Family, as the Heavens Intended


There is no sweeter joy, no greater honor, no higher sense of being fully graced with goodness in this life than to put your arms around a true and dear childhood friend.  On Saturday, I had such a chance, in more abundance than I’ll ever deserve.

This shot was taken Saturday, June 30, 2012, at the Hillside Street Community Center — a place where these two great men and I spent so much of our boyhoods in Weaverville, North Carolina.  Ours was a full-throated, wide-open, all-throttles-down festival of growing up in small-town America in the 60’s and 70’s.  We pushed bicycles and skateboards to edges of steep-hill death.  We rolled together through rites of passage — winning and losing girls and innocence.  We celebrated the wonder — the miracle — of living with our teenage hearts beating in union with one another.

As I loved these great men when we were kids, I love them — revere them — even more sacredly now.  Howard, a research scientist, and Hilton, the entrepreneur, stand as giants.  They are gentlemen — truly gentle men — who helped yank a man out of this small-town boy.  I owe them for so much outrageous fun, yes.  But my debt to them reaches high into that sphere where a man comes to know that his family doesn’t stop with the womb and so much DNA.  Family is a harvest we make beyond the day of our birth.  Saturday, with these men, was one mighty fine family re-union.

In our well-spent youth, we saw the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Commodores, Roberta Flack, Rick James and the Mary Jane Girls … on and on, so much crazy fun, some of which our parents actually know about!!  Together, we lived, on the streets of little Weaverville, in one another’s homes.  We live in separate cities now, and with overflow lives, but we continue to live, fully, in one another’s soul.  For this, I am so very glad.

Hilton, Howard, thank you for waving me in to that fundraiser and celebration for our little sister, Dottie!!  We had such a blast, uplifting and supporting her on Saturday.  As we love her, I love the two of YOU!  Cheers to raising a glass very soon, again!    


One Response to “Family, as the Heavens Intended”

  1. Gina Robinson Says:


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