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Columns

  • Hanging onto the bottom rung: Living in the collapsed economy

     

    I don’t usually get political, but ’tis the season.

    I am tired of watching hard-working, honest people lose their jobs, remain unemployed and fight to save the things they have worked for all their lives.

  • Willie Nelson concert sellout sets milestone for BCC

    From all early-morning appearances at Odell Williamson Auditorium, the quest to snag tickets for Willie Nelson’s first-ever known concert in Brunswick County wasn’t exactly an overnight, wait-your-turn-in-line campout.

    But it was fierce and significant just the same.

    When auditorium director Mike Sapp arrived at the venue two hours before ticket sales launched at 9 a.m. last Friday for Nelson’s Dec. 7 concert, he encountered just one waiting man seated in a lawn chair near the box office.

  • Brunswick Catch lures appreciative sweepstakes winner for weekend visit

    Reidsville resident Doug Isley was already a fan of the Carolinas coastline when he snagged top prize in this year’s first Brunswick Catch Seafood Discovery Sweepstakes.

    The contest, promoted last spring with co-sponsor Our State Magazine, invited readers and attendees at assorted festivals throughout North Carolina to submit entries for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid weekend visit to Brunswick County.

  • A feast for kings in a world full of peace by the sea

    In a world filled with noise affronting our senses from all directions—from televisions to radios and even day-to-day banter, there is one place I know I can always go to find peace—by the sea.

    It had been more than two months since I last had time to indulge in my favorite activity—doing nothing but sitting in the sand with my dog, a good book and my best friend. This past week I was able to log a few hours doing exactly that.

  • Childhood keepsakes can easily become an adult hoarding pile

     

    For nearly 35 years, I have dodged an inevitable bullet—Mom cleaning out my childhood bedroom.

    Being somewhat of a transient most of my adult life, I was able to avoid the painstaking task of opening and sorting the boxes—that is until Labor Day weekend.

    I was pretty good at avoiding the problem until this year. I was pretty sure when I moved to Colorado with only what fit in my car that mom and dad weren’t going to be paying to fly 14 boxes of stuffed animals and books to my address.

  • Country fair lures another seasonal crowd of browsers, including this one

    It’s the best yard sale in Sunset Beach.

    That’s my summation of the annual two-day Seaside United Methodist Church Country Fair.

    Some years back, while browsing for bargains and a few story ideas, I happened up on this best-kept secret on the church grounds. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    For years afterward, including this past weekend, I’ve marked the fair with indelible ink in my desk diary.

  • Law enforcement weekend a reminder about who's really laboring

    It had been a long, crazy-quilt week. I was tired. I still had unfinished chores to do at home.

    And I’m sure, given back this time slot at 9 p.m. Friday to be “free” instead of “working,” I’d be at home scrubbing floors, weeding out clutter and straightening closets instead of tuned into cyberspace, “20/20” and “World’s Dumbest.” We’ll never know for absolute sure.

  • Reporting from the courtroom: Trial testimonials can try the soul

    It takes guts to do the right thing.

    For the last week, I have sat in Brunswick County Superior Criminal Court watching as the murder trial of Craig Bryant unfolds. Bryant is accused of murdering Shallotte Realtor Adam Bradshaw in late April 2008.

    One-by-one as the witnesses have taken the stand, I have seen one thing in common—nervousness. Yes, there have been a few witnesses who are more seasoned at being put on the stand to testify, but the majority are not.

  • How some cross-country travelers spent their summer vacations

    If you want to know how Tom Hunter, Carmen Albertolli Daughtry and David Byron Keener Sr. spent their summer vacations, just ask them.

    Then allot some extra time to take in all the details. That’s how it is when you travel cross-country.

  • Nap time

    I’m ready for a nap.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime.

    But for many locals, summer means lots and lots of long hours working.

    After struggling to keep my eyes open on deadline day and burning the candle at both ends I stopped at a local coffee shop in Ocean Isle Beach. There owners have a magic elixir that keeps me bouncing on days I fight the sandman—a large iced caramel macchiato.