Fishing for Catfish

By Paul Hemphill Sport, 1975 Ahoskie, North Carolina There is something in the old baseball scout reminding us of grandfatherly chats, squeaky slippers, soft wine, and a knowledge gained only through experience. They have been there in rickety, skeletal bleachers in...

Yesterday’s Hero

By Paul Hemphill Sport, January 1972 “A week never passes that the Alumni Office fails to receive news highlighting the good works of former football players. So many of them reflect credit on our University.” —University of Tennessee Football Guide, 1970   What is...

Mr. Ham’s Overcoat

By Paul Hemphill The Atlanta Journal, 1970s The whole world is running off to Miami for the Christmas holidays. Look around and you will have cause to wonder why all of these cities and towns even bothered to string colored lights above their streets and put lighted...

Me and My Old Man

By Paul Hemphill from The Good Old Boys, 1974 ICC is a-checkin on down the line, Well, I’m a little overweight And my log book’s way behind; Nothin’ bothers me tonight, I can dodge all the scales all right; Six days on the road And I’m a-gonna make it home...

Quitting the Paper

By Paul Hemphill Southern Voices, 1970s (Collected in Too Old to Cry) On the Kansas City Star you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and will help him if he gets out of it...

Long Gone

By Paul Hemphill Long Gone, 1979 Her name was Dixie Box, only child of Floyd and Clarice Box, of Route 2, Crestview, Florida, and since the age of twelve she had been wondering what would happen next. Conceived out of wedlock, raised in a trailer camp, with only the...