My memoir, Essex Memories & Beyond, is about times long ago, a culture that has disappeared, of love, loss, and longing.
Dostoevsky wrote, “If God did not exist, everything is permissible.” This is what the book is about: God or man, hopefully a touch of the former, is the essence of what is found in these pages.
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Mother could blaze a path. An avid reader, intellectually robust, she …
Mother was a peach, a solid flapper of her day. The Charleston dance could morph her into the Energizer Bunny… she was utterly formidable. Taking no prisoners, Martha held her ground … [and] when it came to tomatoes, [she] was a traditional “broad-a” Virginian. It was always to-MAH-to, never just tomato… Mother saw people as either being “cultured” or “uncultured,” and that was THAT…
In the man’s world of her day, Mother’s greatest contribution to her three children was her determination to keep abreast – always on top of the latest reading trends, novels, plays, and biographies…
What’ll I do when you…are far away;
And I am blue; What’ll I do?
Praise for Essex Memories & Beyond
Ray Wallace’s Essex Memories & Beyond is both a delightful read and an insightful look at a Virginia family and community in transition. Virginia changed more in the 20th-century alone than in the previous three centuries. Its people moved from country to city, and from farm to factory or to white-collar professions. This poignant memoir tells that story in microcosm. This is local history told at its best by a great teacher and a gifted writer.
Charles F. Bryan, Jr., Ph.D., President Emeritus Virginia Historical Society