Bobby Lougee was my go-to guy for World War II veteran stories. He introduced me, and subsequently you, to Pearl Harbor veteran Cecil Chandler. And veteran Grover Glymph. And many others.
Fifteen years in this business covering high school graduations, and I still feel the palpable promise that commencement brings. Graduations are fun.
Memorial Day isn’t like Veterans Day. The military service members we’re honoring aren’t alive. They’re not wearing uniforms and marching down the street in a parade. What remains above ground is a U.S. flag folded into a triangle and kept in someone’s closet or encased in a display case.
Summer calendar planning is fun.
I have one of those big desktop calendars I write all my story assignments and deadlines on, in pen.
In pencil, I make notes of things I come across that would be fun to do off the clock. If you read our Entertainment section this past Friday, you saw the bevy of free outdoor music and movies showing throughout the hot months. The best ones are on weekends, not weeknights, because not everyone works and lives right next to venues. Just saying.
When I interviewed Clay Aiken this past week, I asked if he was ever surprised at meeting other famous people in person. He doesn’t get starstruck, he said, but added that he had been excited to meet Diane Sawyer, Sen. Tom Harkin and Tom Brokaw.
Tomorrow is Tax Day. Have you filled out your forms for Uncle Sam yet? Ours were done and refunds delivered and already spent before the pollen descended on North Carolina with yellow force.
I like antique cars. The kind that have “Hoover for President” license plates (not that anyone wants another Hooverville).
They just look cool. We don’t really need power windows and expensive one-piece bumpers that stopped being able to withstand a bumping long ago.
Cars used to be about getting from point A to point B relatively comfortably. And, if you could afford it, with some style. Like cars from the first decades of the 20th century, before they became floating, climate-controlled couches removed from the road experience.
For my son’s first Easter, now five years ago, he had an adorable little suit to wear to church.
But we didn’t go that year.
Instead, Easter weekend was spent in a new parent panic, first at a doctor’s office, then at a hospital having him X-rayed. As anyone who has raised a baby knows, a high fever in a little one, especially the first time, is rather worrisome.
At the Richmond City Jail in Virginia, a nonprofit group for girls and a sheriff came together to do right by the city’s daughters. Multiple media outlets in Virginia have covered the recent father-daughter dance at the jail, and it’s worth noting here, too. The dads at the dance were nonviolent offenders. The daughters were simply daughters who wanted to spend time with their fathers.
An event like this sparks several questions. Why did the fathers do something to get locked up? Why didn’t they put their children first? Why are the mothers having children with these men? Why, why, why. Judge, admonish, put down. All those questions do nothing to help the girls who are already living their lives with incarcerated dads.
Today’s column is a variety pack – something for each of you. First, a follow up to my January column on “Illuminating Durham Corners,” about places of significance – for whatever reason – in Durham. I received a letter from Anne Hamilton Daye, who told me about the corner she finds very interesting and beautiful. Believe it or not, she says, it is Mutual Heights at the corner of Fayetteville Street and Cornwallis Road. The streets meet again elsewhere in Durham, but the corner she’s talking about is across from Beechwood Cemetery.
What’s your allegiance? We like to form ourselves into little groups, we Americans, we Southerners, we North Carolinians. Durhamites. Chapel Hillians. Hillsboroughers. Raleighites. Triangles. Piedmontians. Whatever. We enjoy being in groups. Divide, divide, divide. County, city, town, neighborhood, street. University. OK, that one’s warranted. Regular readers know I’m a Hokie, and that’s true even when the basketball team is, well, underperforming, to put it nicely in this month of March Madness.
I wonder if there’s much to the notion of your life flashing before your eyes?
Not just the moments permanently planted there, like childbirth and weddings and graduations and even funerals, but all those other moments we wish we could bottle.
I’m mad at Congress right now. I know, I know. Who isn’t?
Specifically, because of the current partisan gridlock and threat of economic catastrophe, the Wings Over Wayne Air Show has been cancelled. Set for May 18-19 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base here in North Cackalacky, it’s a reasonable drive to go see military aviation on display. But there won’t be any flying into the great blue yonder because of Congress.
This air show, like another at Joint Base Langley in the Norfolk, Va., area, has been cancelled because of our federal government’s inability to compromise. Can I get a harrumph?
What do you tell your kids about your job? It’s interesting to break it down to children in terms of what they’d want to know. It makes you look at your work in a different way.
Just as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month come around every winter, so do they flush out racism in our midst. Since this nation’s first African-American president was elected four years ago, the phrase “post-racial” has been batted around as a way of talking about progress. It is usually swatted down swiftly from those who know there is nothing “post” about it for some Americans.