Leslie Ryan McKellar photo

Murder ballads have long been a part of American folklore, many of which have been handed down from one generation to the next while others have existed for centuries in other cultures across the ocean. Read more



Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

Back in the 60’s when I began teaching in Georgia, I went through a period of misgivings about leaving my grandmother on the front porch of her old house in Rhodes Cove. After all, she had raised me, and I was repaying her by leaving her. Read more



Margaret Hester photo

The unknown long has spooked man’s mind, and the woods, whether unexplored or shrouded in darkness, invite one to ponder just what awaits in the wilderness and how many ways a person can die. Read more

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I do not approve of things with more than four legs. Whether inside or out, spiders, crickets, millipedes, centipedes and all other multi-pedes are my mortal enemies. Generally speaking, I do allow such creatures to live. Read more


Somebody famous once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I think it may have been a member of the Kardashian family. OK, not really—the only thing the Kardashians have to fear is the fact that fame is fleeting. Read more


The unknown

Photo by Paul Clark

The air got noticeably colder as Debra Maddox walked into what she called the most haunted place in Asheville. “How odd,” she said, walking down the steps from Asheville, N.C.’s, Church Street to a gravel parking lot. Read more


With two curious boys (ages five and 16 months) I can plan to spend at least one day of my life, every year, wrapped in a down comforter, huddled in the fetal position on my bed, lights off, sweat-dampened hair pulled into a messy mop. Read more


“‘We’re only doing this for your own good’—words that hide a multitude of sins,” surmised Samuel Carter III in his historical account of the crimes committed against the Cherokee. Read more


No parking

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

When she would see a black cat crossing the road in front of her car as a youngster, Kimberly Burnette-Dean would react without hesitation, hurriedly tracing the shape of the letter X with her index finger in front of the windshield. Read more

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#3 in the lead

Photo courtesy of the Richey Family

By the age of ten, the boy had learned to drive and was delivering cars around Atlanta for his father’s paint and body shop. The tips he stuffed in his pocket—sometimes as much as a whole dollar—added up to good money in 1941, but he fancied more. Read more

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Franklin Roosevelt’s famous remark—“There is nothing to fear but fear itself”—contains both truth and the possibility for broad application. At one time or another, all of us face the fear created by an uncertain future. Read more