The Chapel Hill Herald: Columnists

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 11:53 AM

I Can’t BELIEVE It’s DairySoyGluten Just Shoot Me!

A friend of mine was having a birthday, the same friend at whose home in the mountains I was staying for the summer, so I thought I’d throw her a birthday party, you know, in case I ever want to go back to the mountains and live in her house, like tomorrow, like permanently, like forever ... I’m just saying. So, in the interests of, well, my being able to do that, I won’t reveal her age -- she’s a bit sensitive about joining me in hot-flash hell -- but she was agreeable to the birthday party, as long as it was held in a meat locker because the heat has reached insanely anti-birthday levels.

 

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 11:39 PM

The sad recent fate of historic Colonial Inn

No building is more beloved by the people of Hillsborough than the Colonial Inn.  It was built in 1838 and originally called the Orange Hotel.  Folks recognized the special nature of the hotel right off the bat.  Here is part of an ad that was published by the original owner, Isaac Spencer: 


Aug. 16, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

‘The End of Always’ story of teen in 1907 finding her own way

Chapel Hill writer, Randi Davenport’s “The End of Always” (book from Grand Central Publishing; audio from Hachette, approximately 10 hours) plunks readers down in the immediate and intense world of 17-year-old Marie Reehs. Life is harsh enough in 1907 Waukesha, Wisconsin, but Marie recounts the sudden illness and death of her young brother, too abruptly followed by the death of her mother from “an accident” that Marie believes was a murder committed by her father.


Aug. 09, 2014 @ 02:40 PM

Meeeemories ... like the drugs I used to fiiind ...

Do you remember the friendly neighborhood drug store? We used to call them drug stores, because that’s where we went to get makeup, toothbrushes, Hershey Bars and drugs. But, then that “someone” with nothing better to do decided people might think they could buy makeup, toothbrushes, Hershey Bars, and DRUGS there, and changed the name to Pharmacy. 

 

Aug. 09, 2014 @ 08:20 AM

Taking an illuminating break from Facebook

The first thing I didn’t post on Facebook was a picture of the snake we found on the front porch.  The second photo I didn’t post was a shot of my riding helmet, half-chaps, and bridle hung together on a wrought-iron rack against rough-hewn barn wood.  It looked like something staged for a magazine.


Aug. 02, 2014 @ 09:25 AM

Being declined, denied, duped and double-crossed

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!! ... Sorry.  Didn’t mean to yell, I’m just so freakin’ mad! Twice this week, some scummy scammer has tried to take advantage of me, and I still don’t get it -- what kind of people do these things? The fact that both dirtbags (yeah, that’s right, “dirtbags” -- like I don’t watch “CSI”?) were totally disappointed in the size of the loot they’d never get is the only thing that makes me smile. 

 

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

Pilot Mountain, an iconic and beloved landmark

Pilot Mountain is one of the most recognized mountains in the state. It dominates the scenery for miles around it. A twisting 2.5-mile road leads to the top.

But a bill now before North Carolina legislators would let state officials rent out the park for private use.


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 06:32 PM

Spiffing up for others, enjoying it ourselves

Our neighbors were selling their car and promptly had it tuned up and detailed to fetch the best price.  As they drove the car home from the shop, they decided to keep driving it.  The engine purred, the chrome glistened, and the stains on the upholstery had vanished.  The curious presence of a “new car smell” solidified their decision.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 04:53 PM

What would YOU do to avoid the dentist?

You know, there are few things in life that are guaranteed to cause my friends and family to collapse with what I like to call “laugh cramps” than when I injure myself. I don’t mean to suggest that they are not generally sympathetic and concerned, but ... well, yes, I guess I do; these people are cold, I’m telling you, stone cold, heartless human beings. 

 

Jul. 22, 2014 @ 10:27 AM

Catie-G'ma's Bookclub

I’ve recently begun the Catie-G’ma Bookclub, an attempt to keep connected with my long-distance 2-year-old granddaughter. 


Jul. 19, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

Every summer, my brother-in-law, Gregg’s, parents rent a house at Emerald Isle, and Gregg’s whole family – including my sister, Susan, and their three teens – comes down from Ohio for a week’s vacation.


Jul. 19, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

Chapel Hill artist’s soaring success

The good news for folks around Chapel Hill is that Elaine O’Neil will continue her series of North Carolina “Luv This Place” calendars for 2015. Her four previous editions, each with 12 different prints of her unique and quirky views of our state’s special places, have become collectables.


Jul. 19, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

The essence of forgiveness

In Victor Hugo's “Les Miserables,” Jean Valjean spends 19 years of his early life in prison.  After his release from prison, he is befriended by a bishop, who invites him into his home.  During the night, Jean Valjean wakes up, steals silver plates from the bishop, and flees.  He is caught.  The police bring him back to the bishop.  


Jul. 09, 2014 @ 10:34 PM

Love about relationships -- with things, with people

A few weeks ago our friend Evan sat with me in the kitchen while I rustled up some food.  Evan is a surgeon by day and a weekend potter.  I poured something into a bowl he gave us.


Jul. 05, 2014 @ 03:23 PM

A tale of two fracking cases

Denton, Texas, is considering a permanent ban on fracking within the city limits.  While they are considering the matter, they have banned fracking.