Monthly Archives: September 2019

One Mom’s Tribute to Cokie Roberts

I never knew Cokie Roberts personally. But I felt like I did. As a young mother back when National Public Radio was just a fledgling network, Cokie’s reporting fed my mind, which in those days was usually preoccupied with diapers, keeping track of a preschooler, and getting meals on the table. The pioneer broadcaster died on Sept. 16 at age 75.

With a steady, rational voice – which is more than I often had – she brought me news of events that I had no idea were happening in this country. After becoming a mother, I pledged allegiance to fuzzy blankets, digger trucks, afternoon naps, and Tommee Tippee cups of apple juice.

I first heard Cokie’s voice in the 1970s, while living in an old adobe house in the wilds of New Mexico. I would tune our G.E. table radio to KUNM, our NPR affiliate, and the world came tumbling in. News of Washington – light years from the tiny hamlet where we chose to live, combined with the smell of piñon logs crackling in the wood stove. I was in heaven.

Cokie and her NPR colleagues lit up the connections in my mommy brain. The country was just getting over the war in Vietnam and President Nixon’s resignation. Then came Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. We all needed hope. “All Things Considered” gave us an in-depth look at reality. Not hyperbole. But calmly presented news. More importantly, the reporting made me feel less isolated. It was news as I’d never heard it before. And I was hungry for it.

Across my entire writing career, which was at times sporadic and other times intense, I raised four children, often homeschooling some or all of them, and later on, became a remedial reading teacher. As a features writer, Continue reading