• The long-lost art of handwritten thank-you notes and the world's good intentions

    When friends took time out of their lives to be with me on my wedding day last fall, I couldn’t say thank you enough.

    I thanked them in person that day. I thanked them again when I saw them at work. I think I even thanked them via Facebook and/or e-mail.

    I planned to send them each a handwritten thank-you note. I was raised well. I know the value of that.

    I know I’m supposed to send thank-you cards. I want to send them. As a matter of fact, I have a collection of occasion-perfect thank-you cards in my office at home.

  • Tweet, tweet. Who’s there? Your local newspaper and your political candidates

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, or, to be more specific, a rock without Internet access, it’s no secret that social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have changed how people communicate, receive news and how political candidates campaign.

    During the 2008 election cycle, Democrats on the national scene pummeled their GOP counterparts when it came to Twitter followers, Facebook fans and, well, anything else related to technology or social networking.

  • West Brunswick grad, local hero awarded Bronze Star for combat missions in Iraq

    When I called him to talk about his recent accomplishments, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tom Blandino couldn’t talk much about the 2007 combat mission for which he was recently awarded the Bronze Star—the mission remains classified.

    But he and I have spoken about his deployments before, so I had an understanding, even if it is a limited civilian understanding, of what his dangerous role was while serving with the U.S. Air Force 82nd Airborne Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • No need to track down the 'Antiques Roadshow' this weekend; just go to Southport

    Ever watch one of those antique appraisal shows and wonder if the stuff in your attic, trunk or cluttered spare room is actually worth something?

    The most popular of the bunch is “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, where people from all walks of life put themselves and their prized possessions in front of a national audience and a tough appraiser to find out if their “treasure” is the real thing, a forgery or a very good (even valuable) reproduction.

  • High school students to share talents this weekend

    Between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, S.C., there’s enough theater, music and dancing to fill your weekend calendar from now until the end of the year.

    But you might want to leave this weekend open, as high school students from across the county will take center stage to show their talents and prove quality entertainment can be found right here at home.

    Beginning on Thursday, the West Brunswick High School Theatre Department will perform “Color’d Television,” a compilation of episodes from familiar TV shows, each focusing on race relations.

  • New dog park in Shallotte is great for pets and their people companions, too

    They were barking, playing, rolling, jumping and sniffing around, and their owners were glad they finally had a place to do it.

    On Sunday, my husband and I took our dogs to Shallotte’s new Bark Park. The warm weather and sunshine had plenty of other residents and their dogs out there as well.

    If you haven’t been to the new park, you’ll find it at Shallotte Park at 5550 Main St., close to U.S. 17. When you drive into the park, the driveway to the left will take you to the side with the dog park.

  • Oh, baby, what a 911 delivery that was

    Calabash resident Martha Jakovenko wishes to announce the blessed birth of her grandson, a baby who emerged last Thursday night in an emergency situation that made headlines.

    New grandbaby Nicholas Aleksandr’s Feb. 18 world debut was four days overdue, yet so sudden when it happened his dad, Gary Cuozzo of North Branford, Conn., barely had time to dial 911 to help wife Natalia through the at-home delivery.

  • Brunswick's winter wonderland: Maybe Greg Fishel isn't ever wrong

    Walking outside in the cold crisp air, catching the occasional snowflake on my tongue. Frosty white stuff blanketing the sandy ground and making crunching sounds under my boots as I walked.

    Two weeks ago, this was all just a dream; one I never expected to come true. However, this weekend, it did come true.

    When the meteorologists began monopolizing the morning and evening newscasts with the threat of winter weather, I laughed. As they showed the projected path with Brunswick County in the light pink area on the map, I laughed again.

  • Surviving candy cigarettes, lead-based paint and being tied up by Granny

    We were probably wound up from the sugar.

    We had likely just finished sucking on our candy cigarettes, holding out on the red-colored pretend flame as long as we could.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out one of us had that imitation candy cigarette box rolled up in a shirtsleeve.

    It isn’t unlikely we hadn’t quite recovered from brain-freeze after we gulped down sugary, artificially-colored-and-flavored Icees.

  • Bonds form over small things, but they can last a lifetime

    Last week, I begrudgingly said a final goodbye to a friend from my younger days who knew how to make me smile no matter what was going on in my life.

    I’d known Konji Harrison since we started sixth grade at South Brunswick Middle School, where I became used to seeing his infectious grin every day. I marveled at the number of friends he made on a regular basis—black, white, male, female, it didn’t matter.