Essay

Open Mic
1:07 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Channeling Your Inner Luddite

My son gave me a record player for Christmas.  Here is how it works. You turn a knob to switch on the power. You place the vinyl LP onto the turntable. You lift the black lever and guide the needle to the record. The needle drops and then—miracle of miracles--you hear music.

On the other hand, turning on my television requires an advanced degree in electronic devices. How I long for the big brown wooden box of my childhood, the one with an on/off knob and a rotary dial to select the four available channels.

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Open Mic
11:02 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The Great Expectations

“Expectations lead to tension, “ said Susan McCulley, my dance instructor.  Then she told us to look at ourselves in the mirrored wall.  She asked, “Does what you see meet your expectations?”

Nope.  Not so much.

I was expecting to appear a little taller.  I stood near the front of the room and looked at the reflections of my classmates.  Clearly, they all towered over me.

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Open Mic
5:04 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Letter to Centrifuge Man

 

The U.S. military relies heavily on the skills of its fighter pilots -- an elite group of men and women with a challenging skill set.  Nelson County writer Linda Crowe made that discovery while watching a YouTube video of her nephew at Marine Corps Flight School. Rapid climbing and descents can cause pilots to lose their vision or black out, but they can train in a kind of centrifuge to avoid those fearful events. Crowe was amazed and impressed by a plucky instructor in the video and sent fan mail to the guy she calls Centrifuge Man.

 

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Open Mic
11:43 am
Wed December 17, 2014

The Customs Forms: Objects of Gratitude

Promotion to 1st Lieutenant, in Afghanistan

I’m deep into recycling old papers one day when I come upon a small handful of very thin ones, all the same size, with “US Postal Service” printed on them.

I know these papers. Customs forms, the documents I had to fill out whenever I sent my son Owen, a U.S. Marine, something in Afghanistan.

At first I saved all my copies of the forms, in case he didn’t get his boxes. What we’d do then, I had no idea. But I saved them.

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Open Mic
1:20 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

A Message to Santa

Tis the season when small children write letters to Santa Claus, often providing their parents with helpful hints for shopping.  Charlottesville author Deborah Prum is no kid, but she likes the tradition of writing to the jolly old man up North and shares this year’s letter with listeners.

Dear Santa:

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