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.

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

Harambee honors seniors at banquet

Throngs of senior citizens attended the Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet on Tuesday evening at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.

Aug. 04, 2014 @ 04:09 PM

Column: Our troubled tobacco heritage

In our tobacco farming community, smoking was a normal part of adult life. On Sundays, as soon as the preacher said the benediction, the men of the church would all congregate under the mimosa tree in the churchyard to smoke and talk about their tobacco crops. At the gas station, my daddy would buy me candy cigarettes, little white sticks with red food-coloring tips.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Harambee kickoff unfettered by cloudy skies

Cloudy skies couldn’t dampen the spirit of Harambee Saturday, as the 42nd annual festival kicked off with Family Fun Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 04:36 AM

Column: What summer memories will you make?

Fourth of July fireworks have been lit and tomatoes are plentiful, but summer is not over. If you are seeking to make some special summer memories there is still plenty of time. Some recent 4-H programs have reminded me of all the special memories that can be made in the summer.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 04:32 AM

Column: Good nutrition doesn't skip a beet

I am usually trying to find creative ways to use all the tomatoes we’ve grown, but this year, I am focusing on another deep-red vegetable, BEETS.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 04:19 AM

Column: Liberating Kuwait and ourselves

To the surprise of the United States government, two seemingly American allies were fighting one another by August 1990. Iraq quickly took over Kuwait, to the dismay and anger of many of the world’s leaders. President George H.W. Bush summed up the feelings of many with his famous sound bite, “This will not stand.”

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:35 AM

Public records for Aug. 3, 2014

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:33 AM

Community calendar for week of Aug. 3

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 01:25 AM

4 to compete in Miss Harambee Pageant

The City of Lenoir and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center will present the 2014 Miss Harambee Pageant Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Lenoir High School Auditorium.

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 04:04 PM

Column: 'Kissing cousins' used to be common

I recently found an article on the Internet that stated that chances are if you are married, you and your spouse were related before you tied the knot. That didn’t surprise me.

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 04:03 PM

Church calendar for week of Aug. 1-8

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 05:53 AM

A 'farmed' childhood in Sawmills

Growing up on a farm is an experience set apart from growing up in a home with a few cats and dogs as pets. According to siblings Clay Wilson and Olivia Wilson Ford, growing up on a bona-fide farm involves learning at an earlier age than most about the circle of life, how to drive, the value of agriculture and the importance of hard work.

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:22 AM

42nd Harambee starts with a bang Saturday

In 1972, a group of community leaders in Lenoir started a small festival to showcase local talent – The Black Arts Festival, presenting paintings, drawings, sculptures, dancing and more.

Over the years it grew and gained traction, growing into a weeklong celebration of community in Caldwell County, changing its name to Harambee, a Swahili word meaning “all pull together.”

This Saturday, the 42nd Annual Harambee Arts Festival kicks off, and for nearly a week will feature events and activities that folks in Caldwell County have come to look forward to each summer.

Jul. 28, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Column: Change snuck up on the Watts home

At times change comes upon us so quickly and so unexpectedly that the entirety of our world is rocked and shaken to its very core. There are times when change can bring untold joy. Other times it can bring pain unbearable. You can fight change, you can embrace change, but the one thing you cannot do is avoid change.

Then there’s gradual change. It’s the type of change that hits you right in the face one morning as you get out of bed.

Jul. 27, 2014 @ 05:30 AM

Column: Community with nature is for the birds

Twenty-eight years ago, the Vietnam War movie “Platoon” ruined an entire genre of film for me. I do not do war movies. As the women of a certain generation would say, “They tear my nerves up.” And now it looks like I’m going to have to give up nature-watching. It’s too stressful.

Jul. 27, 2014 @ 05:24 AM

Column: The value of the present

Last week, I took a trip with my son to a swim meet out of town. We left the house early in the pouring rain. I made up my mind we were going to have an important talk about manhood at some point along the journey – as Robert Frost writes – either going out or coming back.