I was born in central Ohio where the first thing they do is give you a football in the hospital crib, just to ensure there is no confusion about what college football team you will be rooting for. We lived on the outskirts of town in those early years, and I remember my father being on the road a lot working various construction projects to make ends meet.
My mother took care of my older sister, Ashlee, and I and a few cousins who lived down the street. We spent most of our time playing outside, building forts in the woods and walking up and down the small streams near our house that we referred to as “creekin” later in life.
When I was in first grade, my dad landed a job that got him off the construction projects and we moved away from all my family, venturing south to Cincinnati. He sold plumbing supplies, and this was going to be our new break in life. My parents got a house in a nicer neighborhood that we could hardly afford, and my mom started cleaning houses around town for the more fortunate. It was tough paying the bills, but they were adamant about keeping us in this school district so we could have the opportunity to get a great education.