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Columns

  • 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.

  • A little southern hospitality confirms the best things in life really are free

    “Everyone is so friendly here,” my mom said to me last week during her weeklong getaway from the Midwest.

    She had come to visit for the week while I was performing in “Cycles: The Songs of a Lifetime,” Brunswick Little Theatre’s (BLT) annual free performance in Franklin Square Park.

    My mom has always been my biggest fan and has been to just about every dance recital, choir concert, play, musical and all similar performances since I can remember.

  • Spoiler alert: It’s all about finding salvation six years after getting ‘Lost’

    Six years ago a plane crashed on an island, and Americans became hooked.
    Over the next six years we watched 48 “Lost” survivors struggle to make amends with their past lives and make sense of their new lives and surroundings.
    They began their lives on the island in tiny shelters built from driftwood and tree branches. Over the years, they moved throughout the island hoping for rescue.