Commentaries & Essays

Open Mic: My Life in Cars

Aug 18, 2016

    

My father gave me my first car, a 1965 Ford Fairlane. Although I had my driver’s license, I didn’t know out how to back up, park, or merge. To be honest, I couldn’t even start the car.  I’d always flood the engine.

How did I get a license? The day of the exam, I aced the written section, but failed the road part. I couldn’t parallel park; nor could I negotiate a K-turn. For some reason, the examiner said, “Oh hell,” and passed me anyway.

Open Mic: Love in the Time of Acne

Jul 7, 2016
Norman Rockwell through Creative Commons

Seventh grade was not a good look for me. Physically, mentally, hormonally, and sartorially - I was a mess. My body was at war with itself: my voice cracked, my face was broken out, and my arms and legs felt like hand-me-downs from a much lankier, less coordinated, older sibling.

Open Mic: The Graduate

May 24, 2016
Holly Marcus, Special to the Staunton News Leader

It’s graduation season, and millions of young people are collecting diplomas – but they’re not alone.  More and more older Americans are wrapping up a college degree – among them Charlottesville – area author Faith Andrews Bedford.

A Year with Chickens: Wisdom from the Flock

Apr 28, 2016

It’s been about a year now since a quick stop at the hardware store to pick up some duct tape and grass seed turned us into part-time poultry farmers.

Not that I blame my husband. Those little balls-of-fluff are enough to melt any man into a can’t-say-no-kind-of puddle. 

But I had no idea what I was in for when I let my overjoyed children carry three peeping to-go boxes inside my kitchen.

Open Mic: Irresponsibly Grown...

Apr 26, 2016

Recently, as I walked through the produce section of a grocery store, I passed a sign that said, “Responsibly Grown Potatoes.” Naturally, I began to imagine “Irresponsibly Grown Potatoes.” 

 

Would they be grown by a chain-smoking farmer, one who flicks his carcinogenic ashes on the crop?

Or, maybe they’d be raised by a tipsy fellow who stashes a hip flask in his farmer jeans. Every day, he’d stagger around the fields dousing the nascent plants with a little hooch.

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