Manassas – The Band and the Place

Manassas – The Band and the Place

Ever heard of the Stephen Stills band “Manassas?” Me neither, until this week. Apparently, this is the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first (of two) albums by the band named “Manassas.” Stephen Stills (of the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and—sometimes—Young fame) formed this band in the wake of a chance encounter with Chris Hillman…

Hungry for the Vote

Hungry for the Vote

On the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of each November, I think of Lucy Burns, a suffragist who was jailed in the Lorton Workhouse Prison in Virginia for picketing. Burns frequently protested in front of the White House between 1916-1918 to influence President Wilson to support the right to vote for women, resulting in…

Imagining a Better Future

Imagining a Better Future

Some things require imagination—a dream, a novel, a school, a better future. My husband and I often walk through the Jennie Dean Park near our house. It contains the remains of Jennie Dean’s dream of a residential school for Black students to learn agriculture and industrial skills as well as gain academic instruction. A home…

Anne’s Hiding Place

Anne’s Hiding Place

I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was twelve. I was deeply impacted by the personal story of an incomprehensible situation and ultimately, her tragic end. At the time, I slept in a room over the garage in my home, listening to records by Captain and Tennille, reading books like “Are you there,…

Flannery O’Connor’s View

Flannery O’Connor’s View

One of my favorite quotes by a writer trying to explain the drive to write is from Flannery O’Connor: “I write to discover what I know.” I love this quote for its optimism, especially whenever I have writer’s block. I’ll let this quote guide me through a meandering trail of thought about what I might…