Columnist: Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

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.

 

Jan. 04, 2014 @ 05:08 PM

The lights of Congress

There is patriotic mud left on my shoes. Mud reminiscent of the squishy swamp mud that was once underfoot (or under water) in Washington, D.C., long before it became the power center of today. I acquired the mud one night a few days before Christmas, on a night as cold as Durham was on Friday, but about 250 miles north. It’s from the U.S. Capitol lawn, still soggy after days of rain but not so messy to deter a handful of visitors, including my family, who came to take in the Christmas lights on the Capitol tree.


Dec. 28, 2013 @ 03:58 PM

Update on couple who met on the bus

Romania and Quincey Myers are a couple I got to know a few years ago when Triangle Transit contacted me about a unique love story.

Romania and Quincey met on a Durham Area Transit Authority bus the summer of 2010. The No. 4 DATA bus, to be exact, from downtown to Northern Durham. It was one leg of Romania’s three-route journey home from the salon at the Brier Creek Walmart, where she worked. But this commute changed her life, when a young man with dreadlocks caught her eye and they exchanged pleasantries. Then she seized the day, cautiously reaching out again on the same route. Quincey was on his way home, too. They ended up getting off the bus together and hung out for a little while, a moment that changed their lives forever.


Dec. 21, 2013 @ 05:22 PM

Unload the coal and sit a spell

Have a seat. The flurry is winding down, and it’s time for you to chill out, too. Here’s a column with some rhymes, some anecdotes, some factoids and some encouragement to drop the fuss and relax with the rest of us. (Or observe Festivus.)


Dec. 14, 2013 @ 05:07 PM

A girl saves the day: Hear, hear

The dearth of girl heroines in television shows and children’s movies has been attributed to a lack of women in the leadership roles that get shows on TV and movies in theaters. This is true. But it doesn’t have to take a woman to give a girl her due.


Dec. 07, 2013 @ 03:21 PM

Memories of Christmas in Durham

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?