Do you see that huge guffaw of laughter coming out of my mouth in this photo? Trust me, it’s there. And do you also see that strange look on my husband’s face, almost as if he were embarrassed about something? Trust me, he is. We were at the annual — or whenever we can get everybody together — Wild Drunken Brawl that our friend on the left organizes. And don’t worry: It’s not wild, the drunkenness is overstated and no brawling is allowed. Instead, we all gather at a beautifully peaceful farm near Manchester, Tennessee — which most of us claim as our hometown — and spend the evening reminiscing around a campfire. We lucked out this past weekend with unusually cool and clear August weather and had a fantastic time. Since most of the crowd also graduated in communications from nearby Middle Tennessee State University, our trips down memory lane include our shared college days. One of my friends who was attending her first WDB brought with her a copy of Collage, the MTSU literary magazine that most of us worked with at one time or another. For this particular issue, my husband John Pitts (he wasn’t my husband then, although we were friends and did date sort of off and on) had done an interview with Steve Martin, who performed at MTSU just when he was on the verge of greatness — an interview which still reads well today, decades later. However, also in this Collage was a poem my husband John Pitts had written, and that’s what we’re looking at in this photo. It did not read well decades later. I can’t really describe this poem. There was a lot of angst and beer-drinking and something about some woman and lonely nights and even though we called for the author to give us a reading around the campfire, he quickly declined. I can’t imagine why. And of course this gave me an idea for a book: A collection of bad college poetry. It’s gotta be a bestseller.
Published by shoalswriter
I'm a freelance writer, editor and marketing consultant focusing on style, history, food and the arts in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. I'm also an adjunct journalism instructor and writing coach. My husband is a newspaper sports editor, and he and I are from middle Tennessee. Older Daughter and her husband, an artist and high-school art teacher, live nearby with our three young grandsons. Younger Daughter works in PR and event planning and also lives nearby. View all posts by shoalswriter