George Washington Logan, Unimpeachable Scalawag

It was 1862, and North Carolina was a state divided within a country divided. War raged on distant battlefields. Extreme times required extreme measures. A group of citizens devoted to union and peace or, some simply to maintaining a status quo that war threatened to upend, banded together to form a secret organization to opposeContinue reading “George Washington Logan, Unimpeachable Scalawag”

Looking forward in the Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland has long loomed large on my bucket list, inspired by glimpses of its otherworldly landscape from a two-hour layover twenty years ago. Now, I’ve finally done it, spent a week in Iceland, and “otherworldly” doesn’t do it justice. It is, in fact, quite of this world, as purely elemental a place as any I’veContinue reading “Looking forward in the Land of Fire and Ice”

Institutionalizing the Insurrection

It is 1868 in North Carolina. Imbued with the right to vote bestowed by the 14th amendment and enthusiasm exploding from the rush of new freedom, African-Americans participate in the state constitutional convention, run for and hold public office, and turn out in droves to vote. Many white citizens refuse to accept the outcome ofContinue reading “Institutionalizing the Insurrection”

Halloween Fright

It seems appropriate to be returning to the United States on Halloween Day, after having spent two weeks in Italy. Being abroad let me see truly how frightening the United States is right now. Give me ghouls and goblins. Give me ghosts and zombies. These scare me far less than the specter of disinformation thatContinue reading “Halloween Fright”

A Few Red Drops

“Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.” Carl Sandburg In July 1919, in the midst of a global pandemic and severe economic disruption, an African-American boy named Eugene Williams crossed an imaginary line between whites and blacks while swimming in Lake Michigan. A group ofContinue reading “A Few Red Drops”

People and Profits

The word “unprecedented” is tossed about a lot these days. Very little in the world is actually unprecedented, including global pandemics. We’ve had them before in 1957, 1968, & 2009. The one we hear the most about is the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed at least 50 million people worldwide. This novel coronavirus is similarContinue reading “People and Profits”

A New Moonshot?

I just watched First Man. It’s the story of Neil Armstrong, astronaut, father, and husband. It’s a gripping movie, evocatively filmed, quietly and compassionately told, as much about the man and his grief as it is about the technical accomplishment of getting to the moon. It filled me with nostalgia for a time when AmericaContinue reading “A New Moonshot?”

Winning the Lottery?

Somewhere out there this morning a person’s life has been profoundly changed overnight. There is a single owner of a winning ticket worth $1.6 billion. It’s not me. I wasn’t in the running only because I forgot to stop and buy a Mega-Millions ticket yesterday. The odds were never in my favor. The odds areContinue reading “Winning the Lottery?”

The Adventures of the Blue Wind Boy

I am, above all else, a Tarheel.  Not Tarheel as in associated with the University of North Carolina (though I am that, too), but Tarheel as in North Carolinian.  I have officially resided in nine North Carolina counties: Guilford, Henderson, Buncombe, Forsyth, Orange, Wilkes, Wake, Tyrell, and Durham. Despite feeling that this state is myContinue reading “The Adventures of the Blue Wind Boy”