Christmas in Durham. Tell me about it. How many Christmases have you spent in Durham? At home? At work? Do you buy your Christmas tree from a Durham lot every year? Or you did, until you bought a pink aluminum tree that one year, then back to the green-grown? Remember that white Christmas in Durham? Which one? Did you march in the parade? Did you get the best Christmas present ever in Durham?
Should we look to Germany for a better way to organize our government?
Our parents and grandparents from the “Greatest Generation” would be shocked at the idea that the country they fought so hard to defeat would have the kind of representative and effective government that any American would want to copy.
I got out the china for Thanksgiving dinner. The special occasion, been passed down in the family china. The china that takes up kitchen cabinet space, staking its hereditary territory. Be careful, I warned others right before I almost broke a dish myself.
I’m sure you’ve heard about big box stores opening on Thanksgiving Day rather than waiting for the dark early morning hours of Black Friday to open their doors to shoppers. Maybe you plan to take advantage of the door busting deals after dinner, or maybe you’d rather sit on your couch. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re among those who are encouraging other shoppers to stay home so store workers could stay home, too. But they didn’t make the call, their employers did. And the market.
On the way to work this past week, I flipped through the radio stations and heard a Christmas song. It turns out one station has already gone all-Christmas, all-day. Fine with me! I’ll wait until I’m eating Thanksgiving leftovers before decorating, but bring on the music. Holiday parades are getting ready to roll, too.
Clora Smith’s brother Sgt. Willie Edward Alston was killed in action in the Vietnam War on May 15, 1968. He was 25 years old and with the 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division. They grew up in Durham and he is buried in Beechwood Cemetery.
Three North Carolinians have mounted a campaign to bring photographs to the names of those men from our state who were killed in Vietnam. They’ve asked newspapers to help get word out about the photographs they’re seeking, and I’m much obliged.
Like my family, you probably went to the N.C. State Fair this past week, too, each person zeroing in on something. I wanted to go to the rabbit barn. My husband wanted to try the fried Oreos. My son wanted to go right to the Wiggle Wurm (that’s how the ride is spelled).
In case you missed it, my story in the Faith section this week included Catherine Ferrell, a 101 year-old member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church over on Dowd Street. Anyone who makes it to 100 years old and beyond knows something about living. So I asked her if she had any advice about longevity. She told me about her mother.
I took my son along to see “Beauty and the Beast” at the Durham Performing Arts Center when I reviewed it opening night for the paper. We went out to dinner first at Tyler’s, then took in the gorgeous pink sunset over the old tobacco buildings as we walked to DPAC.
As sure as Election Day comes around every fall, here’s my usual column reminding you why you should vote.
Don’t take it from me – the behavior of Congress this past week is reminder enough to vote, vote, vote.
I’m starting to think the most important quality in an elected official isn’t platform, or party or personality. I think it’s simply the ability to be reasonable. If you’re not reasonable, then you don’t belong in office. If you stomp your foot and act like a jerk, then you apologize and move on. You recognize that you’re being unreasonable, and you stop doing it.
Twice this week on my morning commute I heard “Enter Sandman” on the radio, the Metallica song I would dislike if the intro wasn’t played at the start of Virginia Tech Hokies games to get the crowd jumping.
How do you bear it? With the tragedy in downtown Durham this past week with one loss of life, plus several at the Washington Navy Yard, and so many abroad, how do we bear it?
Picture it: Durham in 1944, during World War II. Soldiers in training at Camp Butner often came downtown, including a young man named Merle “Jack” Hammersley. You may have read my story in Saturday’s newspaper about him receiving his Bronze Star in a ceremony Friday. But there’s another great story, too -- a love story.
Like coffee and singing along to the radio, books are one of the joys of life. Maybe I should stitch that on a decorative pillow. Books are part of my features coverage here at the newspaper, and a joy of my job is the opportunity to share a good literary find with readers.