Commentator Thea Marshall looks at the all-American tendency to “take a chance,” to take a risk, to gamble. Historian and author David G. Schwartz wrote that gambling is as American as apple pie and much older than the Mayflower. It is something deep in the nation’s bones and reflected not only in games of chance but in the stock market and entrepreneurship. There is, he writes, a straight line—a legacy—from the early settlers and the plantation grandees to today’s visitors to the Las Vegas Strip. None of these people mind taking a chance.
Thea Marshall is the author of “Neck Tales: Stories from Virginia's Northern Neck,” published in June, 2009. Along with her professional writing assignments, she is a broadcaster, actor, and producer, with life long experience in all forms of communication – from print to theater to radio and television. She writes and broadcasts original commentaries on and about the people, places, history, culture and current issues relating to the Northern Neck for WCVE Public Radio (heard on both WCVE in Richmond and WCNV for the Northern Neck).
Articles by Thea Marshall
Commentator Thea Marshall catches up with an early Northern Neck adventurer, the first of the Neck's fleet of Fleetes, Henry Fleete.
Many Northern neckers believe that the 1,300 acres, which make up Westmoreland State Park, are the jewels of the Neck. From the height of its Horsehead Cliffs – some 115 feet above sea level – to the beaches below, folks search for million-year-old fossils.
One of the newest roadside markers in the Northern Neck tells a tale of 17th century potters whose kiln dating back to 1677 was discovered in Westmoreland county. What the marker doesn’t tell us is the rebellious nature of their work.
Commentator Thea Marshall remembers the first time she looked at an open oyster and was expected to eat that strange bi-valve. It had to be great, otherwise, why were wars fought over it? There were territorial wars and then wars between tongers and dredgers, replete with oyster police and a so called oyster navy. And it was all about that remarkable creature and the folks who crave it. Jonathan Swift wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”
Commentator Thea Marshall pays tribute to those very first dreamers of the great American dream - the indentured servants of the early colonies. They came filled with hope for a better life. Scraps of letters written hundreds of years ago tell how (for some) those dreams turned to bitter nightmares.An indentured servant was a laborer under contract to an employer for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for their transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities.