Ronda Rich's blog

The moral of the story

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During those gray, cloud-filled days, figuratively and literally, I wasn’t exactly imprisoned but two years of consented captivity in the unfamiliar North was one of the greatest burdens my Southern soul has ever carried.

In those troubled days, there was little relief, it seemed. From early November until late March, the sun seldom smiled, the wind always chilled and the snow often fell. Read More»

At 90, ‘I’ve been so blessed’

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I visited a woman, old and gray, her journey of life nearing its winter’s end. She settled into an armless rocker and moved gently, slowly back and fro, looking from her view on the porch past the towering magnolia trees that spread the full length of her yard. Read More»

Dinner table talk

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A few months ago when Poet, the free-lance wanderer that he is, found himself passing through my neck of the South, he called up, then turned up at my front door, then plopped down in my guest room for a few days.

And, of course, he was most welcomed. Not only because we have a deep and abiding friendship but also because whenever Poet is in my midst, a column or two will be awaiting breathlessly to drop into my lap. The friends I cherish the most are always the ones who provide me with entertaining stories, especially ones that I can pass along to you. Read More»

Death in the South

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One Sunday morning I came breezing into Sunday School class, after having been out of town for a week. My sister grabbed me and hugged me tightly to welcome me home.

“Oh, I’m so glad you’re back!” Louise shrilled happily. She hugged me again. “I missed you.”

I grinned. “Well, you wouldn’t know it. You didn’t call me one time to check on me. When I was in Ireland for a week, you worried incessantly. But when I went to Los Angeles for a week, you didn’t call once.” I laughed. “And everybody knows that L.A. is much more dangerous than Ireland.” Read More»

Newspapers need us; we need them

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In the home in which I grew up, the daily newspaper was almost as important to our everyday lives as the Bible.

Daddy came home every night, finished his supper – which Mama brought to him on a tray as he relaxed in his favorite recliner – then picked up the paper and read every page.

Until she died, Mama planned her day around the arrival of the newspaper. As soon it arrived, she hurried to get it, made a cup of coffee with cream and sugar, then settled into her chair and savored the pages. She took hours to read every word. Read More»

Dixie grits meet Las Vegas glitz

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Like any self-respecting Southerner, it’s hard for me to pass up reading a well-written obituary. Especially when it runs in the Wall Street Journal and begins with she was “a dash of Southern class in a raucous old boys club.”

Thus began the ending of the life of one Claudine Williams, a Shreveport, La., native, who remarkably showed her Southern prowess and charm in the toughest of worlds – the mob-run Las Vegas of the 1950s and ‘60s. Read More»

Comforts of simple things

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It is the absence of simple things that has made life so complicated. Those simple things cost nothing yet can make you feel like a million bucks.

One night during late spring, a friend, who is a legend in the Hollywood movie industry, called and we set about the business of catching up since it had been a couple of months since we had talked. He was tucked away on his getaway place near a rushing river in the mountains and I was in a similar simple place, though I was clear across the country from him. Read More»

Ghosts of Southerners past . . .

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When our friendship was new and still most interesting, Poet sought to impress me. But when the new wore off, Poet cast me into the ring with his other friends who are familiar and comfortable so there is no longer a need to impress.

This was evident when he arrived at my hotel in Jackson, Miss., to pick me up for dinner. Poet, you will recall, rises up from generations of very old Mississippi Delta dirt and is what he calls, “a gentleman farmer.” Cotton, lots of cotton, is the family business for over a hundred years. Read More»

If you can’t tell a story, then just be quiet . . .

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There is a friend I have who cannot, for the life of her, tell a story.

Sadly, she thinks she can.

This often leads to drawn out phone conversations, dinners and afternoons over coffee that can be nothing less than a yawning bore.

First, she has very little sense of humor. At least when she’s the one doing the talking. Now, she laughs merrily at others and often at my witticisms, proving she knows a good punch line when she hears it. She just can’t conjure up one of her own. Read More»

The allure of full moons

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For some reason, I’ve always loved full moons. Every time I see one, I stop in my tracks, fully absorb and appreciate its beauty and then thank the good Lord that I lived to see another beautiful full moon.

It is a gift, you know.

One night I walked out on the ocean front balcony of a condo in St. Simons Island and discovered a picture perfect, marshmallow moon hanging out above the glistening sea with its gently rolling waves. I was on my way to bed, for it was late. Instead, I pulled up a chair, plopped down and stared at the white magic in the black sky. Read More»

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