Paula Garrett

What Should The Day After Mean?

Nov 21, 2017

A couple of Thanksgivings ago -- driving back to the western suburbs from Chicago -- I got caught in a major traffic backup on I-88. My first thought was how awful that someone had been in an accident on this day of family gatherings.

But as we inched along, finally getting close to our exit at Farnsworth, we realized we were trapped in the Black Friday mob lining up for the midnight opening of the outlet mall. Then I got really annoyed.

A Satisfying Trip Home

Oct 17, 2017

On a recent flight back to Chicago from Memphis, I had a beautiful sunset view of the Mississippi River, snaking along and defining the border between Tennessee and Arkansas.

Situated in the southwest corner of Tennessee, Memphis is more akin to the Mississippi Delta and the Arkansas farmland than to east Tennessee and Appalachia. And that geography, along with the river, is woven into the city’s DNA. Its rich musical heritage was cultivated from the confluence of rural and urban, black and white.

This Difficult Choice Should Be Available

Sep 12, 2017

Every day we face numerous decisions. Some seem automatic like getting out of bed, turning on the radio, or checking our phones.

Then there are those big life decisions: choosing a partner or not, children or not, career paths. But when it comes to end-of-life decisions, many of us avoid drawing up a will, documenting burial or cremation preference, determining which (if any) life-support measures should be performed. 

A New Look At Musical Heritage

Aug 8, 2017

You never know what you may discover – and learn – when you set off on a road trip, even if it’s just one state over. 

Destination: The Traverse City Film Festival.
Mission: Films that may not make it commercially.

Michael Moore, the festival’s founder, puts it this way: “We need movies that seek to enrich the human spirit … not the bottom line.”

In the documentary “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” Buffy Sainte-Marie tells us there’s medicine in the arts. She’s one of the many Native American musicians profiled in this extraordinary film.

Another Take On Independence

Jul 4, 2017

When I told a friend I was writing about freedom for this 4th of July Perspective, she said it was funny I should mention this on June 19th.

As an African American, she recognizes this date as Independence Day -- the day in 1865 when word of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that put an end to slavery reached the last outpost of Texas.

I'm proud to live in the Land of Lincoln, but I'm enraged and disgusted by the so-called leaders of our country who model racism and embolden acts of hatred.