Mother was a prolific letter writer, sending long, hand-written updates on a weekly basis to her children after we moved away from home. I not only acquired her stay-in-touch gene, but I cultivated that desire to share stories, news, and observations using 21st century technology.
It was in August of 2008 that I first put fingers to keyboard in this place. Post number one was a tribute written in memory of a voice I heard way too often in my 20s and 30s. The piece you’re reading now is number 1500.
That’s an average of slightly more than nine per month. The number of words is probably somewhere north of 1.1 million.
Yes, that’s a lot of words.
If it’s any consolation, I don’t know anyone who reads them all. Not even my wife. Candice does, however, hear my opinions live and often provides real-time feedback. As a result, the worst ones never make it to you.*
I began More to Come… (MTC) to document a family vacation and kept on writing. My friend Dolores suggested the name and it stuck.
A post from 2010 tops the “most reader views” over this time period, and it features one of my favorite places on earth. Mohonk Mountain House…A place like no other is one of four pieces I’ve written about this unique spot. Claire — who is the unofficial “official photographer” of MTC — has taken a number of memorable photos at Mohonk. Her evocative picture of this iconic landmark graces the top of the home page and serves as the lead picture for this essay. Claire also captured a swimmer taking the plunge off the Mohonk high dive, another personal favorite.**
More to Come was designed to capture my observations, recollections, and “occasional bursts of radical common sense” on a variety of topics. Here’s a small sampling of the things I’ve observed about our little part of the world since 2008:
- 2008: The nation elected its first African American president…which I celebrated in Bratislava, Slovakia! Check out What a strange, wonderful Election Day it has been.
- 2009: Recently, the passage of time and the (incorrect) belief that we can master time has been on my mind. While in high school Andrew wrote an insightful piece on this topic for the St. Albans School literary magazine. I included it as 9:45:00 GMT.
- 2010: This was the year I finally scratched that Guitar Acquisition Syndrome itch. It wouldn’t be the last. Finding my new Running Dog guitar tells the improbable story of how I came to have a guitar with “Union Forever” inlayed in pearl on the back of the headstock.
- 2011: I combined my preservation interest with my love of baseball to respond to a really stupid suggestion to tear down Wrigley Field in What’s wrong with sports.
- 2012: I’ve reported from the Americana festival Merlefest several times, the last being the 25th anniversary year and the final one where festival patriarch Doc Watson performed. He died about a month later. My last post (so far) for Merlefest is Oh Happy Day! — Merlefest 25 wraps up.
- 2013: Candice and I had the opportunity to represent the National Trust on a tour of Portugal, Spain, and France. It truly was A wonderful week exploring European coastal civilizations.
- 2014: Not all who wander are lost: The tour — where I drove cross-country with Claire for almost three weeks — was certainly a highlight of the year.
- 2015: I turned 60 (60 lessons from 60 years) and my father turned 90 (It’s a Wonderful Life (For Tom Brown on his 90th birthday). Both were memorable, not the least because I was hit by an ambulance the night before my birthday and my father dislocated his shoulder two days before his. Getting old is not for wimps!
- 2016: I wrote many posts from Rome during my sabbatical, but the most-read piece from that year was My favorite Tom Brown stories, which came from my father’s funeral in May. Daddy’s was an example of a life well lived…much more so than the guy who somehow managed to win the presidential election that year.
- 2017: Candice and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary at Mohonk Mountain House, and I wrote 35 reasons I’d do it all over again for the occasion.
- 2018: During the years of the former guy’s administration, July 4th was a good day to think about what it means to be an American, which I did in Freedom.
- 2019: I announced my retirement from the National Trust and was blown away by the response, which I captured in Kindness.
- 2020: How do you describe this year of pandemic lockdown, government incompetence, racial unrest, and a democracy-saving election? One of my most-read pieces ever, Places and perspectives, came out of the protests over Confederate statues.
- 2021: When Candice celebrated a “significant birthday” this year, I asked her family and friends for thoughts on what she meant to them. Tending the heart is a sampling of the outpouring of love and affection.
- 2022: This blog has often been my attempt to capture life’s special moments before they pass into the dustbin of history. Thirty years goes by in the blink of an eye was one such occasion, when the twins turned 30.
Thanks for reading over these years. I hope we have much more to share in whatever time is left.
With hopefully lots more to come…
*Anyone who literally reads every one of my posts is welcomed to self-identify in the comments.
- Just another wonderful visit to Mohonk Mountain House (2010)
- Bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles (2017)
- For beauty, nourishment, and the celebration of life, Mohonk is one of our special places (2021)
NOTE: For the 1000th post I wrote The top one percent which counts down the ten most popular posts over that span. Claire’s photos from Monument Valley topped the list at that point.
Image of Mohonk Mountain House by Claire Holsey Brown
Wow! Congrats on reaching 1500 pieces David! I’m saving this email to go back and read some of those earlier writings that I missed because I wasn’t a follower back then. Always insightful stuff (even the baseball topics though I’m not a big follower of baseball). I’ve shared many of your posts with music friends, lovers of books and shared your views with some of my conservative family members – saying “hope you’ll think about this”. 😊 All the best, Kathy
Kathy, thanks so much for these kind words and … of course … for reading MTC. I so appreciate your comments about specific posts and I’m glad so many resonate for you. Good luck with those family members. I don’t promise miracles! Thanks again for reading and for the nice comment. DJB
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