Categories
Adventures Vacation

Off we go…

Well, Team Gibbons logged a lot of miles last week, with the four of us setting of on three different adventures across this great land’s east coast.

I spent some time at Barrier Island, a camp/nature area on Seabrook Island, where I was a chaperone for my son’s class. While there, they learned plenty of cool nature facts and even got to wallow in mud and cover themselves head-to-toe in it, which is pretty much the top of most 10-year-olds’ To Do Lists.

Categories
Home improvement

The joy of doorknobs

I’ve got no issues with doorknobs. Big fan of ‘em, in fact. They are fantastic inventions that serve a great function in society, from privacy issues to security issues to little brother issues. (That last one is particularly relevant to one resident in my house.)

Categories
Childhood Family

Tree house security

It’s like getting top-secret clearance.

You don’t just let someone waltz into the Pentagon or Fort Knox. You have strict guidelines on who can enter. You check their credentials. You check their background. And you certainly check their stick sharpening skills.

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Uncategorized Writings

The execution of Jerry McWee

Originally published in the Aiken Standard, April 22, 2004.

On Friday, I sat in a small room with seven other people and watched a man die.

The execution of Jerry McWee was carried out with quiet efficiency, and I served as one of three media witnesses who would later relate the details of the execution to other members of the press.

Categories
Writings

Macayla’s Story

This article was originally published in the Aiken Standard on May 1, 2011.

The Rev. Jeff Smoak was ordained on April 10. He is a 1991 graduate of Aiken High School and has an undergraduate degree from The Citadel. He attended seminary at Erskine College and is working toward a PhD.

Categories
Writings

You never know who’s looking

Originally published in the Aiken Standard, Feb. 22, 2011.

Let me give you the moral of the story first: You never know who’s looking. And you never know how much they look up to you.

This true-life fable started last Thursday, when my wife, daughter and father-in-law went out to a restaurant. (Parker and I went home to make sure the Wii still worked.) They had been there a few minutes when a bus pulled up. The bus was hauling the Chattahoochee Valley Community College softball team from Phenix City, Ala., in town for a weekend tournament.

Categories
Writings

Honor Flight – Journey of a Lifetime

Originally published in the Aiken Standard, April, 23, 2012.

The Beginning

The youngest was 83. The oldest was 98. The average age was 88.

One hundred of the Palmetto State’s members of the Greatest Generation began to fill the Columbia Metropolitan airport before daybreak on Wednesday. They wore matching red jackets, and many donned black ball caps emblazoned with “World War II Veteran” in gold lettering.

Categories
Writings

Idella Bodie – Of Mysteries, Secrets and Ghosts

Originally published in Easy Street Magazine.

In her neatly decorated office, one wall is adorned with framed copies of letters, poems and scribbled drawings.

Some are from close friends, others from noted authors. They include messages from the likes of Ogden Nash, Archibald Rutledge and Pearl S. Buck. They are all personal communiqués to Idella Bodie, teacher and writer.

Categories
Writings

Haunted Aiken

Originally published in Easy Street Magazine.

The Spanish moss draped among the trees creates a kaleidoscope of gray and yellow light as the sun slowly wanes at dusk. Streams of light shine onto the dulling, tin roof and sneak downwards across the weathered, wood finish of the once bright-red farmhouse.

Categories
Writings

Amelia Knoedler Penland – The Unadilla Showdown

Originally published in Easy Street Magazine.

Amelia Knoedler sat in the study of her boarding house, winding down from another evening as the sole employee of the weekly paper in tiny Unadilla, Ga.