Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

Who am I?

I’ve lived a charmed life.

Not to rub it in, but I am one of the more blessed people around. I’ve been immersed in love my whole life.

Even when I couldn’t recognize it – or even outright rejected it – it was there and, in retrospect, it was utterly inescapable. This abundant love, from God and mankind, frames my story.

I was raised in Stone Mountain, GA in a comfortable house made a home by the love of my parents, my older brother, two older sisters, a dog and a cat.

I always had friends to play with, be it backyard football or “Kick the Cans” or “Jailbird”. We were usually outside until the streetlights came on. When we weren’t outside, I was typically drawing and listening to music.

My brother and a friend of mine inspired a love for creativity, through their own love for drawing and music. By day, with my friends, I “cut my teeth” on the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC. By night, I shared a room with my brother and I fell asleep nightly to the sounds of his John Denver or Olivia Newton John albums.

My brother took me to my first several concerts, beginning in 1982 with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical Tour”. Very cool for a big brother to willingly (as far as I am aware) take his 9-year old little brother along to a concert. Regrettably, I never got to see John Denver perform.

My sisters took me many times to Six Flags and to movies. One of them taught me to slow dance before one of my rare dates. The other warned me that if I didn’t stop passing gas on purpose then one day I wouldn’t be able to stop (a scenario that indeed played out when we hosted an out-of-town uncle for dinner; he sat next to me at the table. Once the first one escaped, more audibly than planned, it was hopeless; my sister and I tried so hard not to laugh, but my laughter . . . well, it had to come out somewhere, and so it did, prolifically).

My parents, though, had to love me the most, for they had the worst of it. When Jesus spoke of the “Prodigal Son,” he was telling my story.

After high school, I began a tour of Georgia colleges, starting with Georgia Southern University. Lasted 4 quarters there, exploring all kinds of colorful new realms before living out the old “you can’t fire me because I quit!” scene. I loitered into DeKalb Community College for a couple humdrum quarters and moved in with my best friend for a year that would lead me to rock bottom.

I missed the celebration my family threw honoring my Dad’s retirement from the US Forest Service. I have no idea how I stayed employed (as, essentially, a department store janitor; perhaps that’s how). I fell away from God and fell hard toward a lot of less holy things.

For all practical purposes, I lived in a beer commercial, tossing reality and responsibility aside to simmer for later. My “rock bottom” moment came during a bottle of Snakebite whiskey when I tried to envision myself 10 years out and couldn’t even imagine being alive. It broke my heart.

I was sunk by the time the “piper” finally came seeking payment, and then something incredible happened. Something miraculous. This “God” whom I had left, who either no longer existed or was too indifferent to matter, suddenly showed me mercy I’d never imagined possible (that will be another post on another day). And from there, mercy was everywhere.

Before I knew it, my parents had welcomed me home and gave me immeasurable help to get me back on my feet. My former landlords (and 2nd parents) had worked out a repayment plan (I’d stopped paying rent at some point).

On one single, magical day, I was offered a management position at a pizza joint where I’d just begun working the day before, AND I received an acceptance letter to LaGrange College where I had a cousin who taught English. When I told the owners of the pizza joint about my dilemma (to try to thrive as a pizza joint manager or to go back to school), they said, “Well, that’s easy: you gotta go back to school. You can manage this place when you’re home.”

At LaGrange, success took on a life of its own. I met some of the best friends I’d ever had and became highly involved in campus life, joining Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, tutoring students in writing skills, editing the school’s literary publication, and ultimately graduating with a BA in English.

Most importantly, LaGrange is where I met my amazing bride and the mother of my five children. I graduated in June of 1998 and married Christy two weeks later. We laugh about being two Catholics who met at a Methodist college, but I thank God every day for intersecting our paths.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I currently live in Snellville, GA with my bride and our children (#5 is due in January 2013), a dog and a cat, in our comfortable house that we make a home through the love we fill it with.

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13 comments on “Who am I?

  1. niatkcam
    October 21, 2010

    I work in a US company which manufactures in Atlanta area and outsources to several facilities around the world. We sell equipment which, outsourcing some of our manufacturing to facilities around the world, can save money on the freight, shorten lead time for faster delivery AND make importing or exporting easier. We make most of our equipment to fit the needs of our customers, however we have some equipment which is standard. Most of the standard equipment comes from our manufacturer in China. Of course outsourcing has its issues also however they are quick to adapt if we find the need for a design change.
    With my company I have contact with people from all over the world and have a multi cultural office (employees from Asia, Africa, N & S America. I certainly enjoy my 8-5 job more than I would like the schedules many of the people with whom I have interacted. I asked a friend from China what were her feelings when she was making decisions to come to live in America. She said excitement and quite a bit of fear. She referred to the Dirty Harry movies and westerns where all Americans have guns and shoot everyone who offends them. She was extremely happy and relieved to find this is not real life America. We are, just people, as people are all around the world. We eat, play, work, sleep, make friends, and live. The people all have much more in common (wanting to make their lives and their children’s lives better) than they have been led to believe.

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  3. Christie
    August 19, 2012

    Great story, Steve…..

  4. Grande Falcone
    August 19, 2012

    Thanks Christie! Actually, you reminded me that I need to update this since we’re expecting baby #5!

  5. Beth Haggerty
    November 15, 2012

    Dear Steve,

    My name is Beth Haggerty, CEO and Founder of Ology.com, a new social media site that is connecting fans and experts to share their passions and interests. I’m reaching out to you because myself and the Ology staff came across your blog, Grand Falcone, and we really enjoy your reviews and commentary. We’re launching a film project in the coming weeks with bloggers like The Movie Blog and The Film Experience and would love to have you involved.

    Our project is called Film Riot, and over the course of five weeks, we’ll be hosting themed conversations with talented bloggers such as yourself for film fans and fellow writers. We want to connect film audiences from blogs across the Internet as we approach the New Year, and know your expertise will add an exciting element to the community.

    Email us back if interested, and we’ll send you all the details of the project. We’re excited to have you and your followers on board, and anticipate great things from your involvement.

    Best Regards,

    Beth Haggerty
    CEO and Founder
    Ology Media

  6. Grande Falcone
    November 15, 2012

    Hi Beth, thank you for contacting me. I am interested in learning more about your project, but I don’t see an email address associated with your name.

  7. Moment Matters
    January 19, 2013

    Hello there!

    It’s Justin of MomentMatters.com. I’m excited to inform you that Moment Matters is re-launching with new features and design!

    Along with it, I’m compiling a free e-book about the Greatest Articles and I’m featuring excellent comments in it. You thoughts on “Bullying Helps” is a standout! I’m asking permission if I could include your words in the book?

    All the best,
    Justin G. Bautista

  8. Grande Falcone
    January 19, 2013

    Sure thing, man. Looking forward to the new look!

  9. Moment Matters
    January 19, 2013

    That’s great man, thank you!

  10. Moment Matters
    March 21, 2013

    Steve,

    The free e-book “Greatest Articles | Moment Matters”, featuring your comment, is out now! You may download it in Nook, Kobo, ePUB or PDF format here.

    Cheers!
    Justin G. Bautista

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  12. I was curious if you ever considered changing the
    layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
    connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

  13. Grande Falcone
    July 26, 2013

    Thanks SPV, and your points are valid. I have tried over time to do a better job of incorporating images and laying out the text to be more reader-friendly. Hopefully you’ll find more recent posts more accessible.

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2010 by in Crossing Guard.

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