As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.
If you have, as I do, a sense that Durham’s economic buoyancy over the past several years is about to kick into an even higher gear, a study released last week provided a significant confirmation.
A couple decades ago, I was in a crowded, stuffy hotel room at a group editors’ meeting, looking over the shoulder of an editor from the San Jose Mercury News. He was demonstrating the paper’s new on-line news operation.
When Argos Therapeutics president and CEO Jeff Abbey talked about his company’s decision to come to Durham last week, he offered this anecdote:
““(We knew) we made the right decision when we got the whole company together and told them we would be in Durham … and this cheer went up from all 90 people.”
I’ve met Michael Burbidge, the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Raleigh – which encompasses Durham – a couple of times. He regularly reaches out to media in his diocese. He’s personable, measured, eager to listen and clearly a caring individual.
Monday, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” aired a five-minute segment titled “Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously.”
The next day, the U. S. Supreme Court vaulted same-sex marriage to the cusp of legality from coast to coast when it declined to review five appellate court rulings that bans on those marriages are unconstitutional.
I suspect no one wants to know what I did on vacation, but indulge me a few precautionary, perhaps even pessimistic, thoughts.
I fly a lot less these days than I have, and for that I am mostly grateful.
More than a half-century ago, in 1953, when I was in kindergarten in far-away New York, a young aspiring comic and actor from what would later become the hometown of my youth and adolescence recorded his breakthrough record for Orville Campbell’s Colonial Records in Chapel Hill.
One day last week, headed to lunch at one of the new restaurants lining Blackwell Street across from American Tobacco, I parked in the deck next to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Stepping out onto the brick plaza between it and Diamond View II, Durham’s increasingly urban feel was evident.
For carolers, Christmas may be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but for those of us intrigued by the changing nature of cultural touchstones, August may well be that.
In November 1942, after British forces had won a decisive victory – their first of the war – against German forces in North Africa, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in one of his more famous lines, told the House of Commons:
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Justin Wolfers, writing in the New York Times’ column “The Upshot,” a couple weeks ago had a sobering message for those on both sides of the partisan fight in North Carolina over extended unemployment benefits.
Nearly a quarter-century ago, on Sept. 3, 1990, the massive press thundered to life in our new building at 2828 Pickett Road and printed its first copies of The Durham Morning Herald and the afternoon Durham Sun.