Linda Ronstadt recently shared the sad news that she has Parkinson’s disease and can no longer sing. The syndrome cheats her and her audience from taking in more of her musical offerings, when many listeners, even those who long ago stashed her albums in forgotten corners, are thinking anew of her vivid and vibrant artistry.
I don’t have to tell you what a wonderful man he was. I also don’t have to tell you about his contagious laughter or his slightly embarrassed smile where he dipped his head and his cheeks turned a little bit pink. Yes, you know exactly the one I’m talking about.
But I do have to tell you about the kind of family guy he was to me, his niece.
My Uncle Ronnie. To you, Ron Taylor.
Editor’s note: Ron Taylor, a legendary journalist and a truly beloved member of the Like the Dew community, died the morning of May 31.
Dew writers would know him best as their night editor. Most nights for the past three years, Ron would take the submitted stories, edit, find art and turn them into Dew posts. He would look at the page and search for what was missing – seeking out other stories from a cadre of writers whose stories they trusted to Ron to repost or he’d “knock something out” to fill the hole. Then very late each night, it was Ron who hit the submit button to send our the morning Dewsletter. He didn’t do it for fame and certainly not for the money, Ron did it because of his friends.
His long-time colleagues and friends Ann Woolner and Leonard Ray Teel wrote this obituary, which was authorized by Ron’s family…
New Story Categories
- Southern News – We’ve long needed a place to feature news and comment on news (weigh in). Here you’ll find Ron Taylor’s Dew Drops. Southern perspectives (what’s yours?) on news affecting all of us. And from time to time, you’ll find recommend reading from other sites.
- Southern Views – This is for blogs (yes, you can blog on the Dew), views on Southern issues and shared stories that just don’t seem to fit in other sections.
- Southern Life – Stories about living, play, travel, art, coping, health, musings and some recollection (don’t forget).
- Southern Sounds & Scenes – Here you’ll find Jeff Cochran’s Song of the Day series and Southern music (what are the sounds of your life?). You’ll also find stories and photographs about Southern places (where do you live?).
Talk of the South, Southern Politics (get involved), Recommended Reading (recommend yours), Southern Food & Drink (what’s on your table tonight? surely you have a story about your favorite bar?), Southern Portraits (tell us about someone great), Dew Reviews (read a great book, eaten at a great place, or found a great product?), Shared Videos (we’d love you to share) and our News & Opinion Feeds (have you seen it? wow, you can read the web in no time) will remain the same.
One more thing, please share the Dew with your friends and associates. Forward your Dewsletter. Use the share buttons below each story to email or post on Facebook and other sites.Thanks.
Alert Dew reader Bob Lamb suggested reposting “The Declaration of Independence, Updated” in honor of our holiday. We took it a step further – here are more Dew stories, which appeared around the 4th of July each year going back to our first 4th in 2009 – a pretty random and eclectic sample of great stories by some truly wonderful writers (apologies to anyone who feels left out). Click on the story title to read more. Enjoy. And please comment.
Four years ago, I was writing every day. Then we launched LikeTheDew.com. Seemed a good idea. My friend Keith was looking for a place to write. So were some of his newly former journalist pals.
We didn’t need a business plan. The last thing we wanted was for the Dew to become a job. It was organic. It would just evolve. No real guidelines. We just wanted well written and relevant stories. No fiction or poetry. And it had to be progressive.
On that afternoon, I didn’t know what to expect inside Room No. 34. I’d seen Ron several days before, at Piedmont Hospital. I hadn’t even fully stepped into his room when he looked up from his bed. “Ah, Moni Basu and Kevin Duffy!” He recognized us instantly and we had a delightful two-hour conversation about things past and present.
At one moment, after Alex showed up and we began talking aboutIndia, the talk veered to Varanasi, an ancient, holy city on the banks of the Ganges River. Many Hindus hope to have their last rites performed there; their ashes scattered in the murky waters; their souls dancing free.
Well, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
Yeah, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
I’m just sitting here thinkin’
With my mind a million miles away
Putting down a hard blues riff, Bob Dylan had his vocal chops working. On “Lonesome Day Blues,” the performance by Dylan and his band is so strong that the weight of a sad ol’ lonesome day is manifest.
Ben Smith said it best, so I’ll just borrow his line. “Ron was probably the worst hiker I ever knew, but I would never want to go on a camping trip without him.”
I knew Ron forever as a colleague at the AJC, and was privileged to work with him, learn from him and to be his editor for some of the amazing early reporting he did on the AIDS epidemic. But my best memories are about camping with him — in North Georgia on John and Diane Turner’s farm, on the Appalachian Trail, on Cumberland Island too many times to count, and in the Okefenokee Swamp.
- Overheard on the Goldman Sachs Elevator.
- DOJ urges judge to side with plaintiff in Baltimore police taping case.
- NY Times Public Editor Asks If Paper Should Publish Uncorrected Lies or Be a “Truth Vigilante.” Seriously.
- New York Times public editor says people misinterpreted his ridiculous question.
- Fungicide in orange juice: What’s next?
The Dew is Back in the South.
During this past month, we migrated LikeTheDew.com from free shared web servers in Vancouver to our own high speed server in Houston. We now have a virtual distribution network that mirrors LikeTheDew.com on web servers closest to you no matter where you are in the world. It has been painful. We have had site issues and problems. We believe most are behind us. Please continue to let us know if you experience problems on the site so we can get them fixed quickly.
Your Morning Dews is Back.
For the last couple of months, we’ve had awful email newsletter issues. Anyone reading this has had days without the Dew and days with three copies of it. We have given up on the old program and trashed it. A new Dewsletter launched Sunday, which immediately went out twice (sorry).
This story is the 1,000th to appear on Like the Dew. Yes, this one — the one you are reading. Reaching this milestone was unthinkable a year ago. Some awesome work has appeared on the site since it debuted with a story by the film writer Eleanor Ringel Cater last March 12. Many accomplished writers, some with strong professional credentials, others just beginning to express themselves in public, have contributed work that sings with a genuine elegance.
That’s not to say every story we’ve published has been wonderful. Not all stories nor all writers are equal in this publication or any other. But the percentage of excellent pieces has been unusually high. All of those stories
Hop in the car. Jim Auchmutey has been planning this road trip for a long time. Be ready to learn more about the world — especially the United States — and be ready for your appetite to increase again and again. But worry not; Auchmutey makes plenty of stops along the way. This road trip, after all, is about building and sating appetites.
With his book, Smokelore, Jim Auchmutey explores and explains the world via a plate of barbecue. It’s a world Auchmutey knows well. In 1954 his grandfather, Charles Robert Auchmutey, was featured in a Saturday Evening Post article about a 4th of July barbecue in Bartow County. Daddy Bob, as he was called, ran the pit at the Euharlee Farmers Club barbecue, smoking the meats and making the Brunswick stew. The story made an impression and soon enough Daddy Bob was invited to prepare barbecue for 2,000 people at a civic meeting outside Chicago. That’s how we do it down south, we can imagine Daddy Bob saying. So Jim Auchmutey gets it honest. His love of barbecue, the food itself, its culture and the possibility of it bringing us all together runs deep. When reading Smokelore, we get it too.
The title of this memoir, Testimony, begs the question, where’s the cross examination? My jokey reference has to do with the feud between Robertson and drummer Levon Helm. That tension is finessed in this intriguing view of one of rock’s great bands, the Americana rockers, the Band. Levon’s main complaint in his book, This Wheel’s …
Already the United States of America had just experienced its most tense week since 9/11. The President of the United States, one Donald Trump, had spent the previous several days sabre-rattling, shaking up the world with his talk of nuclear war with North Korea. Trump, who’s never recovered from a severe case of arrested development before he entered grade school, was stepping across the line that former presidents would never approach, at least not publicly.
Bear On The Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga., has added a new special event, the Moonlight Jam, for its 2017 festival lineup.
The Moonlight Jam, sponsored by Jekyll Brewing Company of Alpharetta, Ga., will take place on Saturday evening, April 22, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the festival’s MainStage festival tent. The tent will open at 7 p.m., and the jam will start at 7:30 p.m. and will continue until around 9:30 p.m. Like other Bear on the Square events, there will be no charge for admission.
Chaitram Singh’s novel The February 23rd Coup explores the lives of the men behind the military interventions in Latin America in a way in which the textbooks and other military novels cannot.
Depicting the overflow of political and military frustrations through interactions between characters and their superiors, their government, relationships, loyalties, and their brothers-in-arms, the novel allows the reader to fully grasp the effects
An Unsung Historian Makes A Difference
If “Big Sky Bill” leads you to believe Bill Fitzpatrick hails from Montana, you’re wrong. Bill was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but has spent most of his life in the South. After earning an MBA from the University of South Carolina in 1978, Bill chose to stay in South Carolina. He lives in Taylors. So what’s behind the Big Sky connection? He likes Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana because of the great ski weeks he and his daughter have had there near Bozeman.
By the fourth or fifth grade I knew I wanted to be a school teacher. Before then I had known only women teachers and the thought hadn’t yet taken shape. But after having Mr. Phelps and Mr. Taylor as role models – although nobody was calling them that back then – I was pretty much convinced. They could make English and history seem happy. Besides, I was finally planning to do what had been predicted for me earlier by my kinfolk. I was born a school house; they said I was marked to teach. Predestined, I guess.
“First, about the sharecropper,” he had begun “The only few years for which I can say much about it was in the 1940s. It was a tough life at our house. A world of make-do, hand-me-downs, and home-made clothing mom put together on a foot-powered sewing machine. A Mason Rotary that her mom — my grandmother — had owned before she died, when mom was just sixteen.
“Our two mules, Doll and Kate, were coarse and creative, and always unrepentant bullies. And the equipment — plows and cultivators, among other things — were worn-out and unreliable. Then there was the weather…
I was still in mourning for Bobby “Blue” Bland, who passed in 2013, when a short while ago the house lights went down for the last time on B.B. King, too. What to do, what to do? So many of our great blues singers have made their Last Road Trip, have gone on to that Great Jam Session in the Sky: Bland, King, the two Jimmys (Reed and Witherspoon), Ray Charles, Lou Rawls, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Milton, to name but an octet of the very best.
Dear Young Self: Lately, you can hardly turn on morning TV without seeing someone from Oprah Winfrey to Colin Powell to Miss America reading “A Letter to My Younger Self.” It’s one of the latest media fads no doubt designed to garner higher ratings. If it’s not Oprah or Colin, it’s Tom Brady or Tyler Perry or Chrissy Teigen or some other obnoxiously rich, supernaturally attractive or disgustingly successful celebrity smoochin’ on themselves…
Bellevue, Ill. – Psychologists say there is growing evidence that GOP candidates scare pets and small children.
The psychologists, meeting here for their annual convention, said the research is based on interviews with parents whose children watched the first GOP debate and have since had difficulty sleeping without a parent in the room or leaving the lights on all night.
It is a fact that if you’re a kid growing up in America in the Fifties and Sixties, the last day of school is better than Christmas!
You’re free, unfettered and unchained. Nothing but blue skies ahead …at least for three months, which is ‘till eternity’ in the Kid Standard Time.
For the next three glorious months, you’re not required to study, sit still, do homework, do book reports, memorize, read, recite, remember or do anything remotely enlightening…