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The letter I shared last week from Dr. Otis Lowry was a brief look at the glory days of Spring Hope’s business community, a nostalgic listing of old businesses and industries now gone. Some of … more
RALEIGH — Milton Friedman once observed that “nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” To be sure, spending bills or regulations initially sold as limited responses to … more
When I was looking through my old address book recently, I realized it had to go. I’d marked through all the names of friends and family who had died, and I’d tried to keep up with the address … more
Spring Hope’s neatly laid out downtown has been fortunate in being able to retain its historic appearance as a railroad town, with most of its buildings looking like they did a hundred years ago, … more
RALEIGH — The average public school district in the United States enrolls about 3,700 students, according to a recent Governing magazine analysis. In North Carolina, the average school district … more
I’ve heard it said that “old age is not for sissies.” As I’m now well established into my 60s, I understand what that means. This year I’ve really been a loser. I’ve lost my mother, … more
RALEIGH — As another year draws to a close, a year of Democratic resurgence in both national and local politics, I offer this challenge to incumbent and newly elected lawmakers alike. Do you really … more
I’ve been reading through the Old Testament and what strikes me most about it is how many offerings or sacrifices the Israelites made to God. These sacrifices fell into five categories: burnt … more
New Year’s Eve at our house was quiet, with no plans to do anything but to go to bed and wake up in a new year. Unfortunately, it looks like 2019 is going to be anything but quiet, if 2018 was any … more
Now that the dust has settled on another Christmas season, let’s review some aspects of the gift-buying and gift-giving process strictly from an economic standpoint with the help of Wikipedia and a … more
To all the happily normal people who regularly read my column: I appreciate you, but this week’s words are not meant for you. I’ll be back next week with a more inclusive message. Waits for … more
So, we’re almost done with 2018. Was it a good year for you, or did life not go like you had planned? Some of us will be tempted to hang on to the events of the past, maybe dwelling on hurts or … more
RALEIGH — There has always been a robust political debate between advocates of free trade and advocates of manipulating the terms of trade to protect special interests. But the partisan … more
I finally decorated the exterior of my house. We’re so far into December now, I considered not doing it at all. But I like driving up to my house at night and seeing the pretty lights hanging … more
Christmas is finally over. After the many church services, holiday parties, town-wide celebrations and parades, and the final family dinners and exchange of presents on Christmas, all that remains … more
I have “joy” on both sides of my front porch, engraved in big red letters on Christmas pillows perched on a bench and swing. After all, Christmas is a time we associate with great joy, be it … more
Major upheavals in human history sometimes begin with small steps, steps so small we do not see them when they happen. And most of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves so caught up in … more
RALEIGH — While the term “whataboutism” may be relatively new — coined within the last few decades, and newly prominent in the age of Donald Trump — the logical fallacy it denotes is as … more
The minute I walked into the store, I knew I was in for an old-timey treat. Manning Bros. Hardware is a step back in time in downtown Middlesex. Run by Henry and Helen Manning, the store is … more
“Believe” is a word I’ve seen on Christmas items such as pillows. But believe what? Believe in a jolly, fat old man in a red and white suit who delivers presents to all the good little boys and … more
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