Ronda Rich's blog

Charlie and Mr. Lincoln

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[Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series over a five-week period.)

His name is Charles Almerin Tinker and he was the great-great-grandfather of my beloved.

“Charlie Tinker,” I sometimes hear my husband say as he passes the large framed photo. “You’re spinning in your grave. Your picture is hanging in the home of a Confederate.” Read More»

Easy way becomes hard way

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It seems to me that a lot of young people have it easy. Too many kids in high school and college are shielded from work and not taught the importance of money or earning it. It seems to me that this is a major default in the education of life.

If you don’t know the worth of a dollar or what it takes to earn that dollar, how can you successfully manage for the rest of your life? How can you start a family? Raise a family? Survive professional setbacks? Retire? Read More»

Women want to be rescued?

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Nicole and I were working out together one day and for some reason, she brought up a self-help, faith-related book we had both read. The thesis, basically, is how men are born with wild hearts, which should be admired not restrained by women.

“What did you learn from that book?” she asked as I attempted arm curls with weights too heavy.

“That every woman wants to be rescued,” I took the opportunity to rest. I can’t talk and work out, too.

“That is not what that book said,” she retorted. Read More»

Don’t mock how we talk

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There I was, sitting at my desk, writing away, bothering no one when my phone rang. It was Hollywood calling.

“Hey,” said a friend of ours who is a big-time movie producer. “I have you on speaker phone and the director of casting is here with me.”

Now, don’t go getting ahead of me and think they were calling to offer me a part of some kind. No, they were calling to ask about a famous friend of mine, whom they wanted to offer a part in a major movie. Read More»

The gate

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It all started with a break-in then continued to a breaking point when a crazy woman showed up at my door, ranting about aliens who had landed at her house. She needed me to write an article to warn their commander not to send them back to her house.

When Tink heard I had run off a car full of Jehovah Witnesses with my shotgun, he said, “That’s it. We’re putting in a gate. For your safety as well as the safety of aliens and Jehovah Witnesses.”

For a while, I had demurred over installing a privacy gate but, finally, I was ready to agree. The crazy woman and her aliens had persuaded me. Read More»

Happy New Year!

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Of course, I’ll be having black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year’s Day. It has become more than a tradition. It’s almost downright superstition, though I hate to admit that.

And, of course, I’ll make the usual resolutions. I’ll commit those stubborn six pounds to a diet, pledge to work out more than once a week, promise to be kinder to those who are meaner and read my Bible daily. Read More»

Christmas in hard times

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When Mama was a small girl growing up in the Nimblewill Valley in the Appalachian foothills, it was the midst of the Great Depression. As she often said, “Times were hard but it’s all we knew so we didn’t know how poor we were.” Read More»

Flirting with success

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It’s a funny thing about us Southerners. If a Yankee criticizes us, we haughtily disregard it, muttering over their ignorance.

But on the occasion that a Yankee compliments us, we happily embrace it and declare that we have found an enlightened Yankee.

Such was the case with me when a reporter from a Yankee newspaper called to interview me on the fine art of flirtation.

“Why did you call me?” I asked.

“Because everyone knows that Southern women are the best flirts,” she replied simply.

I loved enlightened Yankees. They are a joy to my soul. Read More»

A feeling of empathy

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One night while out to dinner, I noticed an elegant elderly lady at the next table over who was dining alone. I was drawn to her because sorrow clouded her eyes and she smiled sadly, the kind we all force when we do not feel happy.

The waiter seemed to know her. He leaned down to chat with her, placed his hand on her shoulder and was kindly solicitous. She responded with a grateful look. It was, for all practical purposes, an empathetic exchange. I called the waiter over and asked about the woman. Read More»

Grooming and the lack of it

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Not long ago, I was in Los Angeles and visiting Tink on the set of a television show that he was executive producing. We sat side-by-side in director chairs, watching as the scene was set up and actors took their place. I looked across Tink to see a woman studying me carefully. I smiled.

She tilted her head then asked, “Are you Mrs. Tinker?”

I smiled bigger. “Yes, I am.”

She nodded, silently studying me. “I thought so. You’re Southern, right?” There was no smile, no social engaging from her. I felt like a rat in a laboratory examination.

Again, “Yes, I am.” Read More»

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