The Chapel Hill Herald: Columnists

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 08:58 AM

The garbage collector and life’s truths

Joe was a garbage collector.  Working alone, he would drive his truck up to the curb, put the brakes on, swing out of the cab, step over to a garbage can, grab it and swing it up into the truck.

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

Home decorating in the “Wabi-Sabi” style

In one of my favorite scenes in an old-favorite Clyde Edgerton book, the elderly Mattie Rigsbee makes her lunch and attempts to settle in and eat while watching one of her favorite “stories” on TV.

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 10:05 PM

Euthanizing geese wrong in Gaston County

A large flock of Canada Geese took up residence at Dallas Park in Gaston County.

Rebecca Duffeck used to visit them nearly every day.  In June of this year, she went to see her beloved geese. To her astonishment, no geese were there.  Instead, hundreds of geese feathers lined the banks of a lake.

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Traveling with old friends

When I wound up with an airline voucher that would go away if I didn’t spend it, I decided to return “home” to Santa Barbara for the first time in close to 10 years. Even though I’ve lived in Chapel Hill for 23 years, a part of me still yearns for beach walks, mountain hikes, my many friends and the fare of Superica Taqueria.

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 09:18 PM

Out here workin’ for the do-re-mi

Good morning, boys and girls!  My name is Ms. Wentz, and I’m here to teach you music while your teacher is out, and I’m so excited to see you all! And, this is my kindergarten class, is that right? Well, my goodness, you look much older than that -- you look as big as the bigger kids! We’re going to have so much fun today because -- Yes, dear?

Oct. 17, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

These are a few of my favorite things

Don’t you just love it when you’re traveling, and it’s 6 p.m. and you’re starving, and you’re on a country road, and it’s 92 degrees outside, and suddenly you come to a complete stop, seeing cars stopped for miles in front of you and there’s nothing around except an occasional cow and some trees, and for some reason the folks going the other way are zipping by, no problem, looking at you with gleeful smirks, and you don’t know how or whom to call to find out what’s going on?

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 03:57 PM

To drink or not to drink

The Herald-Sun newspaper of Oct. 8  had two articles that showed opposing attitudes about college drinking.
The first article was about a dorm on the campus of Troy University in Alabama.  The students living in the dorm adhere to a strict non-drinking policy.  They also do community service work and must have a minimum grade-point average.  It is called the Newman Center.

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

Things of which I am sick and tired, by Vicki Wentz

I have been building a small volcano in my stomach in recent months, and unless I eat only white things like rice, bagels and plain pasta, it will erupt, involving anything from minor to please-shoot-me pain. The doctor says I have an ulcer (please, I raised two children alone from babyhood with no money and mostly no job, no car, no washer, no dryer and no air-conditioning ... I am WAY overdue). She gave me medicine, which I take reluctantly, because being Italian and a Scorpio, I believe I’d be fine if everyone simply did things the way I want them to.

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 09:04 AM

Rowell's second book a rewarding read

Rainbow Rowell burst on the scene with “Eleanor and Park” (St Martin’s Griffin, ages 14 and up), the story of an unpopular, unattractive, prickly young woman who wins the love of Park. Park, the book’s second narrator, gets past Eleanor’s guardedness and learns heartbreaking truths that rule her life. Rowell’s first book captured children’s book fans, including the celebrated YA author John Green who wrote a glowing New York Times article, and five writers who gave it starred reviews.

Oct. 05, 2013 @ 03:17 PM

Walking through life with Gracie

Today, Oct. 6, is my granddaughter Gracie’s birthday.

She is four years old and adorable, with soft, light brown hair (normally in a ponytail with a big bow), chubby cheeks and twinkling, chocolate eyes. She walks with a determined march, she orders her big brothers around, she adores make-up and baking with Mama and she loves carrots dunked in peanut butter (although she mostly uses the carrots as handy spoons). 

Her father calls her “the tiny terrorist,” but she just knows exactly what she likes, and she expects to get what she wants when she wants it ... not that she’s spoiled or anything.

Oct. 09, 2013 @ 05:51 PM

Triple good luck and "Southern Fried Rice"

In today’s Chapel Hill, we are surrounded by neighbors and university students who come from a Chinese background.

Not too many years ago, however, seeing an Asian face would be a rare event in Chapel Hill and rarer still in other towns and small cities in the South.

Thanks to a new book “Southern Fried Rice,” we can get a look at what it was like to be part of the only Chinese family in a small southern town. The author, John Jung, retired professor of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach, grew up in Macon, Georgia, where his father owned the “Sam Lee” Laundry.

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 08:08 AM

Jailed without justice in immigration court

We as Americans know when a person is arrested and jailed in our country he or she has the right to a lawyer regardless of ability to pay.
Here’s the thing, though: People -- including American citizens -- who are jailed on immigration violations do not have those same rights.

Oct. 05, 2013 @ 01:06 AM

An old SLR in a digital-camera world

As the daughter of one photographer and the mother of another, I am steeped in the language of cameras, with words like “aperture” and concepts such as “depth of field.”  These days most of my pictures are taken with my smart phone, but I own an old Minolta 101 Single Lens Reflex (SLR) and know the basics of how to use it.

Sep. 28, 2013 @ 08:01 AM

Temper the STEM emphasis

It has become an article of faith among public policymakers today in Virginia and across the country: Universities and colleges must emphasize and expand their offerings in science, technology, engineering and math to meet the workplace demands of tomorrow.

Sep. 28, 2013 @ 07:54 AM

Tips for hospital patients

No one enjoys being admitted to a hospital as a patient.  However, once you are there, you can do some things to make your stay more pleasant.