The natural order of things

The natural order of things

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit – you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high ...

September 6th, 2015 |  


White collars, but no orange jumpsuits

White collars, but no orange jumpsuits

A television series called “Orange is the New Black” deals with life inside a women’s prison. The show’s title, of course, ref...

September 5th, 2015 |  


A perfect day and a revelation

A perfect day and a revelation

If we are granted one perfect day in our lives, then last Saturday was mine. One would not think that being rousted from bed at 4:15 a.m. would be the...

September 3rd, 2015 |  


We writers need to lead by example

My coworker Tom Joyce likes to say, “When you work with words, words are your work.”Being a career journalist means becoming knowledgeable...

September 3rd, 2015 updated: September 3rd, 2015. |  


De-funding corruption and evil

De-funding corruption and evil

Recently, I covered an event in which U.S. Rep. Mark Walker spoke to a pretty large crowd at Page’s Books and Coffee Shop. While I’m sure ...

September 2nd, 2015 updated: September 2nd, 2015. |  


Surrounding government in secrecy?

We wondered, at least for a few hours, if Dobson officials might be reverting to the tricks of an earlier regime there.Readers may recall in 2008 when...

August 30th, 2015 |  


Race conveniently dodged in Va. deaths

Race conveniently dodged in Va. deaths

Let me get this straight: A man who happens to be white guns down nine African-Americans in a church in South Carolina in June and it is immediately l...

August 29th, 2015 |  


Is participation worth a trophy?

Is participation worth a trophy?

In the past few weeks I’ve heard a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of participation trophies or the practice of giving trophies to eve...

August 28th, 2015 updated: August 28th, 2015. |  


What’s missing — mimosas

What’s missing — mimosas

I really enjoy my life here in Surry County. I have a job that I don’t hate, a family I love and some good friends in the area. That stated, my ...

August 26th, 2015 |  


The lamp that got away

The lamp that got away

Last year at the the age of 56, I finally got around to having a will drawn up. Since I am clearly nearer to the end than the beginning, it was certai...

August 21st, 2015 |  


Showing a love of country

Showing a love of country

The Aug. 6 Republican presidential debate certainly altered a few of my views and also confirmed many of my opinions about the candidates who took the...

August 19th, 2015 |  


The labelization of America

Now that some of the dust has settled from the Aug. 6 GOP presidential debate, I’d like to share something that stood out for me.Among the many ...

August 16th, 2015 |  


First the flag, now Dixie – what’s next?

First the flag, now Dixie – what’s next?

As a longtime Washington Redskins fan, I have a deep hatred for their bitter rivals the Dallas Cowboys which goes far beyond just wanting “the &...

August 15th, 2015 |  


Be selfish, shop local

Be selfish, shop local

While most of the world is focused on back to school purchases right now, horsey folk are more concerned with tack buying for the fast approaching fal...

August 14th, 2015 updated: August 14th, 2015. |  


Government is best when kept close

Government is best when kept close

I am a true believer in the thought process that the best government takes place at the level closest to the people. I’ve seen many governmental...

August 12th, 2015 |  


Cecil the lion’s death — to roar or not

Cecil the lion’s death — to roar or not

If nothing else, the recent killing of Cecil the lion illustrates the deep divide between people in the United States regarding animal-related issues....

August 8th, 2015 |  


Is ‘Hocus Pocus’ a Halloween hoax?

Is ‘Hocus Pocus’ a Halloween hoax?

The Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away.Such was my experience when I found out earlier this week that a long-awaited sequel to the Disney cu...

August 7th, 2015 |  


NFL Hall bypasses Greene again

NFL Hall bypasses Greene again

The NFL will be inducting the Class of 2015 this weekend, but it will be missing one retired star with Carolina ties.For a decade now, former outside ...

August 6th, 2015 |  


Extending rights to chimps; Yeah, I’m serious

Extending rights to chimps; Yeah, I’m serious

The other day I was listening to talk radio as I returned from covering one of the many events on my watch in Mount Airy. The host was talking about t...

August 5th, 2015 |  


How a life should be lived

How a life should be lived

It was a cool spring day in 1969, and I was a very young child. We had just moved to the house that would be the family homeplace for the next four de...

August 3rd, 2015 updated: August 3rd, 2015. |  


A tale of city starving for restaurants

A tale of city starving for restaurants

“You can see a lot just by looking” is one of those cockeyed bits of wisdom from longtime baseball legend and esteemed philosopher Yogi Be...

August 1st, 2015 |  


How many made-up holidays do we need?

How many made-up holidays do we need?

I missed out on National Chicken Wing Day on Wednesday. The very same day came and almost went before I found out it was also National Lasagna Day.So ...

July 30th, 2015 updated: July 31st, 2015. |  


Blurring black and white

Blurring black and white

Last week the Surry County director of health and nutrition sent a letter, meant as an informational piece, to Surry County Commissioners.Samantha Ang...

July 28th, 2015 updated: July 29th, 2015. |  


Investigation Shines Light on Pay-to-Play Politics

RALEIGH – The recent State Board of Elections probe into contributions made to political candidates from the sweepstakes gambling – althou...

July 27th, 2015 |  


Phones are smart — but people, not so much

Phones are smart — but people, not so much

I like to think that newspaper readers are intelligent and thoughtful people who are a breed apart in these superficial times in which we live —...

July 25th, 2015 |  


A good day for karma

A good day for karma

Being the victim of a corporate or governmental security breach and having your personal information fall into the hands of criminals is no fun. Wheth...

July 24th, 2015 |  


Terror in our own backyard

Terror in our own backyard

Last week we learned that a tragedy had occurred. Four Marines and a Sailor were killed as they sat in their offices by what seems to be a lone Islami...

July 22nd, 2015 |  


A lesson we could all learn

A lesson we could all learn

There’s a lot of controversy going on in our society of late.People are screaming at and cursing one another over a piece of cloth known as the ...

July 19th, 2015 |  


There was truth in Trump’s statements

There was truth in Trump’s statements

It’s funny how everyone always thinks freedom is such a great thing — until somebody exercises it in a way that doesn’t please certa...

July 18th, 2015 |  


You’re old, fat. Get some exercise.

Doctors can be such a drag.When you reach a certain age, they keep hounding you to lose some weight, get more exercise, don’t eat anything that ...

July 17th, 2015 |  


Fundamentals for revival

Fundamentals for revival

Let us look at 2 Chronicles 15-16. We can see what it takes to experience a revival in our lives and land. Let’s look at some background leading...

July 17th, 2015 |  


Bull’s-eye on my back

I read an article recently from The New York Times website that had some debatable points.I thought about writing a column on the topic and went back ...

July 16th, 2015 |  


Debating over the wrong flag

A reasonable person can’t possibly contend that the Confederate battle flag, the same one that until recently flew over the statehouse in Columb...

July 15th, 2015 |  


Southerners impatient? No, we just know what we want

I read an interesting survey the other day which claimed that people in the South are the least patient in the nation when it comes to waiting on hold...

July 12th, 2015 |  


County leaders should studyschool system consolidation

Surry County is facing an almost insurmountable challenge. The county’s three school systems — Mount Airy, Surry County, and Elkin —...

July 12th, 2015 updated: July 12th, 2015. |  


Rites of passage not all created equal

Rites of passage not all created equal

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July 10th, 2015 |  


Are you breathing?

Are you breathing?

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July 10th, 2015 |  


Jumping the political aisle? Probably not

In my 29 years here on earth I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a national political climate as polarized as what we see today. With extreme l...

July 8th, 2015 |  


Embracing a small change

Embracing a small change

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July 3rd, 2015 |  


Mount Airy much better off than most towns

Mount Airy much better off than most towns

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June 28th, 2015 |  


A flag has never killed anyone

A flag has never killed anyone

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June 27th, 2015 updated: June 27th, 2015. |  


Small town safety is an illusion

Small town safety is an illusion

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June 26th, 2015 |  


Fraud results in ‘beerless’ night

Fraud results in ‘beerless’ night

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June 24th, 2015 |  


A little common sense might be in order

A little common sense might be in order

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June 21st, 2015 |  


The new gradual retirement

The new gradual retirement

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June 21st, 2015 |  


Domestic violence cuts both ways

Domestic violence cuts both ways

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June 20th, 2015 |  


Trump brings riches of embarrassment

Trump brings riches of embarrassment

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June 19th, 2015 |  


A small act breeds deep concern

East Surry was just one of three graduations I attended this year, but something that happened there has stuck with me over the past five days.Before ...

June 18th, 2015 |  


Ride the leather express

Ride the leather express

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June 17th, 2015 |  


Key lessons for retirement savers

You learn lessons as you invest in pursuit of long-run goals. Some of these lessons are conveyed and reinforced when you begin saving for retirement, ...

June 14th, 2015 |