The Columnist

I’ll never forget it. I was a boy. An old man visited our house. He was a friend of our family, though I don’t remember how.

“I knew your daddy before he died,” the man told me.

I can hardly remember that man. All I can remember are the colorful socks he wore. They were bright-colored, with pictures of dogs on them.

Before he left, he handed me a book. It was a hardback, entitled: “Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You: A Good Beer Joint is Hard to Find, and Other Facts of Life.”

I read the first page. The words sort of jumped off the page and made me smile.

It’s funny what a few words can do to a boy.

I read the book of humor columns in one sitting. Then, I read it again. The next week, I went to the library and found every book the columnist ever wrote.

I’ve loved him ever since.

After my father’s death, we lived in Atlanta, briefly, in the upstairs bedroom of my uncle’s house. In the mornings, I would trot to the end of the driveway to retrieve the newspaper before Fifi the Terrorist Pomeranian made her morning rounds.

Often, I would unfold the paper and read my favorite columnist, there in the driveway. Then, I would use scissors to cut out the column for a keepsake.

In the evenings, when my uncle would shake open his paper after a long day at the office, there would be a large hole on page A4. And he would cuss.

I loved everything the columnist wrote, and I read almost every one of his words.

When he wrote about his father, I cried. When he wrote about his dog, I laughed. When he wrote about traveling backroads, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

But time intervened, like it often does.

Mine was a hard childhood, I won’t go into details. Life sort of keeps going. I became a blue-collar. I never went to high school. And I had a haircut that looked like my uncle Merel had trimmed my hair with a dull pocketknife in the back of a moving livestock trailer.

But I had a friend, and he made life bearable—as long as I could find him in print.

Of course, nobody lives forever. The beloved columnist died of complications during heart surgery. I mourned him.

All of a sudden, the newspapers felt empty without his words. And so did I. I know it sounds dramatic, but when you fall in love with someone’s words, it’s real.

After his death, I tried my hand at writing. At first I wrote 250-word columns on a Lettera typewriter my mother gave me, or on a legal pad. It was only for my own enjoyment.

The writing led nowhere, I was not very educated, and I had no experience with the written word.

Even so, I enjoyed writing because when my fingers moved on a keyboard, it made me feel like I was no longer the lovable loser with a prison-camp haircut, but a budding writer. And somehow, the written word took over my life.

Years later, I met a middle-aged man at church. Service was over, I was heading out the door. I was late for work.

His name was Michael. He followed me to my truck to pay me a compliment.

“Hey,” he said. “I read some of your writing, and I liked it!”

He actually liked it?

The man went on to say that he had lived and worked in Atlanta as an artist for many years. My ears perked up.

Whenever I hear the word “Atlanta” I think of two things. The lovable, yet misunderstood Braves; and my favorite columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The man smiled at the mention of the columnist’s name. He told me he had been friends with the late author.

I lost it. I probably made a fool of myself.

“You knew him?” I shouted.

Thus, it was on a clear summer day, in a parking lot located in the heart of Walton County, Michael indulged me.

He told tales I would’ve never heard otherwise. Tales about frequenting taverns with a hero, working with him, laughing with him, and about the last telephone exchange they had.

Our chat only lasted ten minutes, but it was one of the most meaningful conversations of my entire life.

That day in the parking lot, he shook my hand, and that’s when I noticed this man was wearing multi-colored socks.

He left me with the words: “Keep writing, Sean, I think you woulda made him proud.”

He’ll probably read this next sentence, so I hope he knows I mean it with all my heart: his words meant everything to me.

That day, I changed my plans. I called in sick from work. I went home and I started writing something a lot like this. And since that day, I haven’t found a good reason to stop.

It’s funny what a few words can do to a boy.

I will always love you, Lewis Grizzard.


  1. Sandi in FL. - February 24, 2019 6:40 am

    Lewis Grizzard was one of a kind, and so are you, Sean Dietrich. Never stop writing!

    • Jane Carf - February 25, 2019 2:31 am

      We all still miss Louis Grizzard! Glad to know he inspired you! Keep writing, Sean!

    • Libby McPherson - September 25, 2021 3:40 am

      Oh Sean God broke the mold when he made Lewis Grizzled! Quite a person to aspire to be “when you grow up”! Yep I think that you are very similar to your hero!

  2. Ellen Spiceland - February 24, 2019 6:45 am

    He was only 42, and in his short lifetime, he changed your life and mine. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what he would have written…about Presidential affairs, Atlanta mayoral shenanigans, National Championship football games, and oh yes – the Kardashians. I miss you, too, Lewis. Every single morning I miss our time together. And to Waymon C. Wanamaker wherever you are, I miss you, too. Thanks, Sean, for loving Lewis as I did.

  3. Anne Trawick - February 24, 2019 6:58 am

    I too cut my teeth on Kathy Sue Loudermilk. I too loved Lewis Grizzard and grieved when he died. You remind me of him. That may be part of the reason why I love you too.

    • Judy Broussard - February 24, 2019 6:27 pm

      I loved Lewis too. You remind me of him. Y’all have somewhat different styles of writing, yet they bring the same feelings to mind. Of course, I love you too.

  4. rantsandravescom - February 24, 2019 7:08 am

    I loved Lewis Grizzard’s writing. I started with “Elvis I’d dead and I don’t Feel So Good Myself “. That’s why when I found your column, I began to read your words. I think Lewis would be proud to have inspired you. And I know the man with the multiple colored socks is too. Keep writing. Your words mean a lot to many of us.
    Estelle S Davis

    • rantsandravescom - February 24, 2019 7:12 am

      Sometimes I hate autocorrect. It should be: “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good myself”.

  5. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - February 24, 2019 7:18 am

    You fill the void that Lewis Grizzard left when he died. I loved him too. I’m glad you got inspiration from him.

  6. Trey Gregory - February 24, 2019 7:19 am

    Ditto, re: Lewis Grizzard, and Catfish. I actually met a grand-niece of his at a neighborhood block party a few years back, a young lady my kids’ age, who carried the Grizzard name. When I went a little goofy about how much I loved his writing, she just said “Yeah, I get that a lot!” Of course you do…

  7. Janet Williams - February 24, 2019 7:52 am

    Me, too, Sean. Me, too! Your writing often reminds me of him.

  8. Brenda - February 24, 2019 9:23 am

    Sean, hope you found someone with small feet to wear the dog socks I gave you in Boaz. Hope to see you again .

  9. hoshbarber - February 24, 2019 9:37 am

    I, too, loved Lewis Grizzard! Only saw him speak once at UNA in Florence, AL. He could be deadly serious one minute and have you rolling with laughter the next. I have most of his books and will occasionally get one out and read it again. I felt I had lost a friend when he passed.

    So when I read your column for the first time I knew we had us another Lewis in the making. Love your work. Be blessed!

  10. Christopher Spencer - February 24, 2019 9:49 am

    I too love Lewis Grizzard and back in the day when he was still with us I had every book he had written ,in paperback. A few years after he died some evil spirit overcame me and I gave all the books away to a local library so more people could enjoy the.

    I went several more years without a one of his books in my home. But last year I restored my collection through Amazon. And as received them a few at a time in the mail I reread them all and fell in love with him again all over.
    I even discovered a book he was co-author of about the year his beloved Georgia Bulldogs won the National Championship of college football.

    And when I first discovered your writing Sean, you reminded me a lot if him and you still do. I just pray that God keeps you with us and writing for us for many years to come.

    Lewis’ book about his daddy, the horrors of the wars he barely survived and his battle with demons and booze was I feel the best book he ever wrote. He could have you crying one minute, laughing the next, then angry and finally happy.

    Keep writing my friend. It is your calling. And watch out in the garden, you know them taters got eyes.

    Christopher Spencer

  11. Carolyn A - February 24, 2019 10:45 am

    Sean, now you know how your readers feel about you‼️ ❤️

  12. Cathi - February 24, 2019 11:16 am

    I had the immense pleasure of working with him a few times and Lewis was as you’d expect: larger than life and a funny, funny man. I loved him too and I truly think he’d love you as well.

  13. meredith - February 24, 2019 11:20 am

    Keep writing Sean, I’m hooked on your posts like you were on Grizzard. Each morning I sit in the quiet darkness of my family room, drinking hot coffee next to a fire and laugh at your colorful columns. Please keep them coming. They are my morning head start!
    Sincerely Meredith from IG

  14. Jean - February 24, 2019 11:36 am

    Me too Sean! Loved everything he wrote.I could not believe he left us so soon and the world will never be the same without Lewis Grizzard. Keep are a wonderful writer and story teller and I love you and your writings!

  15. Sheila Turner Bodine - February 24, 2019 12:15 pm

    I think you are a cross between Lewis Grizzard and Rick Bragg. Yet you have your own unique ways to reach your reader. Keep going! You are the first thing I reach for every morning to give my soul inspiration.

  16. Naomi - February 24, 2019 12:16 pm

    I read everything Lewis Grizzard wrote. Add to that Celestine Sibley who wrote for the AJC.

  17. L. Walton - February 24, 2019 12:16 pm

    Loved Lewis Grizzard – A southerner by the grace of God!!!! Keep on, keep’n on!! A wonderful tribute to Lewis Grizzard. You would make him proud.

  18. jill - February 24, 2019 12:24 pm

    And it’s funny what a few words can do to a middle aged woman holding her first cup of coffee as she debates going to church or not. To read Sean with the final mention of Lewis Grizzard which provoked yet another smile. Love this story.

  19. Nancy Rogers - February 24, 2019 12:27 pm

    I think all of us who live in the south (or those with any sense anyway!) love Kathy Sue Loudermilk and Lewis Grizzard. Now we love you too Sean.

  20. Gary - February 24, 2019 12:45 pm

    I loved all the old time columnists from the AJC. The Atlanta paper ain’t what it used to be. Thank God we have Sean of the South to continue the good Southern humor.

  21. Jan - February 24, 2019 12:46 pm

    Count me as another Lewis Grizzard fan. It was a sad day when we lost him. I am so thankful that you have found your place in life and that you share your wisdom about life, love, dogs and people with us!

  22. Dawn Byrd - February 24, 2019 12:54 pm

    I will always love Lewis Grizzard, too, and yours are the only other columns I’ve ever read as devotedly and with as much pleasure. Thank you, Sean Dietrich!!!

  23. Geri C Worley - February 24, 2019 12:55 pm

    Me too, Sean. Me too!

  24. Louise Ferguson - February 24, 2019 1:09 pm

    I love Lewis Grizzard too and miss him. He was funny,Foxworth is not. You are the first columnist to take Lewis’place. I read you everyday. Thank you so much!

  25. Clara Martin - February 24, 2019 1:20 pm

    Like so many greats, Lewis left us far too soon. It is nice to have great memories of him, his work, and others like you to help us enjoy stories about the everyday lives we lead! Thank you for your columns and keep up the good stories!

  26. Johnny - February 24, 2019 1:25 pm

    I have all of Lewis Grizzard’s books and have read them several times over the years. I keep one on my nightstand to read a story out of when I finish or lose interest in the book I’m reading. He’s one of a very few writers who ever made me laugh until it hurt. His titles alone could make me laugh.

    “If Love Were Oil I’d Be a Quart Low”

  27. Rhonda - February 24, 2019 1:30 pm

    Good morning Mr. D,
    Here I am reading the words that have become as important to me as my morning coffee. I too was among Mr. Grizzards admirers. Books were never important in my house but I married into a family of teachers and avid readers. My in-laws introduced my to many writers but southern writers were the favorites. I inherited shelves of books by Fanny Flag, Celestine Sibley, Bailey White and Rick Bragg. When I open them and smell deep into the center binding I can still smell the house where they resided for so long. The pages are thick with memories. Memories that inspired the story and memories that they bring home to my mind.

    I will be adding the work of a certain Sean of the South to this collection to be passed on to grandchildren. They hold their own among stories of Kathy Sue and Ava. They will be time travelers that will carry lessons and legacies forward ensuring that “ole times there are not forgotten”. Preserved in my house in pen and ink where delete and power outages are of no concern.

  28. Jones - February 24, 2019 1:31 pm

    ????. ?

  29. Joyce Mullikin - February 24, 2019 1:36 pm

    Someday a young boy may write this same article about you. ❤️❤️❤️

  30. Anne Green - February 24, 2019 1:39 pm

    I’ve often said that you are like Lewis Grizzard but more in touch with your feminine side.

  31. Neil Joiner - February 24, 2019 1:48 pm

    Lewis could not have said that any better.

  32. Jeanie - February 24, 2019 1:48 pm

    I wasn’t surprised at the end when you named Lewis as your hero. He was the best and a favorite at our house also but Sean I so look forward to reading your writing also. You make my day as my first cup of coffee is shared with Sean of the South posting for the day. Keep up the wonderful words. You make a senior citizen smile each day. God Bless you. and thanks for each of my early morning smiles.

  33. MaryJane Breaux - February 24, 2019 1:48 pm

    Ah, Lewis Grizzard the very mention of his name brings back memories of visits to my Uncle Bob’s house in Abilene. All the cousins in our pj’s huddled around the HiFi hanging on every delightful word from his mouth. My childhood favorite phrase of his was haints and buggars…what a wonderful humorist and writer. You keep that tradition alive. ❤️

  34. Cindy Spraggins - February 24, 2019 1:52 pm

    Best one you’ve written yet. Well, and the one about your sweet dog.

  35. Gordon - February 24, 2019 1:57 pm

    When you mentioned the Atlanta Constitution-I knew exactly who you were speaking of-Lewis Grizzard. I, too loved his writings; his humor; his truthfulness. I even visited his grave site and the small museum to his memory in Moreland, Georgia. What an honor!! I think one of the reasons I have been drawn to your writings is because you compose your words just as Lewis composed his-from his personal experience and from his heart. I love you, Sean.

  36. Martha Gwen Sibert - February 24, 2019 1:58 pm

    My first Grizzard book was “Don’t Sit Under the Grits Tree With Anyone Else But Me”…, but all were wonderful! I have all of them in hardback, think I’ll reread them for about the fourth time!! Love your columns and I have your books, too.

  37. Joan Busby - February 24, 2019 2:13 pm

    Thanks for reminding me how laugh out loud great Lewis was. Reading your column every morning starts my day with a smile. Reading the comments today was a treat to reminisce with others who loved and miss the joyful mind of Lewis Grizzard.

  38. Bobby - February 24, 2019 2:17 pm

    When I was a college student at Bama back in early 70s, my aunt who lived in Newnan, Ga began cutting out Lewis’s articles from the AJC and sending them to me, knowing that I would like his writings. She was spot on! Fast forward to my extensive and treasured Lewis Grizzard library. The first time I read one of your columns I had instant flashback and thought that Lewis had been reincarnated! Thank you Jesus! ? I’m now building my Sean of the South library, to be positioned adjacent to that of Lewis of còurse.

  39. Paul E Click - February 24, 2019 2:23 pm

    As my colleague, Baxter Black, DVM, wrote years ago, “Words! Like a single match in a sea of gasoline!” I reflect on that line daily!
    Paul E Clivk, DVM
    Cullman, Al

  40. kathy burgess - February 24, 2019 2:29 pm

    My world also grew a little bit darker the day Lewis Grizzard passed

  41. Donald - February 24, 2019 3:03 pm

    Loved Lewis Grizzard, great writer!!!!

  42. Edna B. - February 24, 2019 3:05 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how a few words can bring so much happiness to folks. I just bought me two more of your books. Sean you have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  43. Jamie Byers - February 24, 2019 3:07 pm

    Lewis Grizzard is one of the greatest!!! Sean, so are you! Keep writing. Keep sharing! We love you!

  44. Alice - February 24, 2019 3:08 pm

    Dear Sean the way you felt about reading Lewis Grizzard writings is the way I feel when I read your writings!i love everything you write it’s like having a conversation with an old friend God Bless you I ❤️You

  45. Clay Hildebrand - February 24, 2019 3:16 pm

    If you find yourself speaking near Newnan, GA you will also enjoy the Lewis Grizzard Special lunch at (world famous) Sprayberry’s BBQ, see he is alma mater Newnan High, the Times Herald (his first writing job), and one of his three gravesites (not sure if you knew the details of the three places). The one in Moreland is near where his mother taught for years and he grew up.

    I found his books in the ship’s library of the USS Harlan County while serving in the Marines (someone had donated them and they brought me great comfort).

    Agree with all others; similar styles and equally necessary for me to properly start my day!

  46. Bob Hughes - February 24, 2019 3:18 pm

    Loved this column and loved Grizzard. Another former AJC writer that is true Southern and a fantastic read is Rheta Grimsley Johnson. Try her writing and enjoy.
    Charles Brown
    Brierfield, AL

  47. Susan Hill - February 24, 2019 3:30 pm

    My husband and I eagerly awaited each new book and had many of them signed by him. I still have our collection.

  48. Debbie Britt - February 24, 2019 3:30 pm

    Loved this column as usual! We always loved Lewis Grizzard too! “ don’t bend over in the garden, Granny… you know them taters have eyes”!❤️

  49. Amy Mack - February 24, 2019 3:57 pm

    I loved Lewis Grizzard and from a tiny, dusty, forgotten town in the panhandle of Texas I read his column every day. I loved the tales of Catfish. My heart was broken when I heard of his death. I feel ya Sean. I agree, he would have been proud. ❤️

  50. Carol - February 24, 2019 3:57 pm

    I’ve always said you write and remind me of Lewis Grizzard!! We all loved him. There is another you would love too. RICK BRAGG ! But your my favorite, you make me see all the pictures you write on your pages!!
    Love ya!

  51. KK - February 24, 2019 4:05 pm

    I think you have some of Lewis in you. Love, love your “Words”. Please keep on writing them. My son, who is in the military, loves reading your “Words” also!!! Keep it real! Love & Hugs from an old grandmother.

  52. Janie F. - February 24, 2019 4:44 pm

    Wonderful story!!!

  53. Mary. Rice - February 24, 2019 5:01 pm

    Sean: I always enjoyed Lewis Grizzard’s writing but I enjoy yours more because you are a good man who loves his wife, and just as important loves his dogs. You don’t seem to be much of a drinker and you believe in God. Lewis’ way of life does not take away from his talent but your way of life adds so much to yours. I’ve been a fan of yours since I read your first column.

  54. Penn Wells - February 24, 2019 6:07 pm

    I’ve golfed in five different countries and told people in all of them about Lewis and his boyhood friend and idol Dorsey Hill sitting in Sanford Stadium watching the Dawgs and the the War Eagles and…UGA, of course… in front of 96,000 people and a national television audience…”That dog would bite you!”

  55. David Link - February 24, 2019 7:42 pm

    I read all of Lewis Grizzard ‘ s books. I am a big fan. I would rather read your writing. More heart. More purpose.

  56. Lynn Pappas - February 24, 2019 8:04 pm

    I also loved Lewis Grizzard. There was a picture on the editorial page of Catfish at the pearly gates welcoming Lewis. I will never forget how wonderful that made me feel!!

  57. Dianne - February 24, 2019 8:33 pm

    I also loved Lewis Grizzard and his columns and books. I always looked forward each day to his column in the AJC. When I first saw your columns, I told a friend of mine that your writing reminded me of Lewis Grizzard. Now, I look forward to reading your column every day, which like Lewis’s columns/books, is always so refreshing, so downhome warm and entertaining. Thank you, Sean.

  58. mfontaine2017 - February 24, 2019 8:41 pm

    The day Lewis Grizzard died is when the newspaper biddness started it’s demise.

  59. Sue Cronkite - February 24, 2019 8:46 pm

    Lewis Grizzard was a national treasure. And so are you.

  60. Larry English - February 24, 2019 9:16 pm

    In the SF Bay Area – for me, it was never Herb Caen as politically connected gossip columnist, but Jon Carroll as gentle but deep observer of human behavior. Fortunately, Jon is still with us, though no longer columnizing.

  61. GEORGE FISHER - February 24, 2019 9:36 pm

    Roosevelt died, MacArthur got fired , and the world kept turning. When Lewis died, It was a dagger in the hearts of Southerners, and as far as I’m concerned the decay of Western Civilization. What you have done, Sean is to cleaned the window to our collective Southern soul. You scratch us where we itch—the torch has been passed so run with it.

  62. Chris Dendy - February 24, 2019 9:37 pm

    I also loved Lewis Grizzard and have all his books…lots of laughter and smiles from his books…and like you I mourned his loss.

  63. Anne Weber - February 24, 2019 9:37 pm

    I will as well, Sean. Love your writing also!

  64. Lynne - February 24, 2019 10:46 pm

    Loved Lewis, but I really love you and your sweet, kind heart. You are special!

  65. Jacque - February 24, 2019 11:46 pm

    I knew immediately who you were going to say. Who did not love Lewis Grizzard? He was one of a kind.

  66. Sharon - February 25, 2019 12:34 am

    Loved, loved, loved Lewis Grizzard! He was a great American and a wonderful author/comedian! Your writing definitely reminds me of him. Keep up the good work!

  67. Kim Kilgore - February 25, 2019 12:41 am

    I knew there had to be a connection….I see so much of him in you.

  68. Margie Sorrells - February 25, 2019 1:36 am

    From the first time I read something that you had written, I’ve said that you remind me so much of Lewis Grizzard. Now I know why! I really enjoy your writing! Thanks!

  69. Ella Herlihy - February 25, 2019 1:56 am

    I have been reading you for several months now and always felt you were a mix between Lewis Grizzard and Pat Conroy – with a special gift of noticing people. I am glad to know Lewis was one of your influences.

  70. Gaynell Lumsden - February 25, 2019 2:10 am

    I LOVE IT! Sean – you are the BEST.

  71. Jack Darnell - February 25, 2019 2:11 am

    Well after all, His daddy was a Pistol!
    Good one, I enjoyed the read (again).
    Sherry & jack

  72. Dell - February 25, 2019 2:12 am

    I loved Lewis and he is well missed. Write on!

  73. walnutrun - February 25, 2019 2:30 am

    i knew there was a reason I liked you. Keep writing.

  74. Alice Stagg - February 25, 2019 2:36 am

    Lewis Grizzard was my favorite columnist and observer of the human condition also. I still miss him, and reread his books often. I agree that you are making him proud. Keep it up. The world needs more of what you offer. As an aside, I was disappointed to learn that the Grizzard Museum in Moreland, GA has been closed and there doesn’t seem to be any place where his memorabilia is displayed. I wonder who has all of the things that used to be in the museum?

  75. Harriett Kirby - February 25, 2019 4:39 am

    Somehow I always knew you liked Lewis Grizzard. He was a great communicator, but so are you!!! Read your writing every day either on FB, online or email. Thank you for picking up the torch!!

  76. Jan Laney - February 25, 2019 5:20 am

    I just discovered your writing a few months ago, have enjoyed everything I’ve read so far. I look forward to my email every day. I have always thought you reminded me of Lewis Grizzard! Glad to know you loved him too.

  77. Allen Berry - February 25, 2019 6:10 am

    I loved Lewis. My whole family did. Dad met him once when he was in school in Atlanta, and he got him to sign a copy of “Shoot Low, Boys! They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies!” for my Granny. When I first started reading you, I thought of Lewis Grizzard. You’re a fine successor to the great man. Not the same, you’re your own man, with your own unique approach to your work, but a strong, distinctly Southern voice like him.

    God bless.


  78. Annl - February 25, 2019 7:13 am

    I loved Lewis Grizzard, also and now I know why your writing has always reminded me.of him. You both write.from your heart…His dogs name was Catfish. Keep on entertaining

  79. Karen - February 25, 2019 11:38 am

    When Lewis Grizzard died, it was like losing a dear friend. You have endeared your readers in that same way. Thank you.

  80. Gary Beasley - February 25, 2019 1:21 pm

    I am a 74 year old man raised in Century. Florida….I love you and your writings….your stories make me smile and feel good. You will not remember, but we high fived at Camp Beckwith at the fishfry after your talk…from the Heart, from the Bayou….on Bon Secour.?

  81. Joyce Murray - February 25, 2019 2:30 pm

    Sean, I love reading your columns. They remind me so much of Lewis Grizzard. My late mother-in-law and I always read his columns and every book that he wrote. I even took her to see him at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia and we had the greatest time. Now, my sister-in-law are hoping to see you also. Keep up the great work. You always make my day with your columns!

  82. Toni - February 25, 2019 3:33 pm

    Lewis would be proud! We all miss him.

  83. askguy - February 25, 2019 3:42 pm

    I miss Lewis as well, and all the humor the paper used to bring. I get the ATL Jrl/Const everyday and miss his level of writing. Your’s rivals it Sean. How do you get published there and elsewhere? World needs more reflection with a smile.

  84. _emmbeedee_ - February 25, 2019 4:45 pm

    I loved Lewis Grizzard and have several of his books. I cried when Catfish passed away and when Lewis did as well. I also loved him as Julia and Suzanne’s half-brother on Designing Women.

    I love your writing too! It reminds me a lot of his.

  85. Shelton A. - February 25, 2019 6:08 pm

    We got Lewis Grizzard in the Charlotte newspaper and you couldn’t help but love his writings. You are more like him than you realize. Your story about dogs still makes me laugh. Your writing never fails to touch me in some way…there’s not a lot of writers of columns who I can say that about. Your dad would be so proud that you reach so many people right where they live. God bless you and yours.

  86. Ala Red Clay Girl - February 25, 2019 7:11 pm

    When Lewis Grizzard died, I felt like “they tore out my heart & stomped that sucker flat”. I didn’t think anyone could ever take his place in my literary heart. Then low and behold, a Sean of the South appeared one day, and I realized that God had had mercy on those of us still in withdrawal. All is well in my literary heart again!

  87. Tim House - February 25, 2019 7:14 pm

    I loved reading Lewis Grizzard’s works, too. I hear ya…

  88. Jo Brooks - February 25, 2019 9:12 pm

    I loved Grizzard’s books and columns. I have read them to myself, laughed out loud, and read aloud them to school kids. He is sorely missed.

  89. Patricia Gibson - February 25, 2019 10:40 pm

    I loved him too and you!!

  90. Paula Pace - February 26, 2019 9:03 am

    This column broke my heart because it reminded me of the incomparable Lewis Grizzard. He had the mastery of wordplay and humor that may never be seen again. I have read every word he ever wrote and got the poster of him and Catfish standing at the Pearly gates with his typewriter in his hand that the Atlanta Constitution put out after his death . When my then 5 year old was hospitalized for a tonsillectomy and I was going to spend the night in his room, I carried “Elvis is Dead and I don’t feel so good myself ” to read while I sat up with him. It was the middle of the night and the hospital was very quiet so when I burst out laughing out loud, the nurses station sent someone to the room to see what was going on . I ended up promising them I’d let them borrow it.
    I’m glad to have found someone who shares my appreciation for his wit.

    PS: I thoroughly enjoy your columns.

  91. Cathy S Davis - February 26, 2019 2:03 pm

    I have every book Lewis Grizzard wrote and he was as wonderful as you say he was. I also had some cassettes of his. Now I am collecting your books. From the first day I read your words, you have reminded me of him. And that, my friend, is high praise. Thank you for your columns and for bringing Lewis Grizzard back to the front of our minds and hearts. Don’t ever stop!

  92. Bruce Stover - February 26, 2019 7:15 pm

    I met this awesome man one snowy Alabama night back in 1984. He signed my copy of his then latest book, and called me Bubba. I miss his words too, but you have become just as fun to read!

  93. Psm - February 26, 2019 7:31 pm

    Me too!

  94. Bill Henderson - February 27, 2019 9:30 am

    I simply say “thank you” for this one!

  95. Braxton Usher - February 27, 2019 2:50 pm

    Have to agree with you. Always loved Lewis Grizzard, and to put it Southern Style, You ain’t half bad yourself. keep it comin’.

  96. Carolyn Nicholson - February 28, 2019 10:26 pm

    Lewis Grizzard was one of my first introductions to Southern writers and the love affair hasn’t ended. Your writing makes me happy in the same way his did. <3

  97. Barbara Mc - March 3, 2019 2:04 pm

    I grieved for our loss when Louis Grizzard died. Years later many of your columns remind me so much of Louis. I was always happy after reading his and now your writing makes me feel the same way.

  98. Genie - March 6, 2019 4:05 pm

    I look forward to your columns every day the same way I looked forward to Lewis’. Great Southern writers are treasures!! I Love your humor!

  99. Linda Ireland - March 8, 2019 12:29 am

    He was – and still is – one of my favorites.

  100. Kathi harper-hill - March 15, 2019 6:16 pm

    I have a friend who grew up with Lewis. I loved his work, too.

  101. Gale Smith - March 24, 2019 7:18 am

    Sean, you are part Lewis Grizzard; with some Jim Bishop, who had columns in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution even before Lewis did; and a bit of Dave Barry, who wrote a column in the Miami Herald Sunday section called the Tropic. You probably know Dave Barry’s stuff, but if you can get hope of Jim Bishop’ s stuff, do so. I cried almost every time I read one of his columns.
    You have the gift those 3 had, but you are your own sweet self, and a very good and entertaining writer. Most of us who read you are addicted and feel like you are family to us. Qell, you are… are one of us….you are ours.

  102. Gale Smith - March 24, 2019 7:22 am

    Don’t you just absolutely hate spell-check?! I put in something, it corrects me and puts something else, even makes up word (qell). I am not going to proofread stuff, sooooo….

  103. Rick Bialac - March 24, 2019 9:07 am

    I have described you as a reincarnation of Lewis Grizzard. The day he died the radio was reporting the surgery progress. I had flown from Las Vegas to ATL without any sleep and had to drive to Augusta to teach a class the next morning. I fantasized if I was to crash on that trip, it might have intesected my life with his. Imagine how he might have reacted to getting a Jewish Yankee heart from New York.

  104. Mary Ann Massey - March 24, 2019 1:35 pm

    A fabulous way to start my day…..You and Lewis Grizzard….loved him and love YOU!?❤️

  105. Kathryn - March 24, 2019 5:19 pm

    I just knew you had to be a fan of Lewis Grizzard! The beautiful thing about the written word is that it lasts forever!

  106. Mary Ellen Hall - April 11, 2019 11:22 pm

    GREAT ARTICLE SEAN!!! SO MANY I KNOW, also LOVED Lewis Grizzard!!!

  107. Andrea - June 19, 2019 12:05 am

    Sean, I’ve never shared this before but thought you might like to have it. It was written for all of us.

    A Tribute To Lewis Grizzard

    As we say goodbye my dear old friend
    My eyes are filled with tears.
    I’ve laughed with you and cried with you
    For over twenty years.

    I knew your childhood sweetheart;
    Like she were my friend too.
    The day old “Catfish up and died”
    My heart went out to you.

    I’ve understood your angers.
    I’ve shared your fears with you.
    You’ve cheered me up on gloomy days
    And chased away my blues.

    I’ve prayed for God to heal you
    And for your heart to mend
    I couldn’t bear to lose you;
    My hero and my friend.

    Funny thing this friendship;
    You’ve never seen my face.
    We’ve never shared a secret.
    I’ve never seen your place.

    We’ve never met for coffee,
    For dinner or for beers.
    We’ve never seen a ballgame
    Together all these years.

    It never seemed to matter
    That you didn’t know my name.
    Although you never knew me
    I loved you just the same.

    My life will feel your absence.
    My days will miss your cheer;
    My future surely darker
    To know you won’t be here.

    A friend is what you were to me;
    A very special man.
    The name you would have called me?
    A most devoted fan.

    Andrea Peebles
    March 1994

  108. Laura Ann Cannon - September 25, 2021 2:43 am

    While reading above, I wondered, could he possible mean Lewis Grizzard? Then you did! I loved him too and have a couple of his books here in my house.

  109. Karri - September 25, 2021 1:52 pm

    So many times I think one of your pieces is the best I’ll ever read. And then there is this one. My heart.

  110. Fred Richmonf - September 25, 2021 4:04 pm

    How about some of you list the names of 2 or 3 of Lewis’ books that are meaningful to you?


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