New South Essays returns

It took a global pandemic to resuscitate New South Essays.

I am fortunate to have a healthy family, and the sheltering in place ordered by Georgia’s governor gave me time to contemplate and execute the re-launch of this weblog which I wrote weekly from March 2011 to October 2014. For the past five-and-a-half years, I have been planning its return. Anticipating this day, I even renewed the annual fee for the domain name every year, unwilling to give up on it.

So, now I’m back… newer and “Southier” than ever.

New South Essays writer at laptop in his dining room
The essayist working from home during the COVID-19 sheltering-in-place period in Georgia.

Let me catch you up on a few milestones since you last heard from me on these pages:

  • After seven years and one month, I left Georgia Tech in September 2019 and now work for the state’s governing body for higher education. These are challenging times to be communicating with and for colleges and universities. I am grateful for the experience and hope some of the lumps I’ve taken along the way will allow me to help others who may face similar trials.
  • I have been writing. Some of you found my monthly installments over at Smyth & Helwys’ website,, where my blog View from the Pew is hosted. Thanks for reading. If you are church-inclined, you can find 80 posts with perspectives on being a part of a church family.
  • My wife, Carla, and I celebrate 23 years of marriage May 3, 2020. We’re still going strong and enjoying life’s adventure with more fervor as each year passes.
  • When last I wrote in this space, my boys were 14, 10 and 6. They’re now 19, 15 and 11. The two older ones are finishing freshman years – college and high school – and the youngest is wrapping up his elementary school career. He’ll start the grand adventure that is middle school in the fall. They are amazing boys, different in their talents and personalities. I could not be prouder.

I appreciate y’all waiting this out and sticking with me. I think you’ll find this time around I won’t be pestering you quite as often, maybe once a month or so. I’m going to post when I have something to stay and not get too hung up on a schedule. Weekly posting can be a grind.

I’m also committing to keep these digestible. I’ll aim for 500-600 words, and try to hold your attention for 10, maybe 15 minutes. And my themes will meander a bit. Some may be blatantly Southern, others will be family oriented. All will attempt to be well-thought out, entertaining and worth the effort.

If you don’t have any interest in this journey going forward, I don’t blame you. I won’t think less of you if you unsubscribe and stop following this page. It’s been so long you may have even forgotten why you followed it in the first place.

But maybe physical distancing has given you more time, too, and spending 10-15 minutes on this blog every few weeks isn’t too much to ask. If you enjoy a particular post, please share it on your social feeds. I’d be forever grateful.

Speaking of gratitude, let me say “Thank you” to my wife and family for their support. My oldest’s recent speech on my writing career for his public speaking class, appropriately titled “The Forrest Gump of Journalism,” gave me a reason to revisit some of my old posts and helped motivate me to get back in the blogging game.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t say “thanks” to my friends, Bob and Brian, who encouraged me with their trademark mix of mockery and affirmation.

Welcome back to New South Essays. We’ll see you again real soon.

4 thoughts on “New South Essays returns

  1. Good to hear from you, cousin. Glad things are good in your world. Be well. Allen

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. So good to hear from you. My Mom also collected & stored everything in cool whip containers. She would tape a small piece of paper on the top indicating what treat was inside! Great memory!

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