Welcome to Mississippi. It’s an overcast day in the Magnolia State. I’m at Waffle House, consuming my daily quota of grease.

I’ve been driving all morning. And Waffle House serves the best T-bone in the southeast. For $9, you can’t be beat that kind of deal with a Louisville Slugger

There is a man at the bar next to me. He is large. Towering. Thick limbed. His hands are as big as supermarket chickens.

“How tall are you?” I ask.

“Six eleven,” he says.

His voice is a muffled baritone, originating somewhere in his deep chest.

“Six eleven?” I remark.

He takes a sip. “Mmm hmm.”

“How’d you get to be so tall?”

Shrug. “Just prayed real hard.”

His name is Robert. He drives a truck. Born and raised in Mississippi. He’s been driving since the early ‘80s. He says he’s logged nearly 4 million miles on his old body.

He started driving because of his child. His daughter. She needed medical procedures for her legs. Without the operations she might not have walked. Trucking paid pretty good in the ‘80s.

So the road became his home. He sent paychecks back to Mississippi. He lived on coffee.

“I’m a good driver. I’m aware of my surroundings. I work hard. That’s my secret.

“Ain’t never had a preventable crash. I been married for 48 years. I should be retired right now. All my friends are done with driving. But I’m still going. What else am I gonna do?”

I ask which truck in the parking lot is his. Because, deep in my heart, I am a little boy who likes big machines that go vroom.

He spins his stool. He points out the window. Red. Peterbilt. Tall exhaust pipes. Chrome fuel tanks. Four hundred horses.

“I seen the whole United States,” he says. “Front to back. Side to side. Up and down. Parts of Canada even.”

By now, our waitress is eavesdropping on our conversation. She is invested in Robert’s story. She asks what his favorite part of the country is.

He frowns. Takes a sip. Squints into the middle distance as though trying to see the past.

“Probably right here.”

“Here?” the waitress ays. “Mississippi?”

“Best place in the world.”

Then he tells another story.

“I was out West when my mom died. Wanted to be home so bad. Real homesick. But you can’t just leave your job and fly home.

“When they told me my mom wasn’t going to make it, I called and told her I was sorry. I was crying and everything.

“She got on the phone with me, and you know what she told me? She says, ‘Robert, don’t be sorry about nothing. You earn money for my grandbaby girl. You treat her good, you hear me?”

The waitress brings his food. He douses his waffle in a prodigious waterfall of maple goo. He starts cutting into it.

The waitress asks about his daughter. The old highwayman perks up at the mention of her. His deep set eyes become bright.

“She’s my pride and joy,” he says with a mouthful.

“Last summer, my daughter decided she wanted to come with me on a trip out West. She says she wants to see what I do. So I says, ‘Hey, only one way to find out, baby.’”

She went with him all the way to San Francisco. She slept in the sleeper cab. He spent long nights behind a wheel.

When they got to Frisco, he put her up in a nice hotel. He took her out for fancy dinners in expensive restaurants. He spoiled her. They saw the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz. You name it.

He removes a mobile phone and starts showing pictures to the waitress.

“That’s my baby girl,” he says. “I’d do anything for her. Anything.”

The waitress leans in to look at the photos.

“She’s pretty,” the waitress remarks.

He agrees.

“When we got back home from San Francisco,” he says, “we crossed back into Mississippi, and my daughter was hungry. So we stopped for lunch.

“You know what she did? She walks into the restaurant, sits down, ain’t been home five minutes, and she tells the waitress she’s glad to be back in Mississippi, and she wants a big bowl of grits and butter.”

He starts laughing. Before he finishes his laughter, the waitress has already placed a hot bowl of grits before him. And butter. She tells him it’s on the house.

The old man acts surprised. “What’s this for?” he says.

“For being a good dad,” she says.


  1. Deborah Blount - August 17, 2022 6:28 am

    Now that’s a wonderful feel good story. I hope he enjoyed that bowl of grits as much as I did his story. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Ed (Bear) - August 17, 2022 7:32 am

    Thank you Sean! You help open my eyes to receive more good every day! Your books are great reads too. I so love your spirit lifting wonderful southern fried words!

    I want to share my https://www.eds-art.net/writings/#foundation with you and your comments readers. I know that MANY already know this. You have an excellent readership group of folks. And it’s clear and obvious that you, Sean, know this too!

    When we love, we thrive.

    Please forgive my intrusive website link sharings. I will stop doing that now. Foundation will be my last intrusion.

    Thank you for allowing other’s links in your blog. You’re a good man.

    • Terry Lynne Michaud - August 17, 2022 11:50 am

      Thanks for another great story, Sean, and thanks to Ed (Bear) for including the link to his website on his comment, and, Bear, please include it on your comments so I can just click on it after I read Sean’s good words for the day. (Had to go hunt for it last time I wanted to visit your website…)

      • Ed (Bear) - August 17, 2022 4:24 pm

        Hi Terry, Thanks for your thanks! Sorry you had to hunt for my website, but my name “Ed (Bear)” shown on my comments in bold type, is a link to my website too. Just click on my name with a mouse or touch it with your tablet or smart phone and it will link you to my main webpage.

    • Cathy M - August 17, 2022 2:18 pm

      I always enjoy your comments, Ed👏

      • Ed (Bear) - August 17, 2022 4:27 pm

        Thank you Cathy! I enjoy hearing that!

  3. Melissa - August 17, 2022 9:07 am

    Thank you for writing a story celebrating our American Fathers who are so forgotten and pushed aside by “us” women libbers and main stream media. We have decided that fathers are only necessary to get a baby in the oven and then push the man out of the house so the government can help to raise the child. What a mess we have created over the last 62 years or so. I believed that crap until I started listening to a conservative radio talk show host (God rest his soul}) and discovered I was pregnant with my first child (a son). I have had the pleasure of knowing several over-the-road truckers who are a special of man. They are extremely hard working men who believe that they need to provide well for their families are any cost. It is a very lonely life on the road, but, they get up every day and do it for the love of their family. Again, thank you for honoring another wonderful everyday hero in America.

  4. Leigh Amiot - August 17, 2022 9:32 am

    I agree with Robert’s daughter, there’s no place like home.
    It’s all that and a bowl of grits. With butter.

  5. Jim - August 17, 2022 11:42 am

    I like this story and agree with Melissa.

  6. Debbie g - August 17, 2022 12:43 pm

    Thankful for good fathers
    And thanks for sharing Sean
    Love to all

  7. sjhl7 - August 17, 2022 12:44 pm

    What a great way to start my morning! Thank you, Sean!

  8. David Britnell - August 17, 2022 1:15 pm

    God bless you Sean!

  9. Peggy Slaton - August 17, 2022 1:26 pm

    Great story! Raised in Mississippi, but been in Georgia since ‘86. Mississippi still
    has my heart..❤️

  10. Melanie - August 17, 2022 1:36 pm

    God Bless our Truckers! 👍🏻🚚🚛

  11. James D. Todd - August 17, 2022 1:41 pm

    I have known for a long time that you are a gifted writer, but I learned last night that you are also a talented vocalist and guitarist! We loved having you and Jamie in Jackson, TN, and hope you can visit us again

  12. Nora - August 17, 2022 1:56 pm

    What a beautiful story!

  13. Fred Frederick - August 17, 2022 1:59 pm

    There’s no place like home

  14. Suellen - August 17, 2022 2:19 pm

    I worked in the trucking industry for nearly 25 years. First as warranty manager for Peterbilt where I got to argue with truck drivers all day long. They are the salt of the earth. Our last cowboys. I don’t think people realize the sacrifices they make to keep our country moving.

  15. JonDragonfly - August 17, 2022 2:21 pm

    I truly love my sons, but there is something special about Daddys and their Daughters.

  16. Cathy M - August 17, 2022 2:31 pm

    Wonderful story. I was born in Mississippi but moved to Alabama in elementary school. Every summer I went back to Mississippi to visit both sets of grandparents. I guess my heart will always be there. This man’s love for his daughter touches my heart. I had a dad like that and his love has shaped my life . He died at 49 and when I think of heaven I know he will be waiting with open arms. Wouldn’t it be great if Sean’s followers could meet and visit? Sean would be our guest of honor, of course! Waffle House would be the perfect spot but it’s just not big enough❤️

  17. Glynn Jackson - August 17, 2022 2:45 pm

    Well-done, Sean. You succeeded in revealing a little about long-haul Truck drivers in only 2 or 3 minutes. A point to be considered by readers is that drivers such as the one pictured here and myself (who began in ’79) are different than “modern” drivers; not better, just different. The Mississippian in your story is a living dinosaur, and that is why he is so interesting. Keep sharing your talents.

  18. Charles Clendennen - August 17, 2022 2:48 pm

    Dang it, Sean, you did it again! Now I want to drive to see my baby girl….and eat some grits & butter

  19. Patricia Gibson - August 17, 2022 2:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful story! I am from Mississippi and I agree❤️

  20. Oliver Rhett Talbert - August 17, 2022 3:03 pm

    I’ve done a lot in my 71+ years, had a good life, plenty of accomplishments and recognition for stuff. But I hope more than anything that I was a good Dad – best job I ever had. Being a grandpa is more fun sometimes, but it ain’t bein’ a Dad. It’s the vacation you earn for doing that.

  21. Suzanne - August 17, 2022 3:06 pm

    Beautiful story Sean. Thank you once again for showing people as they should be and mostly are. Good.

  22. Peggy M. Windham - August 17, 2022 3:57 pm

    Great story! Thrilled the heart of this Mississippi Girl! I love that state and my hometown of Columbia,Ms. I do love Alabama as well! It’s been my home now for 37 years! So glad to hear you and Jamie are Alabamians now! Roll Tide!🐘❤️

  23. LIN ARNOLD - August 17, 2022 4:43 pm

    I would like to invite you to come visit Gainesville, GA, in North Georgia, in the hills of the Appalachians, on the shores of Lake Lanier. We have such a wide diversity of people, from the multi-million dollar homes on the lake to the single wides in Little Mexico where 2 or 3 Hispanic families live as they work in the chicken plants. They call us the Chicken Capital of the World. Our biggest claim to fame is that we hosted the rowing events during the 1996 Olympics.
    We have eating establishments just as widely varied, from the Mom & Pop holes-in-the-wall, to some pretty good deli’s, to barbeque places, great steak places and even really good restaurants that serve the gamut from great burgers (not fast food) to Mom’s home cooking to seafood (with oysters on the half shell at Yellowfin).
    During the summers, there are free monthly concerts on the square on the 1st Friday evenings of each month.
    During the fall, there are art & crafts fairs all over the place.
    And, of course, with schools just getting under way, there’s always the Friday night football games.
    Plus, the UGA Bulldogs are just down the road.
    Come visit. I’d love to read about your experience here.
    “It ain’t much, but it’s home.”

  24. H. J. Patterson - August 17, 2022 4:58 pm

    On a pheasant hunt in Iowa, we had breakfast in a diner. I asked the guy who took my order that I’d like some grits with cheese. He said “man you know we don’t have that up here”. And I replied, well you grow them right across the street and they’re really good when you put some shrimp in them. They’re just missing out.

  25. Brenda Edson - August 17, 2022 6:35 pm


  26. Eva - August 17, 2022 7:42 pm

    Great article!!! Most all dads from MS are great!
    Mississippi gal myself. Transplanted Texan now. However, still yell Hotty Toddy at Ole Miss games.

  27. Linda Moon - August 17, 2022 9:41 pm

    God bless and kiss ’em too!

  28. Teresa Harrison - August 17, 2022 11:00 pm

    Love it!! So Southern!!

  29. MAM - August 17, 2022 11:07 pm

    Sweet for the waitress to honor him for being a good dad. Fathers aren’t appreciated enough. I still miss mine and he’s been gone for 51 years. Yes, I’m old!

  30. patriciasimmonstaylor - August 17, 2022 11:40 pm

    What a wonderful story of love and devotion! My Dad was born in Mississippi so it has always been special to me. I was born in Alabama and have lived here for most of my life, but lived in California as a child for a short period of time and in Minnesota for almost a year. I love the South, I love Waffle House, and loved this story…I had a good Dad too…I was blessed to have two good parents…thanks Sean for sharing your heartfelt and true stories!

  31. pattymack43 - August 18, 2022 1:18 am


  32. Slimpicker - August 18, 2022 2:29 am

    Reminds me of a great song by Alabama titles, ” Roll on”.

  33. Brant Riley - August 18, 2022 3:01 am

    This is a good one Sean! Love it!

  34. Harmon - August 18, 2022 9:05 am

    Sure appreciate how you bring me back to earth
    Old Man

  35. Steve Winfield (lifer) - August 18, 2022 9:15 pm

    Dad hauled gas for Standard Oil / Chevron for 39 years accident free. He was the second driver in the companies history to pass 35 years without a wreck. They offered him a 2 week trip to anywhere in the world. He declined & said he’d take a dinner at The Bright Star. Chevron threw him an unbelievable shindig there with a 2 carat diamond ring & several other great gifts. He was overjoyed.

  36. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 21, 2022 1:06 pm


  37. Danny Floyd - August 23, 2022 2:13 pm

    Sean! I am just loving your stories! They remind me a little it of Lewis Grizzard!
    A radio talk show host named Ludlow Porch told similar stories too. Lewis and Ludlow were step brothers and authors of books too.
    People would call Ludlow’s show and ask “how do I write a book”?
    Ludlow would reply “Don’t! Unless you have to”.
    I am glad you “have to” write and I get to read!

  38. Joan C Mitchell - August 24, 2022 11:24 pm

    You make the most amazing connections with people, and share their wonderful stories with us. Thank you! You have such a gift.


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