A Moment of Silence for “THE DEAN”



I grew up in Eastern North Carolina where it’s God, Basketball, and BBQ! You had to pick your favorite of each and stick to it. There were no exceptions. Well, I chose to go against the grain when I made my choice for basketball. Most of the people I knew either pulled for the UNC Tarheels or the Duke Blue Devils, neither of which tickled my fancy. I chose to head down Tobacco Road and stop in Raleigh, with North Carolina State University. I cheered vigorously every time we played against Carolina, short for UNC, or Duke. We were usually on the losing end of the challenge, but that didn’t stop me from cheering for our team. Everywhere you turned people had to rep their team by wearing their colors. I hated the sight of Devil Blue and tolerated the Carolina Blue and white; don’t ever call it sky blue and think you will survive in my home town. It is Carolina Blue and shall never be referred to as anything else. I of course donned my red, black, and white representing the Wolfpack! Epic battles were played between these three schools and even though there were other teams in the conference, they were non-existent in the minds of my North Carolina cohorts. If you weren’t in “The Triangle” you did not matter. Though I still love my basketball roots, as an adult I strayed from norm and have chosen to cheer for the Tennessee Lady Vols and no longer pay attention to the men’s game.


These wonderful childhood memories flooded my mind this morning as I heard the news of the passing of the legendary Dean Smith. In North Carolina the men’s collegiate basketball coaches were just a step away from being gods; with Dean Smith leading the way. The other legends were the one and only Jim Valvano of NC State and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke. They were rivals, but they also respected each other and you never saw them fighting each other or bad mouthing one another. They were too classy for that; that type of behavior was left to the fans.

tabacco men

As a fierce fan of NC State, I cheered for my team, but I always admired Coach Smith. This man knew how to coach. You have to respect a man who won 2 National Championships, took his teams to 11 Final Fours, won 879 games making him the winningest coach in NCAA history at the time, and oh yeah coached a little guy named Michael Jordan! Coach Smith would go on to hold the title of the winningest coach in NCAA history for many years, until Pat Head Summitt of the University of Tennessee, broke his record in 2005; she still holds the record with 1098 wins. Coach Smith was the only coach that I know of, to have an arena named after him in his lifetime. The Dean Dome has hosted many battles between the three rival schools, and one thing has held fast; the respect and admiration for a great man from everyone who entered its doors.

It is with great sadness that I write this post, because it means we have lost another legend from the world of basketball. First Jimmy V succumbed to cancer, then Pat Summitt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, then Coach Kay Yow passed from cancer, and now Coach Smith has passed away. UNC Women’s Coach, Sylvia Hatchell, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, and Coach K at Duke are the only legends from my childhood still actively coaching. Death is a fact of life, but it really sucks! Journey well Coach Smith…

Words to Live by – NaBloPoMo #20



I am an avid sports fan, but even if I did not follow sports these words would be relevant. I have used these words to live by in the corporate world to help me adjust to different bosses and projects. I believe they apply to everyone. What do you think?


Respect Yourself and Others

Take Full Responsibility

Develop and Demonstrate Loyalty

Learn to Be a Great Communicator

Discipline Yourself So No One Else Has To

Make Hard Work Your Passion

Don’t Just Work Hard, Work Smart

Put the Team Before Yourself

Make Winning an Attitude

Be a Competitor

Change Is a Must

Handle Success Like You Handle Failure

The Things We Treasure


Writing 101: The Things We Treasure
For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long – experiment with long form and push yourself to write more than usual.


After thinking and thinking and thinking about what would be my most prized possession, I have finally narrowed it down. At first I thought about my wedding ring, but I realized that was just a symbol. If it broke or I lost it tragically, I would still be married. Then I thought about something intangible like my self-worth, but the assignment clearly stated it should be an object. So, I decided the thing I most cherish is ……… Drum roll please……. my collection of books.

As a budding writer I value the works of writers that have moved me and I treasure their books. I consider books a gateway to life and I have a vast array of works in my collection. Let’s see, I have a sports section to honor my beloved Lady Vols, the autobiography/biography section because I love learning more about people I admire, the fiction section that allows me to escape reality, the non- fiction that keeps my mind sharp and allows for critical thinking, the educational section so I can continue to learn and last but certainly not least, the poetry section to fuel my creativity.

Sports: As a former athlete, I am drawn to books about my former sport of women’s basketball; however, I have chosen to stick to my all time favorite team – The Tennessee Lady Vols!!! The legend Pat Head Summitt has three entries in this section: Raise the Roof, Reach For the Summitt and Sum it Up. All of these are great reads, but my fav is the latter because it is her memoir. It was written after she was diagnosed with early onset dementia that ended her fabulous career as the winningest head coach in college basketball. (Not just women’s basketball) Arguably the most famous Lady Vols, Chamique Holdsclaw has two entries as well: Chamique and Breaking Through. There are also a couple of notable entries in this section that are not directly related to the Lady Vols like the C. Vivian Stringer penned memoir, Standing Tall and Lisa Leslie’s book Don’t Let the Lipstick Fool You. Even though these ladies are not affiliated with Tennessee, they do have indirect stories that lead to Knoxville. C. Vivian Stringer is the head coach for Rutgers University and she is great friends with Pat Summitt. It was also her team that suffered from the stupid “Nappy Head Hoes” comment from Don Imus during the 2007 NCAA Championship Game. Lisa Leslie is a world champion, heavily decorated basketball player who once scored 101 points during the first half of a high school game. She was recruited by Pat Summitt to play at Tennessee and almost wore the orange, but chose USC after a racist incident during a college visit.

Autobiography/Biography: This section is home to books by and about Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, Condoleezza Rice, Robin Roberts, Bette Davis, Nelson Mandela, Dick Gregory and James Weldon Johnson to name a few. I just recently added the Dick Gregory creation “Nigger” to my collection and I can’t wait to read it. The title alone is worth reading it, but I also find him quite fascinating. I enjoy reading the more personal accounts of people I admire or find interesting. This section is one that will definitely grow over time.

Fiction: Doing this assignment showed me my collection is not as diverse as I thought. I reviewed some of my books and realized that most of the authors were African American. This realization made me question why this was true. I guess I relate to the characters more in these books because I have read what are considered “The Classics” and even though I like the stories and I like the characters, I find more of a kinship to the characters of such writers as April Sinclair, Keith Lee Johnson, Sapphire, Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker. One of my all time favorite writers was Octavia E. Butler who wrote sci-fi/fantasy. I absolutely love the main characters in both Kindred and Fledgling. Sometimes the familiarity of a character makes the bond between reader and writer very strong.

Non-Fiction: This section is small but packs a punch. It includes Red Summer, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, and My Life in the Klan, to name a few. Most of the books in this section deal a lot with history and some are cool table books with replications of letters or posters from the past.
Educational: This section houses religious books as well as how to books. I have learned everything from taking pictures to screenwriting and how to fold napkins properly. There is a slew of information in these books because I have always been interested in how to do multiple things. Since I was young I could never pin point what it was I wanted to do with my life. I have wanted to be a vet, a teacher, a coach, a business woman, event planner, film maker, actor, singer, photographer the list goes on and on. I finally realized me being so curious about all professions was research for the writer in me. You have to know a subject in order to write about it.

Poetry: As a poet myself, I love to read the prose of other writers. I especially enjoy Edgar Allan Poe, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni and Ntozake Shange. Even though he is not necessarily known as a poet, MLK made his words dance like a poem. I enjoy pulling out one of their books and reading the creations aloud. There is just something special about the spoken word.

My book collection may not be monetarily valuable, but to me it is one thing that I value the most because it helped to shape who I was, am and will become.

The Evil Empire Comes to Town!


Writing 101: Day 15 – Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart- an annual fair, festival or conference – will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!


Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die hard Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball Fan. I have loved this team and the coaches since the early nineties. Pat Summitt is one of the people I admire most in the world and I have attended several South Eastern Conference (SEC) Women’s Basketball Tournaments in my day. The expression “I Bleed Orange” is an understatement when you’re talking women’s basketball. I am such a fan that I have been known to drag my poor husband, who is from Wisconsin and has not figured out that basketball is a religion in the South, to countless games and tournaments. It’s all about the Lady Vols in our house. I even have our office decorated with LV memorabilia and posters.

For some time now, The Lady Vols have been at odds against the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Huskies. UT fans absolutely despise anything or anyone associated with Storrs, CT and we especially can’t stomach the face of Geno Auriemma, head coach of the women’s basketball team. The fans in CT feel the same about us.

So you can understand my disgust when I read about the recent changes in the upcoming season. I have just found out the UCONN Huskies have left the Big East conference and will now be competing in the SEC! This all came about when the Big East conference decided to split and UCONN wanted no parts of this division. The powers that be decided instead of taking the helm in the new AAC, they were better suited for the SEC. Of course the SEC welcomed them with open arms as they are the reigning NCAA champs and will bring in a boat load of cash. It’s the takeover move that we as fans have feared for years! How in the world can you justify moving a team that helms from the land of ice and snow and say they will play in the SOUTHeastern Conference? The UT fans are going CRAZY!

I can’t believe these greedy so and sos are putting the “Evil Empire” in our conference! It is an outrage and an insult to Pat Summitt’s legacy. Not only will Geno play against Tennessee on a regular basis, “his evilness” will taint the sacred grounds of TBA, that’s Thompson- Boling Arena to non sports fans. His team will actually spew their darkness on “The Summitt”. Whoever thought this was a good idea must have been drinking!

Several fans have expressed their discord and are threatening to sell their season tickets. Students and fans alike are organizing a boycott of the home game against UCONN and are refusing to allow their bus on campus. The governor may have to deem this a state of emergency and declare Knoxville a disaster area! There will be civil unrest in the streets and expect to have non-violent protests in Summitt Plaza. We MUST protect our house!

****NOTE**** This is clearly a satirical post and to be very clear, this trageshammockery will never take place in the real world.