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Georgia Green Stamper – Georgia On Her Mind

  • ‘Marry a man who will answer the phone’

    The phone rang sometime in the dead zone between midnight and dawn. It may have been the second year we were married, or maybe the third, because I know we were living in our first house, not the apartment, but we did not yet have children. Later, our who-cares-a-fig-what-time-it-is babies would wreak havoc with our nights, but back then a pre-dawn wake-up call was an extraordinary event.

  • Toasting toast and the path to greatness

    Heroes, I’ve heard, are made, not born. I’d say the same about greatness. You have to be in the right place at the right time for your greatness to get noticed.
     Take Emily Weinstein, the food editor for The New York Times. Not long ago, she wrote a long and serious article for the most widely read newspaper in the world about – are you ready for this –  toasting toast.

  • Remembering Mrs. Payne, an Owen Co. icon

    When a person lives for over a hundred years, wits and spirit intact, you forget that they won’t live forever. I’ve been laying off, as Daddy used to say, to write about Mrs. Payne for a long time. Then a little while ago, without warning, she left this earth as quietly, as efficiently, as she had lived.

  • Savored memories of Aunt Neb’s fried chicken
  • Kitschy pilgrim candles a reminder of ‘homeless’ holiday

    They’re sort of tacky, and look out of place beside my wedding sterling and Mother’s bone china. But I adore them. I bought them at K-Mart 20 years ago when I was homeless.  

  • Lifelong journey with books takes reader down many different roads

    Our youngest grandchild, Georgia Jane, is learning to read. She’s in Kindergarten at a shiny new school filled with the most up to date everything. Seven hundred students, in grades K-5, learn with her. Like a traveler from a foreign country, I attempt to tell her about my first school although she stares back at me with uncomprehending eyes. She cannot imagine such a strange place.  

  • Family pawpaws a far cry from fruit of the same name

    I wanted to love pawpaws. The name enchanted me. One of the earliest nursery rhyme ditties I learned featured this indigenous fruit. “Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch, “ we’d sing, as we skipped in a circle holding hands.

  • Tragedy remains clear among murky stories

    Each person who tells the story changes some detail as though we were archiving various versions of an Appalachian ballad. Sometimes they add a bit information I do not know, shared with them by a relative long dead. More often, they confuse the location, placing it here, then there, on the wrong farms, in the wrong county. They’re hazy about the names of the players. All but hers. Calla Lily Hudson.

  • Geraniums vivid colors never go out of style

    My daughter and son-in-law once dismissed my annual geranium extravaganza as “too 1970s.” They were newlyweds back then, infused with youthful confidence, and less tactful than they would later become. Before they brought it to my attention, however, I’d had no idea geraniums were as out of style as harvest gold kitchen appliances.

  • Email reveals facts about maternal ancestry

    When I opened my email account on Mother’s Day morning, I was surprised to find a “holiday greeting” from, of all people, the search engine at Ancestry.com. I’ve pictured him as a C-3PO sort of robot hunkered in a lonely basement alcove of the National Archives who earnestly tries to answer my requests for old census records and land deeds. Previously he had displayed no sense of humor. Now, out of the blue, he wanted to share “fun facts” about the mothers in my family tree.