Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    magic

    Amazing Grace charms fire from baby’s burns

    by | 2 | Sep 10, 2015

    Like her husband Lehman, who could talk warts off, Mary Grace never revealed the secrets of her magic. She would lose her powers, she said, if she revealed them to anyone except a male child of her own. The legatee was my cousin Buddy, who figures prominently in this story.

    In writing all of this, I have hesitated to call any of it magic, for that might imply my belief in the inexplicable feats I’m telling you about. But I looked up the word “magic” not two minutes ago, and it is indeed the right word for what I’m describing. For, in part, the definition says: “any mysterious, seemingly inexplicable, or extraordinary power or influence.”

    This, Mary Grace possessed in full and, like her father, my grandfather, she became well-known around Augusta for performing “inexplicable” feats, her reputation spreading first by word of mouth and later by newspaper stories about her and “her mysterious gifts.”

    I used to tease her (she’s gone now; lung cancer. Lehman, too, soon after; grief): “If this were Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, you’d be toast by now.”

    But in truth nothing about her, not even her magic, suggested witchcraft. On second thought, burning at the stake might have posed no threat to her, for her most mysterious power was the ability to talk fire out of burns. (She also could stop bleeding.)

    Yep, you read me right: my Aunt Grace could talk fire out of burns. And maybe I’ve got a supernatural power, too, for I already know what you’re thinking. And I agree with you: Such things are impossible. But somebody forgot to tell that to Mary Grace and her supplicants.

    I witnessed this ritual only once, but the memory of it has stayed with me in vivid detail all these years.

    I must have been eight or nine years old. Aunt Grace used to keep me evenings while my mother worked. Anyhow, I’m sitting at the table one winter evening, having just washed up for supper after bringing in a bucket of coal for the kitchen stove, which was the main source of heat in Aunt Grace’s three-room shotgun house in one of Augusta’s mill villages. Across the table from me was Lehman Junior, Aunt Grace’s little boy, maybe a year and a half old, still in a high chair, the tray thrown back but the baby strapped in (with a diaper) for safety.

    Mom and baby handsBusy putting food on the table, Aunt Grace takes a pot of boiling stewed potatoes from the stove and pours them into a bowl on the table, heat still bubbling up through the thick, lava-like sauce. She turns back to the stove and my eyes follow her – until we hear a blood-curdling scream from Lehman Junior. He has reached from his highchair and plunged a little fist into those steaming stewed potatoes.

    Writhing in paroxysms of pain and bawling like a banshee, the baby is holding a trembling hand aloft, staring at it as the thick potato coating drips from it to reveal the lobster pink of burned baby-flesh underneath. Aunt Grace flies to his side, uses her apron to wipe the sticky coating off the burned hand, enfolds the injured hand in her own hands, and begins murmuring indistinguishable words.

    It’s like watching somebody’s lips move in silent prayer, but she seems to be uttering an incantation rather than praying, maybe because her eyes are open the whole time.

    Well, in no time at all, Lehman Junior’s four-alarm screams subside to soft cries and moans, and a few seconds later to sniffles that themselves are soon extinguished. I watch as Mary Grace examines the injured hand. It is no longer red. It looks, well, just like Lehman Junior’s other hand, a soft baby white.

    So what’s to be made of all this – of Lehman and Mary Grace’s magic? Well, they wouldn’t be the first among us who had fashioned a reality built of incantations, enchantments, spells, and a belief in unseen powers. But my aunt and uncle’s delusional world strikes me as harmless, whereas the delusions of some – yesteryear’s Nazi Germany and today’s ISIS come to mind – subvert reason and undermine sanity.

    Too, ostensibly Lehman and Mary Grace actually helped people who sought them out for help – and did it for free, never setting up shop as healers or, thank heaven, advertising their “powers” in any way.

    As you can see, I have no ready answer. But, hey, I have my hands full in dealing with my own reality. So if I had anything at all to say, it would probably be: “Help!”

    ###
    Robert Lamb

    Robert Lamb

    I grew up in Augusta, Ga., where I attended Boys' Catholic High. After a stint in the Navy, I attended the University of Georgia, majoring in English (Class of '61). I began my (wholly unexpected) journalism career on the old Augusta Herald, an evening paper, and went to work for The Constitution in, I think, 1976. I left in Sept. '82 to write The Great American Novel. That goal has proved remarkably elusive, but my first attempt (Striking Out, in 1991) was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award and my second (Atlanta Blues, in 2004) contended for an Edgar Award. My latest novel won no honors but might well get me nominated for a hanging. Titled A Majority of One, it is about a clash between religion and the Constitution over book-banning in a small Georgia town. I've also published a collection of short stories and poems: Six of One, Half Dozen of Another. Before retirement, I taught creative writing and American literature at the University of South Carolina and its Honors College, and feature writing in its School of Journalism. I maintain a now-and-then blog at boblamb.wordpress.com and I walk my dog on the beach a lot at Pawleys Island, S.C.

     

    Print Friendly

     

    • Will Cantrell

      Great writing as usual, Bob.
      I especially like your economy of word in the following line: I used to tease her (she’s gone now; lung cancer. Lehman, too, soon after; grief): “If this were Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, you’d be toast by now.”

      Mainly though, I like the story told in this and in a previous piece about Mary Grace . I guess there are some things that maybe we’re not meant to totally understand…things we can’t always explain scientifically. You do a great job of relating that point.
      This piece also triggered a memory of the lady who lived across the street from us when I was twelve or so. One Friday afternoon in Spring, I was whittling with a Boy Scout knife (nobody much whittles anymore) and managed to cut my right index finger ‘clean’ to the bone. Clean. The woman in question happened to be at our house when I nearly amputated my finger. The same woman had said she was a healer and she had the habit of speaking in tongues, something I was never comfortable with at all --but when you’re bleeding like a geyser, you tend to go along with most anything. The truth is that even with her machinations, I was damn near bleeding to death. I would have too, if my mother, a science teacher, hadn’t had the presence of mind to put my hand in a bowl of ice. The bleeding stopped ‘cold’ and a pediatrician, about an hour later, closed the wound with 8 stitches. I’m glad Lehman and Mary Grace were better at what they did than the woman across our street. Great piece, great writing. Will

    • Robert Lamb

      Many thanks, Will.
      Let’s stay in touch. Love to talk about writing in general, not just my own, and I certainly admire yours.

      I’m at boblamb@hotmail.com.
      Using ice water to stop bleeding was a new one on me. Thank goodness for resourceful mothers. My benefactor was my grandmother. Running barefoot at age 14, I sustained a cut so vicious that no household efforts could stop the bleeding. Went on and on. Enter my grandmother, who lived nearby. With a straw broom, she collected cobwebs from hidden corners of the house, applied the webbing to my cut, and the bleeding stopped! No stitches either.

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Please subscribe to our free Dewsletter

    To subscribe to our Dewsletter (it's free), just enter your email address and click Subscribe. You will be sent an email requiring you to confirm your email address (protects us both from spammers).

    A note on privacy: We respect your privacy and will never sell your information or pass them onto any third parties without your permission to do so. You may also unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time simply by using the link provided in our email communications (bottom of each email). For our complete privacy policy, click here.



  • Please Help Support the Dew

  • %d bloggers like this: