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About ten miles outside of Montana, Bulgaria, I noticed the first hitchhiker. She was young and beautiful on the bank of the highway looking wistfully down the road. She wore a light gray tank top, unveiling her shoulders to the sun and a pair of skin-tight jeans fashionably clawed to shreds. She carried nothing but a black clutch. She wasn’t trying to flag down a ride, but she did peer into each passing car, almost as an afterthought.

From within the car, my biological sister, Sarah, and I exchanged confused glances. Here, between small towns in Bulgaria, the two of us were on a journey to explore the birthplace of our adopted brother, Rudy. Rudy had first joined our family in the US over 20 years earlier at the age of three. More… “Rudy’s Roots”

Rachel Bass is a researcher focused on the global impact investing industry. Outside of her 9 to 5, Rachel enjoys both literary and culinary arts. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
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When I was fourteen, my guitar teacher asked me, “Why is the guitar a folk instrument and not a piano?” I’d never thought of that before, and the question blew my mind. Surely a piano could be a folk instrument. Couldn’t it? I was fourteen, anything could be anything. I was interested in the music of “the people” — Gypsies and carnies and wandering minstrels, travelers and scamps, blues devils and hillbillies, cowboys and revolutionaries, people on the run, people on the mosey, people for whom music is an expression of everyday experience to be performed on the side of the road, rather than an expression of a higher sensation to be performed in a concert hall. People who played guitars. So what was it that made the guitar a folk instrument and not a piano? If guitars could be played in concert halls, why not a piano on the… More…