Columnist: Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

Dec. 13, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Do Christmas however you want

“Frosted windowpanes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree…” As Frank Sinatra sang it, I’m ready for all of it. The frosty windows, the candles, the painted, well, the made-in-a-factory candy canes on the tree. I’ve only just started putting candy canes on the tree even though I haven’t had a dog in 20 years. Growing up, our dog Tootsie would definitely eat candy canes or any other ornament that appeared to be food. In third grade, I made an ornament that used glue, foam, fabric and an old ice cream cone. Guess who ate the cone right off the tree? Lesson learned.


Dec. 06, 2014 @ 01:32 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Other lives matter, not only yours

My story a few days ago about Patti Wagner, the St. Thomas More Catholic School teacher who organizes an annual drive to give kids in coal mine country presents for Christmas, is a wonderful lesson in giving. It’s a lesson in giving to give, because you want to help and make their day brighter. It’s about being kind to others and sharing.


Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:01 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Teach all U.S. history, good and bad

This past weekend, I stood outside the N.C. Museum of History and watched the recognized tribes of Native Americans in North Carolina play the drums and perform various dances. It was part of the 19th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration.


Nov. 15, 2014 @ 05:29 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: African-American women as the stars

I interviewed a Fairy Godmother this past week. Kecia Lewis, as you may have read about in the Friday Entertainment section, plays the Fairy Godmother in the national tour of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” It’s coming this week to the Durham Performing Arts Center.

 

Nov. 08, 2014 @ 06:25 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: WWII history told in moments

If you haven’t experienced combat, you don’t know what it’s like. No matter how many times we watch “Band of Brothers” or “Saving Private Ryan,” or even “The Longest Day,” we don’t know what it was really like during World War II. No one does for sure, unless they were there. So I don’t know what it’s like.

 

Nov. 01, 2014 @ 05:08 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Small favor for Butner patients

Nail polish. It’s not as minor as you think.

I have a basket of little glass bottles of nail polish, which I’ve used daily since I began painting my nails as a solution to stop biting them. I had orange glittery nail polish on last week for Halloween. It’s part of daily life, something seemingly minor, a cosmetic. But maybe it’s more than that.


Oct. 25, 2014 @ 06:43 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Traditions of the fair

Everyone who goes to the N.C. State Fair annually probably also has an annual tradition, too. They always go on a certain ride, eat a certain fried food, see a certain exhibit, or visit particular animals.

 

Oct. 18, 2014 @ 03:10 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Duke makes game day affordable

I was all set to write a column griping about the high cost of attending an ACC football game. Tickets are $60 each now, which is costly for a family outing and all that goes with it. The recession has taken its toll on the wallets of college fans, and home televisions offer a cheaper view, if not the game day experience. I’m all about the game day experience.


Oct. 11, 2014 @ 01:37 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Actress thanks her teachers

When I interviewed Durham native April Parker Jones this past week for a story about her starring on the Tyler Perry soap opera “If Loving You Is Wrong” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, we talked about a lot of things, including Durham. Parker Jones grew up here, and it was her sister Cynthia Harris, who lives here, who clued me in on Parker Jones’ new show.


Oct. 04, 2014 @ 06:09 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: A crossing patrol story

In sixth grade, I was a crossing patrol. I never rode a school bus, as every place we lived was within the one-mile walking distance radius because it builds character. As a walking crossing patrol, my station was about a block from home, at a corner. I wore my orange patrol belt and waited each morning for the dozen or so kids to come walking by on their way to the two elementary schools in our neighborhood (one K-3, the other 4-6). If the kids came over the hill on the other side of the street, I crossed over to them. My job was to look both ways for traffic, then tell the younger kids when it was safe to cross and walk with them. Then after they were all gone, I walked to the primary school myself and rode the few blocks over to my school with all the other patrols, including bus patrols.

 

Sep. 26, 2014 @ 06:59 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Harrell’s new heart

You know that phrase, “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy?” Well, that’s how I feel about Ivan Harrell, whom I first met in 2011. He was the subject of a front-page story I wrote about his daily life as he waited for a heart transplant. His bag was packed. Finally, on Sept. 14, 2013, he got the call and went to UNC Hospital that night in Chapel Hill. The next day he had a new heart, and in the year since is doing just fine.

 

Sep. 20, 2014 @ 04:07 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: World War II veterans still here

For years now, we’ve talked about how the numbers of the Tom Brokaw-coined “Greatest Generation” have been dwindling. But still, there are many World War II veterans who are still here in Durham, still living each day. Nineteen of them were at the Friendly City Civitan Club this week, invited to the annual Veterans Appreciation Lunch.

 

Sep. 13, 2014 @ 05:02 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Abuse is your business

Seeing is believing. The Ray Rice video is forcing America to confront itself. It is most definitely our business. We’ve always known it’s our business, but it was easier to look the other way. American life is not more dangerous today that it was a few generations ago. We just know what’s happening now. Talk to someone long enough about life decades ago and you’ll hear stories of people being victims of abuse, and the abuser walked. I don’t mean they got off in court, though that certainly happens; I mean they were never even arrested.

 

Sep. 06, 2014 @ 04:49 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Schools, breakfast and sleep

Durham Public Schools’ universal breakfast, a topic during this past spring’s school board race, went into effect this new school year. The idea is that if everyone can eat a free breakfast, they’re more likely to grab something to eat instead of the focus being on the kids who are getting it because of their parents’ lower incomes.

 

Aug. 30, 2014 @ 04:53 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Working hard every day

Sitting in a fast-food restaurant eating chicken after using a back-to-school coupon, my son and I talked about Labor Day. There’s no school on Monday, I told him, because of the holiday. Labor Day is a holiday for people who work, I said. People who work hard deserve a holiday, I said.