Ronda Rich


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RONDA RICH: The gift of love

THE DIXIE DIVA: Never wait until tomorrow

An email arrived in the middle of the night back in August. Its message was to tell me that my precious friend Randy Parks, one of the dearest friends of my life, was back in the hospital with congestive heart failure.

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RONDA RICH: For the people

THE DIXIE DIVA: We all have favorite people and favorite places

I love people who have colorful personalities with strong opinions wrapped in courtly charm.

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RONDA RICH: The Stones of Life

THE DIXIE DIVA: Zell Miller a mighty man

The honorable Zell Miller of Young Harris, was raised by a remarkable mountain woman. Folks around those parts called her “Miss Birdie” while her son, a man who would grow up to influence Southern and national politics in a tremendous way, would always call her “Mama.”

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RONDA RICH: Dixie Dew's goodbye

THE DIXIE DIVA: Dixie Dew was 14 years and 8 months old

Somewhere in the celestial realm, it was determined that Dixie Dew would be treated to a trip to Mama’s lap in heaven and I, my heart crushed, would fall to my knees and plea for mercy from the grief.

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RONDA RICH: The boy in the overalls

THE DIXIE DIVA: Those who help will be blessed for their goodwill

The other day I had something on my mind, a situation we had just encountered with someone we had sought to help.

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RONDA RICH: What lies ahead

THE DIXIE DIVA: Hard times make the good times sweeter

The other morning, I called one of my best friends. I had a bit of news as well as a piece of advice I wanted to share.

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RONDA RICH: That is one cranky Yankee

THE DIXIE DIVA: Antique Yankee needs better people skills

It was in the lovely Delta town of Greenwood, Mississippi that my adorable Yankee met a cranky Yankee. I would just like to say that observing this provided one of the most delightful evenings of my life.

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RONDA RICH: Ethics of a moonshiner

THE DIXIE DIVA: A moonshiner would break the law, but not break his word

When the Chattanooga Better Business Bureau hired me as the keynote speaker for its annual luncheon, the president and CEO was very specific on what he wanted me to talk. He called twice to stress that I should build my talk around integrity and ethics in business.

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RONDA RICH: The names on the wall

THE DIXIE DIVA: There is something even sadder than being dead and forgotten

The Vietnam Memorial is there to remember those who fell while fighting a war at which America failed. It’s there so those soldiers won’t be forgotten.

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RONDA RICH: Mama would be proud

THE DIXIE DIVA: Seeing the future value in things

All my life, as long as I can recall, Mama saved things. Not because she was sentimental but because she had grown up Scotch-Irish poor so any little bit of something might be valuable down the road.

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RONDA RICH: Life's not always funny

THE DIXIE DIVA: Quiet moments are the best for finding time to create

The one piece of advice I always give to aspiring writers is to find time to reflect, which will, in turn, present a story, a philosophy or an observation that will prove worthy of recording.

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RONDA RICH: Pondering and learning

THE DIXIE DIVA: Most of us are too distracted these days to observe people who cross our path

On those summer nights on the porch, I recall how Mama would sit quietly and string those green beans. She wasn’t moping or worrying, she was simply studying life and developing her opinions and philosophies.

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RONDA RICH: A melody in our words

THE DIXIE DIVA: It is fortunate for me that I was birthed and raised in the South

It has taken a while but I have come to know that writers are shaped dramatically by the places from which we come. Those places — the ones we call home — are the underlining, unsung melody to our words. It enlivens the compositions we create.

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RONDA RICH: Confederates, Yankees and funerals

THE DIXIE DIVA: Civil War battlefield eludes GPS

A speaking engagement in the Chattanooga area landed us within a few minutes of Chickamauga, the site of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. So, I insisted that we take a side trip to the historic battlefield.

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RONDA RICH: The preacher and his kindness

THE DIXIE DIVA: We can be blessings in meaningful ways

We all look around for those who are homeless, without food or children in need of Christmas, but often we overlook others who can afford shelter, food and clothing yet have other problems. We tend not to think of them in need so we don’t reach out to help.