2022 Christmas/Holiday Letter

This is normally my favorite piece to write but this year it takes on a different meaning. Overall I was still blessed beyond measure throughout this year.

2022 even more normalcy from the pandemic as more and more events, concerts and such resumed that hadn’t in 3 years such as Spring Fling in Spartanburg, the Cleveland County Fair and WU Homecoming. It was great having them all back even with inflation and increased gas prices.

I always like seeing my friends and family do well and progressing in life. I witnessed two marital unions in my friends Haley and Andrew and my cousin Erica and her love Mike. My cousin Caleb and his longtime girlfriend Chloe also got married and are expecting a daughter next year. Haley and Andrew are also expecting in June so it’s great seeing new life. My friends from Wisefire, Thomas and Vanessa, welcomed their 4th daughter, Azalia, back in July and am definitely happy that their small business continues to thrive. I temporarily lost my Friday nights again and it was good to be able to return then and during the week.

Career-wise, I celebrated year 7 with Amazon in my advanced leadership role. I worked 2nd shift for 8 months this year, first time working 2nd since my early 20s. It was definitely an adjustment and a challenge but by the time I returned to 3rd shift, I was a better manager, leader and person. The work environment and vibe around me changed, including 2 different managers. I look forward to where 2023 takes me in my current role to my next role/venture.

My schedule change would have to wait as winter break came early for me this year. I injured myself in my front yard and have to have surgery on my ankle and foot. This adds to the challenging year that I cannot blame Biden nor Mariah Carey from. I am confident as always that as long as I follow my successful blueprint from the past and abide by doctor’s orders, I will be an overall stronger person internally and externally.

I finally started my podcast on Anchor FM, producing 17 episodes, available on Spotify and Apple podcasts. I am very excited for the growth of that. I became acquainted with the Going Places podcast and the two co-hosts, Camden Clark and Daniel Price. These young men are only 15 and 14, respectively, and were inspirational forces for me. My guys with the GOB network have formed Fourcast Media and have finally been able to monetize their efforts. It’s a great time to be in radio and podcasting and I’m glad that I have that, along with my blogging and poetry.

2022 wasn’t without saying goodbye to folks in the physical. I lost Craig Bennett, my cousin Clay Turner, Paris Sweeper, Leslie Watson, Farena Bradley, my beloved dog Whiz, my Aunt Mary Kale, Richard Buckman, Lori McCracken, Aunt Linda Dover, young TJ, my friend’s beloved dog Sarge, Big Mike Smith, Vince Wilkins, Aunt Brenda, Erica Shepherd and Shalonda “Shally” Palmer.

There were several friends and family that celebrated milestones birthdays and anniversaries. I was blessed to be in attendance for my friend James Miller’s 50th birthday celebration as well as my friend Bresha Ratchford’s and my cousin Tony Gaines’s 40th.

I look back and see all of the events and functions I was invited to and was able to attend. Many people that know me did not drop the ball and still invited me when I couldn’t attend due to work or injury and I appreciate that. I truly hope that energy is the same in 2023.

I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday season, stays blessed and safe and makes the most of 2023!


The Crown

Who put you in charge and gave you the crown? You’ve been plotting when I thought we were down. I heard you the first time, no need to repeat. Anyone that thinks they’re going to control me needs to take a seat. One should use that seat to sit down and get to know who I am. What makes me tick, my persona, what’s my jam. No one person is ever alike. Sit back and listen as I rock the mic. There is too much dissention and disconnect. There’s more positivity to collect. I’m not going back and forth and out of the way. I also am gonna listen to professionals and not what you say. I am determined to smile and not frown. There is another dis-illusion: there is no one in charge and thus not even a crown


This has to be done and this as well. The to do list piles up and will dwell. I am legit a one legged man trying to kick butt. I’m trying to see what to cut. I’m about to go back to sleep. Tired of this, it seems good to rest deep. Sometimes you simply have to enjoy the ride. Whoever said this was a breeze definitely lied. We don’t always think of the simple, everyday stuff. In hindsight it’s fluff. These things must be done. Planning them is no fun. You have to have action in many ways. Avoiding weight gain, pile up and mess throughout the days. I’m trying to endure through the smaller things. Was this where the caged bird sings?


One minute you’re standing, next minute you’re halted. You have all of your plans defaulted. This isn’t a Raisin In the Sun. It’s more bleak, foggy and undone. Be that as it may, it’s upside down. Backwards, reversed with a frown. Waffle House did close so we’re going to the Nook. Ahh what you know about that hook? I am a vampire, straight cat napping. I get less and less sunshine, more nighttime rapping. Help is needed, apply if you wish. Bring your navigation and a tasty dish. Do we ever really get ahead? Always a work in progress, indicators are red. I’m down but not dead. Caffeine, books and the recordings are my peeps. I have elevated by bounds and leaps. Celebrate the season that is the present. It will mold and nurture you, all will be pleasant. It’s dark outside but the light and warmth are enroute. All will be well,no trace of doubt


Conjunction junction What’s your function? I’m seeing things transpire. I didn’t imagine becoming a vampire. That’s right. An angel of the night. Ready to get back into the groove. I will have to stay on the move. I have been praying for this change. Sleeping hours and routine all rearranged. Where’s my magic beans? I want admirers not fiends. Back to that weird place. This time with less disgrace. Good things are coming and that’s the promise. Things are better and that’s the premise. There’s always light when it’s the end. The letter is in the mail, waiting to send. December will come and I’ll be used to the night. Sleep by day, ready for the next flight

Up Above

You know what it means when you see the dove. You don’t hurt if at first you don’t love. That time you were spared could have been you. It wasn’t but still shocked you too. Definitely check on your people and be alert. Life goes quick and you can’t be inert. These people are now with the ancestors above. This isn’t a movie as much as you hope. You grieve cry and mope. Some of the tributes are indeed dope. What a life they lived, they will be missed. Their presence and not their legacy is dismissed. These long gone are forever watching. Let them guide you and continue to love. They are waiting and guarding just above.

The Rest

You’ve been put to the test. Daily you’re stacked against the best. The end doesn’t seem to be in sight. You keep looking and there simply is no light. When will the rain stop falling? I want desperately to be balling. Someone please help now! This is definitely foul. I don’t want to go, I want my life back. I can’t get any rest, it’s breaking my back. I really miss my mind. It was so sharp, relaxed and kind. Often I feel tired and snappy. Pardon me if I don’t speak for days, I may be nappy. I do feel the story will end happily. We will all win magically. You know the rest. We will be relaxed after this quest. All good things must end but also applies to bad. Please don’t stay mad. Things will be better soon and soon again. Get your rest and let happiness in


It’s so warm and comfy even on a cold week. Open your minds because this will be deep. Celebrate and go be praised. Your joy can be raised. Who doesn’t deserve a good hug? One filled with love and snug. The texture is that of a rug. This won’t be long but you get the gist. Open your arms and raise your fist. The energy in the room can power the town. Good vibes are how we get down. It starts at home but you may have to go out. There are worlds with very little doubt. It’s not always sweaty and mean. It can be pure and clean. Be at peace within. The walls are thin. Make each word and action count. Be the change you want to see. Give that hug, make life lovely. You will then have a better time. You will see you’re in your own prime


I’m going going. Not to New York or Cali. I am behind and fighting to rally. Time is running short. The operation is about to abort. I have to stay in the game and finish. Calmer times are definitely my wish. The storm did touch down. It did during the season when the leaves are orange, yellow and brown. I’ve got my gear and I’m ready to battle. Adjustments are made, I’ve taken a breath and not ready to skedaddle. The intensity is nonstop. You go into you drop. It’s my marathon training times three. I simply want to be free. Free from overwhelm, anguish and despair. I enjoy my fresh air. I can see the light and I’m catching up. You cannot pour from an empty cup. I lick my wounds and heal. I know this is all God’s will. It will not last. I have a future and not a past. I will find my pace, earn my place and win this race!

Diner En Blanc Review

I attended my very first Diner En Blanc party this past Saturday. It was for the Charlotte division and was held in the Gastonia Honeyhogs park since greater Charlotte had other activities taking place. I also was invited to the one in Greenville last month. I was a volunteer at the event, working in the Food and Vine area and then Cart Valet.

I will definitely say that all of the pictures and videos don’t do it justice.  Yes there are some great all white parties and annual events. Diner En Blanc is without doubt a bucket list item far as events, who’s-who and potentially a tradition. I had so much fun, the food and drinks were great, the venue was beautiful, everyone came out in their best attire and it was simply a whole vibe.

Many of you know by now these are the types of events and energy that embody the #imjustdrew brand. I was definitely interested in going/volunteering when I saw the videos and pictures from last year’s events in Greenville, Charlotte and Columbia. I will say you will have to be there to truly understand but I will summarize. Great food and drink, many options, first class accommodations, 360 photo booth (Pose360CLT to be exact), a live band, the park jumbotron and even fireworks. So much planning, months of it, goes into making this event a success and it shows! Many are doing it for free also because they enjoy the event and organization.

Also as a part of #imjustdrew, I like to say it’s who you know and who knows you. Special thanks to Vanencia “V” Carr and Ashli Hale Johnson for selecting me for the volunteer committee and for both Diner En Blanc committees in Charlotte and Greenville for extending me invites in the Phase 3 portion.

I wholeheartedly recommend attending at least once as a volunteer and/or getting a spot with a guest and bringing a table. I do plan on returning at the moment and would eventually like to get a VIP spot. Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy the enthusiasm and energy from this year’s successful event.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine