Category Creative Nonfiction

Redneck Chic and the Return of Gretchen Wilson

I think I am only slightly exaggerating when I say that being a redneck is sort of fashionable right now. Ever since the white working class proved decisive in the 2016 presidential election, both major parties are re-evaluating their relationship with an “embarrassing” voting bloc they believed they could ignore with impunity.  However, over a year ago, even before Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination, yours truly cautioned against writing

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More Than Just A Sequel: The Empire Strikes Back

Picture the scene: It’s 1980, summer’s approaching, and I’m impatiently awaiting the release of the most anticipated movie sequel of my fifteen years. Everyone knows there’s no way it can top its predecessor, so we’re settling for hoping it’ll at least measure up and remain true to the spirit of the original. Not only would that new installment turn out to be better than I could’ve hoped, it would eventually

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Remember, There Were No Remotes!

At seventy-two, my grandmother Linda recounted her memories of old with eager ease. The questions I asked triggered a flood of reminiscences of a young girl and her experiences with a now-very-distant world. The life Linda knew as a little girl is merely a distant memory of days gone by, and after our interview together, she realized just how far gone that world is today. Not better or worse—just different.

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The Joys of a Good Morning’s Sleep

Here’s a thing about me: I hate getting out of bed in the morning. When I was young, my mother warned me to always be careful about using the word “hate.” It was a powerful thing, she told me. It could hurt others’ feelings and eventually turn me into a bitter person. It couldn’t be taken back, either. Once I spoke it into being, it was there to stay. So trust

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Moving Stuff and Things: Home is Where the Box Is

I don’t like to brag, but I think I could accurately guess the actual contents of a box based on its feel and weight. All I’d need to do is pick it up and shake it a bit, and then I’d be able to tell you whether it contains a George Foreman grill, bedsheets, stereo speakers, silverware, or an assortment of albums from the 1970s. Fun fact: Late 1970s records

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The Little Giant of Blue-Eyed Soul

I saw the danger, yet I walked Along the enchanted way. . . . “On Raglan Road” More than three months now and I just can’t get the music of Van Morrison out of my heart and feet. After five full decades his voice, his songs, his high-art approach to backstreet blue ballads and stonegood rocking continues to astonish and humble and anchor. When I was young, I heard his

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