When I was a young man, I knew a fella by the name of Ashley Benefield. It's been a long time since I've thought of Ashley, and I'm not sure what brought him to mind. But sometime this week I started thinking about him and the time he spent in my life.
Ashley was in his 20s when I first came to know him. I was a 10th grader upon our initial meeting, and the first words he spoke to me weren't exactly friendly. He was at an August football practice, watching the pieces placed of what would become that fall's football team in Haynesville. This is (or at least was) a common practice in that small Claiborne Parish town on the Louisiana-Arkansas border – townsfolk coming to watch Red's boys get ready for their next foe.