Jody Jividen, in spring of 1985, just a month or so before we embarked on our 8,500-mile, 21-day, circle-America car trip. The pictures were taken with my new Canon A-E1, the two negatives stacked and processed in the St. Albans High School dark room, where I was, at the time, advising the SAHS yearbook staff.
My path so divergent, it would be another eleven years before Jode – Yode – became my boss at The Charleston Daily Mail. But in those eleven years our friendship continued to grow, and his friends became my friends, and mine became his. What we had in common far-outweighed what we didn’t — what we didn’t was table scraps, what we did was the meal. As I sit here so many memories flash into my head they make continuing difficult. A story percolates there, like so many others.
Jody died in August of 2002, two years to the month after my sister, Kelly, and seven years before Mike Cherry, one of Jode’s college mates, a Charleston sportswriting great, and a close friend to us both, of course, to Jody more than me.
My first book, The Long Shadow Of Hope, is dedicated to the three of them. There is no way the book can adequately honor their memory. Jody told me some thirty years ago to “just keep writing.” And, that’s what I will do, my friend. I am blessed to have the chance to do so. Peace unto you.