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.
If you haven’t much else to do and Google “how to grow a beard,” you will almost immediately find links to “3 Ways to Grow a Beard” and “17 Ways to Grow and Keep Facial Hair.” Not to mention “22 Steps to Growing a Beard (with pictures).”
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?
For some reason, my most vivid childhood memory of a back-to-school night is not my own school, but my sister’s. We were living in Augusta, Georgia, (the suburb of Martinez, to be specific) and she was starting junior high. It was the 1980s. I was still in elementary school. I can picture the evening. There were trailers, not just the main building. It was crowded. She got a souvenir light blue plastic mug. Maybe it was the mug. It was a cool mug. What has stayed with me is the feeling of newness – our family of four checking out a new school where my older sister would go. I don’t recall being upset she went to a different school. It was just different not being in the same school together anymore.
When asked, several years ago, if he had ever gone camping, my friend Frank responded, with a look of total bemused amazement on his face, “You mean, like on the ground?”
What does good leadership in times of crisis look like? We saw it late last week in Ferguson, Missouri, when Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol came into a contentious situation and the mood changed in no small way because of his leadership. What he did was walk with the people who were upset. He talked with them, not to them. He listened. He hugged. In short, he led.
Here’s a list of what to do before you go on vacation:
Make a list of what to do before you go on vacation.
I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before, so please keep it quiet because it’s embarrassing: I can’t park.