Brave Hearts

Brave Hearts Story Image

More than a decade ago, my youngest sister, Amy, went through a divorce. It was a painful thing — the first in the family — and she was scared. “How will I live on what I earn?” she asked. “How will I manage everything that has to be done?” To me it was obvious. She…

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Self Esteem: The Repair Kit

Self-Esteem-The-Repair-Kit Image

Janine Latus spent years looking for validation in all the wrong places–until the day she discovered it was hers to give all along. In high school I was voted ‘biggest flirt.’ (Look at me! Value me!) I justified it by saying I was being fun. When I got older that clamoring morphed into something more…

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The Friendship Game

The Friendship Game Story Image

The first year after I first moved to my block on the south edge of Columbia, Missouri, I only knew my neighbors well enough for a one-finger-off-the-steering-wheel wave as our minivans passed. Maybe we’d nod in the grocery store, or make some kind of acknowledgment across the room in a restaurant. I remember once ducking…

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For A Song

For A Song - Slider Photo

The brim of Emilio Nieto’s cowboy hat brushes my forehead as we bend our heads together and sing: Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody. Closing our eyes, we reach for the harmony that belies the words. I got some money ’cause I just got paid…. Nieto is singing and strumming to an imaginary…

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A River Of Chips

photography by Eric Lusher

Mount Jackson, Virginia – Inside a beige cinderblock building half an hour from Harrisonburg up I-81, 15,000 pounds of potatoes a day thunder down a stainless steel chute and through a chamber where they’re tossed by an auger, knocking off farm soil that is then captured and reused as topsoil for Route 11 Potato Chip employees.…

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