Signs of the Times

Having a cabin in rural Rutherford County in Western North Carolina, where I started and helped run two small newspapers for 15 years, has afforded me an intimate view into the other North Carolina. Saying it plainly: the deep ruby red part. Monthly trips to the old cabin afford this Chapel Hill boy something of a “glass-bottom boat” view of attitudes very different from deep indigo parts…

An Outbreak of Kindness

The bumper sticker on the back of the old pick-up truck outside of Carrboro caught my attention. It read, “Make America Kind Again.” Permit me to riff off a recent New York Times op-ed piece that opined thusly: that if there’s any silver lining to the double-whammy of the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, it has to be our heightened awareness of our common humanity and mutual interdependence.

This One is for My Sub-Dads

Father’s Day, in the home in which I grew up, didn’t exist. The third Sunday in June was just another day. But I’m certain that wasn’t true for my heartbroken divorced mother, nor for my big brother, Nick, traumatized by the betrayal of his beloved dad. Father’s Day was a cruel reminder of abandonment. How does a 7-year-old boy grow up when he feels rejected by his own father?