Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
Reading the memoirs of October’s Member of the Month, Steve Leasure (aka Steve Anthony), is to offer a case study in one man’s strong sense of identity as a father, and the joy and clarity that comes with it. In his work life, Leasure has had a career that’s been both right-brained and left-brained, having worked as a machinist, toolmaker, journalist, CAD designer, and now a Quality Manager of a turbine blade manufacturer near Atlanta, Georgia. “But,” says Leasure, “I will always be the son of a machinist.”
Leasure first learned of the Six-Word Memoir project in AARP The Magazine in 2010 and says he was “blown away how people could sum up their relationships, loves and lives in just six words.” Now, 4211 Six-Word Memoirs later (and counting), he’s what I call one of the “powerusers”—the site’s most passionate and frequent posters— and a group not shy about debating the ways and means of SMITH Magazine. He’s a contributor to other SMITH story projects as well. Leasure’s piece, “Mercy,” about a car accident that almost killed him, is found The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure (and you can also read a version that appeared on SMITH).
Recently, Leasure, who lives with his wife, Holly, and son, Adam, recently took time to answer six questions from SMITH. We’re pleased to give him the gift that keeps giving and starts many (more) conversations: the Six-Word Memoir T-shirt of his choice from Spreadshirt.
Name: Steve Leasure
Town: Douglasville, Georgia
SMITH member since: August, 2010
What keeps you engaged on SMITH?
I love the power of six. On this site people speak deep truths. They get to the heart of the matter. It teaches me about myself. I make revolutions. I love being associated with great talent.
When did you start writing, and what have been turning points in your creative life
Because I was so shy and stuttered until I was about 20 I can remember always writing poems and letters to girls and of course, never sending them. It was kind of like the Moody Blues song “Nights in White Satin.” Through this experience I fell in love poetry.
In my life I have had many turning points creatively. Winning the Marvin Perry Award for Creative Excellence at East Tennessee State University. A fourth place finish for Collegiate Journalist of the Year. Winning the Tyler Hope Award for one of my short stories. Having my cartoons appear in several college newspapers. Articles published in respected trade magazines. Being a toolmaker at Gulfstream Aerospace. Designing and marketing a golf putter and other products.
You have a young son who seems to inspire your writing. Can you say more about than or share a favorite fatherhood six?
From a snowflake to a snowball.
My son is a snowflake child. Adam is documented as the second oldest frozen embryo in the world. He was frozen from 1994 to 2008. For more than fourteen years he lived without a heartbeat. Then my wife’s love found him.
He is someone’s mistake. The result of someone not doing their job. He isn’t supposed to be here. He isn’t supposed to be playing with Hot Wheels cars or pulling the cat’s tail. He isn’t supposes to be humming the words to “Smoke on the Water.” He isn’t supposed to be my son, my love. Fortunately love creates miracles that can overcome the greatest of odds.
What’s a passion outside of writing?
I love collecting vinyl records.
What authors inspire you or do you admire?
I mainly admire writers who wrote before the word processor came along: John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jim Carroll, Hunter S. Thompson, Saul Bellow, Tennessee Williams, Ayn Rand, Mark Medoff, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Carol Oates Joyce, John D. MacDonald and others.
Finally, Steve Leasure, what’s your Six-Word Memoir for today?
Double parked in a parallel universe.