After college, I spent three years working as a high school teacher in northeastern North Carolina, which inspired the questions at the root of my history dissertation. I continue to find excuses to get back to Halifax County and listen to the many stories of the good people of Tillery. Following my then girlfriend (now wife) to Charlottesville, Virginia, I worked for six years as a journalist at an alternative weekly newspaper. That experience allowed me to investigate everything from local planning boards and county commissions to University of Virginia sports and the area beer scene.
While I once thought in terms of hobbies, most of my off time involves my family, including my three children: Tere, Whitmel, and Merrill. I confess to an outsized fondness for basketball. I am originally from Old Fort, North Carolina, where I proudly attended public schools and graduated from McDowell High.