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Photo by Howard Reed

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RICH: The code of the mountains: A man's word is his bond

There is a saying among the people of the rural South, used to condemn anyone who has changed the terms of an agreement, especially those done with a word and a hand shake.

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RICH: The code of the mountains: A man's word is his bond

There is a saying among the people of the rural South, used to condemn anyone who has changed the terms of an agreement, especially those done with a word and a hand shake.

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RICH: The family Bible is the keeper of all things cherished

At a cafe in Biloxi, Miss., friends and I were chatting over coffee when we were joined by a man who is a business associate of one of my friends who was sitting at the table.

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As the Sugarbakers say, there's a moral to every story

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.

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RICH: Newspapers need us just as much as we need them

In the home where 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.

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RICH: Longer-than-expected business trip turns into winter wonderland

Last year's best present was from neither friend nor loved one. It was given to me by life. One of those rare lessons that grows more beautiful in memory as time passes.

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