A Christmas Note

A reminder, from Luke

“And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manager; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold,  I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you;  Ye shall find th babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

I like presents and candy and eggnog as much as the next guy. But it’s important to remember: No Christ child; no Christmas.

John Glenn: Hero

My earliest memories include a man I never met: John Glenn.

He was a person I grew to greatly admire; not so much for his accomplishments, which were tremendous. But for what he came to represent. An American hero. A hero from my youth who stretched into my adulthood.

I’ve no doubt Col. Glenn had his faults and frailties, like any man. But I can ignore that. Friendship 7. A grainy B&W TV image. Nothing fires a kid’s imitation like a flaming rocket. Three times around the earth. A loosened heat shield the engineers feared would not hold. A lifetime in the limelight. A ride on the Space Shuttle. Hero.

God speed, indeed, John Glenn.

On the Katy Trail; Surviving the Heat, Garvin

If  you enjoy biking, travel, adventure, wine, history, train rides and more check out my recent story for USATODAY.com about Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park at http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2016/06/24/katy-trail-statepark/86294304/. #KatyTrail #biking #VisitMo #outdoorsIMG_6680

Summertime is fun but the heat can be a killer. Don’t be a victim. Learn how to avoid (and treat) heat-related problems at The Courier-Journal Kentuckiana Outdoors http://www.courier-journal.com/topic/885cfea0-d87f-4f3b-ac8c-56edb8b184e6/kentuckiana-outdoors/. #heatdangers #CJoutdoors

Good fishing friends are hard to find. Don’t take them for granted. My friend Terry Garvin was one of a kind. More at http://www.kentuckymonthly.com/explore/field-notes/fishing-with-garvin/. #flyfishing #onthecreekIMG_8059

Get outside. Be Safe. Have fun.



Father’s Day; Up Close

My father, Archie Garth, Sr., has been gone for many years but I think of him often and see his reflection in my older brother, my children, and, of course, in the mirror. That’s him in the photo,Leslie Garth, Archie Garth, Leroy King, Shorty and Frank Garth looking dapper, and much  younger than I remember him.

I occasionally wonder how  my life might have been different had I known my father in adulthood (he died with I was 17). His influence certainly would have been felt in ways I cannot imagine. To speculate about such things is foolish of course but still, it remains a curiosity.

Fatherhood is the world’s largest fraternity and one in which I am an active member. I am the father of two daughters – a continuously dazzling experience to which nothing compares nor which anything could have prepared me.

Some of us become fathers early; some late; some multiple times. In the Dad World we all do our best; we all make mistakes. But we would trade being a father for nothing. None of us.

Happy Father’s Day to all: Those who are dads and those who call us dad.

Home and Away: Stories that Ripple

Today (4/11) at 6 p.m., Murray State University will host a minor literary event in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center. For those unfamiliar with the Murray State campus the CFSB Center is the basketball arena. It’s located near the intersection of highways 641 and 121 in Murray, Ky.Home.and.Away.Cover

I say a minor literary event because of the venue and probable local and regional attendance. The work being released is anything but minor.

Monday night marks the release of Dr. Duane Bolin’s new book Home and Away: A Professor’s Journal. It’s being published by Acclaim Press www.acclaimpress.com.

I’ll tell you a bit about the work and its author.

Home and Away is a collection of essays that grew from Bolin’s weekly newspaper column. The book has been more than a decade in the writing. I know from my friendship with the author that it has been a struggle at times, a frustration at others, but mostly, a joy. The tone is homespun, but in a quiet, polished sort of way. The essay is one of my favorite literary forms and done correctly, it is akin to a small pebble tossed into a still pond on a summer evening: not much plunk but far reaching ripples. These stories ripple.

Most impressive, however, is what you won’t find in Home and Away. You won’t find sarcasm, cynicism or profanity; hate, bitterness or ugliness; jealousy, resentment or revenge. The stories are about family and friends and places and the things that get us from here to there. In many of these essays the people and places are local; the themes are universal.

Duane is a husband, father, brother and friend. He’s also a scholar, a gifted teacher, and a skilled writer. He talks about Home and Away with his local public radio station, WKMS, here. It’s worth a listen.

See for yourself Monday night. Come if you can. Check out the book if you can’t.