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Want to walk across the majestic Catawba River on stepping stones without ever getting your feet wet? It can be done. Just not in Burke County. Instead, you have to hike uphill for nearly two miles, …

I received a curious email from a reader who signed it, “King of England.” He had a couple of advisements for betterment of The Paper. The King predicted that a story about the Laugh Lab in …

First things first. If you’re planning to mountain bike the new Hollipop Trail at Valdese Lakeside Park, you’d best be in much better shape and much more hardcore about fitness than this old man. …

Downtown Valdese was shrouded in chilly fog and mist on that December evening in 2022, but inside the 100 Main Restaurant and Bar, the atmosphere was warm and convivial, as befits the Christmas …

It’s summertime.  Summertime means snakes.  Snakes don’t bother me too much (since I don’t do Nature), but I’ve shared homes with domestic dogs — rambunctious, curious, on the …

I don’t have a lot of conscious memories of life before going to school, but a couple of recollections stick in my mind.  As a very young girl, I watched my mother clean the bathtub and …

NOTE: Last week, in Part One of this series, it’s the summer of 1974 and Capt’n Dad has dropped the parental hammer by placing on the kitchen counter basket which would contain, on the first day …

Everyone knows that Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer, no matter what the calendars or the worshippers of the solstice or the prognosticators of the tides may tell us. Conversely, …

It was the start of summer 1974 between high school and college. Summertime. ChillAxe-to-the-Max. To the dismay of my parents and their Morganton supper club friends, I made it through high school …

Here at The Paper we cling steadfastly to a couple of cardinal rules. Rule Number One is never to write anything bad about cardinals. They are, after all, the North Carolina state bird, they …

My weekends are typically spent catching up on housework, yardwork, running errands, getting in a workout, and preparing for the next week’s agenda for The Paper. The weekend of Mother’s Day was …

I was brushing my teeth when my husband walked into the bathroom and announced he had a column idea for me. Marshall placed his phone beside the sink for me to see his screen. I laughed so hard that …

Back in the late summer of 2008, Draughn High School was opened on a beautiful tract of land to the north of Lovelady Road in Valdese. The wooded acres between the campus and the Catawba River were …

The famous author Kurt Vonnegut once issued a piece of advice I’ve found helpful over the years. We should, he said, strive to produce art, not for monetary gain nor public acclaim, but simply for …

I’m a watch guy. Something about the design, engineering, and functionality. I have an old shoebox with dozens of dusty mass-market relics. They are missing bands, or batteries, or covers. Only a …

Last Saturday, on a cool and overcast late April morning, my brother Johnny and I stood atop Kennesaw Mountain, roughly 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. Although the “mountain” stands only …

In our never-ending quest to add young readers to The Paper, we (the editorial team) recently added Jumble for Kids puzzles to our pages. These warped brain-twisters, invented by the same Chinese …

Let the record show, in the beginning, that I am and always have been a big fan of baloney. No, not the stuff spouted by politicians, TV evangelists, crooked insurance operators, and used car …

It was big news, BIG news. Hot-to-trot news for this young cub reporter who was in a hurry to get back to the newsroom and toss a fuzzy-bunny, feel-good feature story off the front page with my …

Saturday, April 13, 2024, was a darned-near perfect day in my life — right up until the moment the phone rang at about 7:45 p.m. My bride and I had made a quiet and uneventful drive from our home …

I’ll call him Bill Joe because that is what my wife and her family call him. Most people say Billy Joe, as in Billy Joe Patton, the man who famously put Morganton on the map with his legendary Masters performance 70 years ago this week.

As a lad growing up in a small town in the North Carolina foothills, I dreamed of one day living in the magical cities of Atlanta or New York or Chicago. As a man growing older in the same small …

Last Monday, the Atlanta Braves celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. Hank’s homer a half-century ago eclipsed Babe Ruth’s record of 714 dingers, a mark …

One of the great things about my late-life return to newspapering is the pleasure of covering the Rutherford College Town Council. Want drama, tension, and a fair amount of fussing and fuming? Go to …

Burke County’s newest high school, Longhaul High, home of the Longhorns, is about to open. This badly needed expansion to our fine education system would not be possible without the support of our County Commissioners who voted in 2005 to purchase land for our campus. We extend our thanks. 

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