Maddy Wilson Resigns



Greg Wilson, Wilson Family

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CHARLOTTESVILLE (May 18, 2019)— The Wilsons announced today that Madeline “Maddy” Wilson, wife and mother has left the family to pursue other interests. A search for a replacement will launch, effective immediately.

“We can’t underestimate the value Maddy brought to our family,” said Greg Wilson, husband of Maddy and father to the couple’s four children. “She is so good at doing the dishes, making sure we have groceries, making dinner every night, getting the kids to do their homework, and, really, taking care of all of us. I don’t have any idea how we will manage without her.”

Maddy Wilson began her long relationship with the Wilson family when she married Greg in 2005. In 2006, the couple had their first child, Elton. A year later, the family welcomed a second child, Hannah, then in 2008, the twins, Brent and Ellen were born. Overwhelmed by childcare needs and household tasks, Maddy at first reduced her hours as a public relations professional and added freelance writing to her workload. Eventually, Maddy came to the understanding that her family needed to come before any outside work.

During Maddy Wilson’s tenure, the Wilson family saw 14 cases of strep throat, one case of appendicitis (Brent), eight midnight runs to the store to buy posterboard for a project due the next day, 16 bake sales, six months of colic (Hannah), one shopping mall loss prevention negotiation after a shoplifting incident (Hannah, again), and an eight-month layoff (Greg) in which Maddy was the sole supporter of the family. Maddy drove the children, or ran errands on behalf of the children and her husband for a total of 20,864 miles, did 1,300 loads of laundry, and prepared, from scratch, 5,011 dinners.

“We are so grateful to Maddy for everything she did for our family,” said Greg Wilson. “The kids and I are looking forward to lots of takeout, ‘pajama days,’ and lazy weekends. At the same time, I’m continuing my workouts at the gym and am eager to attract a great candidate to this unique role.”

Greg Wilson’s profile can be found on, Bumble, OKCupid, and Tinder.


Marijean Oldham

Marijean Oldham is a public relations consultant and writer. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, the Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, The Lindenwood Review, and Burningword Literary Journal. An essay is forthcoming in the spring, 2021 edition of the Maine Review. In 2018, Marijean authored the book 100 Things to Do in Charlottesville Before You Die, Second Edition (2018 Reedy Press). In her spare time, Marijean bakes pies competitively.





Married Love

For Martha


I stand on the shore on a Sunday in July while dark birds hover above, and I squint into the early sun that barely peeks through the mist. Martha and I drove several hours through a downpour to get to this wide lake in off-the-main-road Massachusetts.

It’s days before an operation on my weakening heart and I watch swimmers churn toward me, the Australian crawl, the lake chopping, moments near the end of a half-mile through foul brown water, the initial chunk of Martha’s first long-distance triathlon, and after this, a twenty-eight mile race-bike ride with a six-mile sprint to the finish, a three-legged action she’ll call “grueling” when she looks back years later. She’s the oldest competitor at fifty-four (instead of a race number an organizer scratched “54” in black marker on Martha’s right bicep and left calf), and yet she is 132 pounds at 5’11” after furious years in pools and on a road bicycle, and sweat-drenched runs on pitiless asphalt.

Martha’s grandfather, “Spider” Clute, is in the sports Hall of Fame at Cornell. The Yankees tried to sign him in 1913 but his fiancé said NO: It’s me or them, she said, me or those drunk godless ballplayers. Martha’s grandmother didn’t yearn for the life she’d have as the wife of a professional athlete. Even so, there’s a family black and white of Grampa Clute in a Cornell uniform stretching for a throw at first-base, the “Spider”-body a double for Martha’s, not an ounce wasted . . . pure elegance and grace.

I peer out and think I’ll never be able to find her in this broil of bodies, the dip and swirl of red-winged blackbirds. A few swimmers back I glimpse a pair of black arm-warmers like the ones she wears, elbows high, the body level, head down, no unnecessary motion, smooth, strong, steady. Is that her? Martha fears the swim the most. Though she splashed summers as a little girl, a swimsuit her all-day attire, each day, every day, in the lake at a family camp, she has never swum competitively. Never. She fears her upper body will give out. She’ll flounder. She’ll stray off course on the open water. She’ll drop behind and be the fool, she’s sure. She’s old. The youngsters will stomp her. She can’t beat them.

But those black arm-warmers . . . they must be her. And the woman I see isn’t the swimmer I remember from a year ago. That one thrashed, arms flailed, head bobbed high, body twisted side to side, too slow, too slow, nothing flowed. This swimmer glides . . . she skims the angry water, each stroke of the arms a mirror for the next. She’s efficiency and control and power. She’s feet away and rises out of the water, tanned body shimmery in the sudden sun, she’s smiling at me and I’m crying, tears streaming down my face and I couldn’t explain why . . . . She’s fifth out of the water.


Kent Jacobson

Kent Jacobson has been a teacher in prisons and a Massachusetts inner-city for nearly thirty years. His nonfiction appears (or will soon appear) in The Dewdrop, Hobart, Talking Writing, Backchannels, Under the Sun, Punctuate, Lucky Jefferson, and elsewhere. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, landscape architect Martha Lyon.

What It Is

The world watched the man grow increasingly detached from society, as if while the world progressed, he remained fossilized in a time of his own. Everyone recognized that he was ensnared in antiquated ways — everything from reading tangible newspapers to retaining nearly long-expired principles about society. Hence, everyone abandoned him at some point, leaving him alone in his rambling Victorian mansion somewhere out west, or maybe down south, or perhaps somewhere in between. He, too, soon forgot where exactly he was or what time it was, as he spent his days on his armchair, besotted with the paper and a glass of scotch or whiskey containing ice that rattled each time he picked the drink up or placed it down. That rattle was the only thing that signaled to his maid, a pretty indigenous woman with a forced sense of humor and an inauthentic approving countenance, that the man was still alive. Because otherwise he was a recluse in his armchair, reading the paper, only sometimes muttering phrases to himself like “devilish dissidents” or “my beloved Union.” The maid stayed separate, minding her own business except when she popped in every two hours to make sure the man hadn’t misplaced his hearing aid, for he had a tendency to take it out, claiming the cruel device inflamed his butterfly-like earlobes to the point of bleeding. But he knew the actual reason, and so did the maid: he had no one to hear, or rather, no one to whom he wanted to listen, so his hearing was rendered useless. This went on for days, months, years, until at some point (the man knew not the date), protests pushed towards the mansion after a young black boy was killed at the playground, between the swing set and the monkey bars, and then another one on the sidewalk by the Chinese grocery store, and then a third one in an apartment and a fourth one on the stairwell, unless the third was on the stairwell and the fourth was in the apartment. And it was only then that the white man and the maid had their first real dialogue since forever, and it was simply the maid resigning, still bothering to reassure him that the problem surely did not lie in his character but in the nature of the outside circumstances. Yet the girl herself gladly joined the chanting crowd outside, while the man was anchored on the inside, laughing to himself at their efforts without a flinch of consternation. He spent his days in the rocking chair, the ice cubes no longer making a sound because no one could hear them, until one evening a masked gentleman flung a Molotov cocktail through an upstairs window, setting the room afire. The man did not hear it, of course, but eventually as he went upstairs to turn down the heater, it was then that he saw the flames besieging him, but still, his reaction was nothing, not much: “It is what it is.”


Alex Lee

Alex Lee is a writer from New York who has won several awards and received much recognition for his fiction and critical essays, including from The New York Times. When he is not writing, Alex can be found reading plays or watching whatever is on PBS.

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