Rick Bragg

Recent Posts By Rick Bragg

A Homespun Ghost Story

The unsettling tale of the silver-haired old woman who watched over the mill . . . and everyone in it Ghosts peered down from the rafters, people said. When the old mill finally shut down, after shaking the earth of my hometown for a hundred years, workers who stayed on to dismantle its machines said they heard strange things when they […]

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The Abominable Biscuit

I am not sure when I became a grouchy old man, a crotchety relic. I just know I am. If you ask me how I am doing, I will respond, “Fine…but it’s early.” It may not be my fault, completely. Part of it is age. I used to go in the drugstore and buy a Hershey’s bar and a yo-yo. […]

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Happy as a Pig

After several failed attempts at lavishing my mother, her dream gift set me back only $20. For a woman who grew up in the mountain landscape of the Great Depression, my mother is irritatingly hard to please. I got her a big, soft, leather easy chair. She said it cost too much, and it made her uneasy to sit in […]

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Take Your Medicine, Boy

The boy was trouble. You could see that as he pushed through the door, then came stomping past the booths in the Huddle House in his toddler-size cowboy boots. He was wearing a strawberry-jelly scowl, his shirt had ridden up his belly, and his hands, which I am sure were sticky, were touching everything. His tired mother noticed, too late, […]

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Cowboys are Her Weakness

On cold, winter days, my mother and I love a good shoot-’em-up Western. ‘Now wait a minute, Shep. We don’t want to kill us no ol’ ladies, ’cause I like ol’ ladies’ — The actor Dennis Hopper, on Gunsmoke, just before shooting the train conductor My mother is not a panicky woman; she is a Southern one. She was born […]

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From the Magazine’s Pages: Summer Snow

  It was long before Katrina, in those hot, sticky, normal years when people complained how dry things had been. The drought made the already insubstantial dirt weak and powdery, and the piers of the shotgun houses sank into the earth. It is not unusual in New Orleans for an old house to lean, drunkenly. My favorite story was about […]

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When Fireworks Go South

Festivities involving fire, smoke, and gunpowder—what could possibly go wrong?

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Wheels of Time

Cars will always carry us back through the years, on the back roads of our memory.

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Pretty Girl

  To most, she looked like she didn’t stand a chance. But they looked at her and saw different.

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Saving Face

I’ve been peeling labels off my mother for years. First through the words inside the books. And now from their covers.

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