Ronda Rich's blog

What has happened to NASCAR?

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Since I once called the garage area of the NASCAR Cup Series “home,” working in the sport for several years as one of few women among hundreds of men, folks often ask my opinion on today’s NASCAR. Read More»

4 seasons: Christmas, Easter . . .

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A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a friend who lives in Las Vegas. Suddenly, out of the blue, he asked, “Is Easter this Sunday?”

“No,” I replied. “Easter is one month from this Sunday.”

“Oh.” He laughed lightly, embarrassed, I suppose, that he didn’t know. “I was just thinking of the beautiful place where I usually go for sunrise service.”

At the time, I didn’t think much about it but later I thought, “You can tell he’s not Southern for Southerners always know exactly when Easter is.” Read More»

Ingenious Mama

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Mama wasn’t sentimental. In fact, I never knew of anyone who grew up in the Southern mountains during the Depression who was sentimental. They all said they were trying to forget, not remember.

So, as I continued to unpack Mama’s belongings after the disaster of a winter’s broken water line that destroyed her former home that is now my office, I didn’t expect much sentimentality. I, however, am extraordinarily sentimental. When the contractor pulled down a medicine chest in the bathroom to reveal ancient, pretty wallpaper, I pulled off pieces to save. Read More»

Going visiting

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One night back in the summer, Louise, Rodney and I stopped to see Russell and Neva, whom we have all known in one way or the other for decades. Yet, we go ages without seeing each other. It’s a crying shame, as Mama would say.

We piled out of the car, exchanged hugs and hellos, then climbed two short steps and settled down on the lovely porch of the hundred-year-old house that faces a neatly manicured pasture and is shaded by trees much older than any of us. Rodney and Neva took the swing and the rest of us plopped down in wicker chairs and rockers. Read More»

Who are my people?

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When Robert, a devout reader of this column who also happens to be an accomplished researcher in matter of family lineage, offered to trace my family roots, I accepted faster than kudzu can grow on a hot summer’s day.

What he unearthed would startle the entire family when we discovered who our blood kin was. The most amazing revelation was that some of us are kin to ourselves. Read More»

The Duct Tape Chronicles

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In digging through the material remains of what I consider to be my heart’s one and only home, I have smiled repeatedly, even chuckled out loud on occasion, at Mama’s thriftiness.

Some might call the evidence of what I have found “stinginess.” A few would say she was being a good steward of whatever dollars she scrounged together. Those of her own ilk – the Scotch-Irish – would say either that she did them proud or admit that she was a bit “quare.” That’s what the eccentric Scotch-Irish call each other when they think one of ‘em is odder than the rest. Read More»

Mamas and their babies

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One morning when I went for a run, the good Lord blessed with such a joy, though simple that it was.

A week earlier, my nephew, Rod, had brought two cows and their newborn calves to put in my pasture. He had put them in the corral at the barn for a day then released them into the pasture. For the next several days that came and went, the mamas and their babies had stay put on that side of the small river, though they have much less room to roam. Read More»

Crazy is as crazy lives...

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In my life, I’ve done some crazy things, things that defy reason and in retrospect lead even me to say, “What was I thinking?”

There was that Sunday morning drive I once took with legendary race car driver Dale Earnhardt. I thought we were going for a simple spin around Daytona International Speedway, just to see how the steep embankment felt. But the mischievous Earnhardt had other ideas.

We climbed into the pace car and he took off like he was on the final lap of the Daytona 500, trying to pass Jeff Gordon for the win. Earnhardt was never one for holding back. Read More»

The calling of a screen door . . .

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There is something about the banging of a screen door – soft, sweet and low – that warms the innards of my being.

Perhaps it is that it takes me back through a journey of memories to a time when everyone I loved was still alive. That is, I suppose, the greatest loss of innocence for me, though there have been many. For I failed to realize then that so many folks I cherished would all too soon become mere memories decorated by names etched in stone. Mortality was something I simply did not understand nor cared to comprehend. Read More»

Judy, the sad girl

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The other day I took a shortcut down a back road, the likes of which I had not seen since I was a child in petticoats and Mary Janes and rode the big, yellow schoolbus.

The road was dirt and gravel back then, twisting sharply from corner to corner as it wound itself around mostly pastures and creeks. There were, perhaps, three houses on the road, one of which was a white clapboard farm house with a front porch, steep steps and a postage stamp-sized front yard. Read More»