the month I launched Vendetta Stone.
Hard to believe it has been two years since my debut novel was launched.
The TV show “Nashville” has resumed taping and I’ll be back on the set soon.
The Titans have begun their training camp here in the heat of August,
And we’ll watch as they seek a fresh turnaround with Marcus Mariota.
Local college football teams – Vanderbilt, Tennessee, MTSU and others –
All have high hopes that begin in August and will rise or fall in coming months.
August is a month for unbridled confidence and I hope you enjoy it, one and all.
Looking back at July: I had a great time reading from Vendetta Stone at Chuck Beard’s East Side Storytellin’ event on July 21 at The Post East in East Nashville. The hour-long event also featured music from Ian Johnson and can now be heard on podcast. Hope you’ll check it out.
Upcoming book events: I will be joining several Franklin-based authors on August 7 at the Franklin Art Scene crawl from 6-9 pm at Merridee’s. Stop by if you’re out that way. And on August 23, I will be at the Brentwood Library book fair.
And I don’t know if it will take place in August or perhaps September, but Phat Bites Deli in Donelson just started carrying my book, and I will be doing a reading there in the near future.
Again, have a great August and, as always, thanks for reading.