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.
This is update 8.02.4/6, designed to replace update 8.02.4/5, which replaced 8.02.4/4, which was supposed to greatly enhance your reading experience but instead locked your newspaper onto the paid obituary page.
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.
I met with my financial adviser the other day, despite the fact that I don’t have many financials to advise and they are notoriously reluctant to listen when you offer them any suggestions.
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.
Without the help of all those working behind the scenes and several who worked in front of the scenes and those few who dared to work on the sides of the scenes, this column would not have been possible. Of course, then again, it might have been better.
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.
Durham police say they are investigating a homicide Saturday night on North Maple Street. An arrest has been made in the case.
The other day, when I discovered that we have, in our house, 16 flower vases although I am allergic to flowers, I realized it was time to de-clutter.
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.
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.
Being a crime and police reporter has its fair share of exciting days, and its more boring days. I never know what’s going to happen when I set foot in the newsroom or turn on my police scanner.
My idea of high technology, generally speaking, is a toaster. As everyone knows, it’s an inscrutably complex mechanism that requires pin-point adjustment and careful programming of that little dial on the bottom that determines how much you will burn the toast. Not to mention you also have to decide on and implement which is the correct side to use when you’re only toasting one slice.
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.
Welcome back, students. We are thrilled that you have returned for the new semester.
Translation: Couldn’t you have just waited another couple of weeks so that the rest of us could continue to find a parking space downtown?