Exactly two years ago I lost a part of myself. I lost a trusted pal, a longtime co-conspirator, a “lifer” friend and fellow potty mouth Chris “Crusty” Haddle.
Of course it wasn’t just I who experienced that loss. His family; surviving husband Eddie Duke; and his adoring friends and coworkers—all of us had this bright, salty, sassy light taken far too soon at age 47.
He knew the value of throwing one’s head back and laughing uncontrollably. He knew that inside jokes tether you to your friends forever. Because in that moment of bonding, you’re free, celebrating something so idiotic that you have to repeat it once a day for 20+ years. Proud to bring him to his first improv show, too, which he enjoyed greatly and was fully engaged in.
He was at many of my NYE parties; birthdays, dinners and break-ups; and my book release party 3 years ago. I miss him every single day and will be releasing a snazzy new book this summer that features him prominently. About that… (see the next story)
Coming this summer is my third book entitled “Grill Them with Kindness”—adapted from a magazine article of the same name for Taste magazine. This was an incredible afternoon complete with the staff from South City Kitchen and a bunch of my friends descending on my backyard to throw a BBQ rager. The book is an homage to New South Cuisine that Atlanta has become known for—and the kindness that comes with living here.
The book chronicles that day and a generous housewarming gift that sparked the article in the first place. Coming soon as an eBook and in print. Watch this space.
Performed as a tribute of a different kind, Kelly Clarkson and Atlanta’s own Tamyra Gray sang “Exhale (Shoop)” by Whitney Houston just says after her passing. It was an amazing moment and I’m so glad I got it on video. Enjoy.
He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter—and check out the book links below. Make sure to comment often—cranky does love company after all.
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