(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

This Alabama cemetery has a memorial to 5 doctors who died in epidemic

As we continue to live in the strange conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to tell the story of the heroes of Alabama’s yellow fever epidemic of 1888. The current situation gives us some idea of what medical personnel faced more than 130 years ago, although yellow fever spread differently and the virus was… Continue reading This Alabama cemetery has a memorial to 5 doctors who died in epidemic

Southern Thing Column

Let’s not judge 2020 too harshly; after all, someone invented Golden Girls masks

The column excerpted below appears on It's a Southern Thing. To go to the full column now, click here. Poor 2020. We need to stop blaming it for all our woes. But here we are nearing the halfway point of the year and already its reputation is so damaged it’s unlikely to recover. Sure, we’ve… Continue reading Let’s not judge 2020 too harshly; after all, someone invented Golden Girls masks

Blog Post

That time I interviewed Coach Pat Dye for my book about Auburn

Yesterday, the Auburn University family lost one of its legends, Coach Pat Dye, who died at age 80 after being hospitalized for kidney problems and was diagnosed with COVID-19. In 2011, I was honored to interview Pat Dye at his office at Auburn University, where he still did administrative work, for my book, “Hidden History… Continue reading That time I interviewed Coach Pat Dye for my book about Auburn

(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

My ‘Guide to the South’s Quirkiest Roadside Attractions’ is available exclusively at Books-a-Million

For years, whenever I have given presentations about quirky places in the South, people have asked me if I had a list of places to share, or if one of my books provided one. I always had to say no. FINALLY! My 12th book, recently released as a Books-a-Million exclusive, lists fun and unusual sights… Continue reading My ‘Guide to the South’s Quirkiest Roadside Attractions’ is available exclusively at Books-a-Million

(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

I was looking for a message from Mother Nature and found a ‘real’ live unicorn

I have long wanted to take a photo of a natural attraction I’d written about but never seen – the trees that grew together to spell HI in the Hays Nature Preserve on the outskirts of Huntsville. I finally got my chance Saturday along with another surprise: a visit with a real-for-sure unicorn (lots of… Continue reading I was looking for a message from Mother Nature and found a ‘real’ live unicorn