This must be the place: Welcome to my life, tattoo, we’ve a long time together, me and you

Hoisting myself up onto the leather chair, I flipped over and laid on my stomach. I could feel the sharp razor shaving the back of my right leg, just below the calf muscle. A few moments later, the sounds of a vibrating needle echoed throughout the small room.

This must be the place: Bein’ a decrepit old bag of bones, that’s what’s ridiculous, gettin’ old

Late Thursday night. I’m sitting in my recliner. Netflix and the half-full lukewarm beer next to the chair have both lost my interest. I lean back into a horizontal position and take inventory of my apartment, the humble abode that I’ve called home going on nine years now. 

This must be the place: Ode to mighty Erica, ode to the Waldrops

Western North Carolina has lost a truly kind and beautiful soul. Erica Waldrop passed away in a tragic car accident last week. She was a friend to many in Sylva and greater Jackson County. A shoulder to lean on. A smile to brighten your day. She was also a friend of mine, too. A good one. 

This must be the place: Oh California I’m coming home, oh make me feel good rock-n-roll band

It was just about a month ago when I received a text from a dear friend, a truly cosmic and beautiful soul. She was heading back to her native home of Western North Carolina to visit family for the first time since November 2019, first time since “all of this” became our new normal. 

This must be the place: Ode to Vermont live music, ode to School Street jams

I didn’t grow up, nor have I ever lived, in the state of Vermont. That, and I’m not a musician, not professionally or in any sort of a talented way in my free time. And yet, I was recently asked by a member of the Vermont musical community to contribute to an uplifting video collage for 2021 and the message of hope for the uncertain future of live music and performers. 

This must be the place: Sometimes the righteous win; most times, it’s a losing battle

Finishing up my second cup of coffee at Orchard in Waynesville, I gazed out the large bay window onto Depot Street. There’s the historic Haywood County Courthouse, a few vehicles parked on the hill. Snowflakes fluttered down from high above on this Friday morning. 

This must be the place: One hundred years from this day, will the people still feel this way

It was somewhere around the the second mile of my New Year’s Eve jog that I realized that day marked exactly five years since I began my running streak. 

This must be the place: You would do anything, you’d give up everything for god knows why

Christmas Eve. Downtown Waynesville. Sitting alone in my one-bedroom apartment, I was bummed that I couldn’t be back home in the North Country for the holidays with my family and friends. Putting on the baseboard heater, I proceeded to make my way to the fridge for a beer.

This must be the place: There’s too much in this world I can’t seem to shake

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Waynesville. Been here going on eight and a half years. Aside from my shelves of old books (many already read, most to get to, someday) and vinyl records, there are a handful of old guitars in the corner, of which I’ll pull one or two out around my third beer of the evening, usually strumming some uplifting chords, either through memory or by way of simple curiosity along the fretboard.

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