A Vow Of Vengeance
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The November-December edition …

Just To Be Safe, Wear a Helmet

Cover by Leigh Melton Singleton

In back-to-back cover stories for the Nashville Ledger, I’ve written about two subjects that seemingly have no connection … vegan chef Charity Morgan whose husband Derrick plays pro football for the Tennessee Titans, and the rise of electric scooters in Nashville. But  there definitely is a connection.


All pro football players wear them for safety to hopefully prevent traumatic brain injury. It’s a subject of scrutiny by the NFL and medical community.

Past, present and future modes of transportation on Nashville streets. — Nashville Ledger photo by Michelle Lord Morrow

All scooter riders should, but very few do. In Tennessee, I learned, people who ride scooters are not legally required to ride helmets, but are urged to by many. The scooter operators will give free helmets to anyone who requests one.

A big chunk of my article on scooters focuses on the medical issues, and I talked with VUMC trauma surgeon Dr. Oscar Gillamondegui about scooter injuries he’s seen. Guillamondegui says helmet-wearing can’t happen fast enough to avert the current “perfect storm” for traumatic brain injuries. He also recommends knee and elbow pads for scooter riders.

In the story the week before, Chef Morgan — while not talking about helmets — noted that the NFL is “a 100 percent guaranteed injury sport.”

Much the same can be said about riding a scooter. At some point, if you ride them often enough, you’re going to take a spill. How bad depends on speed and circumstances — and protection.

It reminds me of what a sports writer wag once laughingly told me about the short-lived professional boxing career of NFL star Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones. Ed played college football at Tennessee State University and then for the Dallas Cowboys before deciding to switch to pro boxing. He went 6-0 as a pro with five knockouts before deciding to return to the Cowboys. “He didn’t like getting hit without a helmet,” was one of the comments I recall.

Eat Like a Titan … Go Vegan!

Charity Morgan is out to change the world, one meal at a time. That’s the takeaway I got after spending a half-hour talking to the Nashville-based chef for an interview in the Nashville Ledger.

Chef Charity Morgan gets ready to distribute meals to the Tennessee Titans. -Photo by Michelle Lord Morrow for the Nashville Ledger

Hey, if it’s good enough for the Tennessee Titans ….

Morgan is a vegan, plant-based chef who has big plans for 2019, including the possibility of opening a restaurant. She currently feeds husband Derrick Morgan and more than a dozen of his Titans teammates, and that occupies all her time.

But after this season ends, watch for big events from Morgan.

“I’m praying for that, I’m praying for that,” she said. “After this season, I want to roll it into a business, whether it’s a plant-based meal plan for people, a restaurant – something. I’m just praying for that guidance, because I have something here and I do want to make it readily available (to the public).”

To read the complete article online, click here. You can pick up the a copy of the Ledger at Nashville area locations now through Thursday, Nov. 29.

Then, I’ve got another story coming out in the Ledger, which I will post here as soon as it’s available online. It’s an in-depth look at the electric scooter craze in Nashville. Weighing in are medical experts, legislators, the police and everyday folks. Be sure and check it out.

McNair Case Still Fascinates Media

I’m a third of the way through the Sports Illustrated nine-week narrative podcast ‘Fall of a Titan: The Steve McNair Story‘ and the fourth episode drops on Wednesday, Nov. 7. It’s worth a listen, whether you’re a Titans fan, a McNair fan, or (like me these days) a mystery / suspense / thriller writer.

Because that’s essentially what this is playing out as, a whodunnit. The police say they know whodunnit, and there’s never been a mystery. That McNair was killed by his mistress. I’m

inclined to agree with the police assessment, based on what I’ve heard so far. There has been speculation, with a mix of tawdry gossip, and I’m assuming we’ll learn more along the way.

Podcast Tim Rohan of Sports Illustrated, the leader in sports journalism, has done an excellent job

in staying true to the mission of being a skeptical journalist. I, too, am skeptical – of a lot of things Tim has so far presented.

When the podcast is over, I hope for one of two things to happen – that he has presented enough new evidence so that police will reopen the investigation, or that the podcast comes to the conclusion that the police assessment was correct, and everyone will finally let the McNair story rest in peace.


UPCOMING EVENTS: Look for several of  Authors Circle members at Dickens of a Christmas on Dec. 8-9 in Franklin, TN.

And as always … thanks for reading.


61 thoughts on “The November-December edition …

  1. Tom, I have been reading Vendetta Stone with delight and can hardly put it down. Thank you for an exciting thriller.

    I don’t normally write authors about mistakes or typos I come across but I did catch James Michener in one in Centennial where he mentions The Old Rugged Cross being one of the hymns sung at an early camp meeting years before George Bennard (1873-1958) wrote it. That all goes to say, I’ve found only one typo so far in Vendetta. (p. 257, 4th paragraph – “…what I in mind…” needs to be “what I had in mind.” A very minor omission which you’ve probably caught already.

    Keep up the good work and thanks.


    • Sharp eye, John. I’ll have to double-check if I caught that one. Glad you’re enjoying Vendetta Stone. The sequel is targeted for a spring launch.

  2. It was great to meet you Tom at the Southern Festival of Books!
    Alan Lewis said for me to contact you. He says you do a lot of presentations at various book festivals. Is it possible to participate as an author. I am a published author in 4 genres 14x. ThorntonCline.com

    Look forward to hearing from you.

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