This picture was taken in the summer of 2010 when I had just finished my last road trip for the project I called Patchwork: A Chronicle of Alabama in the New South. The project was funded by an Arts Teachers Fellowship from the Surdna Foundation (which was later renamed the National Artist Teacher Fellowship when it moved to the Center for Arts Education at the Boston Arts Academy). Patchwork was a year-long research project that had me driving around the state, looking around at new (to me) places, interviewing people, reading the state’s major histories, following state news closely, writing a blogging, and producing a podcast. This was all done while I was teaching full-time, married with two kids, and promoting my books on Clark Walker and John Beecher. It was a busy year, but this day, I was just glad to be out of the car and drinking a beer on the porch.