Value of a Voice Series- Dear Fellow Human Being

This is part two of a news piece called the Value of a Voice, or Dear FHB, encouraging listeners to share their voices with Allegheny Mountain Radio throughout the whole year.  It’s a challenge to write or speak some messages of either affection or gratitude to a fellow human being.  It can, but does not have to be to some one you actually know personally. It could even be a celebrity from beyond our region.  The importance is the message, and your own way of saying it.  It will be anonymous, and how recognizable it will be, is up to you, the author. It may or may not be read in a voice the same gender as the author.  The following is an example, not read in the author’s voice, but hoping to encourage listeners/authors to share their own, and suggest a reader if you feel inclined. Avoid controversial or divisive topics, and generously share your voice, and parts of your experience that make your voice unique.

April 18th 2019,

Dear Big Brother,

     Believe it or not, I always think of your family on this day because of Paul Revere’s ride, and that whole Concord, Massachusettes thing.  Remember, “April 18th in ’75 when hardly a man is still alive” ?  And the two lanterns in the tower and all that?  I’m sure you do.  It’s hard to reach you there in that clogged corridor, but I guess you’re enjoying it.

     It’s been so long, I guess you’re surprised I’m even sending this.  Have been working on that making amends thing, and wondered if you’ve ever tried it.  It’s got to be good for all of us, most of all Gene, but it’s too late for him. So, I decided to start with you, with a “thanks”.  Thanks for being the reason I had to learn what “standing on your own two feet” really means.  I know I didn’t act like it back then, but if you hadn’t of left me and Jill, and Riley when you did, I might not have finished up school, and stayed at work.  They’re doing just fine now, and don’t ask about you all that much anymore.

     This is the very best time of year here no matter what.  The serviceberry and the redbud, and grass so green you can just taste the founder coming on the ponies.  We’ve still got the original two.  I remember you telling me they’d ruin us at this old place, and I’m glad I didn’t listen.  So thanks again, because they’re good company, and barely go through three round bales in a winter.  And I do forgive you, for leaving leaving here so soon after Grandma died.   Like I said, we all got a lot more grown up fast.

Last I talked to you, my nephew Ron was snowboarding.  Is that your kids’ fun over the winter?  How far do you all have to drive to get some slopes?  Are any of yours driving yet?  Do you remember teaching me to drive about a month before you left?  That was a good thing because I had another whole year ’til I got my license, and it was good to be able to get the twins at the bus stop and whatnot. I don’t know if I was just lucky, or if kind deputies just looked the other way, because they had to know I was still in school, and not yet sixteen.  Ruby finally took me to take the test, and it took me a couple of times, but I got it.  Do you remember me picking you up at the sheriff’s office after that last DUI, and not saying a word to any one?  I guess you’re really glad to be somewhere else now.  So thanks for those driving lessons too.

Well, not much new here.  Just glad spring finally came around, and that we’ve got Wi-fi in the Stop and Shop parking lot.  The phone card is a help too.  We can always use one, so send any time you feel like it.

If you all take any trips this summer, it’s fine if you want to stop through.  We’ll be right here.

Like I said, thanks, and now we’re doing fine.  Hope you are too,


Little Brother

This has been an episode of Dear FHB, or  Dear fellow human being.  It’s an opportunity for listeners to share their voices, and we really hope you’ll take us up on it.  You can email,, or send a paper letter with a stamp to Dear FHB c/o AMR, Drawer G, Hot Springs VA, 24445

Simple Guidelines for writing a Dear FHB letter are with the Value of a Voice part 1.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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