Some kids grew up with comic books. Others loved make-your-own adventure tales or series like Sweet Valley High. Kids these days read off electronic tablets, but when I was growing up, my absolute favorite thing to read were newspaper columns.
Lewis Grizzard's column, to be specific.
I realize that a lot of you probably have no idea who this guy was, but if you lived in the southern region of the U.S. in the '80s and '90s you just might. I borrowed today's title from him. (He doesn't mind; he died in 1994).
Lewis Grizzard was a Southern humorist who wrote a syndicated column about the daily thrills of American life, like Dave Barry with twang. He was a 40-something-year-old guy who mostly wrote about Georgia football, his three divorces and a dog named Catfish, but for some reason, my pre-teen self was completely entranced by his writing. It was full of bubba-isms and and was pretty sarcastic, but every now and then he'd produce a line that was so damn pretty it made your heart feel like it would cannonball out of your chest.
He didn't muck up his writing with lots of frilly language or needless pretension. His essays were simple and they were honest, and they made me want to be a columnist long before there was a girl named Carrie on TV.
If you'll indulge me a bit, I'm going to change the direction of this blog. I've always been a little unclear of my focus on here and I think I have veered off course, which has definitely led to reduced posting. I've really lost interest in writing about food and frankly, am not nearly as good at it as the other 40,000 food bloggers on the web. I can't remember the last recipe post I did on here and my dinner photos are always plum ugly. If this news disappoints you, I can refer you to literally hundreds of phenomenal recipe blogs.
I would like to use this space to get back in touch with the kind of writing I grew up loving to read. Simple, honest stories about life. Stories and pictures about summer camp and best friends and little brothers. Funny little essays about New York City that highlight the daily ups and downs of living here. I think really focusing on the writing will help me enjoy doing this again, as opposed to feeling obligated to post something just to keep it going.
Hopefully I won't muck it up with too much frilly language or pretension. Just promise me you'll let me know if I do.