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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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Fun Eastern Colorado Day Trips: The Kit Carson County Carousel

My husband and I often joke that, except for the folks who commute to Schriever Air Force Base, most Colorado Springs residents probably think the world ends east of Marksheffel Road. We live in a nice middle/upper middle-class subdivision off Highway 94, just twelve miles outside of town, but I sometimes imagine our house is off the edge of one of those old flat-earth maps, where dragons awaited to devour

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What Education Really Needs is Industrial Strength Voban

It was my first day of student teaching and I was feeling overwhelmed. I was wearing my only suit, which made me way overdressed and therefore feeling even more out of place. Adding to my discomfort was the fact that my cooperating teacher, as well as two thirds of the school, was out with the flu. And I had no lesson plans. I sat in the teacher chair with about

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Shiplap, Lots of Shiplap: On Politics, Comedy, and HGTV

A few months ago, talented, cherubic-faced comedian Tina Fey treated college-educated women like me to yet another celebrity lecture on voting for Trump. Speaking about reproductive rights at an ACLU event, Fey said, “A lot of [the 2016] election was turned by white, college-educated women who now would maybe like to forget about this election and go back to watching HGTV…and I would want to urge them, you can’t look

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Keyless in America

“Where in the hell is the damn church key?” yelled the senior football player. It was after midnight, the pony keg was empty, and it was time to break into the cases of beer. But a can opener was needed and could not be located using only the light of the fire. Someone found a flashlight and after digging around in the glove compartments of several cars, a bottle/can opener,

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A General’s Family Tragedy

One hundred years ago this spring, the American Expeditionary Forces entered World War I under the command of General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, who had also led the famous 10th Cavalry Regiment of African-American “Buffalo Soldiers” during the Indian wars and the Spanish-American conflict. In fact, “Black Jack,” his nickname, was initially an insult leveled against him for leading African-American troops. However, while many people may know these and

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