All posts filed under: Articles

As Schoolhouse celebrates 30 years, stories and lessons abound

A couple hundred parents and kids gathered at the West Point on the Eno last Saturday for the 30th anniversary of Schoolhouse of Wonder. The organization has led nature classes for kids at the Eno River since 1989, and was celebrating with storytelling, s’mores at campfires and games.

Despite the sporadic and torrential rains this area has seen all summer, the weather last Saturday kept calm and Schoolhouse held its celebrations in a perfect, temperate evening.

Children gathered to make fire, whittle and practice tomahawk throwing. As Annabelle and Lillie Barbour, 12 and 10, busily whittled away, Annabelle said to another girl, “Could you aim that a little away from (Lillie)?” “Yeah,” Lillie chimed in, “it’s like you’re trying to kill me.”

Led Zeppelin in August

A few years ago, I found I liked listening to Led Zeppelin in August. Today, I caught this feeling of listening to Led Zeppelin again as I drove around in the late afternoon after work. North Carolina’s August. That time when it’s like summer can’t take any more of itself. The active, joyful months of June and July are done, and the heat and humidity builds while the sunlight starts to slant. There is a feeling of falling and growing darkness. And rot and decay. For me, the work of summer is often not done by August, but I don’t have the natural impetus for it anymore. But from the best years that I remember, I wonder if August is when the beauty of summer, if you have risen up to it and worked for it, rewards you. Listening to Led Zeppelin’s lyricism in the heat of August is amazing. But that’s not really fair to a band, is it? Who says that a band can only be listened to during one month out of …

Artist profile: Ginna Earl and her creative journey after Vespertine

Ginna Earl greets me at her house in Sanford, some miles south of Pittsboro. It’s dusk, the sun sets behind the house, giving it a nice glow, and Earl comes out gently, to welcome me on the winding path that leads to her front door. Inside, a picture of Oscar Wilde hangs by the door, a painting in the Art Nouveau style hangs across the way, and then you see paintings by her mom, artworks she found on Etsy over the years, and many other patterns, colors, fabrics, plants, and all the tools and equipment of an artist. On her dining table is a book she’s reading: “Waterlog,” about the adventures of a man who swims throughout the British Isles. It’s fitting that an interview with Earl occurs in the early hours of the evening. “Vespertine” means exactly that – flourishing in the evening, like a star. Sitting down at her dining table, Earl talks about what led to the closing of Vespertine, the store in Carrboro that she owned and operated 2011 to 2017, …

Bohemian Rhapsody: Lightning bolt

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody on a cold, rainy night at the Wynnsong Theater in Durham. I had rushed over on a spontaneous whim that night. Walking through the lobby, I looked around and expected the movie to be more of an event movie and to have more promotion. Life-sized cardboard cutout of Malek in a disco outfit, anyone? But there wasn’t much at all. During 2018, when it seemed like everywhere you went, you would see decline. I had been looking forward to this movie for years. The early film image of Malek in a lone spotlight, looking so much like Freddie Mercury, was thrilling. It looked like art. Finally, some art! The movie delivered. It was entertaining and comfortable, and one of the best movies of the second half of this decade. However, it did not deliver on the potential that was promised in that first image. Instead of a bold exploration of Mercury’s life, his artistry and the band’s decades-long journey, it pandered to Millennial memories and caved to 2018 realities. Fall 2018: …

Piedmont Health provides care to uninsured, part-timers

CARRBORO – Kallie Norton moved to Carrboro from northern Illinois last fall to work at Youth Works, a nonprofit. She’s currently part-time, which means she’s not on the organization’s health insurance. But recently, through a program by Carrboro-based Piedmont Health Services and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, she paid just $60 out of pocket for a primary care physician appointment plus lab work, at Piedmont. “In previous companies where I was paying health insurance and out of pocket with a deductible, it wasn’t unusual to pay a few hundred for comprehensive bloodwork. I would’ve anticipated paying more,” Norton said on Tuesday. Piedmont’s program provides an alternative, and a safety net for people like Norton, who are part-time, new to the area, or plain uninsured. The program is offered to both full-time and part-time employees of chamber members, as well as their families. It’s also offered regardless of whether the patient has health insurance or is currently on another plan, and there is no extra fee to the chamber or the business. It’s a flat …