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The big-ass brown hairy bat with Dracula fangs invaded our bedroom through the fireplace one otherwise peaceful summer night years ago. The Beloved was snuggled down in bed with a book. I was in the …

The following happened to a friend of mine. Her name is Linda Yoder. A few years ago, she, her husband, Dan, and her mother, Betty (sadly, both now deceased), had gone to a scary movie at the …

Morganton’s Confederate monument, standing tall on the square of the Historic Burke County Courthouse, is a source of pride for some White folks. Others, like former schoolteacher Candace Yount, …

As a child growing up in Drexel, there were few things that I had to do without. My parents were kind and caring folk, and they raised their three sons with a Baptist strictness that was tempered …

Several decades ago, back in the 1990s, a few years before his death, journalist and author Charles Kuralt wrote a wonderful book, detailing how he passed a most pleasurable year, spending one month …

My grandparents were the wisest people I’ve ever known.  William Kelly Plemmons was born in the hills of Madison County in 1900, and Emma Nix Plemmons made her earthly appearance in Buncombe …

I first met Savannah Collins early in the summer when I interviewed her for a series of stories about the deadly fentanyl epidemic. Though only 20, Savannah was already an expert on the topic, having …

Not many months ago, I interviewed a student about his first year at the Morganton campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. As he reflected on his junior year, he admitted to …

The Atlanta Braves are absolutely without question, argument, or discussion the very best team in Major League Baseball. The 1927 Yankees had nothing on these guys. Check out these stats: Ronald …

My wife Sandra picked up the Sept. 9 edition of The Paper the day it came out and turned to the Opinion section. A puzzled look crossed her face. “I figured you’d write about Jimmy Buffett this …

Usually the purpose of  communication — written or otherwise — is to get from Point A to Point B as efficiently and directly as possible. Spontaneous twists and turns enroute can muddle the …

Fifty years ago this month, a wise and wizened old English professor assigned his class of slack-jawed freshmen the reading of what he said was his favorite novel, “Look Homeward, Angel” by North …

My mother (may she rest in sweet peace)  was a sucker for brain health potions. Nooceptin, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, bourbon. All of them I am right there with her. I’ve been known to imbibe in …

Trailer parks, and by extension, the people who live in them, are easy targets for all manner of societal derision and scorn.  The soul-crushing — and ever-burgeoning — dichotomy between the …

Mixed-Media Monday will be held on Monday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Morganton Public Library. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and adults only. The Oxymorons New Adult Book Discussion …

The last time the entire Poteat clan was gathered together under one roof was Christmas Day, 2021. Hopefully, we will all be together today, and tomorrow, and Monday. Since their long ago graduations …

It’s almost October and the river is calling. I cannot answer. There isn’t time.  Maybe next year, if I can get far enough ahead at work, I’ll be able to steal a few days and lose myself …

EDITOR’S NOTE — Exhausted by a whirlwind 28-hour driving marathon to Massachusetts and back for a family wedding last weekend during the over-promoted Hurricane Lee, Allen VanNoppen submits for …

My three brothers were in town recently. It was a civilized reunion. We weren’t always so civilized, especially when I was 12 years old.  It was 1967 and we lived in Green Valley, a …

Monday, Sept. 4, was Labor Day — a day duly celebrated with cook-outs and pool parties, and as little labor as possible. But Sept. 4 was also significant for another reason. The day marked the …

Every workday morning, at least one member of The Paper’s staff is asked a key question by the curmudgeonly old editor when they stagger through the door and head sleepily to their desks for work: …

Despite their omnipotence, Big Pharmas have met their match with the English language: The industry has run out of names for its medicines... “Who dareth disturb the slumber of Vraylar?” “It is I, Prevnar, Lord of Vabomere...

Take heed, fellow climate control warlords, a peaceful cease fire is unlikely. The battle over global warming and climate change has reached into our homes. Battle lines are drawn.  It’s a …

As you may remember from a column I wrote a couple of months ago, I have stopped wasting my time perusing Facebook or making posts to the social media site. I do still have the separate Facebook …

One spring day a few years ago, I was confronted with the strongest scientific evidence I have yet observed that people are, in fact, getting dumber. It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  I …

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