News: Columnists

Jun. 27, 2014 @ 05:17 PM

Not your run-of-the-mill horse derby

Rose Sandler wants to gallop in the footsteps of a conqueror.

Centuries before Pony Express riders thundered across the untamed American West, Genghis Khan established a long-distance postal system using horse messengers in the Mongol steppe.


Jun. 22, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Offen: Dreaming of sleeping

There are, of course, two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t. 


Jun. 23, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

Finding strength in painful fragility

A baccarat crystal knob seems an unlikely nemesis.

But that changes when your hands are fused into permanent fists.
Megan Barron realized too late – about the time the stall door clicked shut – that she couldn’t manipulate the knob. She was in a fancy restaurant in Washington, D.C., with her father and brother. Her smartphone? Still at the table.
“Sometimes, you just have to crawl yourself under a stall door,” she said during an interview on Wednesday. “No harm, no foul.”


Jun. 16, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

Offen: Clear sailing

It was a beautiful, warm, gloriously sunny late spring day. 


Jun. 14, 2014 @ 06:30 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: The meaning of fatherhood

What is fatherhood?
Fatherhood is standing in public holding a miniature Dora the Explorer backpack and acting like it’s no big deal, because it isn’t. As a father, you hold your kids’ stuff, whether it’s Dora or princesses or Iron Man. And you play with them, too.


Jun. 13, 2014 @ 02:01 PM

The man’s always been there

The first time Mom introduced us to him, he likes to joke, “she claimed you were circus dwarves.”
Not too long after that, Tom Berger became stepfather to me and my brother, Don.
I don’t know if he was ready to be a father. I certainly wasn’t ready to be a stepson. 


Jun. 08, 2014 @ 05:06 PM

Neil Offen: 44 years, and counting

This past Thursday, my wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, which is, technically, impossible, since I’m pretty sure I’m only about 43 years old.


Jun. 07, 2014 @ 05:33 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan column: Day and night at the old ball game

Last Saturday, I was at a baseball game at 10 a.m., and at a baseball game at 10 p.m. It was a great day.

In the morning, I sat in a folding chair under the hot sun watching my son’s T-ball team, named for a kind of shark, enjoy America’s pastime.

In the evening, my almost-done-with-kindergarten kid sat next to me at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. 


Jun. 06, 2014 @ 07:01 PM

Hello Kitty? Hello, parental camaraderie

“Ha-ha!”

I was walking down Club Boulevard in front of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, pushing John Michael in the jogging stroller.


Jun. 01, 2014 @ 07:34 PM

Neil Offen: How to remember to remember

As she leaves for work every morning, my wife recites a mnemonic device that helps remind her that she is leaving for work.


May. 31, 2014 @ 06:23 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: After darkness, light

Carolyn Hemingway. Antonio Dixon. Those who perished at Dachau during the Holocaust. Those that gave their lives for their country during war. Within less than two weeks, I covered four assignments that each had the same purpose – to remember those who were killed. One was a funeral. One was a national holiday. Two were vigils. Each of the four events were held on sunny days. Each of the four events remembered those who died not in peace, but by violence. Each of the four was emotional for those who were connected to those who died.

 

May. 30, 2014 @ 07:13 PM

Young hero has a way with words

I couldn’t blame it on a bad pass, wet turf, sloppy handling or referee incompetence.

No, back in the 1970s, my sport was spelling.

When I failed, I only had myself to blame.


May. 25, 2014 @ 04:37 PM

Neil Offen: I am not a candidate … yet

Let me reiterate and make this perfectly clear: I have no intention, currently, at this moment, as of early this morning, right now, of running for president in 2016.

However, as I state in my currently available new book, “Running for President in 2016,” circumstances can change.


May. 24, 2014 @ 04:10 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: D-Day’s 70th anniversary approaches

Back when I was a reporter in Southwestern Virginia, I covered the June 6, 2001, opening of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va. I left my home in Blacksburg at dawn, driving through several towns on the way to a rather small town, especially for a national memorial. But it’s there because Bedford lost the most soldiers, per capita, of anywhere else in the country on D-Day. 

The dedication was a long day and an exciting one. Thousands of people were there, including the president. It was an important story because it was part of a thousand stories of those who will never forget June 6, 1944, the day of the Allies’ invasion of Normandy, France, during World War II. 


May. 23, 2014 @ 05:46 PM

Greeking out in Durham

I haven’t started spritzing everything with Windex.

Yet.
But I’m thinking about it.
It’s been a wild year since I took the unprecedented (in my life) step of getting baptized, joining the Greek Orthodox Church so that I could marry into a (very) Greek family.