Open Mic

A Message to Santa

Dec 11, 2014

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:

The Christmas Present

Dec 5, 2014

When I was growing up, my parents never took down our Christmas tree. It was a synthetic tree from the 1960s, its faded green branches plasticine and matted, imbued with the soot, tobacco, and laughter of the dozens of Christmases it had presided over, making no pretense of being an actual tree. It was bejeweled/smothered with a cacophany of lights- indoor and outdoor, colored and clear, blinking, non-blinking, and chasing. It was frenetic and tacky, more Jackson Pollack than Norman Rockwell, but we wouldn't have changed a thing about it. 

Musical Connections

Dec 1, 2014
Musicians' Union, UK

This past September, British Folksong Archivist, Amanda Boyd, brought her show highlighting the musical connection between Southwest England and Southwest Virginia here for a special series of programs. 

After her performance at the Lincoln Theater in Marion, Virginia, she traveled around the region for two weeks. She retraced the steps of early twentieth century British Folklorist, Cecil Sharp, collected slightly different versions of the same folk songs, from people in Virginia and in Britain.

Ode to the VIP Concertgoer: An Essay

Nov 30, 2014

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to a concert at the Fillmore in Charlotte.  The wildly energetic and eclectic violinist Lindsey Stirling was performing and my friend Claire and I were anticipating magical riffs from her flying fiddle bow.   

Thanksgiving Traditions

Nov 18, 2014
Creative Commons

It starts with some stale white bread. Then a little butter, onion, chicken broth, celery, and salt are added. But for Waynesboro writer and essayist Mollie Cox Bryan, Thanksgiving Day stuffing features another key ingredient. 

Mollie Cox Bryan has a new book out,  A Crafty Christmas: A Cumberland Creek Mystery.  She's also the author of Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies and Scrapbook of Secrets, among other books.  For more information, visit her website.