Category Archives: memories

Something Old

I still have the tattered Golden Book of Nursery Tales (1948) and Mother Goose Book of Nursery Rhymes (1953) presented to me at birth. At a time in my life when preserving the past evidently mattered less to me, I removed the … Continue reading

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My Second-to-Last Conversation with My Father

            Yes, I know the word penultimate. Yes, I have known since reading Strunk and White  that one word is always better than three, even when the three are hyphenated. But I received my inspiration for this … Continue reading

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50 Years Ago: My 15 Minutes on the Front Page

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Metatext: Memories in the Margins

Two weeks ago, on March 18, I saw The Sense of an Ending on the second day of its run at the Cameo Art House Theater in Fayetteville. In 2011–specifically, “Thanksgiving 2011, Lake Mattamuskeet” according to my notation on the flyleaf–I read … Continue reading

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Letters from Margaret

It was the spring of 1976. I was 23, smart, fierce, on everybody’s most-likely-to succeed list. But as my undergraduate mentor had predicted, I was still a babe in the woods, having wandered 2,059 miles from the sheltering mountains of my childhood … Continue reading

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Waiting for God

Several days ago, I found a box taped up when we moved here seven years ago and never opened since. Amongst the knickknacks, costume jewelry, and small-appliance instructions I found there was this photo. Two friends hamming it up in over-the-top seasonal regalia sweaters … Continue reading

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Extrospection: Globe, Google Maps, and the Wound of Geography

I have studied with depth, breadth, and passion not only the literature, but also the history–both political and intellectual–of the American South. During the most impressionable years of my intellectual formation, I was reading Wilbur J. Cash on The Mind of the … Continue reading

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Not Exactly Epiphanies

At the age of 36, I decided to get a master’s degree in English. I have elsewhere–well, everywhere, including in the introductory lecture of nearly every class I teach–suggested that I was standing in a bookstore, staring at the American literature selection, when … Continue reading

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My Name Is Vicki, and I Am a Taphophile

1960: My sister, my cousins, and I scrambled into the back of my uncle’s 1948 Ford pick-up and headed with our fathers to the cemetery overlooking the dusty town of Globe, Arizona. We played among the graves while they watered the grass … Continue reading

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Forever Becoming: A Meditation

Written at Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, 11 Nov. 2009 I was only 36, beginning a second graduate program—clearly, I was far from complete.  We who continually reinvent ourselves retain the illusion of eternal becoming far longer than those respectable adults with 2½ … Continue reading

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