Welcome to Five O’Clock Shadow, a blog that began when I quit my previous career and found time to start writing again. Besides observations and stories about Life, I feature several columns like Old Man Rants (comedy), Who’s On Your Hero List? (interview), RebEarth (sustainable living), Music and more.
In addition to being a writer, I’m also a musician- so you might see musical stuff posted occasionally as well. Click here for my music site.
Don’t forget to follow me on WordPress or subscribe below to get new posts emailed to you for free. I also write weekly articles for Wise & Shine Magazine.
Thanks and happy reading!
Subscribe To Five O’Clock Shadow
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.
My friends know me as the guy who tells long stories. So, not wanting to leave anybody out of the friendship circle, here is what my friends would call “The Todd version“ of what should be a one paragraph bio. Call it a “bio-hazard” if you want.
I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a small city about an hour and a half west of Philadelphia. The area outside the city is known for its farmland and is home to many Amish people. In fact, I’m watching one ride by right now on their scooter as I’m editing this piece. I guess you can tell I still live nearby the place I was raised.
My life growing up was pretty carefree, much different than is for kids nowadays. I wasn’t going to go to college until I had a random conversation with a guy I was walking past as he stood out front of a bar, smoking a cigarette. As weird as it is, that conversation changed the direction of my life and I decided to go to college to be a music teacher. I was torn between music and writing, but an advisor told me it would be easier to switch out of Music and into English and still graduate on time than it would be the other way around, so that is the sole reason I chose Music over English. I went to the local university because my girlfriend skipped college and got a job, and I wanted to be close to her. A few years later, I convinced her to accept my marriage proposal.
After college, most of my friends at the time wanted to get in bands and play music. I wanted to get a teaching job and a house, and start having a family. So for the next 25 or so years, that’s what I did. I taught music in a public elementary school and raised two daughters. In between teaching classes and playing Barbies with my kids, I worked to become part of the regional music scene in as many different situations as I could.
I loved teaching for many years, but slowly the tide started to turn. After a certain point, the tide turned into a gushing waterfall of “get the hell out of this mess“. Lucky for me I was able to do that, because as the door was opening for me to leave education, my wife was getting excited about jumping in. She had stayed at home with the kids and done some part-time work, but with the daughters entering middle and high school, she decided to go to college and become a teacher. It’s her steady income and health benefits that allowed me to leave teaching early and pursue my other interests. In 2019, I quit education and went full- on into music.
In the meantime I had started writing again, re-discovering how much I enjoy it. I got a job as a part-time columnist in my local newspaper.
Things were going well on the regional music scene and then Covid came and dumped a cooler of ice water all over my musical coming out party. In the downtime, I started writing more. Somewhere along the way I found Troy Hedrick and the team at Wise & Shine, who invited me in.
Besides music and writing, I am mildly interested in just about everything. My 5 O’Clock Shadow blog reflects that with its different departments and categories. The grouchy humor of Old Man Rants, my passion for the environment with RebEarth, Music, Travel, Wellness and more.
And for those of you thinking, “You know, that wasn’t really all that long after all,” allow me to ramble on with these 10 random facts about myself.
I’m a big Philadelphia Eagle fan.
I spent 25 years as a vegetarian.
I strive to be a marathon runner but at this point have only managed half marathons.
I’m the only person in my family who hasn’t been to Europe and yeah, I’m a little pissed about it.
When I say Dr. Seuss is the greatest poet there ever was – I mean it.
I seriously might have a chocolate problem.
I love snow and cold weather, not just because I enjoy it, but because it makes me feel like the climate is not going all the way to hell.
I drive my car on E until I get really nervous about running out of gas. Then I drive a little farther, then I get gas. I’m not sure why I do this or why it satisfies me.
People are surprised to find out that I am an introvert.