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Columns

  • It’s great to have the ‘Two Fat Ladies’ back on TV again

    For cable TV fans and foodies of all stripes, The Cooking Channel debuted May 31, aiming at a younger, “hipper” demographic than Food Network—importing all sorts of flashy-looking cooking shows from other countries, creating some original shows about the history of food and even re-running some of our old favorites.

    Imagine my surprise when remote surfing recently I came upon one of my favorite old shows from when Food Network was in its infancy—“Two Fat Ladies.”

  • Protect yourself from the dangerous heat lingering in the county

    Here’s a comment from Captain Obvious, “It’s hot outside.”

    As I sit here writing this Monday afternoon, Brunswick County is under a heat advisory. The National Weather Service has Monday’s highs at about 98 degrees, with the heat index potentially pushing as high as 107.

    Tuesday, the day the newspaper is printed and readied for the public, temperatures are expected to teeter in the mid-90s, with temperatures hanging out around 90 degrees for the rest of the week.

  • Not on board with those who think ‘enough’ is ‘enuf’

    I consider myself an expert. A spelling expert, that is.

    As the two-time, consecutive champ and reigning co-winner of the Brunswick County Adult Spelling Bee sponsored by the Brunswick County Literacy Council, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about words in the English language and even more about spelling bees.

  • Win or lose, gaming parlors have upper hand in Little Vegas

    Back when video poker machines were all the rage just south of the border, some folks took to dubbing my adopted hometown of Little River, S.C., “Little Reno.”

    Then the betting tables turned, laws changed, and video parlors were shut down in the Palmetto State. Law-abiding North Carolinians were forced to venture to big Reno or Atlantic City to do their out-of-state gambling.

    Except for the casino boats, Little River resumed its former image as a quaint fishing village.

  • Local history is right at your fingertips

    I recently had the opportunity to interview Southport history expert Larry Maisel about his new book “Before We Were Quaint,” covering some of the forgotten, less-than-savory history of the popular riverfront town.

    The book includes tales from longtime residents who were there during some of the town’s more trying times as well as stories handed down for generations. Southport was a hardworking town for many years, with canning factories and lumber mills that have since been replaced with scenic walkways and antique shops.

  • Donating to disaster victims is not an opportunity for spring cleaning

    Over the past year, people all over the world have been the victims of disaster. There have been earthquakes in Haiti and South America, multiple hurricanes in Florida, Texas and Louisiana, and now the oil spill in the Gulf.
    And Americans have been all too happy to send their old, useless junk to those in need.
    I am in no way referring to the many Americans who donated time and money to help the people in the areas get back on their feet. These people should be commended for their efforts to help others.

  • This week’s column brought to you by the First Amendment: Leave us alone

    One of these three doesn’t belong: newspapers, free press and government reinvention.

    Unless you’re with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in which case you spent one year discussing a government-induced renaissance of the media. In that case, you would apparently think the three go together.

    But every other free-thinking, logical American should be able to identify the problem with government intervention in the media.

  • Raising grandchildren is a lot like training police officers

    Precisely at 6:40 a.m. daily, I arrive in our bedroom with breakfast and the morning newspaper for my dear spouse. I am content to faithfully carry out our wonderful morning routine.

    When our grandchildren visit during the summer months, there is a breakfast for them as well. They are patiently leaning on pillows and the headboard with our breakfast bed tray on my spouse’s lap.

  • Their popular characters will live on in our hearts

    Children of the ’80s experienced a reality check the past few weeks as we experienced the passing of two childhood icons from our favorite TV shows.

    Gary Coleman, diminutive star of “Diff’rent Strokes” and, unfortunately, washed-up-child-star punchline for most of his life, died of a brain hemorrhage at age 42 after a lifelong battle with kidney disease May 28 in Provo, Utah.

  • Checking out high-flying reading

    I was so looking forward to my recent economy-flight trip to Tennessee, when I could finally buckle into one of the cheap seats and delve into a little light reading.

    I’d packed light, too, with a new copy of “Oprah,” the afternoon TV talk-show billionaire queen who needs no last name or unauthorized biography by Kitty Kelley to live her best life.

    For weeks I’d tried reading Kelley’s latest gossip-tome at home before taking off, but my own less-than-perfect life kept getting in the way.