Heaven help us all - again.


If you’re anything like me, your memory is so shot that you sometimes can’t remember what you had for breakfast until you belch. Or surreptitiously lick that stain on your tie.

(Ummm, pancakes.)

But one thing I remember, one thing imprinted on my memory like maple syrup on a rayon-and-polyester tie, is a three-minute segment on a Charlotte news station in 1970.

Or was it 1971?

Whenever it was, I’ll never forget it.

In Rockingham, we thought we were big time because we got Charlotte TV stations WSOC, WBTV and WCCB, and Big WAYS on the radio. (The late Jay Thomas? Greatest deejay ever.)

The news this particular evening was full of the tumult that defined an era that included the anti-war and Civil Rights movements, women demanding equality and the National Guard shooting college kids on campuses for – get this - protesting the war in Vietnam.

The turmoil of one year bled over into the next, and there was doubt as to whether the country would conflagrate before reaching its 200th anniversary a few years hence.

When the newscast ended that evening, the screen went black. And Stevie Wonder’s song Heaven Help Us All came on: