Well … January 2011 will certainly end up as my least-postingest month!
First, THANK YOU!!! to everyone who has called and sent me cards, e-mails, Facebook messages, texts and everything else during my recovery from back surgery. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it’s meant to me. As many of you know, I’ve been in Raleigh at the HB’s Dook-Loving Palace where she’s been taking most excellent care of me.
I’m up here until Feb. 9 at the earliest, but likely won’t be back in Kinston at TFP until Monday, Feb. 14, from what my doctor is telling me. I had surgery to repair a severe herniated disc last Tuesday and the recovery time at home is typically four to six weeks (with restraints on carrying stuff up to eight weeks), but I’m doing my best to recover quickly and get back to K-Town.
I want to throw some serious props out to my boss, FP Publisher/Editor Patrick Holmes and my AME Nancy Saunders, who have been picking up my slack while I’ve been laid up. Patrick is, quite honestly, the best boss I’ve ever had in my working career and I know he and Nancy — who already has a crazy workload — have been even more slammed with my absence. I truly appreciate both of them.
But I also appreciate the hard work of the reporters — David Anderson, Wesley Brown, Justin “The Kid” Hill and (reporter/night editor) Jane Moon — for also stepping up in my void. Their work, along with our talented photographers Charles Buchanan and Janet Sutton Carter, has remained excellent and I can’t wait to get back to Kinston to work with them again.
Also … I appreciate the hard work and, well, the friendship of one certain J-Dizzle — Jon Dawson. He’s pretty much called or checked up on me one way or another the whole time I’ve been up here and I really appreciate it, dudeage.
Additionally, I really appreciate the friendship of a guy you never hear about — Freedom ENC Desk Chief Richard Clark; like Dawson, he’s called me pretty much every day and it’s meant a lot to me. Richard is arguably the most important person in Freedom ENC — without his direction and 16-hour days, there would be THREE newspapers that would never see the light of day.
I’ve seriously overdosed on sports TV the past two weeks — to the point where I’m almost growing tired of watching sports … well, almost. The HB has the Mack Daddy Time-Warner Cable sports package and if there has been a game on, I’ve pretty much watched it.
I’ve also been reading a fascinating book: “Boys Will Be Boys” by Jeff Pearlman, a book about the rise and fall of the Jerry Jones-owned Dallas Cowboys. It is one of the best sports books I’ve ever read — a no-holds-barred look at the premier NFL franchise of the 1990s, how it was built and how it fell apart. If you want a good read, I suggest you go get it — although you’ll never look at Charles Haley the same way again. Seriously.
I’m more lucid (i.e., less Percocet!) now than I was last week, so my goal is to get this blog back up and moving this week. As hinted in previous posts, I have some good local nuggets to share with y’all about Charlie Stevens, Reggie Bullock, Joshua Lovick and others that I want to get out there to you.
Again — THANK YOU to everyone who has been so kind during this difficult time for me. I’ve missed being in Kinston — especially with having to cancel/postpone yesterday’s United Way Day of Basketball and missing the stretch run of prep basketball season — but I’ve been so thankful to have a loving, awesome, beautiful person like Tina to take care of me during this time and to have the encouragement from all of you. I love y’all — and I’m not afraid to tell you that.
Stay tuned — I’m going to get this puppy back up and running, with the best nonsense you can stomach, ASAP.
P.S.: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most patient, most positive and sweetest people out there — Tammy Davis, the lovely wife of our very own Heelatious (B.J. Davis). I’ve never seen her without a smile on her face … funny, since she has to put up with Heelatious! Just joking, dude — you’re one of the good guys, too, despite your light blue leanings!
I also want to throw birthday greetings to one of my good friends in Eastern North Carolina – Rudy Coggins, the hard-working sports editor of the Goldsboro News-Argus. Rudy has been great to me through the years and I’m honored to count him as one of my friends.
And to show that, truly, Jan. 31 was a great day for folks to be born, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Timmi Toler, the city editor of the Jacksonville Daily News. She used to have one of the best blogs in the world, but I think — as happens to the best of us — she doesn’t have enough hours in the day to keep it up as much as she used to. Regardless, her excellent observations on life and great heart make her a pretty cool person.