That Drifting Place
An ode to Roy Orbison.
An ode to Roy Orbison.
"Here’s God’s truth about it: being a groupie wasn’t about sex, it was about access. I wanted to live in the stage life, dazzled by color and sound, constantly in motion, driven by excitement and power, loved by the stage lights, part of the story."
“‘Have you ever killed anybody?’”
Walking the East Tennessee woods with a Carol, aka “The Forest Granny,” a woman who lives off the land.
Meet the people decomposing on a body farm.
A former Eagle Scout attends the National Boy Scout Jamboree, aka Jambo, held at a brand-new, $100 million scouting wonderland called The Summit.
A trip to a Louisiana leper colony.
The legacy of the Scopes trial on one Tennesse town.
Some passions are more dangerous than others.
What really happened in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion?
Investigating ska’s moment of conception.
The rocky career and enduring appeal of country legend Charlie Rich, “the missing link between Elvis Presley and Ray Charles.”
A Southern defense attorney's complicated family Christmas, told through the point of view of his child.
"Every Christmas Daddy throws a 'Taking the Christ Out of Christmas' party and invites everybody. Everybody loves my Daddy except for a small percentage that want to take their revenge, so it's lots of people, old clients, other criminal defense attorneys, Rey Mason from the feed store, everybody. No Jesus cause it makes Daddy angry and both his hands already broke."
An analysis of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Cotton Tenants, the original manuscript.
What prompts a woman to exit society and marry God? Inside a modern convent in Texas.
A historic Little Rock building and its owner, before and after a catastrophic fire.
What prison does to a man.
“Has anybody in Westchester County ever called the New York Times his or her ‘friend’? I realize that the rest of America, in its post-Katrina fatigue, is pretty tired of hearing New Orleanians, the city’s acolytes and defenders, always carrying on about how it’s the most unique city in America, but, the fact is, it is. Get over it.
And so, too, is its newspaper.”
On “soldiers for credibility” and the tug of war over truth.
An essay on televangelists and a missing mother.
Listening to the Big Star songwriter, who left the group before dying in a solo car crash at 27.
His voice, on the recordings, is too sensitive. That's meant not as an aesthetic judgment. It wasn't too sensitive for the material, in other words. It was too sensitive for life. You listen to him sing, closely, and if you don't know another thing about what happened to him, you know that the guy with that voice is not going to last.
Teaching Emily Dickinson at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida.
An essay on African-American Republicans.