Well, the woman in the foreground is interesting…

Long before I was born, the barn we played in was originally the Alamo Valley Creamery, owned by our grandparents, and the largest employer in Alamo in 1897. There are very few photos of the creamery, however, with a simple Google search, we happened upon this… A painting by Post-Modernist artist, Richard Allen George (Illinois/Ohio 1935-1990).       

This original work depicts The Alamo Valley Creamery. In the foreground, a shapely nude woman in stiletto heels can be seen feeding chickens from a bucket while coverall clad dairy farmers look on in the distance. The work is rendered in a palette of muted neons and is signed in lower right. The artwork sold for $1,910.00.

Is Anyone Listening?

One reason why people are fleeing Facebook

Recent posts on my Facebook newsfeed…

FB Friend 1:               Have you noticed that Facebook has totally taken control of comments                                              they don’t agree with? I think it’s high time to boycott!!

FB Friend 2:               I’m one of the many that will be deleting my FB account. Catch up with me                                          on MEWE, it’s very much like FB, very easy to learn!

There were more similar posts on my newsfeed, but this gives you a snapshot of the volatile temperature currently permeating throughout Facebook and other mass-social media platforms in recent weeks.

If America is seen as the melting pot of immigrants from across the world, our personal newsfeeds on Facebook can be viewed as the mirror of our individual neighborhoods—our own little virtual world, complete with former classmates, third cousins, professional associates, and the uncle who you pray you won’t have to sit next to at the next family gathering. But unlike assigned seating at wedding receptions, we can customize our interaction with our Facebook Friends with options like who sees our posts and the ever-faithful Unfollow option. 

While many will attribute the vastness of Facebook as its downside, its size can (and should) also be applauded for what is right about a social media platform that doesn’t cater to any one belief. But this thought process is not currently being shared by those landing on the far-right of the political spectrum.   

FB Friend 3:               Going to Parler. Tired of the BS big FB brother restricting what I want to say.

FB Friend 4:               The thing that bothers me about Facebook is that it is censoring the conservative voices.

But is there a difference between censorship and performing as a watchdog over conspiracy theories and what the conservatives themselves have penned as Fake News? While the world’s largest social media platform is now traded publicly, it is still a private company with a hands-on CEO who does not have to operate on the same standards as public institutions.

So as my newsfeed slowly shrinks from a wide spectrum of political voices to a more friendly common-voice, I mourn the loss of hearing from ALL SIDES. While these voices do not echo my own views, I believe it is important to hear opinions that differ from my own. And as my conservative friends move their battles to other social media platforms that support and encourage their principles, they are also fed a daily diet of sameness. It is bad for our country and dangerous for our future.

As temperatures cool as a result of time and distance away from the last general election, we must not think that the anger has simmered down—we just aren’t hearing it anymore. While we may all have a voice today, no one seems to be listening.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available now at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

Was There an Upside to 2020?

To say the least, 2020 has been a rollercoaster that seems to be traveling in only one direction…down. It might be easy to simply wish this year away, and hope that on January 1, 2021, we all wake up from what we can collectively call, “a year that sucked.”

But as I walked through my neighborhood this past autumn, a family pedaled past me, and the young boy laughed at his sister who was proudly riding a bike just recently void of training wheels. As I passed a house, I pick up a tomato from a table set in the front yard. On the small stand, read a sign, Please take one. An elderly gentleman waved to me from his front porch as I continued my walk.

Good or bad, this year has changed us all. While I don’t pretend it hasn’t come without serious consequences, it also came with a positive wave that we cannot ignore. We’re strong, and we will rebound from a global event that has knocked us off our feet. As I set down my rose-colored glasses, I can still see the upside to 2020.

  • This is the year families rediscovered their local golf course, introducing their children to an outdoor activity that had been on the decline in recent years. 
  • This is the year neighbors reconnected, setting up chairs on the front porch and actually sitting in those chairs.
  • This is the year we elected our country’s first female Vice President.
  • This is the year many people found time to pick up a book again, and discovered the delightfully quirky Schitt’s Creek or enjoyed binge-watching all seven seasons of The West Wing on Netflix.  
  • This is the year many women found their roots—literally. And decided to celebrate their natural grey.

Perhaps, as we look back, we can say, “I lived through 2020 and I’m a better person for it.” Here’s to 2021. Let’s all hope it’s a little less… surprising.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her debut novel, Chasing North Star is now available at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and Schuler Books. And online wherever books are sold.

Follow Heidi at heidimccrary.net and facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor


60 Second Movie Review

After watching Judy, the movie about Judy Garland’s rise and fall in Hollywood, it seemed only natural that I follow it up with I am Woman, now airing on Netflix, and starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey. She portrays Australian pop singer, Helen Reddy as she rises to pop stardom while accidentally creating the anthem for the woman’s movement in the 70’s. The movie spans from 1966 as she struggles to start up a singing career, to 1989 as she and thousands of women march in Washington D.C. in the pursuit of women’s rights and the ERA.

The singing is as powerful as the message in I am Woman —reminding us of the many hits that climbed the charts during her long career. Instead of leaving the usual link to the movie preview, I’m going to leave you with the original invincible woman, singing “I am Woman” – a song that is as relevant today as it was then.