This must be the place: Ode to Albino Skunk, ode to the spirit of ‘Fes-Taa-Vul’

It was just about 8:30 a.m. when I awoke in my pickup truck last Saturday. 

This must be the place: Ode to ‘Lucinda,’ ode to busted front bumpers

Sitting in the waiting room of my hometown mechanic last week, I knew it wasn’t good when he called for me to come into the repair bay. The rusty, musty Toyota Tacoma pickup was up on the rack. And the look on the mechanic’s face wasn’t one of optimism. 

This must be the place: The best things in life are truly free, singing birds and laughing bees

Woke up this morning with the thought of the impending summer, impending “state of being” for all of us slowly sliding back towards to some sense of normalcy amid “all this.” 

This must be the place: Don’t look too far, right where you are, that’s where I am

Coming to a stop at the end of the off-ramp of Exit 40 along Interstate 87 last Saturday evening, I turned right and headed down the Spellman Road. Entering the small hamlet of Beekmantown, New York, it’s a few miles from the off-ramp to my parents’ farmhouse. 

This must be the place: Ode to Mr. P, ode to never sacrificing the gift

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I share the news of the passing last Friday morning of Brian Power (aka: “Mr. P”) after a long, debilitating illness. 

This must be the place: Driving down a corduroy road, Ferris wheel is rusting off in the distance

Yesterday, at the corner of Brown Avenue and Hazelview Drive in Waynesville, this weird feeling washed over me. The thought of getting older, and to a point to where most of the people that knew you (your stories, personality and ethos) would slowly fade into the background of time and place. 

This must be the place: I never ever saw the stars so bright, in the farmhouse, things will be alright

It was a flood of memories I hadn’t thought of in years. There I was on a date with this girl the other day. She works in town, not far from my apartment. A casual conversation turns into a casual drink. Kind of nice to have that rare interaction these days amid “all this,” truth be told.

This must be the place: Look in the mirror, who do you see? Someone familiar, surely not me

The sound of thunder and a heavy rain awoke me from a deep slumber. Opening my eyes, I relaxed into the king-sized bed and stared up at the 19th century moldings on the ceiling. Looking out the large bedroom window, I could see a transit bus parked below and a Starbucks sign on the building at the corner. 

This must be the place: We sit together forever, by the color TV glow, telling stories, allegories

Stepping out of my old apartment in downtown Waynesville on Monday afternoon, I placed my old laundry basket on the passenger’s seat of my old truck.

It’s like I’m falling out of bed from a long and vivid dream

It was probably one of the most uneasy beers I’d ever drank. Sitting on the back porch of Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville, myself and the rest of The Smoky Mountain News staff gathered for one final adult beverage together before we ventured into the depths of the unknown for the foreseeable future.

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