Paula Garrett

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.

A Different Kind Of Graduation

May 30, 2017

It’s graduation season, and the anticipation is palpable at the high school where I’m the librarian. Our seniors have been marking the countdown with giant numbers they’ve suspended over the second-story balcony.

Caps and gowns have been delivered; yearbooks are being signed; and our printers are overflowing with final papers.

A few weeks ago I told a class of seniors my news: After 16 school years, at least at this institution, I’ll be graduating with them – and that I, too, have a bad case of “senioritis” in anticipation of my retirement.

When Art Unites, It's Amazing

Apr 25, 2017

Record Store Day was this past Saturday, and it prompted a flashback to the ’70s when I'd head to my local record store to buy an album every other Friday.  That was payday – with an actual check I had to take to the bank to cash.

A big part of the pleasure was browsing the cover art, which – more than once – was the deciding factor in my selection. In fact, I think the exposure to art that my record store trips provided was almost as significant to my aesthetic stimulation as the music itself.