I Did Drink the Water

It was a special outing for our family. Shatley Springs located in Crumpler, NC is a place that harkens back to a time less complex where family-style meals are celebrated. It’s a place of respite from the summer heat that the lower elevation people must often endure. I remember the tasty home-cooked meals that for the most part taste the same now as they did 35 years ago.  

Dolley and the Easter Egg Roll

Did you know that Dolley Payne was born May 20, 1768 in North Carolina? Her father was John Payne and her Quaker mother was Mary Coles Payne. John become a Quaker after he married Mary. It was a tough life for them as plantation farmers in Virginia or North Carolina. When Dolly was 15 she, her seven siblings and parents moved to Philadelphia. John went into the starch making business which also fell on hard times. 

Hotdogs and Hugs

I was sitting at a diner not long ago, and I happened to be in earshot of the short order cook. When the waitress went to pick up a plate, the cook said, “that’s a sloppy one, that’s the way I like them, and that’s the way to make them for the people.” At first, I replayed in my mind what I thought I heard and when I saw the waitress coming around the corner, I realized he was talking about the foot-long hot dog covered with chili, slaw, and onions on a plate with fries. This hot dog was for sure a multi-napkin dog. 

A Week of Visits and Such

It was an exciting week for story development for the TV show and a few other creative projects. It seems like our extreme cold weather has brought on all type of issues. I stopped at the barber shop on Second Street Hill; it seemed like my hair had grown fast and extra thick in a short period. Maybe it was growing fast to protect me from the colder weather. 

A New Year and a Best Friend

Frederick the Great, King of Prussia from 1740-1786 reportedly said “The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.” He also referred to one of his Italian greyhounds as his best friend. I do not propose to understand all the responsibility and feelings of a monarch; however, I do care greatly for my canine companions, and I have it on competent authority that I am a member of a rather large group.  

Christmas in Greenwood

When it comes to the Christmas and the Holiday Season in the Carolinas, we have an abundance of opportunities to join in the celebrations and traditions. On a trip to Greenwood SC, I found myself amid the perfect time to officially launch the Christmas season. It was the first weekend of December and all things Christmas were coming alive. 

Now That's Entertainment

There are times it’s good to sit at home and think about all the wonders of life and then there are times to venture out for a good show at a local theater. We have many options and opportunities for supporting the performing arts in our various communities in the Carolinas. 

A Lamb, a Turkey, and Dressing

The Thanksgiving season is filled with traditions that celebrate family, food and a grateful heart. If you close your eyes and imagine the perfect Thanksgiving gathering, chances are you will see family and friends gathered around the table with a grand meal featuring a beautifully prepared turkey. There will be a wide variety of side dishes with a generous offering of dressings and gravy. 

World War II - Set. Eugene C. Deibler - Part Two

My conversation continues this week with Eugene aka Doc. That’s how he was introduced to me by Carl Hamm a US Army veteran who served during the Vietnam era as a Vietnamese Crypto-Linguist. After the war Eugene became a dentist and that’s when people started calling him Doc and he said it just stuck. 

World War II - Set. Eugene C. Deibler - Part One

While producing a Veterans special, I had the opportunity to visit with Sgt. Eugene C Deibler a native of Bradford, PA who after World War II made NC home, and yes it was for the love of a woman. He had met Mary Smith before deployment. They fell in love and before leaving he asks Mary to be his wife. She told him she would marry him when he returned from the war. 

The Flag Man

We find the most amazing things on the winding county roads in the Carolinas. I know I have said it before, but it’s always worth repeating “There is good therapy on our crooked roads”. If you don’t drive too fast and allow yourself to get caught up in the rhythm of the motion and visual sights, it’s a bit like moving meditation. 

Pass the Pinto Beans, Please

Have you ever walked into the kitchen and been taken over with the smells of a pot of pinto beans on the stove and golden-brown cornbread just coming out of the oven? Maybe it’s a memory from the past or it happened a few days ago. For me, it’s both! Growing up around great cooks, it occurred often. I realize that people eat beans around the world; however, I believe that we have our own culinary and hospitality twist in the south. 

Pumpkins and Pluto

Cooler weather, festivals and pumpkin flavored things all make for a special time in the Carolinas. We have several Pumpkin festivals. 2017 marked the 21st annual pumpkin festival in Elkin NC which is held on the fourth Saturday in September. This year Bruce Burchette is the winner of the largest pumpkin with his 1,328 lb pumpkin.  

All That Jazz

Knowing a bit of this history, I listened closely to Melissa Morgan as she shared her remarkable rendition of Billie Holiday. At moments, I closed my eyes to feel the music and emotions of Holiday. In as much as one human can relate to the feelings of another, I believe Morgan brought a bit of Holiday to the Jazz Room. 

A Rainy Day at the Barber Shop and Peggy the Witch

The good thing about waiting for the barber’s chair is that you get to hear all the great stories and you know it will soon be your turn for an old fashion hair cut including warm shaving cream on your neck with a straight razor perfect line. You also have a chance to share your tale of the day and if you need it, you’ve got a few pals who will listen when you need it most. 

The Daylily Man and Master Gardeners

We see a lot of daylilies in the Carolinas and their contribution to the beauty of our landscapes can not be denied. In a conversation with American Daylily Society’s past President Nikki Schmith, she shared with me that few people rise to the level of excellence that Paul Owen possess in professionalism, proven ideas and the willingness to push the envelope in the world of hybridizing daylilies. She said “He’s a popular speaker that knows what he is talking about, people just love him.”

A Cause Somewhere in the Middle

I truthfully have no idea what true perfection is, and the thoughts of taking on the task of discovering what is the perfect this or the perfect that is more than I can tackle.  Based on the thousands of conversations I have had with people, I believe that most of us live somewhere in the middle of life. By that, I mean that most of us are not extreme in our views or actions. Instead, we are hardworking, peace seeking and relationship drivenfolks. 

A Lake, a River, and a Princess

I remember my first visit to Lake Waccamaw State Park. I was not sure why, but I knew there was something special about the area. The freshwater lake has approximately 14 miles of shoreline with an average depth of 7.5 feet and it is the largest of the natural Carolina Bay Lakes.

A Country Doctor and Teapots

With more than 5,000 medical artifacts The Country Doctor Museum in Bailey NC is the oldest museum of its type in the country. A few points of interest were the apothecary cabinets that house many ingredients as well as tools that doctors would use to make medications for their patients. The dental display was impressive and also unsettling, there where dental implements of every kind showcased.