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: Life is what you make it, and if you make it death, well rest your soul away

It was nearing midnight on Saturday. The rock band in the corner of the bar had just put the finishing touches on its evening set. Packing up their gear, the rest of us in the crowd headed towards the bar counter to pay up for our libations. 

This must be the place: Ode to The Weathercock, ode to the fine folks of Chazy

I caught first word of The Weathercock burning to the ground mid-afternoon on Saturday. Scrolling the Facebook news feed, I came across a photo of a familiar old building engulfed in flames, a huge plume of smoke radiating into the skies high above the small North Country town of Chazy, New York. 

This must be the place: ‘Either way I wonder sometimes about the outcome of a still verdictless life’

With my 38th birthday right around the corner, I went on a first date last week. It seemed to go well enough that we met back up the very next night to continue our enjoyable conversation from the previous rendezvous. 

This must be the place: To rouse the spirit of the earth and move the rolling sky

Hello from Room 827 at the Marriott Town Center in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. The outside temperature is dropping, all while soft snowflakes cascade by the hotel window onto the cold pavement below. 

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