Audacity, 50s Style: Part 3

(Final installment, continued from Parts 1 and 2) “There’s a certain section of the population that thinks if you’re gay, you’re a pervert,” Carla Mandley informed me. I was speaking with her and Jo Kellum. The two women, both in their 70s, are the surviving members of Baltimore’s original all-girl band, the Roc-A-Jets. “If it’s so […]

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Audacity, 50s Style: Part 2

(Continued from “Audacity, 50s Style: Part 1”) I met Jo Kellum of the Roc-A-Jets, Baltimore’s first all-girl band, in January. The Ravens still had hopes of going to the Super Bowl, and Jo’s East Baltimore neighborhood was festooned with purple and black. Jo and Carla Mandley, Roc-A-Jets’ drummer, sat down with me over tea. Although the band […]

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Audacity, 50s Style: Part 1

Jo Kellum is one of the most audacious people I know. Not in terms of the look-at-me audacity of celebrity culture, where luminaries wear meat dresses or overturn tables on TV to grab attention. Kellum is quietly and unapologetically herself. Our friendship itself is audacious. Jo is a gay woman in her late 70s, a […]

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Our Memorable Audacity Issue

Audacity and I had a test of wills a few weeks ago. On a whim, I’d signed up my teenaged son, my brother–eight years my junior–and myself for a mud run. We had eight weeks to train for the run, my first 5K, but there was no way to prepare for the obstacles: walls, nets, […]

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How Baptisms are Done in Mississippi: Pratt Poetry Contest

Last fall, Lisa Greenhouse of the Enoch Free Pratt Library contacted Little Patuxent Review. Would we be interested in partnering with the library on a statewide poetry contest? LPR had never sponsored a contest, but this one was appealing. We liked the prospect of working with Pratt. We loved that there was no fee to enter […]

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