Columnist: Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Keeping the wave going

After I wrote about my son’s first day of kindergarten last fall, I heard from a reader about her own child’s first day of school. After her daughter got on the Durham school bus, the mom got in her car and followed the bus to school before returning home. It was a mom thing to do.

I love the sitcom “The Goldbergs” first, because it’s hilarious. I identify with being an ’80s kid, too. But the best part is the mom who goes lovingly overboard as her kids grow up.


Apr. 05, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

Pansy Dodson shares life story with granddaughter

Do you remember Pansy Dodson? I wrote about her last year and the letters she and her sister send out monthly to about 200 friends, in a June 2013 story headlined “Verses of Comfort.”


Mar. 29, 2014 @ 09:29 PM

Living it up Longleaf Pine style

There’s a new book out that Tar Heels will be talking about for awhile. “Talkin’ Tar Heel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina” landed on our Books desk Friday. In true Southern fashion, I will soon go off on a tangent, telling stories on the side.

“Talkin’ Tar Heel” is published by UNC Press and written by Walt Wolfram, the William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at UNC Chapel Hill, and Jeffrey Reaser, associate professor of English at N.C. State University. The book includes the findings of more than 20 years of research by the North Carolina Language and Life Project at N.C. State. Duke University wasn’t part of it because – insert Yankee joke here. But actually, Northern accents contribute as much to the sound of our voices here as Southern ones. As Wolfram and Reaser write in the first chapter: “The voices of North Carolinians reflect the diversity of its people.”


Mar. 22, 2014 @ 06:32 PM

VAUGHAN COLUMN: NCCU deserves the love

In the words of the awesome Pharrell Williams, music man extraordinaire: “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” Let’s clap for N.C. Central University, or for those of us well familiar with Durham, just Central or NCCU.


Mar. 15, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Lessons of the playground

This past weekend, I played on a playground that had the kind of equipment popular today, with bright colors and arching monkey bars and plastic slides. It also had a lot of metal and chipped paint equipment, including swings that were actual seats with armrests, a see-saw and a merry-go-round. 

 

Mar. 08, 2014 @ 05:03 PM

‘Frozen’ best on screen, not here

Plan B. That’s what this winter became, a season of Plan Bs. Delayed. Postponed. Rescheduled. Cancelled.


Mar. 01, 2014 @ 05:33 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Women at the front

The main photographic image in the new, permanent “Confronting Change” exhibit at the Carolina Theatre is an archive photo from this newspaper, taken when Faye Mayo was at the front of the ticket line at the then-segregated theater, asking to buy a movie ticket for the regular seats, not the ones way up in the balcony through the side door. The photograph was of a “round robin” protest, where protestors rotated through the line. Chances are someone else had just asked at the window and Mayo was simply next. But visually, she was at the front of the line, and in history, she was at the front of the line. Being part of the civil rights movement meant you were on the frontline. Now that Black History Month has segued to Women’s History Month, it is time to honor those who stepped up – to the plate, to the box office window, to the podium.


Feb. 22, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Team sports, as a parent

March Madness is coming, and as the reigning bracket champ in the newsroom (I have the “NCAA Bracket Boss” trophy to prove it) I bring you a column about basketball that’s not what you’ll find in the Sports section.

I’ve joined a new team many of you already are on, past and present. I have been to the bleachers at kids’ basketball games, and I have survived. My son is in kindergarten. They don’t keep score. Well, the referee doesn’t keep score, and probably not the coach, but apparently parents do. I learned this when a parent told me so. I think I responded with something like, “Mm,” when I was thinking, “Say what now?”


Feb. 14, 2014 @ 06:13 PM

Snowfall shows our manners

Snowpocalypse. Snowmageddon. Snowfie. So many, or rather, snow many, ways to add snow into words depicting our inclement environment.

There’s not a good way to merge “snow” with “helpful” or “Good Samaritan” or “neighborly.” 


Feb. 08, 2014 @ 08:47 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Former mayor turned on the light

In 1930s small town Alabama, Horace Johnson’s parents lit their back yard with electric lights – something new back then -- so all the African-American kids had somewhere to play. I told you about Johnson’s background last week, and today I’ll share where that foundation led – to the mayor’s office in Hillsborough.


Feb. 08, 2014 @ 06:45 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Former mayor turned on the light

In 1930s small town Alabama, Horace Johnson’s parents lit their back yard with electric lights – something new back then -- so all the African-American kids had somewhere to play. I told you about Johnson’s background last week, and today I’ll share where that foundation led – to the mayor’s office in Hillsborough.

 

Feb. 01, 2014 @ 04:22 PM

His Grandma Mattie survived slavery

The life of Horace Johnson has come as full circle as any life could. In 1850, his grandmother was born into slavery. In 1969, Johnson picketed and boycotted and was a major player in the civil rights movement in Hillsborough. Twenty years after that, he became mayor.


Jan. 25, 2014 @ 03:14 PM

The work, then the magic of music

Sitting in on a rehearsal of the Durham Symphony Orchestra recently, I wondered how many of them were reliving a scene from their teen years. Rooms where musicians rehearse are functional, not fancy. The rehearsal room at the Durham Arts Council wasn’t too different than a high school band room. Nor should it have been. Chairs that stack. Lockers for instruments. Instrument cases – suitcases of the arts – resting by chairs. Musicians leaning over to each other during breaks, exchanging words and occasional laughter. 


Jan. 18, 2014 @ 04:06 PM

First black firefighters bonded for life

There were 10 of them. Ten men who broke the color barrier in the Durham Fire Department. Three are still living, and of those, two have been ill. George Washington King, who turns 78 next month, is spry and easily takes the stairs. Thirty-five years of being a firefighter kept him in shape. King called me last week after my column urging those who are veterans of the civil rights movement to share their stories. He came to the newsroom and we talked for a few hours about his career at the DFD, one he said that had its rocky times but was very rewarding.

 

Jan. 11, 2014 @ 04:54 PM

Tell civil rights stories now

For more than decade, we have heard that World War II veterans were dying at a rate of 1,000 a day. During that time, I have taken every opportunity, for this newspaper and others, to record their stories and share them with you. I’ll continue to do so.