Ronda Rich

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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.

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RONDA RICH: Orphaned later in life

THE DIXIE DIVA: No one, regardless of how old we are, likes to be an orphan

I don’t like being an orphan. These days, particularly, I yearn for their counsel and commonsensical insights into a world that is spinning quickly into something that I cannot recognize or understand. I need Daddy, who was my rudder, and Mama who was my anchor.

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RONDA RICH: Hollywood gets it wrong again

THE DIXIE DIVA: Georgia geography eludes Hollywood script writers

The problem here, which I realized as soon as I was able to prove to myself that I was right about the Savannah River, is that we television viewers and movie goers tend to think that Hollywood, with all its money and means, gets its facts straight.

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RONDA RICH: Some things old are new again

THE DIXIE DIVA: Sometimes you dont know what youre missing

By reading only digital editions, I have been missing out on great stories layered deep in the pages.

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RONDA RICH: Sticking together, 150 years later

THE DIXIE DIVA: Winners, I have discovered, do not like to associate with losers

“Gen. Longstreet Chapter,” the sign read with an arrow pointing toward a certain room. I read it aloud then my eyes lighted up. Gen. Longstreet was a famous commander of the Civil War, considered to be, along with Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson, one of the most battle successful in a war that would be lost. He is from my hometown of Gainesville.

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RONDA RICH: Learning more than how to crochet

THE DIXIE DIVA: Something the other day took me back to a time, many years ago

My grandmother, born and bred in the backwoods of the mountains, had the average education of that region. Longing to better herself intellectually and mentally, she was a serious devotee of crossword puzzles.

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RONDA RICH: Flirting with success

THE DIXIE DIVA: Storytelling is in the blood of Southerners

You can be a good storyteller without being a good flirt. But you cannot be a great flirt without being a terrific storyteller.

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RONDA RICH: A father to remember

THE DIXIE DIVA: My husband has opened my eyes to something I took for granted

It happens all the time. Tink will meet someone new around where we live and, invariably, that person will mention my daddy.

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RONDA RICH: Liberation wrought with a pickup truck

THE DIXIE DIVA: When it gets down to it, you just need a truck

In the South, a man is known for the truck he drives.

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RONDA RICH: Jim Lofton one of the great ones

THE DIXIE DIVA: Coach Lofton touched many lives during his life

I saw coaches, roaring like lions on the sidelines or in the locker rooms, become gentle lambs at the appropriate time when a player’s personal life called for compassion. I saw them take fatherless boys and rebellious ones and guide them onto the path of respectability. I watched them make a difference when the rest of the world turned a blind eye.

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RONDA RICH: The Yankee and the pocketknife

THE DIXIE DIVA: The sexiest men drive pickup trucks and carry pocket knives.

A few months ago, a reader showed up at an event I was doing and handed me a newspaper clipping of a column I wrote eight or nine years ago. He grinned happily after he asked me to sign it. “That’s me to a tee.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Case knife. “Got more at home, too.” He pointed out the window. “That’s my truck, too. Got another one at home.”

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RONDA RICH: Mama B: A most memorable mother

THE DIXIE DIVA: Bedelle Nix, a memorable name for an unforgettable woman

As my sister’s mother-in-law, Mama B, as she was known all over the countryside, became part of our family when I was seven. This introduction into our family meant that Mama B, a strong, mindful woman, would meet the closest thing to a match she would ever encounter: My mama.

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