Sep. 17, 2014 @ 09:45 AM

Column: My summer summary: nothing that unusual

Hard to believe but once again it’s time for my “What I Did This Summer” column. It’s a habit of mine that goes back to my schools days.

Sep. 16, 2014 @ 09:42 AM

Column: A stalled convention, an inspired text

The saying “good things come in small packages” applies to this preserved treasure, a copy of our United States Constitution. How amazing that I held in my hands a document, a few small pages, powerful enough to hold our republic together since 1787. It is the oldest written constitution in use by any country in the world.

Sep. 12, 2014 @ 05:38 AM

Column: A little bit about a noted local historian

Many times in the more than 20 years I have written this column I have reprinted information that was first published by my predecessor, Nancy Alexander. Recently I found an article, written in 1977 by Rozzy Smith, that gave some insight into Alexander’s personal life, including a fact forgotten by me, that she had once been a mayoral candidate.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 07:45 PM

'Losing Patients' is a nuthouse of fun

A thunderstorm starting fires and flooding bridges. A mental patient on the loose. Several characters pretending to be someone else.

The Foothills Performing Arts kicks off its 2013-14 season with the comedy “Losing Patients.” Director Marshall Goff said the play was chosen as a tribute to its writer, V. Cate, who died last December.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 03:37 PM

Column: Making more money isn't rocket science

I read last week about workers at fast-food restaurants walking off the job in an effort to get a pay increase up to $15 per hour. As I understand it, the big walkout thing went over like a screen door on a submarine. Anyone with any notion at all as to how our economy works knows such a pay hike is implausible so actually what we had was a membership drive for the Service Workers Union.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 03:34 PM

Column: Suffering the fear of missing out is nothing new

Americans have no shortage of labels for our various problems, both mental and physical. The other day I ran across another one in a tech article about the potentially addictive nature of Facebook and a condition called FOMO — fear of missing out.

Sep. 11, 2014 @ 02:16 PM

Ninth ‘Caldwell is Hiring’ 3 weeks away

For the ninth time, hundreds of jobseekers are expected to pack the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir for the semiannual job fair Caldwell is Hiring.

Sep. 08, 2014 @ 04:58 PM

New generations, beautiful artwork reign at 29th Sculpture Celebration

Amazing artwork, beautiful weather and sculpture lovers came together Saturday at the J.E. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir for the 29th annual Sculpture Celebration, an exhibition of sculpture unrivaled in the South.


Sep. 07, 2014 @ 06:23 AM

Governor helps Bernhardt commemorate 125 years

Gov. Pat McCrory came to Lenoir on Saturday to congratulate Bernhardt Furniture on its 125 years of manufacturing quality furniture in Lenoir.

Aug. 30, 2014 @ 04:21 PM

Column: Peering into two American lives

Harry Butters was just 22 when he went off to serve in the British Army in Europe’s Great War, which began in 1914. Alan Seeger, an American poet, was writing in Paris at the time Harry Butters went off to war.

Aug. 30, 2014 @ 04:18 PM

Toe-tappin' under the tent

It’s a festival made for sitting still, other than tapping toes.

Many other summer festivals offer distractions galore, from food booths to children’s games and booth after booth of unrelated crafts for sale, whatever the festival’s featured event may be.

But at the Historic Happy Valley Old-time Fiddlers’ Convention, it’s all about the music.

Aug. 29, 2014 @ 06:58 AM

8-year-old rising to the top in gymnastics

Azalea Miron, 8, stretched and curved her body into positions that looked like she was made out of rubber. With her natural talent for bending her spine into impossible shapes and her dedication to succeed, Azalea quickly moved from beginner gymnastics classes to Level 2 classes at Shooting Stars of Hickory.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

Fiddlers' convention to mark decade of celebrating heritage

This weekend, campsites will dot the Yadkin River with firelight, and old-time and bluegrass music will echo across Happy Valley.

The 10th annual Historic Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday, expected to bring thousands to the field of the convention site to celebrate the heritage and culture of old-time and bluegrass music.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Column: Pushing buttons keeps pushing me

From time to time you’ll read or hear of fun “facts” that speculates as to the number of miles a person will walk in a lifetime or how maybe how many gallons of water a person night drink in his life. Of course, these are just calculated guesses, but they’re still fun to ponder. But what I’m waiting to hear is an estimate of just how many buttons the average American will push in a lifetime.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 07:19 PM

Column: Ain't got no pencil and it don't matter

I love my native language, English in substandard Southern dialect. Those of us classified as substandard put the short “i” sound in hen and pen. We also tend to drop “-ing” endings as in “fishin’and huntin’.”

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 04:45 AM

Column: Ready to get back at it

I have talked to a number of colleagues recently, and they are ready to get back to work. The notion that teachers have their summers off is not really correct. A good teacher is always teaching in some fashion. It does not matter the time of year.

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 04:34 AM

Column: New wheels needed, not new ladies

Recently I harped on the fact that I need a car to replace the old Dodge minivan that is still hobbling along like your Aunt Elsie after her hip-replacement surgery. The other night my wife and I were spending a few minutes in conversation just before our arbitrary 9 p.m. bedtime. The subject of acquiring more reliable transportation came up.

Aug. 19, 2014 @ 05:03 PM


Thirteen-year-old Acacia Scott gets some public practice in Monday afternoon on the Hogwaller Stage in Lenoir. Scott plays with the band "Columbus Agenda."

Aug. 19, 2014 @ 04:35 AM

Column: Changing seasons, changing lives

The inevitable is upon us: Summer season giving way to autumn. Here in the foothills, around this time of year, summer takes on a tired look like someone at the end of a long work shift. Vines turn brown and dry; gardens are mostly spent. I always watch for that certain leaf green, a dusty tint that the hardwood trees turn in late August, a subtle palette change signaling the season’s approaching end.

Aug. 16, 2014 @ 04:40 AM

Column: How quickly we forget

In 1969, more than 400,000 people gathered on a 600-acre dairy farm in New York state to attend a three-day concert billed as The Woodstock Music and Art Fair and a time of "peace through music."

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 02:47 PM

Community calendar for week of Aug. 17

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 09:20 AM

Survivors, family share stories of 1940 flood

On Aug. 13, 1940, it was raining in Caldwell County, and had been for about a week.

About 5 p.m., the Johns and Yadkin rivers jumped their banks -- by a wide margin -- and widespread flooding nearly washed away entire communities, sending houses floating downriver and washing out 90 percent of the county’s bridges.

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

Column: Romance in August -- be aware of it

North Carolina’s mandatory seat belt law is almost 30 years old, so you must have a few years behind you to remember a common sight that disappeared under threat of DMV fines: an earlier generation’s public display of affection. Before the seat belt law, some romantic couples made their relationships obvious in traffic by the position of the woman hip-to-hip next to her man. Drivers behind the couple’s car would see two people on the driver’s side, an indication that the occupants were “courting.”

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 09:48 AM

CCC&TI honors lists

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 09:45 AM

Column: 'Premium' just another word for 'junk'

The company that provides my satellite television service gave its customers a free weekend of what they call their “premium services” recently. That’s good because like my mom always says, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” I had the idea that since the free channels were described as “premium” there might be some really good movies on that the family could watch without the aggravation of those annoying commercials.