There’s nothing as cathartic and gratifying as sitting down at a piano.
Dove Hunting & Fly Fishing
Book (or books) that changed your life
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, because it was the book that taught me to appreciate words, writing and the art of language. A few others:
The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway
The Lords of Discipline by Conroy
The Founding Brothers by Ellis
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Nouwen
I particularly like Genesis, from the Scriptures. Very raw, but it sets it all up.
Movie you watch over and over again
Dead Poets Society
To Kill A Mockingbird, It’s A Wonderful Life, Schindler’s List. Band of Brothers is fantastic too.
Uniform for leisure, uniform for stepping out
For fall leisure, a good pair of raw denim, a flannel shirt and boots. For business, a two button Italian-made suit with a knit tie and derby-style English shoes.
Plain brown cowboys boots, Levis, old t-shirt. Stepping out: brown tassel loafers (no socks), Levis, a Sid Mashburn gingham button down and his brown “jeans” belt.
Item of your wardrobe that has sentimental value or that gets your mojo working
I don’t feel a strong attachment to any particular item in my closet, but there are a few pieces that bring back good memories. Right after Christmas in 1995, I took a trip to England and Scotland but forgot to pack a jacket so I bought a classic Barbour coat in Oxford to get me through the snow. There were a lot of stories from that trip so every time I smell the waxed canvas on that jacket it takes me back.
Cowboy boots. Had them since I was 16 and they’re still going strong.
Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
Winter: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Summer: Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
Atlanta’s own Sweetwater 420
Gin, splash of water, splash of tonic. Ice. Lime.
When I travel I like to bring back some of the local currency. It’s a small glimpse into different cultures; seeing their unique design and notable leaders.
Koozies and Hot Sauces. Inexpensive, practical and you can get them on trips to remember them by.
Gadget you can’t live without
A good flashlight. My current favorite is the SureFire 6PX Pro.
Most prized possession
Anything that’s been handed down to me from family.
Granddad’s 1911 .45 from WWII. He was an artillery officer in the Pacific.
Dream trip (one you’ve taken or one you want to take)
A few years ago I spent almost 2 months in New Zealand. I bought a flight in and a flight out and just let the rest of the trip take shape one day at a time. The people were remarkably hospitable, the food and wine reflected how much they value their land and the natural beauty of the landscape was dramatic and awe-inspiring. It’s an incredible place to unplug, rediscover balance and find adventure.
Dream: New Zealand, fly-fishing for trout. I hear it’s phenomenal.
Songs forever on your playlist
Somethin’ Else by Miles Davis
C-Jam Blues by Duke Ellington
The Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin by Debussy
Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses
When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin
7/4 (Shoreline) by Broken Social Scene
Into The Mystic by Van Morrison
Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons
Fall On Me by R.E.M.
No Surprises by Radiohead
John Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, Mumford & Sons.
Favorite meal you make for yourself and others
Sake salmon with coconut rice and a Thai ginger salad.
Drunk Chicken w/ homemade North Alabama White Sauce. Rack of lamb with a Dijon-breadcrumb crust is close second. People overlook lamb too often. Deep fried turkey for Thanksgiving – trying to get my hands on a special brine recipe from Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham for this year’s prep.
Favorite meal or meals to order and in what restaurant
I like all different categories and styles of food, from hole-in-the-walls to upscale, so I want to taste the specialty of a particular restaurant. Which is
why I like to ask them to bring me whatever they do best – or even better, something off the menu that the chef loves to make.
Filet at Bone’s in Atlanta
Southern Soul BBQ in St. Simons, Georgia
Bahn Mi sandwich at Star Provisions in Atlanta
Pimento Cheese Omelette at West Egg in Atlanta
Coolest or most personally interesting among the many discoveries that Bearings has showcased
Since that’s really the entire ethos and purpose of Bearings (to discover cool and interesting people, places and things), there are so many features that each have their own unique, interesting story. That said, I was personally thrilled when I just happened to meet Jimmy Johnson at a BBQ in Billy Reid’s backyard. Jimmy is a legendary guitar player, producer and founder of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio who has had sessions with Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, The Rolling Stones and dozens of other music giants. It was like talking to a living history book.
Inn at Half Mile Farm in Highlands, NC. I stayed there the weekend I got engaged.
Best gift you’ve ever received
I’m not sure if any gift will ever be able to top the experience and excitement of getting my first bike as a kid and having my dad spend all day teaching me how to ride it.
Wedding ring from my wife.
You most like to give
Gifts that have a good story behind them (which means nothing generic orÃ‚ ordinary).
Technology products or hunting/fishing gear. I am a closet techie and love teaching/enriching others lives with technology. I also love when people have hobbies. Overall it seems like people are getting so busy with work/life that they are losing hobbies. Hobbies make people interesting so I like to encourage them.
Cities you want to showcase on Bearings next
There are many great cities in the South that we want to celebrate, but personally I’d like to launch editions in New Orleans and Charleston next.
New Orleans, Birmingham & Charleston are on our short list.
Where are you from, and what keeps you so devoted to the South?
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas but raised in Charlotte, North Carolina where IÃ‚ became a diehard Tar Heel. I grew up visiting family all over N.C., Virginia and Tennessee, and all the while my parents instilled in me the value of heritage,Ã‚ history, culture, and food. Family traditions were, and still are, a big part of who I am and all of that is rooted in the South. The older I get and the more I’ve traveled, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate just how rich our culture is here in these states.
I’m from Atlanta. As for devotion, I picture it as a triangle, with the three points being community (family/friends), traditions, and memories. They each reinforce each other and can be found in spades down South.
Every Southern gentleman should know how to
Make a woman feel like a lady, build a fire, cook 3 noteworthy meals, mix 5 classic drinks, wear clothes that properly fit, and compose a well-written letter.
Cook – Most men don’t know how to really cook. When I see someone smashing a burger patty on the grill, I cringe.
Serve – I think Southerners pride themselves on caring for others. Service gives life meaning and will always elevate your frame of reference.
Defend – We have strong beliefs in the South and gentleman should be able to defend their point of view, defend those who are weaker, and defend great ideals.
Holiday plans or standing traditions
I host an annual Christmas Wassail party in Atlanta. It’s a hot spiced wine concoction I learned to make from a friend’s family recipe and it never fails to make things festive. To go along with the wassail, we always ship in Smithfield ham from Virginia since that was a holiday tradition for me growing up. Here is the recipe.
Lots of fires, food, wine and movies. Hunting if I can pull away.
Pictured above, Bearings founders Jeremy Blume and Rob Forrester; Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Cigars from R.S. Lipman Cigar and Smoke (Says Rob: “Cigars can’t be rushed and are typically paired with a great conversation, which only enriches the experience. They’re long and involved, the way life should be.”); Hardy Brook Bag from Oyster Bamboo Fly Rod (Rob again: “A good satchel is the ultimate outdoor accessory. Whether exploring, hunting or fishing, you need something manageable and light, but roomy enough to carry your spotting glasses, a knife, a little food and drink, gun, emergency supplies, reading material, tobacco, etc.”) For more of Jeremy and Rob’s selections visit Taigan.com.