Locally based webcast extols mom's advice [Tampa Tribune, Fla. :: ]
(Tampa Tribune (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 11--ST. PETERSBURG -- With Mother's Day upon us, St. Petersburg artist and radio host Velva Lee Heraty wants to look beyond the same old sentimental stuff as we ponder Mom.
On Saturday, Heraty brought a handful of local people onto her Internet radio show, "Let's Talk Life," to talk about things they've learned from their mothers -- or advice they wish they had heeded. Heraty, who has a background in psychology, calls the edition "Mom Was Right" because mothers' roles are often either downplayed or oversimplified.
"Mom is scapegoated a lot," she said. "Either that or there is a wealth of corny sentimentality. The truth is, she is our first experience of pure unadulterated love."
The show's 10 participants offer stories of the women who actively shaped their lives. Their approaches to their stories -- and their reasons for participating -- are divergent.
For artist and St. Pete Beach resident Bill Vear, 50, it's all about his 13-year-old daughter.
"It's an educational thing for her," he said. "She and her mom are fighting like cats and dogs. Maybe it would kind of sink in for her that maybe mom isn't so bad."
Vear said he had quite a few anecdotes about his mother.
"She was a good judge of character," he said. "She could tell which kids were good kids and which kids were bad kids. My first girlfriend, she warned me, was nothing but trouble. ... She was right."
Stephanie Snyder, development director for American Stage, had a different approach.
"My mom was the fabulous '50s housewife who made sure that the house was perfect and the clothes were done and dinner was on the table by 6 o'clock," she said.
While Snyder, her father and her sisters would have boisterous dinner table conversations about politics, she said her mother tended not to chime in. Snyder said when she was younger she was critical of her mother for seemingly taking a traditional, subordinate role. Years down the road, though, she realized how her mother was subtly encouraging her to be bold.
"The messages she was sending, while they weren't as verbose and consistent as the messages I was receiving from my father, I found she was this quiet strength and that while she was a bit parsimonious with her words and her advice, what she did give was absolutely spot-on," she said. "I found it was a huge foundation of who I was, I just didn't know it."
Heraty, who grew up in Chicago, brings a "Mom Was Right" story or two of her own to the table.
"My mom used to insist I be home by midnight even when I was a late teen," she said. "In Chicago midnight was early. I fought with her. She said nothing good happens after midnight. ... The other one was, 'He's not right for you.' I wish I had listened to that one."
"Mom Was Right" will stream throughout today on lifeimprovementradio.com and soon will be available for download via iTunes. Next month, Heraty plans to host a similar show for Father's Day, which will of course be called "Dad Was Right."
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