Tag Archives: Dave Cullison

In the Spirit of Thankfulness part 2

My thankful missive was longer than I expected, so here is the second—but no less important—half of the 30 days of thankfulness. I’m thankful for…

14 my sister. Even though I was pretty mean to her when we were kids, I’m thankful to have a beautiful and smart sister who loves me despite that fact. How the heck SHE ended up a computer geek is beyond me. I’m pretty sure she did it just to SPITE me. 😉 (she gets to head this week because she just had a birthday and STILL hasn’t caught me! Happy birthday, sis!)

13 the year and a half I got to live in Piggott. Piggott is that place that’s always been a home away from home for me. I’m kin to about 1/3 of the people there simply because my family has been in that are for 150+ years. Though the job situation (meaning mostly—the boss) was less than desirable, I’m glad to have gotten the chance to live and work there for a brief time. What made it even better was that most of the residents seemed to appreciate the work I did there AND seemed to enjoy my writing. I’ll never forget the first words from Mayor Gerald Morris when I told him who my family was (he knew them all): “Welcome home.”

12 good bosses. Having a bad boss (see #13) reminds you to be thankful for the good bosses you have (BJ can attest to that also!), and I’ve had some good ones in my time. I’ll mention by name: Noelani Cornell (my current boss at Full Sail University), Chris Ulm (the EIC during my time at Malibu), and the late Dr. Bill Foster (Department Chair at UNA where I taught).

11 Malibu Comics. Yeah, I know the company is long dead (shut down in 96), but it—and the people associated with it—hold a very dear place in my heart. Like some of the other entries here, there are far too many people to name. But I always think of Malibu as the four principle partners: Scott Rosenberg, Chris Ulm, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason. These guys took in the young writer from Mississippi and quickly made me a part of the family. I’m also forever grateful to Tom—I’m sure he knows—for opening up his home to me and BJ after the ’94 Northridge earthquake made us homeless.

10 my beloved Southland. I know that about half of you won’t get it, but MY country is the South not the USA, which forces our relationship at the end of a gun barrel (or a drone, these days). And for those one or two idjits who stop by here because google led you to the word “southland,” the whole Dixie thing is not about race for most (yes, there are some idiots of all creeds and colors and yes, states)…but I once tried to explain it all by saying I’ve got a lot more in common with the black guy who lives on the street in front of me than the white guy who lives up north. Truth!

9 little league organizations (all of them, not any one in particular). My dad coached me for several years when I was in high school and it was one of those things that helped bring us together when I was such a rotten teen. It gave us some common ground stuff to talk about…and it didn’t hurt that he was a darn good coach—we went 25-0 when I was a senior. I’ve been able to coach both of my kids for a number of years and I love that part about coaching … I really missed it last year and that’s probably what put it on my mind to make me so thankful.

8 my friends in law enforcement. Like the other entries, there’s too many to name—but I’ll still shout out to a couple for ridealongs and other such cool info I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else: Bobby Joe Killen and Dave Cullison!

7 my writing skills. You’re welcome to laugh—and that won’t offend me…but at whatever level I have them, I’m thankful for them. Like any writer, I hope my writing brings joy and pleasure to others…but it really is something I very much enjoy and I’m thankful for whatever skills I may have.

6 my students (most of them—ha). I’ve often said that teaching is a lot like editing: a very thankless job. An editor is (in general) good if they are “invisible” to the projects they work on, bringing out the best in the creators they’re working with, allowing them to shine. It’s an awesome feeling when a student drops you a private message or publicly thanks you for instruction/advice/encouragement.

5 my extended family. They’re a bunch of nuts, but they’re mine. (see the facebook entry#23 as a sidenote for this one, too)

4 my earthquake desk. BJ hates it. I bought it for $25 back around 1988. My dad knew this place (I don’t remember how) and we picked up this huge metal desk. It’s HEAVY. I started calling it earthquake desk in California because if the big one came (again), we could just jump under it and we’d be okay. The thing is STURDY. Every time we move BJ tries to talk me into getting rid of it and getting something “nicer.” You watch—she’ll do it again once we sell this house!

3 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. No, I’m not going to get into the debate as to who did what. But they were an amazing team and helped me develop a love for reading when I was but a wee lad.

2 YOU, dear reader. You continue to visit my blog and read my ramblings when I know that is exactly what they are. Many of you offer you own comments and much encouragement…and you are highly treasured by me!

1 my salvation. Okay, yeah, I DID intentionally leave this one for the #1 spot (and because the first of November also happens to be my birthday!) I’m thankful that a loving God forgives me of the sins I commit daily (oh-stop! Y’ain’t so perfect yerself) and that I live in a country that I’m free to express that (mostly).

So there…if you read this far, thanks for hanging with me. Lots to be thankful for…I could probably go on, but I won’t. THANKFULLY for you, November only has 30 days!

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Ridin’ shotgun!

During the week of Spring Break, I was fortunate to get to ride shotgun with my good friend, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Deputy, Dave Cullison. Dave is also an SRO with the Middle School and part of his regular duties find him at athletic events, keeping all the hooligans like myself under control. He is also often part of the “door greeters” at the Middle School in the morning: part of a group of men which often includes Dave, the Asst. Principal and an assortment of coaches. They generally open the passenger doors to allow the car-riding students to exit safely and stand around talking sports all the while.

As most of you likely remember, we lived on the campus of the University of Mississippi the first few months we lived here. The campus falls in the city school district, but we wanted the kids to go to the county school, so I had to take them to school every morning. It was the regular delivery of the kids that first introduced me to Dave and the gang. Over time, however, Dave and I became friends…and I asked him about riding shotgun.

So, over Spring Break, I rode with Dave for about 6 hours. We rode all over Lafayette (pronounced by the locals Luh-Fay-it) county…I saw parts of the county I hope to never see again! Ha It was good, though, to be able to see it and get some of the story on it.

We first went to some of the trouble-spots—those places that folks are known for blatantly breaking the laws, mainly, running stop signs and disregarding public safety because of it. It was a little too early at that time for the lawbreakers to be out…I figure they were still sleeping off hangovers.

So he got a call for a domestic dispute and hightailed it there. It took a few minutes to get there and on the way there, Dave said I was welcome to come with him. I glanced over at him: he was wearing the Sheriff’s department uniform complete with a bullet-proof vest and a pistol at his side. I looked at my garb: blue jeans and a tee-shirt.

I told my good friend Dave that I was content to sit in the car. J

Not that it would have mattered this time…but moments later, a backup officer arrived—also equipped with a bullet-proof vest and a pistol. I remained content to sit in the car.

After surveying the scene, the backup officer—who I later learned was a Captain—returned outside and chatted with me (I was still in the car—the windows rolled down)while we waited on Dave to finish up. We discovered that we both had something in common opposite Dave: We both dislike Notre Dame.

I almost forgot, though…Dave also told me before he got out of the car: “if anything should happen, grab this microphone and call for backup. Be sure to say ‘officer down’.”

I remained content to sit in the car wearing my tee-shirt.

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