Loading...
Build the wall, or end Well Fare. Either one will work for me...

Tuned to the key of love

Bob Garner

Bob Garner

Loading…

Thursday, August 30, 2018

One of eastern North Carolina’s and Duplin County’s favorite sons has a book coming out pretty soon. It will no doubt be received as well as his life of music, humility, humanity and public service has been.

The new book will likely be titled simply “In the Key of Love,” because his jacket photo, with a guitar in his hand, makes “tuned” superfluous. But really, nothing is more vital than frequent tuning in the performance of any soul’s song.

Charlie Albertson, the singer/songwriter, musician and retired state senator from Beulaville, knows that all guitars, like all lives, slip so easily out of tune that they require frequent checking. He sees that changing situations, challenges and opportunities require keeping one’s own existence in tune with other performances.

“In the midst of change, you’re remembering who you are and why you’re here,” he writes. “You’re trying to be the best you can be, not only for yourself but for those you meet along life’s way, those who are listening to the musical strains of your life.”

Albertson is a man who, at age 86, still seems virtually free of guile or subsurface agenda. He realizes a lot has been given to him, but he seems to have known from the beginning that a lot would be expected from him, too.

Credit that to his father, a small tobacco and soybean farmer who also tended cows, chickens and hogs with his wife and nine children. Albertson writes about how his dad, who often had to rent land to make a big enough crop, always cleaned up and improved others’ property to leave it better than he found it.

“In the Key of Love” also describes how thoroughly the father taught his children to leave other humans better off.

Albertson has four great-grandchildren, yet doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of retiring from everything but leisure. He has had a successful, 75-year music career, a 22-year legislative career and a 30-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More is apparently forthcoming.

I covered his first five years in the General Assembly as a legislative reporter for UNC-TV, and I could see that the new lawmaker was already known as a talented singer — with a clear tenor voice that could have guaranteed a solid Nashville recording career if not stardom.

The main holdup? He just didn’t want to leave Beaulaville and Duplin County to move to Tennessee.

But before election to public office, Albertson toured overseas with the Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Office. He opened for big stars at the Grand Old Opry — at Ryman Auditorium, no less — and started doing all his recording in Nashville studios.

When he ran successfully for the state Senate after two years in the House, he acquired a natural title: “The Singing Senator.”

“Why do you want to keep playing that music every weekend?” his fellow centrist Democrats would chide.

After all, in an extraordinary stroke of fortune for a first-term senator, he had been appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight as chairman of the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. He held that position for much of his career.

Even so, the unforeseen rough and tumble of politics made music even more of an essential balancing strategy for the senator.

Today, Albertson is far from satisfied with his overall sense of legislative effectiveness, due mainly to the seemingly insoluble swine industry wars of the 1990s. He’s preparing himself to become a more effective spokesman for environmental balance and technological progress going forward than he feels he was while in office.

You’ll have to read his upcoming release to discover how all his future plans mesh. So far, I believe his life has been a remarkably open book, and I can’t wait to get into the next chapters.

Bob Garner is a UNC-TV restaurant reviewer, freelance food writer, author of four cookbooks, barbecue pit master and public speaker. Contact him at bgarner2662@gmail.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

December 12, 2018

Q Is the push to take probiotics just another fad or is there a good reason to take them? AD, Winterville.

A You may have heard me suggest eating yogurt with active cultures if you are taking an antibiotic to help avoid diarrhea -- I’ve been saying that for years. But there is lots more…

Kolasa, Kathy

December 09, 2018

Texas Roadhouse located at 720 Greenville Boulevard next to Cracker Barrel in the Shoppes at Greenville Grande has Texas sized food and spirit. The restaurant is as big as Texas too with plenty of space with a down home country feel. Come in and be met with upbeat sounds of top country music and a…

Steak Display Case.jpg

December 09, 2018

A Stokes resident and retired public school teacher recently published a novel based on a larger-than-life friend engaged marijuana smuggling in the 1960’s abd 1970s.

Life and Times in the Sierra Madres: An American Smuggling Story is written by Michael Biondi. It was published in November…

Michael Biondi

December 09, 2018

 

In the Spring of 1986 I was invited by the deputy chief of staff for Vice President George H. W. Bush to a meeting with the vice president in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House. At the time, I was a young executive in the U.S. Department of Commerce working…

David Edgell

December 09, 2018

“There should be an historic plaque in Chapel Hill honoring George Bush.”

On the day after the former president’s death, Chapel Hill lawyer and chair of the town’s historic district commission, Bob Epting, was making opening remarks at a public seminar on preserving historic…

9780812979473.jpg

December 08, 2018

It’s an odd-ball sort of bush.

It’s a native species — nothing odd about that — and it was originally restricted entirely to the coast, from North Carolina all the way to Mississippi.

Now, though, it is common well inland within all of these states, and beyond, and appears…

120818mysteryplant.jpg

December 07, 2018

In the annals of potentially disastrous spinoffs, "Creed" surely stands as an all-time champion. Directed with finesse and sensitivity by Ryan Coogler — who famously went on to make the blockbuster "Black Panther" — the 2015 drama had it all: a classically contoured boxing story, a…

FILM-CREED-REVIEW

December 07, 2018

Over nearly three decades of “The Nutcracker,” it is hard to imagine that anyone saw the Dance Arts Theatre production more than Jeane Welch.

She watched the first performance in 1985 when her daughter, Marty, was a dancer. She was in the audience when her granddaughter, Holton, twirled…

120718gonutcracker1

December 05, 2018

Members of the cast of Magnolia Arts Center's “Elf Jr.” are too young to remember when Will Ferrell starred as Buddy the Elf on the big screen. The beloved 2003 movie, which cost $33 million to make, grossed more than $220 million at the box office.

The musical version, which opens…

December 05, 2018

Wasabi 88 Asian Bistro Sushi & Bar located at 1605 E. Firetower Road in Greenville is the place to go when you’re seeking fresh and flavorful sushi and a multitude of Asian favorites. Front house manager Shawn Grazier invites customers to come and taste the sea at Wasabi 88. They offer…

Crab Wonton.jpg
191 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»