Hitching

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry 1970s Anywhere, U.S.A. Hitchhiking, thumb up on some dusty road with the diesels honking and the curious kids in the back of the station wagons blinking their eyes, was the only way to go. By Friday, after a week of sneaking beer...

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...

Friday Night at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

By Paul Hemphill From The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music 1970   If You Don’t Clean Your Tab in 1968, Your Credit Is No Damn Good in 1969.   Thank You.   Tootsie.   —Notice Behind the Bar At Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville,...

Mr. Ham’s Overcoat

By Paul Hemphill The Atlanta Journal Constitution Magazine 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...

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 Magazine 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...

Long Gone

By Paul Hemphill From Long Gone 1979