If I’m Not There, Did It Really Happen?

If I’m Not There, Did It Really Happen? Is a collection of real stories about real people who have crossed my path.

It has been a wonderful, wayward, and perplexing life.

The Lord blessed me.

Or he condemned me.

But he invented the typewriter, then the computer, and said, Boy, you don’t want to do anything but write, and you can’t do nothing but write. I’ve seen you mess up everything else you tried to do.  Well  here’s a life filled with stories. Go see what you can do with them.

So it began.

I worked newspapers, both large and small, from the Gladewater Daily Mirror to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram with the Plainview Daily Herald thrown in between.

I was the travel flack for the Texas Tourist Development Agency, working to lure unsuspecting tourists to the Lone Star State back when the only thing anyone had ever heard about Texas was the Alamo, Neiman-Marcus, and the assassination of a President.

I wound up on the backroads of the South as  travel editor of Southern Living Magazine, driving with photographer J Gerald Crawford to such exotic places as Pineapple, Alabama, Ninety-Six, South Carolina, and Plum Nelly, Georgia, named because it was plum out of Tennessee and nelly out of Georgia.

For the last twenty-five years of my career before retirement, I wrote books and edited magazines for a small, custom publisher in Dallas.

Photographer J Gerald Crawford, who has ridden the South and some of the world with me for a lot of years.

My whole life has been one story piled on top of another.

Here are the words.

Can you make them dance?

Can you make them sing?

What happens when the words refuse to go where you want them?

I found the road goes on forever, but the stories never end.

A few years ago, I wrote a memoir of sorts, The Man Who Talks to Strangers.

It was my life.

But our lives keep changing.

So do the stories.

I have written a revised version of the book, removing some stories that didn’t really belong and adding a bunch more that did.

I have spent way too many years chasing life and other ghosts. And I’ve often wondered, “If I’m not there, did it really happen.”



But I wasn’t there.

I’ll never know.

If I’m Not There, Did It Really Happen? Is a collection of real stories about real people who have crossed my path.

The book is not really about me.

It’s a book about them.

Some are famous.

Some are just strangers by the side of the road.

But they all had a story to tell.

And I was willing to listen.

I jotted down their words.

I stole their stories.

They won’t be forgotten.

Some may make you laugh.

Some may make you cry.

But that’s life.

At least it’s my life.

Please click HERE to find my memoir on Amazon.

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