Open Mic

Mother's Day Remembrance: Benedetta at 106

May 1, 2015

Mother's Day provides a chance to think about our mothers and about those who came before them -- the often unsung heroes of countless families. Charlottesville writer Debby Prum remembers her grandmother -- who lived for more than a century and left her family with many amusing memories. 

Channeling Your Inner Luddite

Feb 25, 2015

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.

A Remembrance for Black History Month

Feb 12, 2015

On a mild night in January, I went to the opening evening of the Martin Luther King celebration in Lexington. It’s  a simple service, held annually at the First Baptist Church at the foot of Main Street.

The Great Expectations

Jan 12, 2015

“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.

The Customs Forms: Objects of Gratitude

Dec 17, 2014

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.