Wilmoth Foreman

Somewhere Along the Way

Somewhere Along the Way features a variety of easy-to-read commentaries on the ups, downs and in-betweens of life as viewed from a back yard swing. Subjects range from those as playful as accessorizing and gift-wrapping to empathetic interviews with war veterans to the hilarious frustrations and delicious rewards of gardening, groundhog included. Music and pets are oft-visited topics.
The articles, which originally appeared as columns in Columbia Tennessee newspaper The Daily Herald, are rich in gentle humor, down-home nostalgia, occasional serious ponderings, and quirky characters. Whether read cover-to-cover or ten minutes at a time, the collection's varied look at everyday existence is life affirming and uplifting.
Chris Fletcher, former editor of The Daily Herald, dubbed the writings “…a welcome break from the frenetic pace of our modern lives” and considered Wilmoth’s stories and themes to be “…at once intimate and universal.”
Author Karyn Henley added, “Wilmoth has the rare ability to touch your heart as well as your funny bone.”

At times light and funny, at times serious and contemplative, Wilmoth Foreman's Somewhere Along the Way is an always entertaining collection of essays about life lived fully, and with meaning.
-- Alan Gratz, author of Prisoner B-3087

Sample Column: Our Mother, the Sit-Com Bowler

When our family reached adulthood and went our separate ways, we occasionally decided to Do Something Together. Once, that Something was bowling.

A non-family member inadvertently paved the way for our journey into the world of loud falling [or not] pins. The new minister of our parents’ church came into the pulpit with the Bible in one hand, a songbook in the other, and a determination that God wants his people to live full, well-rounded lives.

When Brother Ben found out how many Just Housewives were in his flock, he decided they needed recreation as an outlet. Since his expertise was bowling, before the last handshake on his first Sunday, a bewildered bunch of beginners had signed up for his Housewives’ League.

Mama was one of the signees. Not because she wanted to bowl, but because she always went to bat for the underdog. And Brother Ben, with his mission to, via bowling, bring true happiness to a bunch of mostly already happy housewives, was a definite underdog.

The league didn’t last long, which did bring happiness to the dropouts. Except for Ben’s long-suffering wife, Mama was the last to go. Long after the desertions, she feigned an interest just to help Ben save face.

Our family bowling night may have been her subconscious effort to salvage some usefulness from all those hours she’d spent as a charter member of the Housewives’ League.

We all met at the bowling alley on a Sunday afternoon. Buddy and Alice, who bowled regularly in a competitive league, got to distribute team members. They headed up one team, balancing their skills on the opposing side with: Daddy, who had bowled in his youth; Don, who said he knew how; Don’s wife Kathy, who took bowling in P.E. and hated it; and Mama, who knew where the concession stand and restrooms were. The rest of us were distributed at random. Both teams had the same number of people.

Buddy and Alice went first. They looked good. More importantly, when they finished with the choreography and turned themselves into statues, the ball rolled slightly off-center all the way down and knocked over a lot of pins.

With Daddy’s first roll, we all realized that his bowling skills were not rusty. His feet hurt too much for gracefulness, but all the pins fell the first time. And the second.

Mama was next. With a bowling ball clutched to her midriff, she sort of accidentally emerged from the crowd that was congratulating Daddy. Her right hand, which held the ball, eased down beside her. The whole idea seemed to be, “If I can just get rid of this thing, maybe no one will notice I had it in the first place.”

A few more mincing, duck-walk steps and she was at the line. She dropped the ball. It bounced, then ambled its weaving way down the alley. Buddy came up and gently began explaining technique. After a few words, his advice was drowned out by falling pins. Mama’s strike got added to Daddy’s two.

The evening’s die was cast. Whenever it was Mama’s turn, she would glance around to see if anyone was noticing, turn loose of the offending ball, and as it made its “drunken sailor” way down the lane, sidle off toward some other batch of bowlers.

Once, she got so embarrassed she just lowered the ball into the gutter. That set our team back. But we soon convinced her she was doing good. She rallied, and so did our leading edge.

By the end of the game, Daddy’s dusted off skills combined with Mama’s inept accuracy had not only overcome the rest of our team’s lack of talent. It had bested Alice and Buddy’s near-professional know-how.

We won. As far as I know, Mama and Daddy never bowled again. And I’m certain that bowling was never again our family's “Do Something Together” destination.
--February 20, 2005