Bradford invited me up to Atlanta to jointly work on my next book. As most of you may know, Bradford is my editor-in-chief as well as my publisher.

When I left Starkville, I was still happy with the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the whupping they had put on Louisiana Tech the night before. I can still hear them cowbells ringing.

The sun was shining and I knew that I could outrun the front that was moving in. I was looking forward to seeing a colorful display of leaves on my way to Birmingham, where I was meeting Bradford. However, I was denied. Nature played a dirty trick on us mortals this year. The sweetgums did not give their usual display of yellow, red, and even purple (according to the soil where the trees were standing).

One could not spot the red colors of the dogwoods tucked away among the evergreen pines. The leaves were falling, leaving no color wherever they fell…just blah.

Bradford and Tanya graciously drove to Birmingham to meet me and drive my SUV to Northeast Atlanta, saving this old man the stress of negotiating the I-75/I-85 connector. Bless their hearts.

Bradford is in command. I completed a preface for the book this a.m., but guess what? It needs a little more work on it, according to my editor. Okay, okay, Bradford, I’ll give it my best shot. Such is life in the fast lane…sometimes you get run over! Actually, it is work, but the fun part is to see the development of a better product. I trust my editor.

My eye and ear doctors will improve my sight and hearing performance next week, and I will meet the folks that keep our deck house (six decks plus a dock) in good shape. Our good neighbor Shirley watches over our house. I am thankful for her.

Lucy is staying with Derrick while I am “On The Road Again.” Thank you for the song, Willie Nelson!

Derrick is raising some chickens down at our White House. Lucy said that the chicken named after her (Lucille) is doing some notable crowing. Confused? So is Lucille!

When the chicken was young, we thought it would become a hen. Until it started crowing. Kind of like Johnny Cash and his song “A Boy Named Sue.” Lucille is becoming famous as the only rooster in Mississippi with identity problems!

Click HERE to order Ray’s book Depression BabyTrue Stories from Growing Up During the Great Depression in Appalachia — and Other Things…