I can’t seem to find anything to write about because I am too distracted.

I love the way the sun hits the earth during this season. It’s hypnotic. I am listening to Johnny Cash and June Carter sing “I’ll Fly Away.” And I can’t seem to find anything to write about because I am too distracted.

I’m looking out my office-trailer window at the sun hitting my ugly dirt lot, and singing along with music about flying away.

This plot of land wasn’t always bare dirt. It used to be forest. But the man who owned it before me cut down all the pine trees because he was as crazy as an outhouse fly.

When I asked the man why he did this, he told me, “I just really hate trees.”

What kind of a depraved human—not counting real estate developers and New York Yankees fans—hates trees?

So mainly I just park all my junk on this ugly lot. Old boats, my truck, and I have a few dilapidated recreational vehicles. An old Airstream trailer (1969). And one Yellowstone camper (1956) which I gutted, renovated, and made into my office. That’s where I am right now.

This morning I’ve tried to write but I keep losing focus because of the way the sun is shining. And this music. I’m a sucker for old-time hymns.

It’s also brisk outside and I have the doors to my office slung open. Something I rarely do because it’s usually hotter than twelve hells where we live.

This summer we had temperatures upwards of 127 degrees. That is not an exaggeration. I would check the weather on the internet, and the “feels like” temperature would read 127 degrees.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have feels-like temperatures. We only had thermometers and old men who talked about the weather by cracking jokes. I love it when old men cuss the weather.

“It’s so hot,” one man might say, “I saw a funeral procession pull over at Dairy Queen.”

And nobody would laugh. Becuase that joke sucks.

Then, another old man would answer, “It’s hotter’n two rats necking in a wool sock.”

And I would laugh at this one because it was racy for me. I was a kid from a fundamentalist household who wasn’t even allowed to eat Count Chocula cereal because the picture on the box featured a vampire, and vampires were Episcopalian.

I could survive ten years on one good joke.

Right now, in the sky there are zig-zag clouds. They were put there by antique biplanes. The planes are gunning their prop engines. They do this almost every weekend, flying in big loops.

I once knew a pilot in this local flying club. He and his friends were middle-aged men with too much money. You know the kind. They buy antique planes because hundred-foot yachts are so last year.

The guys would fly every weekend. One man was an orthodontist, the other was a lawyer, and the other guy was—I am not kidding—a former Rabbi. The jokes write themselves.

The sound of their engines is loud. How am I supposed to write with all this going on?

So I turn Johnny and June all the way up.

My father once promised me that we would learn to fly. It was his goal in life. He was obsessed with planes. And by “obsessed,” I mean that his entire garage was covered in a billion posters of fighter planes. Hawker Hurricanes, Meschersmits, F/A-18 Hornets, F-14 Tomcats, A-10 Warthogs, you name it. Daddy knew the anatomy of afterburners, and he could tell you which jets were flying overhead without even looking.

I remember being in the garage with him one afternoon. He was sorting screws and bolts into little containers to keep his hands busy. Out of nowhere, he told me that on his fiftieth birthday he was going to take flying lessons.

“Really?” I said.


“Why fifty?”

“Because by then you’ll be in your twenties, and you can take lessons with me.”

And I was so honored. My father had included me in his lifelong dream. I almost didn’t know what to say.

So I, too, became minorly obsessed with planes for a few years. I started reading books, I sank my extra money into airplane posters from a mail-order catalog. There used to be a hobby shop that sold model airplanes. I would buy them, put them together, then suspend them above my bed using fishing line.

My father died too young, he never sat in the cockpit of a single airplane. Except at an airshow one time.

The Blue Angels came through town with a bunch of other planes. We watched them do tricks and display their sky-ripping power, and my father was a child again. That day, my father stood in line for an hour just to sit in the cockpit of a bomber and get his picture made. He was tall, lean, and so very young. I still have that picture.

Sometimes I get letters from people telling me they’re tired of reading columns about my father. I totally get it. And they have every right to feel that way. But sometimes my mind wanders, you understand. And I find myself trying to bring him back for a few minutes.

I guess that’s just what happens when the sun hits the earth in that special way. The birds will sing. The light will catch the world just right. The glad morning will look almost postcard perfect.

And I’ll fly away.


  1. Sandi. - November 5, 2019 6:53 am

    Sean, you’re keeping fond memories of your daddy alive by continuing to share thoughts and stories about him, and there is NOTHING at all wrong about that. Folks who dislike this are not forced to read your column, so dismiss their unkind remarks.

  2. Susan Self - November 5, 2019 6:53 am

    Never stop writing about your father. It brings back memories of my Daddy. But really you can’t stop, it’s in your heart and it’s going to flow out. Unstoppable. That’s my fifty cents worth.

  3. Deborah Blackwell - November 5, 2019 7:11 am

    Please don’t ever let anyone’s opinion keep you from writing what’s in your heart. That’s the reason most people love your stories; they are all from your heart.

  4. jstephenw - November 5, 2019 7:19 am

    For all you have done for folks with issues, never ever make an apology for writing about your father. You have earned it Sean. Tell Jamie to back me up. Great piece. Be proud of what you have earned by your perseverance and hard work.

  5. Leslie in NC - November 5, 2019 8:15 am

    “The glad morning…” I just love that, Sean!

  6. Jody Herren - November 5, 2019 8:53 am

    I love hearing about your dad and the memories you have. Keep writing about whatever you want. Love you and have a BLESSED DAY.❤️

  7. Dru Brown - November 5, 2019 9:08 am

    I lost my dad when I was ten. We have to remember our dads. Mine was thirty-seven and our hero. He will always be our hero. Who are the peabrains who dare hush your memories? I’d like to send them a few coolers filled with mosquitoes. Write on!

  8. Sharon Lawson - November 5, 2019 9:29 am

    I can’t believe that people tell you not to write about your Dad. You are who you are because of his influence in your life. He shaped for the good or bad. Its who you are. My Dad was cruel with an evil mouth toward me. But I am who I am because of that trauma. I have forgiven him but it doesn’t keep me thinking about him. I love to hear stories of your Dad…keep it up.

  9. GaryD - November 5, 2019 10:43 am

    Keep writing what’s in your heart.

  10. Harriet - November 5, 2019 11:16 am

    I Love reading about your dad and your emotions you have. I know it is hard for you but it’s very refreshing for the reader. Your Dad is all tied up in you, how could you ever not write about that? Those who don’t want to hear about your dad can go somewhere else. You have a huge following because you write from your heart and your dad lives there.

  11. Harriet - November 5, 2019 11:20 am

    Also I LOVED that story. And I love Johnny Cash. “I’ll fly Away” reminds me of my husbands grandparents they were salt of the earth types.
    Have a great day!!!

  12. Deena - November 5, 2019 11:34 am

    One of your most touching articles.
    and you can write about your daddy as often as you want……..

  13. Karen - November 5, 2019 11:39 am

    I love your stories about your father, especially how he loved baseball on the radio. My grandson lost his father when he was three, and he told me, “I have to have rememories of my dad, Nana.” He would talk to me about who his father was and what he did. Thank you for your writing, Sean.

  14. Camille - November 5, 2019 11:43 am

    Never stop talking about your father!

  15. shannan - November 5, 2019 12:04 pm

    ….you had me at June & Johnny and fighter jets all in the same breath! i’m gonna go fly way now. thanks!

  16. Phil S. - November 5, 2019 12:24 pm

    Hey, Sean, don’t worry about your critics. As the old saying goes, “Opinions are like noses, everybody has one (except one of the Lee Marvin characters in Cat Ballou who had had his nose bitten off in a fight) – but I digress…
    Point is, it’s your column, so you can write about what and who you want. My father also died when I was young (15). It wasn’t a jacketed lead bullet that got him, it was shreds of tobacco jacketed in white paper that people set on fire and then suck on. So, keep writing about your dad.
    Never stop dreaming – I am 74, and I sometimes remark to my beautiful wife that I might take flying lessons; also, that I want to water ski at least one more time. Then she rolls her eyes and gives me the look that says, “Ain’t gonna happen, you old toot – you’d kill yourself, and then I’d have to mow the lawn.” Ah, well, it never hurts to dream…

  17. Melanie - November 5, 2019 12:31 pm

    “crazy as an outhouse fly” 😂🤣😆😁 gonna borrow that one if ok with you Sean

  18. Shirley in GA - November 5, 2019 12:46 pm

    Please don’t stop writing about your father. Those stories are wonderful and show such love you had for him.

  19. B Porter - November 5, 2019 12:48 pm

    Replant some trees on your lot and in a few years it won’t feel quite so hot in their shade.

  20. Amanda - November 5, 2019 12:49 pm

    Amen to all of the above! WRITE ON!

  21. Donna Hart - November 5, 2019 12:50 pm

    I think it is pretty crappy for anyone to tell you what you should write about. Personally, I love hearing about your dad. You have kept him alive by telling your memories. You are the author. Write what you want. Geez…

  22. Amy - November 5, 2019 12:56 pm

    Mr. South you write about your daddy all you want to. My mama has been gone 20+ years and that wound never heals. Anybody who doesn’t like what they read in YOUR column is welcome to fly away. ❤️

  23. Anne - November 5, 2019 1:02 pm

    Always gladdens my morning to read your words.

  24. Sue - November 5, 2019 1:03 pm

    Don’t ever stop writing about your father! I lost my 47 year old son to suicide 10 years ago and I will never stop writing, thinking, or loving him. They need to be remembered and loved. God bless you, Sean

  25. Naomi - November 5, 2019 1:08 pm

    I don’t know how to phrase this, but I am married to the Air Force. My late husband worked for 3 different aircraft companies. Lockheed, Hays Aircraft and McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. He worked for Hays in the early 1960s at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, when Werner Von Braun was working there. He was a liaison engineer on the F-4 at McDonnell during the space program. I actually got to meet the Blue Angels. My current husband of 40 years retired as a LtCol from the AF after serving for 42 years. I have been to open house at McDonnell and Dobbins AFB; I even got to sit in the pilot’s seat of a fighter jet. When my grandson was young, my daughter was a Cub Scout leader. She was in charge of the Cub Scout summer camp which was held at Warner Robbins AFB. My husband and I helped with activities. About the 2nd day, it started raining so we had to take everything inside to the AF museum. Our tables were set up underneath jets. I have lost track of how many air shows I have been to. The problem is that we have friends who are fascinated with airplanes and they want us to go to airplane museums but I don’t want to go anymore. You really can reach a point where you are tired of looking at airplanes, at least I have.

  26. Becky Jackson - November 5, 2019 1:16 pm

    This is a favorite for me. My Dad flew single engine planes when I was so young it is hard to believe I remember it. But I do. I recall that feeling of lifting off and flying above rural Mississippi pastures and pine forests.

    I was happy to be there, alone with my Daddy. And the light. That light that is just a wee bit closer to God. It filled me with love and comfort and awe.

  27. Colleen Hill - November 5, 2019 1:33 pm

    Good morning. It’s rather frosty in St. Louis this early am.
    I like reading about your Dad. I can tell by your words that you loved him. He loved you too.
    My Dad died young. But he was a distant man. It fills me with gladness
    to hear about the things he said and did for you. I kind of share the stories with you and I am grateful for the kind of Dad you had.
    I hope you will always talk a bit about him.
    Colleen in St. Louis

  28. AY - November 5, 2019 1:34 pm

    This one broke my heart just a little. That’s a good thing ya know. To think that your dad loved something so much…you and those planes. Yet life was still too painful for him to press on. I wish I loved just one thing half that much. I feel if I did that life might feel a bit more worth fighting for. I’m not going anywhere mind you but I sure wish I had love and dreams like your dad did. I’m sorry he didn’t get to see them come true. But it touches some place deep inside me that he had them. Thanks for all your humor and all your heart. From a girl actually trying to love “being nobody, going nowhere”.

  29. MermaidGrammy - November 5, 2019 1:36 pm

    To “those people”: you don’t have to read the article that day. I love to read about your very special relationship with your daddy

  30. Phyllis bayatzadeh - November 5, 2019 1:39 pm

    Don’t ever stop writing about your father

  31. Jeanne Butler - November 5, 2019 1:52 pm

    I love everything you write and especially about your dad. Please visit Delaware. Before I die and I’m 74. I would love to meet you in person.

  32. Dianna - November 5, 2019 1:54 pm

    I never grow tired of hearing about your Dad. It makes your readers feel closer to you.

  33. Carol greissinger - November 5, 2019 2:11 pm

    You keep writing about your dad….no problem with that! Memories are great!

  34. Purplenannyo@yahoo.com - November 5, 2019 2:23 pm

    Sean, you should never apologize for writing about your Dad. Losing him is part of what made you who you are. I love hearing stories about him, especially this one. He had dreams and he included his son in those dreams. To those who wish to not hear about your Dad or sad things, I’m sure there’s an ON/OFF button on the device you’re using. God bless you Sean.

  35. Maria Linkhart - November 5, 2019 2:28 pm

    Sean, every time you write about your dad you remind all of us, no matter who we have lost, to remember those we love that have gone before us. How can that be a bad thing?
    Don’t ever stop. Maria Linkhart

  36. Sharon - November 5, 2019 2:43 pm

    I am so glad that you have happy memories of your father. Keep writing about him dude. My relationship with mine was so bad it took years for me to forgive him after my father died. GOD and I have a deal. When the bad memories materialize, I say the Lord’s Prayer. It brings me peace. Try it the next time an ugly memory pops up, it might work for you too. Meanwhile, I flat out LOVE reading your column.

  37. Ann - November 5, 2019 2:46 pm

    What is wrong with this world?! Don’t you dare stop writing about your father. He is a part of you and it is wonderful. God bless you and God bless your Daddy; may he rest in peace. And go take a flying lesson.

  38. Edna B. - November 5, 2019 2:47 pm

    You keep right on remembering your Daddy and the wonderful times you spent together. As for the barren land, try planting lots of new trees on it. Plant a batch of them every year. The land will love you for it. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  39. Mary - November 5, 2019 2:49 pm

    My husband and your Dad would have been buds! This past Saturday, we went to see the Blue Angels at Moody in Valdosta. Before the Blue Angels performed, they had a great demo by a F-22 Raptor. My husband was in awe! He said the drive and the awful traffic was worth it JUST to see that one plane. He was happy! THEN they flew an A-10 Warthog, a P-51 Mustang AND the F-22 Raptor together in formation. I thought he would die of happiness right then and there. Funny how the simplest things make us happy…like Johnny and June and a rare, beautiful cool day in the Florida Panhandle.

  40. Barbara Pope - November 5, 2019 2:50 pm

    My mother used to sing at the top of her lungs “I’ve Got A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop…” while cooking in a 110+ degrees, gas oven, no AC, no help, feeding 7 big eaters 3 squares on $25 a week. Just picturing your 1956 Yellowstone on a golden knoll–maybe your dad buzzing you in his Beechcraft Staggerwing…what a day of rejoicing that will….

  41. Marilyn - November 5, 2019 2:52 pm

    Sean… I never get tired of the stories you have about your dad… I worshiped mine too so I understand.

  42. Leigh Amiot - November 5, 2019 3:00 pm

    I echo the others who defend your writings about your late father. My own died at 42, I was 11, and it marks your life in a way those who have not gone through this can never understand. Those who are weary of hearing about it are blessed they did not have this life up-ending experience. Their lack of empathy is *not* commendable. They do not realize that your rich way of seeing the people you write about comes through the lens of loss, the knowledge of the fragility of life.

  43. James (Jim) Jewell - November 5, 2019 3:10 pm

    Sean, you touched my heart with this one. i, too, write too much about my father and know it. Unlike you, my father lived to about 40 days shy of 99 and in good health except for three years of yellow fever back around the beginning of the roaring twenties and the last two months of his life. Even though we lived across the country from each other, we became closer and closer as the years passed. i miss him every day and wish i could bring him back all the time. So you go ahead and write about your father. He needs it and my father would understand. Don’t heed those small minded people who love to rain on everyone’s parade, even air show parades our father’s love.

  44. Eddy - November 5, 2019 3:15 pm

    This is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love the sunlight especially in the late afternoon and sunset! God is so amazing! I enjoy reading about your Daddy and am very sorry for Y’all’s loss. I love you , Brother!

  45. Genie - November 5, 2019 3:16 pm

    Wow! Good one!! Keep it going…

  46. Camilla Lee - November 5, 2019 3:23 pm

    What sort of person comments negatively about your writing about your Dad? People are the best and the worse that walk this earth. Yes, they have the right to their opinion, but if it doesn’t contribute in a positive way, keep it to themselves.

  47. Sara E Moseley - November 5, 2019 3:25 pm

    Beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes. I love that you honor your father’s memory.

  48. Jess - November 5, 2019 3:26 pm

    Sean, you can mention your father all you want, I’ll still read your column every day and glean something useful from it. I still think about my father and he’s passed away in 1967. My father wasn’t a great or important man to anyone but me….he was my hero. He loved airplanes too.

  49. Shelton A. - November 5, 2019 3:35 pm

    Love “I’ll Fly Away”-especially with those two vocal masters singing it. I am an Episcopalian-we don’t like vampires either. I am a Yankees fan and I love trees (biology degree). Ecology was one of my favorite classes. In the Amazon rain forest, each tree is it’s on little (big, actually) ecosystem. I, too, love planes…except when I have to fly in one.

  50. Shelton A. - November 5, 2019 3:39 pm

    p.s.-my Dad is still my hero (he passed almost 35 years ago). Write about your Dad all you want. I am never bored with those stories. You are keeping his memory alive.

  51. Kathy Howell - November 5, 2019 3:42 pm

    There is absolutely no reason you should stop bringing your father into your thoughts and writings, no matter what some idiots may say. My mother died young, 42, and I wish I could have her back. One day we both will see them again. I’ll Fly Away!!!

  52. Jan - November 5, 2019 3:56 pm

    Perfect in every way! I love the sunshine. I love this time of year. I love the song “I’ll Fly Away”. We sang it at my mother’s graveside service and they will sing it at mine.

  53. Andy Gartman - November 5, 2019 4:11 pm

    Yeah, Sean. I do understand. I do the same when memories of our son Drew come to mind.
    Your preacher buddy.

  54. Hope - November 5, 2019 4:14 pm

    Sean, don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t write about your dad. My husband, father to 5 kids, step-father to 3 passed in August. It hurts. If talking/writing about your dad helps you feel better and continue to heal then do it. God knows no one will stop me and the kids from talking about the husband and father we lost. That is how he lives on. God bless you Sean. Keep writing, singing and flying.

  55. Barbara Knight - November 5, 2019 4:19 pm

    Hey Sean! This Yankee fan loves trees! I love your writing also!

  56. Chasity Davis Ritter - November 5, 2019 4:32 pm

    Don’t you EVER stop talking about your Dad. I feel it as one of our strongest connections. I’m never gonna stop missing mine or bringing him in to conversation either. I started tearing up as soon as I read 🎶I’ll Fly Away🎶 We sang it at his and my grandpas services. They died exactly 13 years and one day apart. We all need to remember the Dads in our lives and we all need to share. That’s why I show up and read your column everyday and why I share it on fbook too. Love you Sean!

  57. Jim Heacock - November 5, 2019 4:40 pm


    I think the sun and clouds bring back loving memories of your Dad! That, I think, is his gift of still communicating with you! Keeps your imagination of his loving memory alive.

    Thank you for your column; I enjoy it every day!
    I also enjoyed your performance in Talladega as that is where I grew up and lived for most of my life. I’m now living in Birmingham close to grandkids.


    Jim Heacock

  58. Linda Moon - November 5, 2019 4:41 pm

    Easy distractions occur often around my house. It’s a beautiful sunny Fall day here. I’m looking out from a large window upstairs that overlooks colors in hills and valleys. I’m a little distracted by the views. I’m also wondering if my favorite vampire, Nosferatu, is Episcopalian. But I’m back now…..there are two fathers I’d love to bring back. I still have LOTS of pictures of each of them, from Talladega to Colorado. Pictures bring fathers back every time someone looks at them. Fly Away into distractions, Sean, with music, jokes, memories, and pictures. Just don’t fly too far away from the rest of us! We would miss you too much!!

  59. BMc - November 5, 2019 5:05 pm

    Never pay attention to anyone who tells you to not write about your father. How dare they!!! Love everything you write (except for RTR)

  60. Rev. Fred Butterfield - November 5, 2019 5:07 pm

    Don’t ever stop writing about your Dad, Sean. Psalm 112:6.

  61. Jack - November 5, 2019 5:36 pm

    Thank you, Sean, from Kansas City!

  62. Kathy Daum - November 5, 2019 5:56 pm

    I am not tired of you writing about your dad. He’s part of you and always will be.

  63. Kathy Daum - November 5, 2019 5:57 pm

    Also, plant trees on your lot.

  64. Carolyn - November 5, 2019 6:01 pm

    Sean, I love hearing about your father.

  65. Ala Red Clay Girl - November 5, 2019 7:35 pm

    Sean, I love the stories about your dad because they remind me of my father whom I lost when I was 24. He too loved planes and had his pilot license. Those we loved and have gone on before us will never really die as long as we remember them in our hearts (and words). Keep sharing your stories with us!

  66. Maxine C - November 5, 2019 10:58 pm

    Sean, Stories of your dad keep him alive in your heart. Don’t ever quit telling ‘dad’ stories. Important you tell the stories that make you smile. He was a really smart man with a lot of dreams and he passed that on to you. He is why you write.
    We love you, and I hope to read your columns for a long time to come. About your Dad, the dogs, Jamie and all your other loves. ‘ such as white haired old women at Baptist fellowships’ and old men ‘chewing the fat’ in the corner booth of the diner.
    And Amen to Leigh Amiots post.

  67. Dawn Bratcher - November 5, 2019 11:21 pm

    If everyone brought up beautiful memories of their lost loved ones on a regular basis, it would become easier to keep them alive in their hearts. Instead of crying only, there would be joy & laughter!
    My father has been gone for 13 years and he has recently been in my dreams. Nothing unusual, just being Daddy. It was nice & comforting.

  68. Charlie Key - November 6, 2019 12:59 am

    Never apologize for loving and missing your father.

  69. Floyd Budd Dunson - November 6, 2019 1:50 am

    Oh how my daddy loved airplanes. There is a line in a Buffet song ” Those crazy flying tigers, doing spins and loops and stalls”. Your dad would understand.

  70. Jeri - November 6, 2019 2:06 am

    Please. Do not fly away.

  71. George T Jacoby - November 6, 2019 4:45 am

    From time to time you bring a tear to my eyes, and this is one of those times. Don’t know why, but you’ve written about those times, too, maybe in different circumstances, but we’re birds of a feather (genus, not sure about species) 😉

  72. Steve Stacey - November 6, 2019 5:37 am

    You can never write enough about your father. Mine told me when I was embroiled in a fight to have the golf course in Monroeville returned by deed to the proper owner, American Legion Post 61. He told me “son, you are as popular as a blowfly at a collard cooking”. But, he was a vet like me and was on my side of the fight. Never stop telling those stories of your Dad.

  73. Alan - November 6, 2019 12:35 pm

    Please don’t stop talking about your Father. Writing about him keeps him alive in your heart and mind. You have many good memories of your dad. I’m sorry you lost him to soon.

    My father was dad in title only. No good memories to reflect on. I enjoy more than you know reading about your dad.

  74. Denise - November 6, 2019 3:30 pm

    Sean, I love hearing the stories about your father.

  75. Sue Riddle Cronkite - November 6, 2019 5:17 pm

    One of your best.

  76. Tammy Moody - November 6, 2019 5:41 pm

    Sean, it’s a choice! Those people who are tired of reading about your Daddy, well, they need to make the choice to go read something else (I was going to say something really ugly there, but I made the choice not to!). I hope you never make the choice to stop writing about your father! You have real fans who read your column every day, and will continue to, no matter what you choose to write about! Thank you Sean! Stay sweet!

  77. deckerffp - November 6, 2019 7:00 pm

    I love hearing stories about your daddy.

  78. Suzanne Cahill - November 7, 2019 12:46 pm

    Beautiful, Sean. Thank you.

  79. David P B Feder - November 7, 2019 5:06 pm

    I can only believe that anyone who says they are “tired of reading columns about [your] father” either still has their dad, is a heartless bastard, or both. Probably the latter.
    I am always amazed by the negative comments that come your way. Why do these people even read your work? Their criticisms are along the lines of someone reading “Canine World” and complaining that there are “too many articles about dogs.”
    Ignore the haters, trolls, and morons. Those of us who read you regularly do so because your words speak to us. For me, you appeal on many levels: I’m a professional writer and I love your writing for its artful use of language. I’m a Texan, so I love your insights and experiences of Southern US culture and people for their tenderness and familiarity to me. And I love when you write about your dad because I, too, miss my dad every day and when you bring your dad back to life in your writing it brings my dad back to life in my thoughts.

  80. Anne Trawick - November 8, 2019 8:46 pm

    Dear Sean, I too had a father who loved flying. He was a pilot in WW II, and as soon as he was financially able, he bought his own plane. He worked his way up to a twin engine Bonanza. When I was a llttle girl, maybe three or four, to keep me from being afraid when we would fly, he’d tell me we were going to Fairyland because the houses and cars were so small. Daddy was always the one who flew to the North Pole to bring Santa into town for the school children to visit. He was also the one who flew critically ill patients to Atlanta or New Orleans because no other services were available from our little town. When he died, at the cemetery after a friend read the poem, “High Flight,” a crop-duster flew Dad’s plane and buzzed the funeral. A great send off!

    I always enjoy your articles. Your humor is delightful, and your pathos poignant. Keep it up, friend!

  81. Susan I Gleadow - November 8, 2019 10:20 pm

    Oh my Sean, I love this one! Fly away to visit your dad whenever you need to. I miss mine too!

  82. throughmyeyesusa - November 9, 2019 5:37 pm

    Dear AY,
    You are NOT “nothing” and you are definitely going somewhere! Please read Sean’s post “Good” (11/8/19)
    It touches some place deep inside ME that you are so sad and feeling hopeless, sweetheart. You probably can’t believe this right now, but life does gets better. I’ve been there. It will improve beyond anything you can imagine today.
    “I don’t know you, but I love you” 💞

  83. Wanda L Smith - November 10, 2019 8:45 pm

    Unlike you Sean, I did not lose my father at an early age, but I miss him every day. So you keep writing those memories of your father, because they help me to remember the good about my father. Love you for all these wonderful words and sending you a Grandmother hug.

  84. Martha - December 1, 2019 6:19 am

    “But sometimes my mind wanders, you understand. And I find myself trying to bring him back for a few minutes.

    I guess that’s just what happens when the sun hits the earth in that special way. The birds will sing. The light will catch the world just right. The glad morning will look almost postcard perfect.

    And I’ll fly away.”

    Yes, indeed, I believe you have stated it as well as I’ve heard. I too “fly away” sometimes. I had him for 30 years & it was not enough so I too slip away for bits of time and “fly away” & I will never apologize for it. Those that do not, will someday ascwecall do that ever loved someone with our whole heart.

    “It happens when the sun hits the earth in that special way…………….”
    Yes, yes it does…….

  85. 49Bama - December 1, 2019 7:37 am

    My daddy loved to fly, especially when his son-in-law (my better half) was the pilot. He would fly commercial when he had to but his buddy was his first choice. Keep writing about your dad, it reminds us all to appreciate them while they’re here. I had mine till 2014, not a day goes by that I don’t talk to him and miss him terribly, a daddy’s girl I will always be. My husband was a commercial pilot for over 30 years, the one you used when it “positively has to be there overnight”, he’d be thrilled to give you lessons or just take you for a flight. Thank you for sharing your memories, you help me remember how blessed I am to have grown up in lower Alabama, falling asleep in church with my head in my grandmothers lap while she sang “I’ll Fly Away” and it was sung at her funeral too.

  86. Matilda Wille - December 1, 2019 1:58 pm

    Through your words I can vividly see your dad sitting in that plane. That is a great picture you have for sure. As you continue to write about your deceased father, he becomes more and more alive to your readers. Your readers share your grief, your memories and your love for a man that we only know through you. If you stop writing about him we would miss him dearly. So, don’t stop writing about him. As a matter of fact, I think you should compile a whole book containing all of the writings you have shared with us that mentions your dad. Needs to come out around Father’s Day….

  87. Debbie - December 1, 2019 2:39 pm

    I am thankful you follow your thoughts and share them with us.

  88. Melissa Claunch - December 3, 2019 10:45 am

    I love hearing stories about your father! Never stop telling them.

  89. Mary Hicks - December 4, 2019 9:42 pm

    I pray you continue to share your memories with us until we all fly away!! Thanks again, Sean. God bless you and Jamie.

  90. muthahun - March 21, 2020 5:05 pm

    Vampires are Episcopalians?! You DO crack me up! I stopped loving to fly on St. Patrick’s Day in 1969. My folks and I flew out of West Palm Beach, FL and there was “weather”. We were standby, so Mum and I got two seats together in coach, and my dad got a seat in 1st class, no less. We hadn’t been in the air long when … you’ll excuse the pun … out of the blue (or gray as the case may be) the plane went nose-down. I mean full-on DIVE. People were screaming, stuff was flying, and I was hanging by my seat belt looking straight down the fuselage as the grayness of unconsciousness started to creep up the back of my neck. It seemed like an eternity and was likely under 10 seconds before the pilot got things leveled out again. I’ve always wondered just how close to the ground we came, ’cause we hadn’t been in the air all that long. ANYWAY, our pilot, who’d given the pre-flight speech with a jovial, “This is Captain O’Schwartz here…” was absolutely silent for the rest of the flight to Baltimore, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done was get off that plane and onto another one… I’d rather have hitch-hiked back to Maine! In a time when venturing out to restock the toilet paper is a major act of faith, it’s good to remember.


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