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Columns

  • Let's get back to our roots and turn up the bluegrass

    With the popularity of the 2001 movie “O Brother Where art Thou?” came a resurgence of bluegrass and other “roots” music: songs made for singing with your family and friends on the porch at night, long before anyone knew about a recording industry or $40-a-head concerts.

    It’s similar to what happened in the 1960s when the bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs wrote songs for the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” and the theme to “The Beverly Hillbillies,” except this time, it was more about the music than the artist.

  • What’s the story? Looking for folk tales from Brunswick County

    When writer Renee Sloan got back from covering a ghost walk in Southport for our last Island Living of the year, she knew I’d be interested.

    She shared some of the stories of the county’s coast and gave a play-by-play of what happens on the nighttime history and paranormal discussion presented by the Old South Tour and Carriage Company around downtown Southport.

  • It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game

    Oftentimes, we let competition get the best of us.

    How many times do you see athletes make an unnecessary scene when a play goes wrong or when they don’t agree with a call? (I’m talking to you, Serena.)

    How many times have you been at a community sporting event and witnessed a parent or a coach engaging in the same reprehensible behavior? How many times have you personally gotten angry, said or did things you later regret while playing a simple game?

  • Joy of Coke, Pepsi, plastic quickly fizzling and melting

    It wasn’t that long ago sipping soda from a bottle—Coke, Pepsi or Cheerwine—was about as American and North Carolinian as you could get.

    As a kid, I lived for the times when my mother would let us go fetch a little bottle of Coke tucked in a secret place in the kitchen or down in the basement.

    Fond are my memories of perching at the counter at Woolworth’s or discovering the wonder of the new McDonald’s with an icy soft drink as a tooth-busting complement.

  • Bye-bye, daytime. Hello, on-demand

    “The Guiding Light” began its life as a 15-minute radio serial in 1937 and was on the air in one form or another until its final episode, broadcast last Friday, Sept. 18.

    That’s 72 years of life for a daytime soap opera, and it’s an accomplishment that deserves some respect.

  • Memories of Hurricane Floyd are greater than images

    My dad pulled up outside the Police Station on Oak Island. I was nervous, but I wanted to do it.

    “You want me to go with you?” he asked.

    “No! That would look dorky,” I said. “I am a grown-up now. I’ll be fine.”

    As I said that, I was shaking inside. It was my first real experience working for a newspaper—well, sort of.

  • Bipartisanship: The real myth of healthcare debate

    The biggest myth surrounding healthcare reform isn’t the idea of death panels. It’s not even the idea of an illegal immigrant free-for-all on government-run healthcare services.

    The biggest myth surrounding healthcare reform is there is hope what comes out of the Capitol in the coming months will have any hint of true bipartisanship.

    It’s not for a lack of trying; it’s not even from a lack of substantive bills, one of which was penned from both sides of the aisle.

    It’s a numbers game. Democrats have the numbers, so they win.

  • It's a game, people, not a crime

    Even with everything that’s wrong with the world, there’s always a vocal minority among us that chooses to direct its anger at the most bizarre, inconsequential things.

    The latest pseudo-crisis among entertainment freaks is the release of Guitar Hero 5 featuring the likeness of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain.

  • With sweepstakes joints, it's deja vu all over again

    It wasn’t that long ago North Carolinians with a penchant for losing money could venture south of the border into my fair town—Little River, S.C.—to play video poker.

    I even visited the joints a few times, only because I was working on a story for the local newspaper.

    Another time, while I was having my car worked on at a service station on U.S. 17, I wandered into an adjacent business called The Donut Hole in search of, well, doughnuts.

  • Having an event in October or November? Let us know about it

    Fall is a time of milder temperatures, brightly colored leaves and crisp, cool nights. It’s also a time when many churches, school and civic groups plan area festivals and events.

    In celebration of these family-friendly events, this year The Brunswick Beacon is launching its first fall festival special section “Fall Into Festivals.”