Back to profile

Ronda Rich

Stories by Ronda

Tease photo

RICH: Remembering the poor dirt farmer

Farming knows no boundaries. Cows are born on the rainiest days and get out, usually scattering into the road, in the darkest of nights, water lines burst on the coldest days and tractors break down in the field under the most scorching sun.

Tease photo

RICH: Tales of woe

For those who have no idea how good they've got it, how blessed they are in life, introduce to them to the other folks.

Tease photo

RICH: The book within you

We've all got stories, we just don't all turn them into books. But that's not to say we shouldn't.

Tease photo

RICH: The last lap

Somehow I ran across an out-of-print book called "The Last Lap." It is now 15 years old but tells an intriguing, timeless tale of the early days of America's first stock car racers.

Tease photo

RICH: Life in a small town

You can't buy history like this. You can't earn it, either. You just have to thank the good Lord for giving you the gift of a small town family.

Tease photo

RICH: When Mama made up her mind

With Mother's Day here again, my thoughts drift back to Mama and how she put me through college.

Tease photo

RICH: Speaking the truth

The truth isn't always pretty. Or easy. But it certainly gives respect to those who tell it.

RICH: The importance of the chipped bowl

At a garage sale, that bowl would bring no more than a nickel or a dime, bought by someone who would use it for dog food or fertilizer or such. But from me, you couldn't buy it for a million dollars.

Tease photo

RICH: A loss of decency

Though I come from hardscrabble folks where education was a luxury, they had enough learning to know that others should be treated with decency and respect.

Tease photo

RICH: Old-fashion harmony

In churches like ours, the men gather on one side and the women on the other so they can sing parts and blend deliciously together. To me, it is simply beautiful to hear songs like "I'll Fly Away" or "When We All Get To Heaven" sung with such gusto, almost always ending with a soprano refrain.

Tease photo

RICH: An Easter parade surprise

Oh how I love a parade.

Tease photo

RICH: Miss Eudora's house

I can't wait to return and tour the home again, under official guidance.

Tease photo

RICH: Remembering Mr. Bobo

Mr. Gene Bobo was special. There's no denying nor disputing that. He was a courtly Southern gentleman, his manners impeccable and his vocabulary belonging to a genteel past.

Tease photo

RICH: A memorable bio

Honesty isn't always pretty, but sometimes it gains respect, no matter how unpleasant.

RICH: The 'Rocky' method

I love dreamers who have courage. That's even better than an Academy Award.

Tease photo

RICH: In the South, everyone is (sort of) kin

It's six degrees of separation. Southern style when it comes to knowing people in your neck of the woods.

Tease photo

RICH: The rusty truck

Now I understand all the other folks who have quoted such high prices -- returning calls and showing up makes a person valuable so they can charge more.

Tease photo

RICH: Being Danny McGuire

I've been thinking about kids in the middle like me.

Tease photo

RICH: Uncle Jesse's truth

Twain once said, "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." When it comes to writing, I'll spin that a bit: The writer who won't invest thought in the lives of others has no advantage over those who can't.

RICH: Best wishes for a happy new year

I'll probably be repeating these resolutions again next year. Just like all my previous resolutions.

Tease photo

RICH: Mama loved a long story

"Have you ever told a short story in your life?" I asked one day during one of marathon length. She twisted her mouth tightly as oft she did when annoyed. "If it's too short, it ain't worth tellin'. Why waste the time?"

Tease photo

RICH: Coming home

As Truman Capote, the Alabama-raised writer, often said, "Every Southerner goes home sooner or later, even if in a pine box."

Tease photo

RICH: When Lincoln dies

The third, and final, installment, of a look at Charlie Tinker's diary.

Tease photo

RICH: Looking for a woman

A picture can really be worth a thousand words.

Tease photo

RICH: Giving thanks for Christmas traditions

As you reflect on your many blessings and celebrate them for Thanksgiving, please think of how you can share those blessings during Christmas. A card, a casserole or a Christmas tree could be the most important gift you give. I guess what it boils down to is this: A merry Christmas starts with a happy, blessed Thanksgiving.

Tease photo

RICH: Charlie's diaries

The second installment of my husband's great-great-grandfather, Charlie Tinker, a White House telegrapher who had been friends with President Abraham Lincoln.

Tease photo

RICH: Soaking up knowledge

The future belongs to both those in age and those in youth. May we all be wise enough to know when to teach and when to learn, for to each, there is a season.

Tease photo

RICH: An introduction to Charlie Tinker

Charlie Tinker, great-great-grandfather of my beloved, was close friends with the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The pair had met when they both lived in Illinois and Lincoln had become fascinated by a new-fangled invention that Charlie had become an expert at the telegraph.

Tease photo

RICH: To the rescue

Who man or woman wouldn't want to be rescued? Life is hard. Who of us would turn down the chance to have life easier? Who would put a foot down and say, "No! Don't do something for me that takes worry away!

Tease photo

RICH: Don't mock how we talk

Nothing makes me madder than folks who make fun of Southern accents.

Tease photo

RICH: Gate installation leads to a difference in opinion between spouses

Putting up a gate in front of our house was more difficult than I imagined. What wasn't a surprise, is that my idea for the design won out.

Tease photo

RICH: Flirting with success

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

Tease photo

RICH: A lack of empathy

I am most saddened by the lack of empathy that some folks have. I lacked it, too, in my ignorant youth. But you grow up and your thoughts on things like that change.

Tease photo

RICH: The art of grooming and the artless way of pointing it out

I have decided that it isn't grooming that I or any typical Southern woman have, it is more appropriately termed as "polish."

Tease photo

RICH: A reminder to 'be sweet'

Be sweet. What a powerful parental teaching.

Tease photo

RICH: The bet

When it comes to knowing affairs of the heart, it's not a good idea to bet against me.

Tease photo

RICH: The book cases

When it comes to the many books stacked around my house, don't call them clutter. They are treasures.

Tease photo

RICH: Coming to terms with a 'Gone With the Wind' novice

It's hard to believe that a person who teaches literature would not have read the Southern classic.

Tease photo

RICH: The baby calf

It was a sweet sight, no doubt. My heart is always drawn to God's animal creatures, especially those who have found themselves abandoned young.

Tease photo

RICH: Rotten parents, or not?

Making me learn how to succeed on my own was a lesson my mother an father taught me that wasn't very "rotten" at al.l

Tease photo

RICH: Catching up with Miss Loretta

Several years ago, I befriended a woman in Cincinnati but then you know that, don't you? I've told you all about Miss Loretta.. If you're new to this column, I'll fill you in. She is the widow of a Cincinnati policeman. She did not marry until she was 37 because

Tease photo

RICH: My daddy's poor childhood

Learning of my daddy's rough times growing up made me appreciate my childhood days all that much more.

Tease photo

RICH: Remembering a man of the people

Even though he came from California, my old friend Jim had a way of connecting to and understanding Southern folks.

Tease photo

RICH: Karen the actor

My friend got the role of a lifetime -- a small part in a movie starring Dolly Parton -- but I don't mind taking some credit for pushing her in that direction.

Tease photo

RICH: The ring

Mama's wedding ring a sparkling -- and poignant -- reminder of her.

Tease photo

RICH: Crying and cussing

Sometimes this old world gets crazy enough that it drives the sane insane and the easy-going folks to swear.

Tease photo

RICH: The Yankee muse

When it comes to inspiration, I'm hoping that opposites really do attract.

Tease photo

RICH: Looks aren't the main thing when it comes to biscuit pans

When it comes to Southern cooking, your biscuit pan says a lot about you.

Tease photo

RICH: Dixie Dew's big news

It's me. Dixie Dew, again. Y'all who read this column regularly know that I am Ronda's adorable and svelte (though she writes differently) dachshund. This is the third time I've guest-written this column but since it's Mother's Day, I'm giving her the day off. This is my gift to

Tease photo

RICH: The useless opinions of others

By not listening to what everyone else thought, my friend found a love of a lifetime.