History repeats itself with Harvey

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Most of us watching the Hurricane Harvey recovery are horrified by the destruction and misery. The few bright spots are seeing people and their pets brought to safety and Newton’s own Brock Long, the newly appointed FEMA administrator, in charge of recovery efforts. Meanw hile, breathless reporters claim this is a never-before-seen event. “Record-breaking,” “unprecedented,” “beyond anything experienced,” they say. …

Watts’ debut novel wows this reader

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Stephanie Powell Watts is an author you need to know. She grew up in Caldwell County and has beaten the odds to land a major New York publishing deal. Her first novel, No One is Coming to Save Us, was released this spring, and last week I had the chance to read it. Wow! The book manuscript commanded six figures …

Talking herbs at Hart Square

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I received an invitation to time travel last month and of course I jumped at the chance. For several years now, Judy Sigmon and I have portrayed 1840s herbalists during the fall festival at Hart Square, Dr. Robert Hart’s complex of log cabins. It’s the largest collection of original historic log buildings in the United States and it’s right here …

A Noonatic’s take on history

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Fifty years ago a producer named Mickie Most signed five teen-aged musicians from Manchester, England to a record deal. It didn’t go unnoticed that Peter Noone, the lead singer, resembled a young John F. Kennedy. The resemblance proved more than skin-deep. Peter was talented, charming and Catholic to boot. And he, like Kennedy, spoke with an intrusive R–“Americar,” “Canadar,” “Cubar.” …

Another idyllic weekend at Weymouth

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In February, I described a residency with writer friends at Weymouth Center in Southern Pines. Those winter days were punctuated with a perfect gentle snowfall and a morning fox hunt across the grounds. Those precious days, we agreed, were unforgettable, magical. For the uninitiated, Weymouth is a sprawling mansion built by novelist James Boyd back in the 1920s with all …

Hats off to Goliath

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It’s not every day that a major New York press launches a book in Catawba County, so tomorrow may be a first. Novelist Susan Woodring of Drexel, NC, will unveil Goliath, from St. Martin’s Press at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Conover Branch Library. Conover is part of the Catawba County Library system, where I work. I’m excited to introduce …