I did a reading for Women's Way of Ohio and Kentucky last Saturday night. The "salon" was held in the Women Writing for (a) Change building  on Plainfield Road in Silverton.  It was a congenial group, meeting on the Eve of Mother's Day, and I read the piece I wrote for Cincinnati Magazine about my mother and my struggle with her decline:  at the age of 88 she thinks she has the right to decline her own way.  The pain, as they say, is in the conflict.  After I read, we formed a large circle and each woman in the circle talked about her own mother.  One woman teared up.  Her mother had recently died, and she was  thankful for the women in the circle because they had come every day with food and support.  Overall it was an intimate feeling which I hadn't expected.

This particular group has been meeting for 2 and ½ years, growing and changing, morphing into what its founders call a "salon," a meeting to discuss ideas.  Founder Beverly Bowers, who is a great supporter of women artists, says she is not aware of any group like it, and anyone who has something to say is welcome to attend.

I will read again this Thursday night at the Mercantile Library with a group of writers who have contributed to a volume called The Cincinnati Anthology.  And we will read again on June 12th at Joseph-Beth Booksellers.  I hope to see you at one of these upcoming events.

Detail from illuminated text,   Scriptores Historiae Augustae,  Milan: Philippus de Lavagnia, 1475.

Detail from illuminated text, Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Milan: Philippus de Lavagnia, 1475.

It's almost Mother's Day weekend, and sure enough the rosebuds are getting ready to pop wide open.

When I lived on Main Street the place to be for the blooming of the roses was at Sycamore and 14th Street, on the fence that stood in back of the old School for Creative and Performing Arts.

I was told there were over 33 varieties of roses on that fence, everything from sleek straight-stemmed flower-shop roses to old-fashioned damask varieties, soft pink, the petals as soft as velvet and heavy with fragrance.

Put Mom in the car and take her to see this magnificent display. I don't know why everybody assumes all Mothers will like roses, but there you are. Sometimes it's best to conform.



Hear something you liked on Sunday's show?  Click on the banner above to go directly to our playlist and -- if you want to own or gift some tunes -- please consider clicking on the Amazon link under each song.  It won't cost you a penny more, but will benefit this great radio station, WNKU.  Pssst: Playlist displays in reverse order.


Katie Laur's program on Sunday evenings is one of those events in the life of a bluegrass fan that they seek out and make sure that they're there for.

Additional thoughts from Fred, Katie and others in the video segment below:
(If you don't see the video, click on the "Older" link in the lower right corner of the page).


Y'know, everybody's always talking about the Appalachian Festival, but there's another big event that, frankly, does a better job of tailoring itself to Mother's Day Weekend.

All your favorite mother acts: the Stanley Mothers, the Delmore Mothers and the Louvin Mothers, to name just a few.

Plus, this year's dulcimer toss will be emcee'd by our old friend, five-time winner and reigning world champ, Mad Anthony Wayne Clyburn.

Get your picture taken with the first man to hurl a lap dulcimer into a low-earth orbit.

It's all happening May 9-11 at the Festival & Camp Grounds in Tepid Spring, KY.

Click on the image to see posters from previous years.


Just click on the "PLAY" arrow at the left end of the black bar.

From our show of Sunday, April 27, 2014, Katie reads the Walleye Stevens poem written upon the passing of Porter Wagoner.  We followed Walleye's work with Johnny Cash singing Porter's hit, Satisfied Mind and followed Cash with Porter and local-girl-made-good Pam Gadd singing, Somethin' to Brag About.

Read along with the text in the previous post and, if you'd like to own any of the music, please consider purchasing through the WNKU website. It won't cost you a penny more, but it will benefit this great Public Radio station.

At the WNKU website, click on the "SHOP AMAZON" tab at the upper right of the page.

P.S.  The poem mentions "Nudie Suits" and you may already know the term comes from "Nudie" Cohen, the Russian-born tailor who got his nickname because he began his career stitching sparkling outfits for strippers before he applied his appliqué and embroidery skills to suits for some of the greatest music artists of the 20th century -- Hank Williams, Sr., Lefty Frizzell, The Flying Burrito Bros., Elvis Presley and local-boy-made-good, Leonard Slye (better known as Roy Rogers).


Spring is knocking at the screen door, and overnight the world seems to have
turned topsy-turvy.  The mailman is smiling, in spite of himself, and my
neighbors are just a little friendlier, open to a few minutes of
conversation or to give my little pug dog, J.D., a pat on the head and a
kind word.

Our new co-host on Music from the Hills of Home, Oakley Scot, is working out
so well the show is running like a well-oiled piston, and if you haven't
listened in awhile, tune in again this Sunday, when we're going to do some
unusual bluegrass and old-time country music from the likes of Ed Cunningham
and Buddy Miller, Kathy Kallick and Dolly Parton.