West Coast to East Coast, 2022

In March, I moved to the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia from San Diego. I was born in Galax, Virginia. I attended Hampden-Sydney College my freshman year before leaving Virginia when I was 19.

For the first time in all my travels and relocations around the country, beginning at 19, this move from California to Virginia was met with dismay and confusion by friends and acquaintances alike. “Why are you moving to a red state” and “you’ll be killed when people find out.” (My husband and I have been together 39 years.) These comments are a reflection of our times. Were I a different person, I might have been talked out of my move.

Blue state. Red state.

My mother’s people were from Grayson County, Virginia between Elk Creek and Flatridge. My maternal great-grandparents lived until I was in college. They were all voting Democrats. I attended the 1976 Democratic Convention in NYC with the help of my father, an attorney in Independence, and a Republican Congress member, William Wampler, a friend of my Dad’s. That’s how bipartisan it was back then.

Red state. Blue state.

I’m currently in the unbelievably shaped 6th Congressional District of Virginia. I have contacted my new Congress member, Ben Cline, a Republican member of the “freedom caucus,” 3 times, to ask him to speak of his reaction to the Jan. 6 hearings. I have not heard back. And neither have any of his other constituents, as of today. He has made no public remarks about the hearings.

Where have all the courageous politicians gone?

Freedom Caucus.

Red and White.


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