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Re: “Trespassing among the Ruins of Eastern North Carolina

Thank you for your notes and observations about Eastern North Carolina. Here's hoping Triangle readers of Independent can make their own forays "Down East" if they are not already personally familiar with the cities, towns and counties from Laurinburg to Elizabeth City.

The poetic challenge of one 20th Century North Carolina governor to appreciate the special heritage of Eastern North Carolina is before us still in the 21st Century. Gov. J.C.B. Ehringhaus, who was from Elizabeth City, was writing about the special meadows of Northeastern N.C. known as The Albemarle when he compared it to our imaginative fancy of what Camelot must have been like in medieval England, a comparison made all the more interesting when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy suggested Camelot as a metaphoric touchstone for the administration of President John F. Kennedy.

As one who grew up in Charlotte and later attended Duke, I always enjoyed family gatherings in Piedmont places such as Shelby and Salisbury, and we had kinfolk from throughout Western North Carolina and the Piedmont from Marion and Hickory to Burlington and Chapel Hill, but few family ties to Eastern N.C., so I was able to get to know more about the eastern section of the state in these personal experiences from late teen years to age 30:

--Covering Charlotte 49ers "road games" in the old Dixie Conference as a high school stringer for the Charlotte Observer including trips to St. Andrews College in Laurinburg and N.C. Wesleyan in Rocky Mount.

--Scouting Eastern N.C. cities and towns as a reporter on the state desk of The News & Observer in my mid-20s. Back in those days, you had to "go out there and find out what was happening" because, absent some helpful news tips, that was about the only way to report on local government and business from Smithfield to Wilson.

--Doing a cross-state feature for The N&O in the now socially suspect guise of hitchhiker from the coast to the mountains trying to follow in the footsteps of such N.C. newspaper columnists as Jerry Bledsoe of the Greensboro Daily News, J.A.C. Dunn of the Winston-Salem Journal and Jack Aulis of The News & Observer. For my geographical endpoints for this dubious outing (which definitely contributed to a downward slide in my fortunes as a news staffer with The N&O), I selected Duck, N.C., and Ducktown, Tenn., as this featured was headlined: "Duck to Ducktown: A Stitch in Time." But the first installment was called "Stuck in Duck" because I had trouble hitching into Duck from the outskirts of town so that I could then begin hitching west out of Duck! But the best thing was enjoying the Albemarle Sound area while wondering how in the world I would be able to make it from Northeastern N.C. to Southwestern N.C. and on across the Tennessee line to Ducktown.

--Weekend excursions as an editorial writer for the Fayetteville Observer in my late 20s as our paper was still an afternoon daily in the mid-1970s, with an impressive regional circulation in the Cape Fear Country. So on Saturdays we would head out to enjoy unique and colorful Eastern N.C. events such as Mule Days in Benson, the Collard Festival in Ayden, the Shad Festival in Grifton and the National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner. At these gleeful local celebrations we would witness the best in local business-government cooperative efforts to spruce up hometown life in all those places Down East.

--Campaigning for the U.S. Senate in the wide open Democratic primary of 1978. Talk about the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival of the present time, that senatorial primary was wide open because everybody and his brother (we could have used some sisters in that field too) thought he could be just the guy to take on the Squire of Senatorial Conservatism, Sen. Jesse Helms, in what was to be his first re-election campaign in 1978 after his surprising win over Durham Congressman Nick Galifianakis in 1972. Drawing from the previous journalistic adventure of hitching from Duck to Ducktown, I chose to hike the state in 1977 from Manteo on the coast to Murphy in the mountains to see if I could get a leg up on the competition, which included a stellar field of Democratic hopefuls including two state senators from the Triad, a banker from Charlotte and son of a highly regarded former governor and our state commissioner of insurance. One single highlight of that hike: walking beside cornfields in Wayne County in the spring of 1977 with stalks of corn higher than I was only to learn with regret weeks later that a sustained summer drought was severely depleting the eventual autumn yield of what had promised to be such an abundant harvest for N.C. family farmers in that year before the May 1978 senatorial primary.

So, capsuling my personal, professional and philosophical outlook upon the one section of the state that I had not previously known very well, I would mention these favorable impressions of Eastern North Carolina:

--A deep love of learning among the people, including science, mathematics, classical literature, poetry, dance, music and drama.

--An eagerness to seek out gainful employment along with the upgrading of occupational skills to do a good day's work.

--A robust, good-hearted attitude toward visitors from the rest of North Carolina or from other states and country as to why they took pride in their home cities, towns and counties.

--A full willingness to be part of the supporting cast of the greater public support for all parts of North Carolina including industries, enterprises and technologies trending as "the latest things" on the urban scene in the Piedmont so long as the communities of Eastern North Carolina were not left behind in the investment in public education, environmental protection, employment training and the allocation of state-funded resources for economic development and advancement.

I wish we had as many passenger train connections to those cities and towns with such great future potential in Eastern North Carolina as we do to the cities of the N.C. Piedmont because I would sure book some more excursions "Down East," as Andy Griffith would say, "first chance I get."

Posted by David McKnight on 05/27/2016 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Trespassing among the Ruins of Eastern North Carolina

Very well written. The City of Rocky Mount spent money to improve the appearance of its downtown core, and they succeeded. But they didn't succeed, or haven't yet, in filling the renovated storefronts with real tenants. The buildings are still mostly empty, although they look much better than before.

And it's not just the small towns and cities down east that are struggling. Out in the rural areas there are many abandoned houses, once family farms that either cannot compete with big ag or cannot attract a new generation of farmers.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ct on 05/25/2016 at 9:14 AM

Re: “Eco Farm and Lil' Farm Sort Through the Rewards and Outrages of Small-Time Organic Farming

WADEB Lease land if you cannot afford to buy and raise your hogs. It's doable, but if you really want to buy land, keep a better paying job for as long as it takes.
I agree, I wish the city people would stay in the cities. I have a housing developement right next to my organic farm where people spend all day spraying Round Up on their perfectly manicured lawns- it makes me feel ill. The only barely affordable farmland in NC is in places that you wouldn't want to live and couldn't make a living.

Posted by Stacy Martin on 05/16/2016 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Eco Farm and Lil' Farm Sort Through the Rewards and Outrages of Small-Time Organic Farming

The sad thing about farming now is it's so hard to get started. Plus up here in Person few farmers can afford to just farm anymore, since tobacco was wounded so badly here. I want to pasture raise hogs, but thanks to so many people moving out here for cheap land, it's hard to buy farmland anymore. I just wish people would stay in their cities and let us use our land out here to raise what's needed.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wadeb on 05/06/2016 at 5:53 AM

Re: “Dish by Dish: Five Area Favorites, Course by Course, Ingredient by Ingredient

Garland to cookout! amazing!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ryan Shelley on 05/04/2016 at 3:11 PM

Re: “A Guide to Gay and Lesbian Resources in the Triangle

This 10 year old list is in need of an update.

Posted by arthurb3 on 05/04/2016 at 9:36 AM

Re: “The Local Food Question: How Did We Get Here, and Where Is It Going?

Well, local food is local flavors with locally produced or grown products. That easy.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by arthurb3 on 05/04/2016 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Recycling and reusing the dirty and obsolete

The concept of recycling is rapidly increases around the whole world. Most of the manufacturing companies are taking suitable benefits from recycling and therefore instead of throwing waste products; they used to recycle it and give them a useful shape for further use. This is also one of the best ways to keep the environment pollution free; this article also describes some hidden facts about recycling products. Hope we should learn something better from here.

Posted by ericronald on 04/21/2016 at 8:58 AM

Re: “I Went to (Almost) Every Triangle Distillery—and Two Meaderies. We Have Those Now.

Pebble Brook Spirits is also colocated with Brothers Vilgalys and Mystic serving the best apple pie craft spirit.

Posted by Jeff Duncan on 03/25/2016 at 7:31 PM

Re: “Drinking with a Bartender: A Night Out in Chapel Hill and Carrboro with Bowbarr's Fiona Matthews

Mr. Wilson is referring to two different drinks in that passage, one that uses ginger beer and another that uses ginger ale. In the final section, he refers to Blenheim's ginger ale, too. Blenheim's is delicious!

Posted by Grayson Currin, INDY Managing + Music Editor on 03/25/2016 at 12:12 AM

Re: “Drinking with a Bartender: A Night Out in Chapel Hill and Carrboro with Bowbarr's Fiona Matthews

blenheim's is ginger ale, not ginger beer.

Posted by jaketornado on 03/24/2016 at 11:39 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

I'm really surprised by all the intense feedback on this... There have been a few comments where I feel like the person writing has never looked into these ALE laws. As a bartender here in North Carolina I can tell you that the lash back from this is NOT miniscule. I, as the bartender could be blacklisted for bartender in the state of NC for the next two years and be charged with a misdemeanor that would create a criminal record. This is my livelihood, it is the only job I can work full time while also attending college full time. Yes, in the past (in a separate state) I had gone out with friends who used fake ID's. I didn't think anything of it because I didn't know of the consequences for the bartender. When I told my friend the backlash what the bartenders/business was she stopped using it. It's an unintentionally selfish thing to do, and sure maybe there are other more "delicate" ways to handle it. But after you've seen it dozens of times and have to deal with all the infuriated kids calling you a bitch.... you stop being as empathetic about it.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SammyNJuno on 03/24/2016 at 2:22 AM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

Awesome tutorial on how to make fake ID's better! 👍🏻

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by mistersich on 03/24/2016 at 12:25 AM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

Sorry anonymous commentator....I meant "Due to the fact that he has feelings of frustration that are related to his denial of entry to said establishment " ...I will forever keep my message board etiquette in line due this amazing revelation and epiphany that you have opened me up to ....

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ken 1 on 03/23/2016 at 8:25 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

@Ikester: Thanks! My thoughts exactly! Threatening to have underagers boycott Zog's is precisely what I want to happen. Of-agers are welcome to boycott as well if they don't read well enough to realize that I never shamed anyone or blanketed all UNC students. I merely recounted tales of how I caught fakes at the bar, which is what I'm required to do to stay in business.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mandey Brown on 03/23/2016 at 7:21 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

Haha, threatening to tell his underage friends to stop going to zogs. That's the point of the article, and I'm pretty sure zogs would very much appreciate your help!

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ikester on 03/23/2016 at 6:34 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

Citizen_X - entitled much? The consequences of ALE busting a bar are QUITE significant. Or do you not remember that whole episode JUST LAST YEAR when that entitled little shit Chandler Kania decided to go drinking at LaRez and He's Not and then drive the wrong way down I-40 killing 2 people? Because LaRez and He's Not were slack, two people died, two businesses were fined significant amounts, and closed for a certain period of time.

But hey, all college kids deserve a drink right? Especially if they've paid for their craptastic fake ID that anyone could spot a mile away. Regardless if they're actually breaking the law or potentially putting others in danger because hey - they're young, immortal and can handle their booze? (FYI, you CAN'T. I can add to some of the stories Mandey wrote about here)

Get that ego in check. Reality can be harsh and you definitely don't seem to be ready for it.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by CHLocal on 03/23/2016 at 4:38 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

*every single college student with a fake ID who could get me fined and shut down. Try reading it again. it's the appropriate medium to call out anyone with a crappy fake. That's all the article was. Try reading it again.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mandey Brown on 03/23/2016 at 4:26 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

I am 23. I will not be going back to Zogs. This is not the appropriate medium for your personal attack on EVERY SINGLE COLLEGE STUDENT who simply wants a drink. You're reasoning that you are stating this to protect your employees and business is withheld until the end and undermines that reasoning. Zogs attracts under agers because it is a pretty shitty bar. This article does not portray Zogs as a place with employees that I would want to buy a drink from, even now that I am 23. (BTW I have had many many friends use fake IDs successfully at Zogs for years. I will, however, encourage them to not continue their patronage).

5 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by citizen_x on 03/23/2016 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Laughing at Your Counterfeit: On Franklin Street, Mandey Brown Will Take Your Fake

I could go in there every day for a month and Jake would never call me anything but "ID?", so if the kids get three out of 5 letters of his name that's pretty good by his standards. Also the worst result of underage drinking already happened in Chapel Hill and the penalty for the bars involved was they each had to close for 90 minutes and pay like a twelve dollar fine, so I'm not sure anyone's livelihoods are at stake. Maybe you should be snatching car keys instead. And playing flash cards with Jake to teach him how to remember stuff.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by JimboJ on 03/23/2016 at 4:15 PM

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