Slave narrative links my ancestor to friend’s

tamrawilson Uncategorized

When my friend J. T. said he’d found a slave narrative involving his family, I had to know more. A former slave named Parker Pool recalled Yankee soldiers coming through Johnston County in 1865. Pool, J.T. explained, worked his ancestor’s farm in the Smithfield area. The slave account was part of the Federal Writers’ Project, a collection of narratives compiled …

These robos want my money

tamrawilson Uncategorized

I wish I had an unlisted number, with all the robocalls about my vehicle warranty. If you have a pulse, you know the drill. The phone rings. Caller ID displays Hendersonville or Spruce Pine or Forest City so you’ll think it’s someone from this region. For a while I thought the calls had something to do with my vehicle being …

Four-Way Test appeals to our better angels

tamrawilson Uncategorized

By now we’re all familiar with the images of Jan. 6 when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol—the broken windows, the angry rioters on a rampage threatening Vice President Pence and other officials. Five people died in the melee, including a policeman. The nation was outraged, and rightly so. Such calamities light up social media, and this one has been …

Adieu to the bad juju of 2020

tamrawilson Uncategorized

After surviving 2020, I dread to speculate what this year may bring. If you listen to some forecasters, 2021 may turn out to be 2020’s ugly sister.  I hope not. This COVID year brought one misfortune after another: shutdowns, layoffs, record downpours, Hurricane Zeta—even a rare Carolina earthquake.  Bad juju run amok. Last spring, when face masks were becoming a …

Zooming into the holidays

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Zoom meetings, Zoom church, Zoom Christmas. Some authorities suggest that we pare the home holiday crowd to two or three and invite the extras virtually. It’s not a new idea. Several years ago, a gathering of friends on Thanksgiving included a Facetime session with a relative living in California. She watched us longingly a dozen of us gathered around the …

My close encounter with Buckingham Palace

tamrawilson Uncategorized

March 12, 1974: Sue (at right) and I sharing our picnic lunch with London pigeons. Minutes later we were invited inside Buckingham Palace. Season 4 of The Crown is a great diversion for chilly November evenings. Netflix debuted the newest episodes last Sunday focusing on the 1980s and 1990s. Those cover history most viewers know: Prince Charles, Princess Diana and …

The mystery of phantom odors

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Phantom odors: Ghosts or coincidence? Have you ever awakened to the smell of breakfast cooking when nobody is in the kitchen? Or the mysterious scent of a cologne or tobacco smoke when no one else is around? Phantom odors are a familiar component of the paranormal world. Skeptics, on the other hand, reason that such experiences are explainable coincidences, but …