Columnist: DG Martin

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 11:42 PM

New book, times, and authors for 'Bookwatch'

There are three pieces of good news about my favorite television program, UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch.”

First, upcoming new programs feature some of North Carolina’s most interesting authors.


Mar. 22, 2014 @ 12:45 PM

The Chapel Hill woman who goes to Full Frame all year long

In early spring every year, lots of Chapel Hill folks move over to Durham lock, stock and barrel for a few days to enjoy the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
One of them runs the show and spends most of the year commuting from her Southern Village home to work at the festival’s offices at the American Tobacco Campus.


Mar. 18, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

North Carolina-Florida women: political bellwethers

What important Democratic woman politician, a Wake Forest alumna, who was born in North Carolina and later moved to Florida, has gained national attention this year for her candidacy in a critical bellwether election?

There are two correct answers.


Mar. 13, 2014 @ 12:46 PM

Meeting the retirement challenge — perfectly

When I received an invitation from the UNC Medical School to a retirement celebration for Dr. Jim Bryan, I remembered how much the lead character in Allan Gurganus’ new novella, "Decoy," had reminded me of Dr. Bryan.
Both Bryan and Dr. Marion Roper, the lead fictional character in Gurganus’ story, went north to medical school after college at Davidson. Both were brilliant and could have become successful medical specialists or researchers. However, both came back to North Carolina where their careful attention to their patients earned them the devotion of the countless people they served.


Mar. 10, 2014 @ 11:28 PM

‘A mountain populist to the very end’

When long-time legislator and lawyer Martin Nesbitt died last week at age 67, he was already on my mind for a column. The news of his stomach cancer followed quickly by his death shocked those who remembered his powerful presence as a representative and then state senator.


Mar. 08, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

A Chapel Hill basketball team for Coach Larry Brown

Larry Brown and I were born the same year -- 1940. We have something else in common. After an absence of some years we both returned to coaching basketball last year.
He became basketball coach at Southern Methodist University after resting for a few years following a short tenure as coach of the professional Charlotte Bobcats.


Mar. 04, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Understanding North Carolina’s tribal rivalries

Have we gotten used to all the national attention on North Carolina and our tribal rivalries?

Do we mind the reports of the mean-spiritedness, the rudeness, the shouts and ranting, the unsupported ugly comments about the opposition and its motives, and the hateful remarks about the leaders of the other group?


Mar. 01, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

Building community with a front yard library

“We’ve got a new library in our front yard.”
My grandchildren's report should not have surprised me. These kids and their parents have chickens and bees in their backyard and a host of projects that sometimes make me wish I could be a child again, just to grow up again alongside of them.
But a library in their yard?


Feb. 27, 2014 @ 09:53 AM

Exceptional images, and extraordinary craftsmanship

Her images are dark: The spaces look abandoned except for the straight-on shot of a fully stocked bar neatly arranged with a full assortment of beer, whiskey and snacks. It is the only indication visually that these are viable places temporarily empty of people.  


Feb. 25, 2014 @ 02:44 PM

Planting native, saving our diversity

First question for you, says UNC-TV's “Exploring North Carolina” host, Tom Earnhardt, when he begins his talk to a Rotary club or other civic group, is, how many of you have spare parts somewhere in your body?


Feb. 22, 2014 @ 12:13 PM

‘Every relationship is bicultural’

On a recent Valentine’s Day in Carrboro, a husband brought home to his wife a dozen roses “bundled in red crepe paper and tied up with a pink satin bow” and a small box of “ebony hearts and dense chocolate squares topped with sea salt like cut glass.”
Sounds nice, but nothing special, maybe you are thinking.
But this was a first for this long-time married couple. In the past “each year without fail” she had given him presents on this day, but he had never before reciprocated. And the presents she had given him, “cologne and shaving cream bottles,” were neatly lined up unopened under the sink. “Nearly identical shirts and sweaters” were still hanging in his closet, untouched.


Feb. 17, 2014 @ 10:31 PM

Documenting Down East’s disappearing way of life

“Down East” in North Carolina does not mean what you think it means.


Feb. 15, 2014 @ 11:39 PM

Struggling readers are helped by writers who also had to struggle with words

Orange County is blessed, they say, with many great writers who call our area home. Of course, many moved here from some other place. Daniel Wallace, for instance, grew up in Alabama, where he set his first novel, “Big Fish.”
Then there are others who grew up with us and then moved someplace else, like Jay Leutze, who now lives in Avery County. It is the scene of his compelling and highly praised “Stand Up this Mountain,” a non-fiction account of a long, complicated, and successful effort to save a treasured mountainside from a quarrying operation.


Feb. 11, 2014 @ 07:54 AM

Truth in fiction—How bad did the recession hurt?

The good news for all of us in North Carolina is that the unemployment rate is declining and the increase in economic activity is opening up new jobs to replace some of those we lost during the recession. 


Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

A local contribution to the annals of Black History Month

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.”
This quote from Maya Angelou helps us remember how closely connected “Black History Month” is to the history and the horrors of slavery.
A headline from The Hollywood Reporter could be read to send the same message:  “Oscar Nominations: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Remains the Film to Beat.”