Looking back on the way I worked

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If you’re like me, you’ve spent most of your working life in Catawba County. I hadn’t thought much about that until I attended docent training at the Museum of History on the Square in Newton. That’s where “The Way We Worked” will be exhibited from Aug. 10-Sept. 18.  I will be one of the volunteers helping to guide visitors through …

Welcome home to the 17th century

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On Friday, July 13 I stepped into a house built by my 9th great grandfather, Benjamin Balch. No, I am not making this up. The Balch House, located in coastal Beverly, MA, dates to 1679 and is one of the oldest wooden houses in North America. I discovered the amazing house last summer while poking around on Ancestry and other …

Such a tale my DNA tells

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Testing DNA is a national craze. Eighteen months ago I succumbed to the temptation. Like thousands of others, I ponied up the fee and mailed off my saliva sample to Ancestry.com. A few weeks later learned that I am 43 percent British, 34 percent Irish and 12 percent Scandinavian. The Scandinavian bit threw me. My family paper trail shows I’m …

The working story I can’t make up

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The Catawba County Museum of History is asking the public to submit stories of their working life as part of an upcoming attraction, “The Way We Worked.” It’s all part of a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit opening Aug. 8 in Newton. If I were to write a work story, it would involve my friend Sylvia Bajorek. It all began in …

‘Idol Talk’ sheds light on pop star crushes

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Ladies, if you’re like me, you had a teen idol. Yes, I know. It is a bit embarrassing to admit that any of us “mature adults” once dreamed of meeting Elvis, dancing with Paul McCartney or breathing the same air as Bobby Sherman. My idol (surprise!) was Peter Noone, Herman of Herman’s Hermits, the group that gave us such ear …

Idol Talk is here!

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First copies of the long-anticipated anthology rolled of the presses on May 29. What began as a fun email exchange between writer Elizabeth Searle and me more than four years ago has become the first-ever collection of essays about teen idols by some of America’s most fabulous female writers:  Ann Hood, Jill McCorkle, Leslea Newman, B.A. Shapiro, Judy Goldman, Susan Straight, Dolen Perkins …

Time travel for word lovers, or fun with Merriam-Webster

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You word lovers out there: here’s a website you won’t want to miss. The folks at Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, have added an historical component to their website. You can find it here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/time-traveler/2016 Scroll back on the years and see when certain words were first printed in the English language. Words may be used in spoken English for years …