Opinion

Carrboro Music Festival

One of the first impressions I had of Carrboro was in 2005, when I made a trip down here to house hunt. In one of those wonderful accidents that can change a life, I turned a corner and walked right into the Carrboro Music Festival…

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Welcome Back

Orange County is beginning to feel like its former self. Restaurants and bars are open, buzzing with students, visitors, and townies. The simplest things – a drink, a meal, a walk downtown – feel celebratory.



This Has Been Eating at Me

If you want to stay healthy and help ward off the downsides of aging, such as getting older, it’s clear you have to carefully watch what you eat and drink. Yes, that means…


Open Letter to: Mayor and Town Council

First, I wish to thank mayor and council for the time and energy they have spent on Trinsic’s application for a Conditional Zoning Permit. It has become a deeply controversial process, aggravated and obscured by SARS-CoV2 restrictions on public meetings and information.


Insects Can Be Exciting!

This past May, I had the opportunity to experience both wonder and awe when observing two interesting insects busy with life events. While not many people aside from entomologists….


Hop on Pop

Roly-poly on the beach, a tow-headed cherub clambers on his disarmed father like the man is his personal playground jungle gym. Of all the snapshots hiding in dusty closets glued to old-school, black-paged photo albums from the ‘40s labeled “Snaps,”…





About the Author

Now that I’ve been writing this column for a couple of months, I thought you should know more about me. So I will lower my voice and speak in the third person, which sounds more authoritative and also I can’t find a second…



Shopping for Life Advice

Every parent wants to pass down words of sage advice to their graduating high schoolers. And while I’m currently on my last graduating high schooler, I’m still on the first draft…


Juneteenth 2021

Juneteenth commemorates the day the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally received the news that they were free. The news came two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, on June 19, 1865.



Mammals on the Move

As spring progresses, we’re seeing more mammals on the move. Those whom we unfortunately see dead alongside — or on — roads often include members of the rodent group: groundhogs…



Historic Preservation

Historic preservation has been around forever. In one form or another, people have always wanted to maintain the past – the old homeplace – while at the same time inviting in the new.


The New Old Normal

It’s not over. The pandemic. But it’s close enough to almost being close enough to almost being close enough to being over. Or maybe it’s inching toward as-over-as-it’s-going-to-get land.


Masking Down in the New Not-Normal

For all y’all who’ve gotten your shots, and in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new masking guidelines, this week I’m offering…


This Column is a Yawn

How can you get more zzzzs and feel more rested? And do you really want to wait till you get all the way to the end of the alphabet? As we have previously explained, good sleep is essential…


Let’s Go to the Beach

One of the benefits of living in North Carolina is our long, hospitable coast. From Corolla to Sunset Beach, miles of beaches with inviting names: Waves, Southern Shores, Emerald Isle.


Welcome to the Midway

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro border, one block east of where Franklin Street melds into Main Street, is home to a concentration of creative energy and retro-innovation where the businesses are chic…


The Pocket Shrine: Mom in a Matchbox

In my hand I hold a matchbox. The old school kind — wooden matches with cherry red tips inside. But that’s not all that’s in this matchbox, nor is setting a fire its function.



To India With Love

As the pandemic rages across India, I find myself worrying about a perfect stranger. Her name, where she lives, her situation in life now — of these facts I am totally ignorant.


Sleeping On It

We wake up in the morning and talk about how we couldn’t sleep during the night. My wife notes that she woke at 1:45, 3:19 and for good at 6:53. Competitive as always, I counter…



An Elusive Bird Draws Crowds

The Brumley Nature Reserves (North and South) are popular recreation sites for walkers, hikers, nature observers and birders. Springtime is especially nice when the birds fill the air…


Taking a Busman’s Holiday

With shots in arms and no ill effects and, thus, feeling giddy with liberation, good wife Lynne and I have done what so many other pent-up septuagenarians have done…


Bringing Tourism Back

Like spring itself, the world feels like it’s rising again, about to bloom in the coming summer sun. In this new and brighter light we have an opportunity to see what’s changed and how we can do what we did before in new and better ways…


Our Southern Spring Unfolds

I love the long unfolding of our Southern springs. My daughter, Lilli Brown, and I recite all the multisyllable Greek goddess-like names of the flowers as they emerge — camellia, hellebore…