July 15, 2020

      Peering through the fence at Morehouse College's football team as the players slammed into each other on the dusty practice field next to the gym, I turned to a professor standing next to me and sniffed - with the know-it-all arrogance that only a 21-year-old Morehouse Man can - "Hmmph. That's supposed to build character?"

      The professor replied "If you want it to."

      At the time, I was bitter bec...

June 30, 2020

      Sorry, Michael. You are no longer the worst "Bolton" in the world.

      No, music lovers have not pardoned the croakin' crooner for desecrating When A Man Loves A Woman in 1991. He still deserves the opprobrium of the masses and the finger - uh, on the radio dial button whenever his version of that song comes on.

      What's more enjoyable than listening to Michael Bolton mutilate Percy Sledge's classic?...

June 23, 2020

      Knock knock.

      Who's there?


      Ain'tcha who?

      Ain'tcha mama on the pancake box?

     When you heard that joke in Rockingham as kids in the 1960s, you either laughed or punched somebody in the nose. You didn't talk about somebody's mama unless you were really good friends.

      Who knew, though, that Aunt Jemima used to live in Rockingham?...

June 9, 2020

      It might've been the weirdest telephone call ever received.

      It definitely led to the weirdest call ever made.

      Back in the 1990s, when Durham was internationally renowned for its contentious school board meetings - "contentious," my eye: police sometimes literally lifted and carried livid residents out - friends from around the country who'd watched CNN would call and ask me what...

May 29, 2020

      Perhaps it was my 10-year-old brain convincing me that I had a cloak of invisibility, and that if I walked around inside the A&P while eating that honeybun I hadn't paid for, nobody would see me.

      Genius, right?

     Or, possibly, one of my 5th grade pals (Yeah you, Andrew) had told me that if you ate the honeybun without leaving the store, it wasn't - under the law - technically stealing. (Accom...

May 7, 2020

      What I did for a pair of basketball sneakers is embarrassing to think about even now, 47 years later.

      For some inexplicable reason, Rockingham's lone sporting goods store - Currie's - ran out of  white canvas hightop Converse when they were all the rage. Using the 1973 version of the internet, I got out the Yellow Pages and, much to my aunt's chagrin when the telephone bill arrived, let my fingers do the walking a...

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