More From Columns

March 10, 2019

I paid $70 to check two bags on a recent flight so I would be baggage-free. It was worth $70 not to watch after two bags while using the restroom or grabbing a bite to eat in a connecting airport.

There's a reason they call it luggage. You have to "lug" it. Many people don't think it's worth the…


March 10, 2019

One close election in the Ninth District led to 34 years of column writing

How did a close election in the Ninth Congressional District of North Carolina lead to this column?

It does not have anything to do with the recent contest between Mark Harris and Dan McCready that has gained national…


March 08, 2019

A year ago, this space was used to launch a national awareness campaign highlighting the evil, invasive and destructive ornamental tree species known as the Bradford pear. The response has been both ugly and beautiful — kind of like the tree.

Last year’s column encouraged readers to…

Wild pears.jpg

March 03, 2019

Do you remember the important North Carolina connection to “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” one of America’s most loved novels?

The book was written in North Carolina.

Although its author, Betty Smith, based the novel on her experience growing up in Brooklyn, she wrote the book in…


March 03, 2019

I really need to get out more.

Recently I saw the first movie I’ve viewed in a theater in at least a year, maybe more. In the past, of course, we couldn’t help noticing that standing in line to buy tickets could take what seemed like forever. A popular movie might even sell out by the…

Bob Garner

March 03, 2019

I have always figured that one of the joys of academia is the ability to conduct studies.

I can think of any number of interesting topics that need answers — why do people in front of me at the mall shuffle along so slowly, how can anyone refuse a second slice of pizza and where do some folks…

Janet Storm.jpg

March 01, 2019


The community college where I work is about to field its first cross-country track team. If they start using my lunchtime jogging path as a training course, all I ask is that they run in the opposite direction.

Being lapped by a herd of skinny teenage boys does nothing for one’s self-…

Mark Rutledge 2

March 01, 2019

There is still some fire in Minges Coliseum.

When boos — and a few water bottles — cascaded down from the seats inside East Carolina’s basketball home early in the second half on Wednesday night, it conjured an energy the building has not felt in a long time, save for some…

Houston East Carolina Basketball-7

February 24, 2019

North Carolina State University’s Harrelson Hall was an oddity. The cylindrical, UFO-looking building on my alma mater’s campus featured a winding, spiral ramp leading students to windowless classrooms. At best, the math classes taught in that building induced marathon study sessions.…


February 24, 2019


My wife Ruthie and I both work outside the home, but I’m a freelancer, whereas she keeps to an assigned schedule. So, I end up doing most of our grocery shopping.

Thoroughly domesticated, I also do most of the cooking. I believe I have a fairly good overall strategy, and I do make…

Bob Garner
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