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Columns

  • I hope I didn’t scare you

    I recently had a town official tell me that they thought a story I wrote was inaccurate.

    But in describing the response to the story, the administrator said the town had received numerous calls about the issue.

  • In the season of discontent, strive to stay sweet

    The man on the telephone had clearly not rung me up to transmit a valentine.

    Interrupting my typing and toiling at the keyboard on the usual deadlines, he delivered, instead, a verbal barrage.

    He also provided unsolicited instructions on how I was to write a story from the previous night’s town council meeting (which was on the day’s to-do list, for sure).

    He certainly hoped I planned to include details on how the town’s former mayor had gotten out of line at that meeting.

  • Sunset Beach marks 150th anniversary of buried blockade runner

    One hundred and fifty years ago, a Confederate blockade runner laden with supplies and more ran aground off the coast of Bald Beach, aka the future Sunset Beach island, in the early hours of Monday, Jan. 11, 1864.

    The vessel, named the Vesta, was set on fire in 10 feet of water. It was abandoned at the beach, a casualty as it had tried in vain to flee a Yankee blockade guarding the Cape Fear River and head in a more southerly direction toward the Winyah Bay in Georgetown, S.C.

  • County board still meets twice a month

    I recently read a story about some of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball players who had a little get together on one of their days off.

    Somebody in the group got on social media to let their followers know the teammates were hanging out together.

    Except the whole team wasn’t there. Kendrick Perkins hadn’t been invited but saw the update and from there the story took a sad turn with Perkins bemoaning being left out of the fun.

    Based on this story, I have some bad news for you Brunswick County.

  • Oh no, don’t do that! Why did you do that?

    I hate to be the one to slip a lump of coal in your stocking this year, but my Christmas column will be a decided downer.

    You’re probably familiar by now with my habit of mentioning that I’m not from here.

    I like to use that as a crutch to point out the things I come across that are unusual or unique – for good or bad – about my experiences here on the coast compared to the other parts of North Carolina where I’ve worked.

  • A lot can happen in a decade — looking back 10 years ago

    This December marks the 10th anniversary of my beginning as a full-time employee of The Brunswick Beacon — on Dec. 17, 2003, to be precise.

    I know it’s hard to believe — where did the time go?

    In other ways it seems like a long, long trek. So much can happen and has happened in a decade.

    And as newspapers are wont to do when filling up space, now is as good a time as any for me to do a “looking back 10 years ago” column.

  • Thankful for friends who become family

    It’s funny to me that we should have a story on our front page this week and last with a connection to my old stomping grounds of Darlington County, S.C. It’s where I lived for most of the past two decades and where I met the man who became one of the best friends I’ll ever have in my life.

    It’s only right as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week for me to introduce you to Dwight Dana, who inspired the name of my weekly column.

  • Enjoying the cold is far better than having a cold

    Now that I’ve spent most of my life in the Carolinas, I tend to dismiss weather forecasts that call for snow, even in November. Most of the time, it seems, it only takes the rumor of a few flakes to send the natives scurrying for bread and milk. Then, if there’s a possibility of the slightest bit of accumulation, schools and businesses consider delays and closings.

  • Some of us still remember where we were when JFK was shot

    “Where were you when JFK was shot?” was the question that used to resonate throughout the country as a standard reminder of a time-stopping event nearly every American could recall.

    But the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination looming this week is a stark reminder how time has soared ahead.

    I still remember.

  • Celebrating my oldest, dearest friend’s birthday

    Until my kid brother Jim married and started a family of his own, the birthday of every member of my immediate family fell in the fall. My mom and dad had their birthdays (and wedding anniversary) last month, and Jim’s birthday was this past week.