Singing an ode to the sports writer’s wife

Published 10:23 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

Before they passed away a couple of years ago, I learned a lot from my Aunt Jean and Uncle Dennis.

Uncle Dennis was from South Louisiana, someone who liked a good joke and good food and was a bit of an eccentric. Aunt Jean was a Yankee from Pennsylvania who was the calm, steadying force in the relationship.

In between telling silly jokes about Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, several times a day Uncle Dennis would randomly tell Aunt Jean, “I love you, sweetheart.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

They were married for more than 50 years, so I figured it was something that worked. I vowed that, when I found someone I loved, I’d be sure to do like Uncle Dennis and tell them every day.

Ten years ago, I found that person when I met my wife Shannon. We got married eight years ago this week, and I’ve made it a point to tell her “I love you” every day. Thinking about her always brings a smile to my face. She’s gorgeous, kind, and, most important, patient and understanding.

The life of a sports writer — and a newspaper employee in general ­— can be brutal when it comes to maintaining personal relationships.

Since my quest to get every game played at 2 p.m. is finding little traction, there are way too many late nights and early wake-up calls. Weekends and holidays are often just another work day.

Family gatherings are skipped, nights are spent alone. Between August and May, Shannon and I rarely spend a Friday night together.

Despite that, we’re proud to say that in our decade together we’ve never had a fight. Any real issues seem to work themselves out pretty quickly. She’s the left hand in the relationship, I’m the right, or maybe it’s the other way around.

Sometimes, I think we share a brain. I’ll be in the grocery store and just think of getting something. Without fail, she’ll text me to pick it up a few moments later.

I don’t know where I’d be without her.

I’d quote Jerry Maguire and say she completes me, but that’d be too much of a cliché.

I prefer to quote former Temple basketball coach John Chaney and say having her in my life is “having peanut butter all your life and getting the bicycle you always wanted.”

Thank you, Shannon, for being my peanut butter and my bicycle, and everything else that’s good in the world.

I love you.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer. He can be reached at 601-619-7120, or via email at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest