May 7, 2013
The Ashland Beacon
“It’s the special Mother’s Day edition of the Freakin’ Beacon,” the publisher of this fine publication told me. “You should write about your Mom.”
Hmmm. Write about Mom, eh?
I really should ask her first, so it won’t come as a surprise. But I can’t call her until she’s out of rehab.
Shoot! See, every time I try to be serious, my smart aleck DNA kicks in. It’s been a lifelong problem.
To be clear, my sweet mother does not have any illegal addictions. Although I once witnessed her as she dropped a scoop of ice cream into a glass of Tab. But let’s keep that between us, shall we?
Gee, how do I describe my beloved mother? She’s great, especially when, you know, she’s off the meth.
Dang it! There I go again. Let’s start over.
Maybe it would be easier to tell you what Mom is not.
• She is not mean, petty or vindictive.
• She is not prone to yelling or striking me (except for the occasional times she went all MMA on me with the flyswatter when I was a kid. I’m sure I deserved it, but, man! Mom was a black belt in Swatter-Fu!)
• She is not the kind of person who would burn her first born son’s entire comic book collection in the trash barrel in the backyard simply because the aforementioned magazines were not organized into neat piles beneath his bed.
Okay, it’s time for a game. Two of the above statements are true. One is not. Can you guess which one is which? Here’s a hint: the approximate market value of that comic book collection in today’s dollars is $1,700,984.23. Approximately.
Anyway, here are Mom’s best qualities, ranked in what I consider the proper order of importance:
• She is the most caring, compassionate and unselfish person I have ever known.
• She makes the best fried potatoes in the known universe.
• She always has my back.
• Did I mention the fried potatoes? Her corn cakes are pretty great, too.
• She didn’t disown me when I didn’t go to medical school.
• Whenever Dad worked evening turn, she would fix fish sticks and onion rings for dinner.
• When I decided to devote my life to radio and writing, she didn’t change her name and move to Burnt Corn, Alabama.
• Speaking of corn, Mom makes incredible corn bread. And she never burns it.
• She reads this column every week and tells me she enjoys it. Let’s see if that changes this week. Oh, and I’ve worked my way up to being her third favorite Freakin’ Beacon columnist.
• She still gives me a Christmas stocking every year full of cool stuff, with one item guaranteed to be superhero-related. Of course, this may be guilt over the comic book/trash barrel incident.
• She taught me to read when I was four years old and let me know that books were cool. She also made sure I knew when to say “please” and “thank you” and “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am” and so forth.
• She has a wonderful sense of humor. Show her a clip of Eddie Murphy breaking wind in The Nutty Professor, then get outta the way!
I think when you add up all of the above, you must come to the same conclusion I have: she’s the greatest mother in the world.
I am very lucky to have her, and with a lot of luck, much hard work and years of intensive therapy, I may one day get over the comic book burning.
Mark Justice hosts The Breakfast Club weekdays on 105.7 WLGC. His email address is DoJ @ AshlandBeacon.com. He hopes this column will earn him fried potatoes and corn bread.
Mark Justice has hosted The Breakfast Club on 105.7 WLGC since 1985. He lives in Flatwoods with his wife and cats.
He also writes fiction. He has several books out now, mostly in the horror/science fiction area.
If you’d like to find out more, visit his blog at
He enjoys writing about himself in the third person. It makes him feel like an NBA player.