I found this photo somewhere, taken at the 2010 Auburn-LSU game, a game among games. I’ll probably look at it when I’m down. I’ve helped make two human beings and I came up with that. And Auburn girls held it over their heads.
From Departed Angels.
Of course I checked the “Auburn” category.
I told myself after I found out, look, don’t get fancy with it, don’t try to save the world, you’ve mostly already missed the newsiness of it, so just push out a quick moment of silence and use that awesome picture of him and have some links to the old stuff you’ve already done on him. (His was one of our fist profiles. I actually think it was the first thing Ben ever wrote for TWER, which seemed apropos and still does.) And yet here I am days later, outside at 11 p.m. with a Swisher Sweet cigar (we have / had the same brand, so proud), some Auburn bug chasing this sweaty sentence across the screen, hoping that the Auburn tree frogs and the Auburn crickets will deafen me, dampen the Twitter alert, and inspire with their so southerness some final tribute of truth about Madison Jones and what he meant to my Auburn.
Now I’m back inside and maybe I’ll use this for the TWER piece. I mean, of course I will, good job [I mean of course I did, good job]. But I can’t find–and I can find anything–the folder of photos I took of all the insane pottery figurines he’d made when I interviewed him at his house in March 2008 for a story I never wrote for East Alabama Living Magazine, Ben “Kill Fee” Bartley-style. It’s killing me.
They’re all great, but of all I’ve read–and maybe it was because it was the first and reminded me of Auburn (he said there was a little Auburn in the town) and because I love the cover– Last Things is my favorite. He told me it was the hardest / most complicated to write. I took that as a compliment.
Here’s Ben’s review of another great one, A Cry of Absence.
Mallory did get into a real college after all. And she’s blogging about it. THIS is why God has kept us around so long.
Added a few hundred words to my giant, patient Memories of Lubbock file, which I forget about a lot, but enjoy when I find it when I’m trying to write, just write, just write something—it’s convenient, it’s right there. Don’t crucify yourself with another blank document—go to Lubbock! (Except I actually haven’t gotten to Lubbock yet. Seven thousand words over the span of a year and I’m still in the air, about to land for the interview. I’m kind of proud of that.*)
To find it, I have to search “Lubbock” on the computer and I always see the photo.
It went with my first Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Month story, which is blessed with the best lead I’ve ever written:
“Texas has a bra ball in it.”
I thought they’d all get it. Only one of them did, but it was the only one who needed to: the copy editor. She laughed, let me get away with it. God bless her.
* I’m actually thinking of starting a separate blog (of course) for some of the stuff, add some urgency to the recollecting: Buddy Holy. That’s what I wanted to name the blog I had to start out there. (I was so proud. Terry, the editor, brought it up in a meeting and they all laughed before they said no. Not sure if they thought it would offend Lubbockites as Christians or as Buddy Holly fans. Because I ended up going with the Gospel According to Blog, which to me, smacks of sacrilege even more.) If I do, I’ll go up a cup-size on the bra ball story story. It’s good. Teaser: The next lines were “It’s big. It’s going to get bigger.”