All sorts of folks

Our California church family gathers around us to sing, pray and wish us well on the Sunday before our move to Virginia, July 2004

Our California church family gathers around us to sing, pray and wish us well on the Sunday before our move to Virginia, July 2004

“I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.  And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.”Woody Guthrie

I’m fairly new to the world of blogging, and I find the scope and size of the blogosphere amazing.  While linked in some cases to traditional publishing, it stands apart for its unprecedented accessibility and ease of entry; a great many people all over the world can blog without paying much to do it (even those who don’t own computers can access them through public libraries, schools or benevolent friends).

This morning as I was marveling over this, how I can turn on my computer and hear from people literally all over the world who have read my words, and I can go and read theirs, I thought of Woody Guthrie and his devotion to the people who were seldom heard of through the media of his day.  It seems to me that blogging is to literature what folk songs are to music.

Because blogging belongs to the people at large and not to the gatekeepers of traditional publication, it is seen by many as unsophisticated and ephemeral, somehow less important than “real” publishing.  But just as folk songs capture and record the invaluable history of everyday people, so the countless blogs published online daily are forming an unparalleled record of the entire world; who we are, what we think, how we feel.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. You can view the original with comments here.


  1. Chris

    Is that a comment from your father in the original post? Such a compliment, and encouragement!
    It’s an interesting analogy – folk music and blogging. I get it.
    Have a blessed day!

    • Yes, Chris, Daddy did leave a sweet comment at that post, as he did at many others. He was very supportive of my blogging and was probably one of the main reasons I kept going in the early days. I think my three siblings and I could speak with one voice (as we could on almost nothing else) to say that we all miss our Daddy every single day since we lost him so suddenly four and a half years ago. At the same time, though we miss him, he’s with us every day.

      • Susan

        Julia, that took my breath away a bit, to see something like that pop up. What a gift to have his words of appreciation “on record” like that.

        • Aw, thank you Susan. It’s still hard for me not to get sad when I read Daddy’s kind comments on the older posts. Daddy was so supportive of his family and friends. He used to sit at the kitchen table and talk for hours with us and whomever of our friends we brought home– the door to Mama and Daddy’s home was always open to anyone and everyone. He was a great person to talk with because he was open-minded and saw all sides of most issues, while still being very firm in his own beliefs.

  2. Raynard

    Good afternoon Julia. Lately I’ve been sharing previous blogs of mine to a new audience on Facebook. Also my youngest daughter who does so kind of writing. There is a new friend of mine on the Upper Room who is trying to teach me Spanish. So I translate my blogs in Spanish for her to read. Happy new year or is it too late to say it? I digress. Mary pulled on Friday Its date night and I want to go to the movies on me. I’m one now not to stay up past 7 o clock. So I uttered this magic words Folgets Coffee take me away.I ordered and payed for the tickets online.Go yo the theater, they scanned my phone and we were in. Got out 2 hours later picked up a pizza and ate it in the car. WOW….Had to take her to Urgent care this morning. Her asthma was acting up. She resting on meds now with a drs appointment tomorrow. My late job would not give us off on Dr King’s birthday. So I would take off and tell them”Dr King would of wanted it this way”I digress.

    • Hi Raynard, it’s great to hear from you. I’m glad you are doing some “re-runs” too. Not too late to say Happy New Year. I can’t believe we are already this far into January, it still feels like a new year to me. You and Mary sound like Jeff and me. He never wanted to go to the movies and then when I would talk him into one, either at the theater or at home, half the time we would both fall asleep before the movie was over. Maybe more than half the time. That’s how we really knew we were getting older. That, plus we never heard of most of the “stars” of movies and music. I hate hear that Mary’s asthma has been acting up. I hope she is better now and also that you managed to enjoy the holiday. We are OK here, finally getting some cold weather but can’t complain after all those balmy December and early January days.

  3. As relevant today as all those years ago. Blogging makes our world a little larger with wider perspectives if we are open. I’ve been deeply grateful for it and the wonderful friends I’ve made.

    • Thank you, I hope so. Blogging has been one of the biggest surprises of my life. A lot of effort, but definitely it was worth it (and still is, when I can manage it). Sending giant winter-time hugs.

  4. Chris

    I do understand. I lost my Dad 3 years ago. I admired him so much.

    • Chris, the sorrow of being without them is surpassed only by the deep gratitude we feel at having been SO LUCKY to have such great fathers!!

  5. Raynard

    Julia I was just sitting here eating leftover pizza and bbq chicken with Mary saying it’s been 7 years and I want to go to Chik Filet. Date night thing.Its 54 degrees and the rain stopped.I just want to drive my Subaru in the snow.Nice picture,Not sure about attend the Philadelphia Flower Show this year. Trying to accomplish some short term goals for 2020 so the springtime comes we can do a Cannonball run or two. Also Mary is taking her crafting into a small business. So I’m the silent undercover behind the scenes partner. Sounds like I just gave you an invite to my 60th surprise birthday party that I wasn’t supposed to know about . Getting ready for a Super Bowl Dinner we have ever year and Amazon already got me ready for Hallmark Day err I mean Valentine’s Day.So help me me. I digress

    • Raynard, surprise parties that aren’t really a surprise are my favorite kind. I always feel sorry for people who don’t see it coming. That happened to me once in college and I never forgot it. Although it was the first time I remember seeing Jeff because when they sang Happy Birthday to me they stuck his name in there too and that’s how I found out that he had my same birthday, even though I didn’t know him at the time. I asked him later why he came to my birthday party when he didn’t even know me and he said “for the cake.” I agree with you that it’s Hallmark Day but hey, I guess they have to make a living too! My Daddy always told us that Father’s Day was thought up by the card companies and we didn’t have to get him anything but I could never figure out why he didn’t say the same about Mother’s Day which he always claimed was a genuine holiday. I digress. Remember there are a lot of potential Cannonball Runs that go through the DC area so maybe I will catch you in Virginia again sometime! Stay warm til then and give Mary my best. BTW my Daddy was the silent undercover behind the scenes partner for my Mother when she went into business and she made a lot of money having unpaid help, hee-hee.

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