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Columns

  • Keeping clutter to a minimum harder than

    I stayed out of work last Friday to de-clutter my house.

    After going through my closet, I ended up taking two trash bags and a large box full of clothes to a local thrift store and taking out three or four bags of trash—mostly in the form of old gift bags and bows that at one point I must’ve thought were re-usable.

    It was a very cathartic experience, and I now have a much better view of my shoes. (I see several pairs that need to be donated, as well).

    After taking all the bags and boxes to the thrift store, I treated myself to lunch at an outdoor eatery.

  • The impact of World War II rationing on two little boys

    My dinner guest was looking over our family photos posted around the living room.

    He came across the one shown here of my brother, Jim, 4 years old, and me, at 5, taken by our grandmother in 1943. She was so proud of her Kodak Brownie Six-20 camera, and Jim and me, too.

    At first, the conversation centered on our trim little physiques. My guest noted we were borderline skinny by today’s standards.

    Then, he poked fun at the high-top leather shoes we were wearing. They were bigger than our feet—almost like clown shoes.

  • Out-of-control baby fever hits superstar-obsessed mags

    All of Hollywood and tabloid readers alike can breathe easy—Brad and Angelina’s twins have arrived.

    Now I’m a self-proclaimed tabloid junkie, but this is too much even for me.

    Reports are circulating on the Internet the first published baby photos are being shopped for about $20 million.

    Break it down, that’s $10 million per baby.

    An editor from People appeared on The Early Show and denied the magazine had made an offer as reported.

  • Questions every citizen should be able to answer

    What do native-born Americans really know about “my country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty”?

    Think they’re smarter than the many immigrants seeking precious citizenship? Even a fifth-grade one?

    This past Fourth of July Eve, a record 98 people representing 48 countries became United States citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Southport.

  • Find fresh food, crafts and treats in new location

    This Saturday, the Shallotte Farmers Market will move from the town hall parking lot to Lions Club Park beside Shallotte Plaza on Main Street. It will give the public easier access to vendors and the vendors a more comfortable, shadier spot for selling.

    My daughter and I went to the last market day at town hall last Saturday to talk to a few people and get photos for an upcoming story for the Beacon’s Island Living magazine.

    She served as my sidekick, writing her own “notes” as I made the rounds from table to table.

  • When did we stop caring for all mankind, especially in times of need?

    When did we get so busy, so self-involved, that as humans we have forgotten compassion and how to care for one another?

    In recent months news accounts have told the stories of men and women who have been struck by very unfortunate circumstances and left to suffer—and in some cases die—while others offered no help.

    The most recent incident involves a woman in New York who went to the right place to get help—a hospital.

  • Bravery was on display last week in Brunswick County courtroom

    I saw bravery last week in the faces of two 20-something women.

    Two young women, just out of college, should be busy decorating their new apartments and going out with friends, not testifying in a rape trial.

    But these two young women, now 22 and 23 years old, came back to Brunswick County to testify in the trial of a man who kidnapped and raped them seven years ago.

    They took the stand and with explicit detail relived the worst night of their lives to a judge, three lawyers, 12 jurors and the man who did it.

  • Time to pack those fireworks away, folks

    The Town of Oak Island had its Fourth of July fireworks display at 9 p.m. July 1. The City of Southport had its Fourth of July fireworks display at 9 p.m. July 4.

    The Fourth of July has now come and gone, but it seems that several people are still celebrating—every night.

    Every year a few days before the Fourth of July, tourists and vacationers flock to the South Brunswick Islands to enjoy the beach and set off a few of the fireworks they purchased across the border in South Carolina.

  • The importance of role models who share a common heritage or sex

    It is extremely important for children to see role models who look and sound like them. Young people tend to idolize successful people who share their heritage.

    For years there were no high profile black golf professionals until Tiger Woods came on the scene. Woods’ influence has motivated young blacks to play the game of golf.

  • Everybody needs a cheering section

    At the annual N.C. Fourth of July Parade in Southport last Friday, a cheering section of sorts formed in front of Southport Baptist Church, where a master of ceremonies was stationed to describe each parade entry.

    Every time a car, band or float passed by the church, the M.C. would describe the person or the organization represented, and, every time, a group of people behind me would let out “whoops” and “whoos” for them—whether they knew who the people were or not.

    M.C.: “The mayor of Anytown, U.S.A.!”