I've been very lucky in this life.
From the time I joined the school newspaper in eighth grade (the "Battle Cry" at Riverdale Junior High) on through to today, my prowess with the pen has opened the door to a lifetime of extraordinary experiences. I've met amazing people, visited spectacular places, and found joy and sadness in perhaps random happenings. I've followed mentor Henry David Thoreau's charge and sucked all the marrow out of life that I can. Along the way, I hope I've made a difference.
I share here some of the pieces I've written that have meant the most to me. I'll add to this as I've got some other neat pieces scheduled to come out in the next year.
"Pounding It Home: Visit to animal control provides lessons about people who care -- and the many who do not" (Creative Loafing): Researching this story turned my stomach but the piece caused two important things to happen: It introduced me to a damn good dog, the blue-eyed lass on the cover I named Orion and cherished for 10 years; The shelter set a one-week adoption record the week after my story came out. Download Pounding It Home
"Putting Hate On Trial: Lawyer Morris Dees" (Biography magazine): Entrepreneur-turned-justice-seeker Morris Dees is an Alabama man who puts his life on the line every day to fight for victims of hate crimes. Download Putting Hate on Trial
"Beyond The Border: What a mill town in the Deep South might show the rest of the nation about integrating the newest wave of immigrants" (Hope magazine): Former Congressman Erwin Mitchell pioneered an education program that broke down the wall between America and its youngest immigrants. Download Beyond The Border
"Profiles Of Wealth: Elena Diaz Verson-Amos" (Hispanic Business magazine): The widow of AFLAC founder John Amos didn't rest on her riches. She used her money to make a difference. Download Profiles Of Wealth -- Elena Diaz-Verson Amos (Takes about 10-15 seconds to download.) Also check out the cover story I did about potential new business opportunities in Cuba. Download The Promise of Cuba
"Refuge On The Edge Of Space" (Wildlife Journal magazine): A visit to Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral offers more than a glimpse of the final frontier. It's also a chance to explore one of the great wildlife refuges on the east coast. Download Refuge On The Edge Of Space (Takes 7-10 seconds to download.)
"Wild World Of Sports: Thrills, spills, and yes, even chills. Real-life entrepreneurs share their secrets for riding the wave of a sports trend" (Entrepreneur magazine): Article can ideas can strike any time, even when I'm in couch potato mode. Thank you, American Express. Download Wild World Of Sports
"Shaking Hands With History: Genealogical research at the Georgia Archives links families to the past" (Gwinnett Business Journal): There's a coincidence in this one that's so unlikely that I even wrote in the piece that it staggers the imagination. I'm no math genius but I don't think anyone could calculate the odds of it happening. Download Shaking Hands With History
"The Gift Of Closure: WW II veteran returns books to Germany after more than sixty years" (Fine Books & Collections magazine): I'm a fanatic book collector myself so I found this man's unselfishness to be truly impressive. The story struck such a nerve that I turned around and blogged about it after the story came out.
"The Unknown Revolutionary: Alexandria tomb with Legion roots often overlooked today" (American Legion magazine): My heart aches every time I visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. Hard to locate even if you're trying to find it on purpose, it rests in a tiny, hidden cemetery -- tucked in a corner with its back up against a wall. And it just may be my favorite place in the D.C. area -- and one you should visit immediately. Download The Unknown Revolutionary
The American Revolution (Various pubs): I am in no finer company than when I convene with this nation's founding mothers and fathers. I spend enormous amounts of time studying and writing about this subject. My idea of a dream vacation is going to Boston and spending my time in some of the founder's footsteps. I collect antiquarian books on the subject and review modern-day editions such as "Following The Drum", a recent book about the women encamped at Valley Forge. Closer to home, I frequently visit George Washington's home at Mt. Vernon, consider joining the Continental Army, finally find a group I feel like I belong to, camp out with Ben Franklin in Philadelphia, and anchor myself in rare books and manuscripts at the Library of Congress. Naturally, I've built my own humble library of 18th and 19th century books about the American Revolution -- writing a guide on the subject for Fine Books & Collections magazine. See "Collecting the Revolution: A budding collector's search for early American people, places and books."