Columns / Opinions
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Our mother died last year before reaching her 86th birthday. She didn’t die from COVID-19, but the awful avalanche of complications that arose while trying to arrange medical care during the … more
The world needs fewer liars and more tellers of tall tales. We need more men like Ransom Crump. Ransom Crump was the unlikely name of the widower who became my grandmother’s second husband after … more
From the 1960s on, self-proclaimed radicals have echoed Malcolm X’s dismissal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a “foolish” and even cowardly “modern Uncle Tom.” Current critics interpret … more
It was in 1946, long before my mama and daddy dreamed of me, that comic-strip creator Chester Gould introduced the two-way wristwatch radio for his (and later my) hero Dick Tracy. That was one … more
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” This question was uttered in first-century Galilee (John 1:46), but I recognize the cynicism in our time and place. Can anything good come out of … more
The relentless advance of COVID-19 into my family continued this month. No sooner had the doctors pronounced my cousin George fully recovered than they pronounced his granddaughter infected. That … more
I’d been dreading my eye examination. An inordinate amount of my waking hours are spent in front of a computer screen. In the last few months, dry, itchy eyes, painful styes and blurry vision … more
Much of modern society, major advertising especially, tells us that “new” and “bigger” equal “better.” Years ago, or so it seems, products from cars and clothes to radios and rugs all … more
I was doom-scrolling through my Facebook feed last Wednesday when a comment on a local’s post stood out to me. It compared the government’s response to the Capitol attack to the Nazi occupation … more
My identity as a Latina only became clear and solid in my last year of high school, when I had to describe to colleges and universities who I was. Growing up in Sanford, I lived in a predominantly … more
I dusted off my telescope to observe the great conjunction of 2020 for myself. My Orion-brand AstroView 90mm EQ is a refractor telescope essentially no different from the instrument Galileo looked … more
Over the Christmas holiday, my wife and I watched all 10 episodes of “Ted Lasso.” Actor Jason Sudeikis plays the title character — a mustache-wearing former coach of a small-college football … more
I was fortunate to be a part of Darrell Spain’s orbit for the last 40 years. We were close enough friends that the gravitational slingshot of our relationship propelled me to some of the liveliest … more
Around this time of year, many folks go to great lengths to make resolutions about things they will do or say — or not do or say — in the new year. For most of us, that change in behavior … more
The other day, I listened to a late 2019 podcast episode on preparing for the new year. I wanted to warn the podcasters about how irrelevant their advice would play out in 2020. Many of us spend … more
Beauty, the poet says, “is in the eye of the beholder.” I think that saying probably got started by a guy whose buddy was ragging him about his girlfriend’s looks. Real beauty, we all know, … more
Easy and affordable access to adequate broadband service was high on the wishlist for Chatham County, and many other rural areas of North Carolina, prior to COVID-19 and well before terms like … more
We bought our Christmas tree this week. Acquiring our Fraser fir made for a voyage long and strange. We are thrilled to have brought it home. My father would have laughed out loud if anyone in our … more
I’ve wanted to write about privilege for a while. Did you cringe while reading that word? It’s pretty common, since “privilege” itself is often depicted as an affront to the individual. … more
To the Editor: Give a smile to someone you pass by on the street or at work. Send a personal short note. Say a kind word. Call someone you haven’t talked to lately. Visit a … more
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