My wife, Shawna, had wanted a Yorkie, a 6 or 7-pound bundle of lovable fur. When I brought him home from the soccer field where I’d first met him, to show to her, I thought he was the perfect answer to the little pocket-sized pup she had wanted. Little did I know he was destined to become a rather big-boned Shih-Tzu, fully three times the size of the dog I thought I’d brought home. But, man, we fell in love.

Shawna named him Zuckerbee at a time when Mark Zuckerberg was not yet a household name. Somehow, she knew that…


“A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile. And I knew if I had my chance, that I could make those people dance and maybe they’d be happy for a while.”

My 3-year-old daughter has sizable chunks of Don McClean’s “American Pie” down cold. When she performs it, I cannot help but smile, and my mind slips easily back to an important year from my own childhood.

It was 1971 when McClean released his melodic anthem recalling America’s tectonic cultural shifts. Through eight-and-a-half rambling minutes, McClean wraps his nostalgic lyric around a lively, toe-tapping tune evoking simpler times even as it pays melancholy homage to the day the music died. That day was February 3, 1959, when three of rock-n-roll’s biggest stars met their violent end in a frozen Iowa cornfield…


Mobile to Managua: Rites of Passage

With a cylindrical package of Wet-Ones® in one hand, and a transfer ticket for Orlando in the other, I found myself alone on a worn, wooden bench in the middle of the Greyhound station in Mobile, Alabama. It was 5:30 AM, Saturday, June 14, 1975. I was 13. How my mother let it come to this, I’m not sure I’ll ever completely understand, but I’m so very glad she did.

Life is sometimes defined by moments. The moment you decide to jump from a twenty-foot roof suspended by a giant, homemade hang-glider. The moment you decide to call out the…


Roger Pierce stood a full head taller than any other second-grader at Sunset Elementary. He had wild yellow eyes, the boundless, unpredictable energy of a six-month old Irish Setter, and a predilection for asserting his dominance by pushing other children to the ground. I was the new kid in this school, and he scared the shit out of me. In the two months since I’d arrived, I’d seen his wrath in more ways than I could track. …


The Mortality of Hope and the Cruelty of Musical Chairs

On the eve of my 49th year, I happened upon an obituary, which — though I had not seen nor heard from its subject since I was 18 years old — brought tears to my eyes.

I met Pauline as a fellow freshman on the first day of high school. She was one of a couple hundred students who had attended the small elementary schools scattered across the bean fields of southern Illinois that fed into our local high school district. I had never seen her before. It hadn’t even…

Craig Williams

Husband. Dad. Entrepreneur. Photographer. Political Junkie. Backroads Traveler. Creative Childhood, Education, and Small Business Writer.

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