All posts by Terry Howard

© Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller. He is also a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The American Diversity Report, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Shenandoah Valley Hit, BlackMarket.com, The Echo World, the Appreciate You Magazine, The Valley Trail and co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award.

Hey Nancy, got a sec? – by Terry Howard

Here’s my question to the men who are about to read this piece: 

Based on what you know for sure, or have been fed by the media about her, if you were to find yourself seated next to Nancy Pelosi on a five-hour cross country plane ride and initiated the conversation, what would you talk about, avoid talking about and why?

So how about I give you, say, one minute to absorb and craft your answer to that question. Go ahead. No, wait, on second thought hold off on your answer until the end of this narrative.

Continue reading Hey Nancy, got a sec? – by Terry Howard

The lifelong regret – by Terry Howard

This picture is a replica of the one from a remote spot in a parking lot across from a local Walmart. Until recently, that spot was occupied by a blue pickup truck with watermelons for sale on the back. I’ll get to the story behind that photo momentarily. 

But first, let’s go to Marriam-Webster for a definition of the word “regret,” the crux of this narrative and for my fair-minded readers, something to think long and hard about when reexamining your life.

Regret is a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something said or wrong about a mistake you made and wish you could have done differently or better.”

Aha, “done differently!” 

Continue reading The lifelong regret – by Terry Howard

The Lifelong Regret: Part 2 – Terry Howard

Apparently my recent, “The Lifelong Regret,” touched (and torched?) a few raw nerves. Proof positives are the many lengthy phone conversations on the topic of “regret” that made me cringe at the thought of the size of my next phone bill.  

You see, some conversations were longer than I anticipated since I’m not skillful at effectively hinting, “hey, gotta go.” And others were of the brief “sorry but I don’t want to talk about that stuff,” category. 

Now the common thread in all those recollections were the immediacy of the responses to my query and the length of time transpired that caused those regrets; a few more than five decades ago.
Continue reading The Lifelong Regret: Part 2 – Terry Howard

Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard

I can’t keep up with bad behaviors by men nowadays – not all men before you lapse into cardiac arrest in anger at me – but those dudes who can’t seem to deal with their demons, fears, mental illnesses and hatreds in ways other than through the barrel of an AR-15.

So was it not men who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on 9/11? Was it not the “Alt Right” men who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that led to at least one death and scores of injuries? 

Was it men who murdered nine church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 and who gunned down six Asian women in Atlanta two years ago? Weren’t the gut-wrenching shootings at Texas’s Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School and at the July 4th parade near Chicago committed by men?  Was it a demented man who killed 11 worshipers at a Pittsburg synagogue? And more recently, was men who killed six Muslims in Albuquerque, or a man who plunged a knife into the neck of author Salam Rushdie in New York?
Continue reading Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard

Civil Rights Icon Diane Nash….What else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

Photo: From left, Rev. John Edwards, Jr., Diane Nash, John Edwards, III

When I got the news that President Biden recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to civil rights icon Diane Nash, I called an elated John Edwards, III, publisher of the Chattanooga News Chronicle having recalled a chat I had with him a while ago about his memories of and experiences with Nash.

Said Edwards, whose dad was an influential pastor and civil rights leader in Tennessee, and whose church was bombed by racists, “I was only 12 years old when I got the approval from my father to take part in the sit-ins. Dad dropped me off at the church early each morning where I sat on the front row and took my marching orders from John Lewis and Diane Nash. I was so enamored with those two Fisk University students and the courage they embodied.”
Continue reading Civil Rights Icon Diane Nash….What else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

If ever there was an eye-catching picture, this one fits the bill.

You see, a fellow I grew up with in a small town in Virginia posted it on Facebook. I’m not sure of its source or time, but think that maybe it was sometime in the 40s or earlier. Who knows for sure?

Okay, I admit to having lost count of the number of times I’ve looked at it, and am doing so right now as Juneteenth is in the spotlight. However, to get other reactions I randomly shared it with several folks.
Continue reading On rustic church pews – by Terry Howard

Georgia Election: Herschel, really? – by Terry Howard

Dashing, handsome, chiseled, thick necked and all, at age 60 it looks like Herschel Walker could still blast off left tackle for a first down in an Orange Bowl. But when he opens his mouth lately you freeze, not because of his Southern drawl but what flows out in a mess of confusion, ignorance, untruths, gobbledygook and Lord knows what else.

And here’s the kicker: he has a darn good chance of getting elected the next senator from Georgia. Really.

Now if you find yourself in the exclusive company of folks who look like you and him when he opens his mouth, “c’mon bro, you gotta be kidding,” clearly too many blows to the head,” or stuff unprintable is your likely reaction.

Now I admit that I don’t know what to make of today’s version of Herschel Walker the ex-football player and today’s senatorial candidate.

Well, okay, that’s not altogether true.

For me there’s two versions of Walker; the record-setting running back on one hand, and the bumbling politician from Georgia – or Texas? – on the other. There’s a danger in blurring the lines, connecting the two versions with the assumption that the former is a precursor to the latter.Do great athletes always make great politicians? That question just answered itself, didn’t it?

Hold on, let me get this said before the “Dawg darts start flying my way.

I’m a huge fan of the championship Georgia football team. Watching them take down Alabama got me off the couch high fiving around the TV screen.

And let me be even clearer. I was also a huge fan of Herschel Walker the football player but these days not so with him as a politician based on what I’ve heard him say lately. More on the contemporary Herschel Walker shortly.

You see, like Herschel, there was another Heisman winning running back out of the University of Southern California decades ago (I won’t pollute this narrative with his name). Like Walker, that football player had a documented history of domestic abuse against women. So are we asked to overlook the allegation that Walker abused women, and once pointed a gun at his ex-wife, because he rattled of a 75-yard touchdown run against Florida?

Sorry folks but I have a strong distaste for domestic abusers, including Heisman trophy winners.

Back to today’s Walker who is as adept at avoiding the truth as he once side-stepped would-be tacklers on the gridiron. I mean – hold your breath now Walker actually said that former President Trump never said that the election was stolen from him.

Really Herschel, really? Do we believe you or our lying ears?

And, Heaven help us, there’re more Walker jaw droppers. You may need a “mumbo jumbo” interpreter and a shot of Bourbon to figure it all out:

Jaw dropper #1: He challenged the theory of evolution. His claim is that if evolution is true, why do apes still exist?

Jaw dropper #2: He claimed that he had a cure for COVID in the form of a dry mist that you walk through.

Jaw dropper #3: He claimed then later denied that he said that he was in the top percent of his graduating class at the University of Georgia.

Jaw dropper #4: When asked if new gun laws should be enacted in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shootings, his reply was “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff.”

The following day and asked a similar question:

“Well, you know, it’s always been an issue, because as I said earlier on, they want to score political points. People see that it’s a person wielding that weapon, you know, Cain killed Abel. And that’s the problem that we have. And I said, what we need to do is look into how we can stop those things. You talk about doing a disinformation. What about getting a department that can look at young men that’s looking at women, that’s looking at their social media? What about doing that, looking into things like that, and we can stop that that way?”

Wooh Wee!

Now despite all this and more, Walker easily defeated his opponents by blowouts in the primary by skipping the debates with them and appearing exclusively in controlled events with softball questions like “how did you feel during your 85-yard touchdown scamper against Tennessee?”

His Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, has proposed a series of three debates with Walker who has said he will debate Warnock but  hasn’t said how many times (brace yourselves for Jaw dropper #5 folks).

So fresh off winning his primaries, and ending his bromance with Donald Trump, “Dawg” Walker recently griped about how Trump is falsely taking credit for his primary win.

“One thing that people don’t know is President Trump never asked me to run. So, I’m mad at him because he never asked, but he’s taking credit that he asked,” Walker said.

Okay, enough is enough. The thought of Herschel Walker as a senator deciding and voting on complex domestic and global issues facing the nation today is as terrifying as him in the cockpit flying me to visit my new grandson in California.

But in the United States of America, stranger things have happened, huh?

“Let’s Go High” with Bayard Rustin – by Terry Howard

Growing up in Virginia, my momma used to say to me that I sometimes “run around like a chicken with its head off.” That’s as perfect a depiction of any of my chaotic life as the month of June slips away. Duly noted.

You see, amid traveling, speaking engagements, fawning over a newborn grandson, greeting guests in my wife’s restaurant (and sometimes, yes, getting on her last nerve) and yard work, I failed to write something pertaining to Gay Pride Month. I really wanted to but never got around to it.

So while being confronted with the dual realities of the month coming to an end and the unrelated surge in hate mongering spilling into violence against LGBTQQI people, I decided to “go high.”

Continue reading “Let’s Go High” with Bayard Rustin – by Terry Howard

My letter to Payton the gunman – by Terry Howard

Dear Payton “Gunman” Gendron:

Okay, you don’t know me and until a week ago, I didn’t know you. 

But since you disrupted my life when you snuffed out the lives of 10 African American people in Buffalo, I decided to write you a letter.  I included pictures of your victims in my first draft but removed them because they were too painful to look at. Why the pictures? Well because I wanted you to see them in your worst nightmares during your years behind bars. 

Continue reading My letter to Payton the gunman – by Terry Howard

 Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

On my way out of a local fitness center, I happened across a used book dispenser and, like I always do, peered inside. The cover of one of those books, “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd was indeed an attention getter if ever there was one. Although I was amused by it, some may find the book’s title off putting. Yes, I get that. 

Which brings us to the issue of men these days – more to the point, arguments for and against the “necessity” of men as Dowd put it. 

Let’s start by applying the (non-procreation) “necessity” test to a partial list of “men” as we think about the behaviors of some (note that I didn’t say “all”) men these days.

Continue reading  Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard