• A moment of silence for the passing of a name that sparked a dance revolution

    You know you’ve done it.

    Nine out of 10 people who hear the classic Village People song “YMCA” at a sporting event, wedding or the local karaoke bar are genetically programmed to start singing along and making the letters with their arms.

    Most of us have come to terms with this predisposition and have stopped fighting it. We’ll start awkwardly flailing our arms the minute we hear the first notes of the song coming over the speakers.

  • Tuning into tidbits on a day at the pool

    I was just drifting along, floating on a lazy river on a lazy summer afternoon, feeling I had few worries when a child’s voice rang out.

    “I’m killing ants!” he announced as he stomped and mashed at the edge of the pool.

    “Noooo, Mikey,” protested another boy floating by on his own borrowed yellow inner tube. “It’s nature.”

    Mikey didn’t care about nature.

  • Find out ‘What Made the Clock Rock’ at the Amuzu Theatre

    Do you remember “Those Oldies but Goodies” that made you want to “Rock Around the Clock?”

    Well, “Sh-Boom!” Put on your “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Come Go With Me” to the historic Amuzu Theatre in downtown Southport. See for yourself “What Made the Clock Rock,” a musical revue of some of the greatest songs from 1950-1964.

    Twenty local vocalists, myself included, will perform five shows beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 21-Sunday, July 25.

  • Returning to ‘dated’ movie evokes weird nostalgia for theory making

    It’s happening again. Every time a new generation of 20-somethings enters the working world, the stereotyping and generalizing hits the media full force.

    A quick Internet search reveals that people in their 20s (also known as “millennials” or “Generation Y”) are now being labeled as being born with a sense of entitlement, doted on by parents who told them they were “special” and given roomfuls of trophies just for participating. Numerous articles have been published about how to deal with them in the workplace.

  • Where is my job?

    By Michele Johnson
    Beacon Intern

    For many recent college graduates, finding a job is becoming more difficult than ever imagined. Many students who walk across that stage are filled with hope and anticipation of going out into the world and “making it,” only to be shot down at every turn.

    The question on our minds: “Why can’t I find a job?”

  • Naturalization ceremony brings new enthusiasm for Fourth of July events

    I’ve always loved the Fourth of July. I love fireworks, the festival in Southport and the time away from work. But this year, I gained a new appreciation for the Fourth of July as I watched the naturalization ceremony.

  • Oil avengers: McIntyre, Pantano take on oil spill response

    They both want to represent North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and now, two House candidates want to fix, or at the very least, criticize the response to the BP oil spill.

    U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., the seven-term Lumberton incumbent, will host an oil spill preparedness meeting next week to “discuss the recent deepwater spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the need for North Carolina to be prepared for potential ramifications from that spill.”

  • Going a bit bananas and nuts over a little-known regional delight

    What do you get when you takea banana, roll it in mayo and then cover it with crushed peanuts?

    If you’re not from central Kentucky like me and you do that, or ask someone about it, they may think you’re as nuts as those you’re rolling on the banana.

    Or maybe I'm bananas?


    Ahh, but so is the story of the much-disrespected banana croquette.

    I grew up on this delight. At back-home get-togethers, they go quickly.

  • When summer heats up, movie theaters stay cool

    Some of my fondest summer memories are of the times my dad would take my brother and I to a movie theater in Wilmington to see the latest kid movies.

    The ones that still stick in my mind are the original “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” all the “Star Wars” movies, “The Great Muppet Caper” and even a flop that I happen to like—Robert Altman’s live action musical version of “Popeye” starring Robin Williams.

  • Book highlights fun things about eating your way through a Southern childhood

    Not long after relocating to Brunswick County from my native Kentucky in early 2007, I wrote a column about how proud I was to be a Southern girl.

    Raised partly by a great-grandmother who lived through the Great Depression and my single mother who single-handedly defined hard work and determination, I grew with a good mixture of stern hands, love and laughter.

    As a young adult, when I’d retell encounters with my Granny to my mom, she’d laugh endlessly.

    “You should write a book about that,” she encouraged.