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I spent many an hour in our old feed barn. To a boy it seemed vast in its size and expanse. I became intimately familiar with each stable and hallway. I especially enjoyed the large barn loft which provided endless opportunities for exploring. But I suppose the old corn crib stands out most …

Every year or two my late grandfather Herod Brim would make a trip in his 1951 GMC pickup truck from the Brim Hollow all the way to Willette, Tn., in Macon County to get a load of cook stove wood. Prior to the trip he would make arrangements with the sawmill operator to saw up a designated amount of rejected hardwood slabs into 12 to 14 inch pieces. When he returned, he would have his pickup truck bed loaded to the top with stove wood.

My late grandfather, Will Herod Brim, had a few verbal expressions that were his very own. In the Riddleton Community he was known for one particular phrase. There were a few people who even referred to him as “Ol’ dad blame, you know what?”

Overnight on Aug. 21, an entire community was washed away in the deadliest flooding event in Middle Tennessee history. We lost 22 neighbors, parents, friends, and precious little ones. Over the course of the next few days, I spoke with families faced with the impossible task of rebuilding their lives from scratch. I met with one family in Humphreys County whose house was totally destroyed. Despite knowing they had lost everything, this family’s approach to life was readily apparent. The decor in their living room included the artfully written phrase, “thankful and blessed.” Through all of this, they were counting their blessings, grateful to be alive.

I’m a country boy who grew up on a small farm in Middle Tennessee. Thanks to a wise and nurturing mother and a great education, (much of which was acquired outside of academia) I managed along the way to take on a modest degree of refinement. But, you know what they say, "you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”

This Friday night, my old high school, McGavock, will play Dickson County on the football field. Now is the perfect time to revisit a story I wrote a few years ago about a wild Friday night when we played Dickson County in a game for the ages.

Twenty-eight years ago this week, the movie, “The Thing Called Love,” was released in the theaters. Don’t worry whether or not you remember it, because a lot of people don’t. In fact, according to the website IMDB, it cost $14 million to make but only made more than $1 million.

I had a tooth pulled (extracted) last week. It was not an event to which I was looking forward. I suppose I should have considered myself fortunate. It was the first permanent tooth I have yielded to Father Time. I have endured fillings, root canals, and a variety of crowns, but I had never let a tooth go since my youth.

Reading Ruby’s Sword, I find myself smiling as the author describes how the little girl, Ruby, laid down on the ground, looking at the blue sky as a single cloud went by. The wind blew and the grass parted to reveal SWORDS!

The late columnist, writer, humorist and avowed southerner, Lewis Grizzard once said, “The nearest thing to heaven is a home-grown tomato.” I think he may have been right, and if not right, close. A home-grown tomato is pure, natural and, at its best, southern. What could be closer to heaven…