This must be the place: 'Same ol' moon, same ol' sun, same ol' race that we've always run’

Hello from the backstage area at the Suwannee Spring Reunion music festival in Live Oak, Florida. It’s hot and humid. Mid-80s and blue skies. But a cool breeze greets me as I sit and type away underneath the Spanish moss hanging in the oak trees overhead.

This must be the place: ‘Sweetness, innocence gone away, how I miss them good old days’

Hello from Lemon Street on the outskirts of downtown St. Augustine, Florida. It’s about 62 degrees and sunny. Slight breeze. Blue skies. Early Monday afternoon and the only plan at the moment is to wander down to the beach on Anastasia Island within the hour.

This must be the place: Ode to Uncle Bobby, ode to bitchin’ Ford T-Birds

The last time I saw my Uncle Bobby was about four years ago, high up on some floor in the VA Hospital in the depths of Albany, New York. I had just picked up a bag of cheese puffs and a cold bottle of Pepsi at the VA’s basement store/gift shop. Knowing those were my uncle’s favorite snacks, there was a smile ear-to-ear when I walked into his room and handed him the junk food.

This must be the place: Ode to Canton, ode to Small Town America

On Aug. 10, 2012, I took on my first assignment for The Smoky Mountain News. It was the “Papertown” album release show by Haywood County bluegrass sensation Balsam Range.

This must be the place: ‘Meet me in the city and see everything is so fine’

About 10:30 a.m. last Tuesday, I laced up my running shoes and walked out the front door of the small hotel room in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. Blue skies, sunshine and warm air. 

This must be the place: ‘And I thought I’ve seen someone who seemed at last to know the truth’

Hello from Room 1D at the Rathbone Mansion, just a few blocks from the French Quarter in New Orleans. It’s Tuesday (aka: “Fat Tuesday”).

This must be the place: ‘You will receive a big compliment from others. Lucky numbers: 15, 18, 30, 32, 40, 42’

It was another quiet Sunday morning in the ole humble abode in downtown Waynesville. But, this go-round, it was Christmas morning. Emerge from bed. Grab a glass of water. Check emails. Open the front door and check how much colder today is than yesterday.

This must be the place: Remember no man is a failure who has friends

Sunday morning. Across the globe, Argentina and France were battling it out in the World Cup soccer final in Qatar. Half-a-world away, and yet I was already a half-hour late for the early morning “Bloody Marys & Futbol” party up the mountain ridge outside of town at my friend’s house. 

This must be the place: Know it’s a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness

It’s 51 degrees with a warm sun and blue skies hovering above downtown Waynesville. A little after 2 p.m. Monday with a cup o’joe in-hand while sitting at Orchard Coffee. Folks milling about in conversation, others simply reading a book or typing away.

This must be the place: Beg, steal or borrow two nickels or a dime to call me on the phone

Room 424. Marriott City Center. Raleigh. Thursday. Awakened by the sounds of a banjo and laughter in the hallway, the room was pitch black from the curtains still shut high above downtown. The clock stated 9:15 a.m. Emerge from one’s slumber, onward into the impending day.

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