May 20, 2018

I read recently about a mama raccoon and her four babies falling through the ceiling and onto the living room couch of a Michigan home.

The closest I ever came to that was a lone dead squirrel that wormed its way around the uncompleted mounting of a new ceiling light fixture, was apparently…

Bob Garner

May 20, 2018

Summer’s coming.

Do you remember the hiss of sunlight all but crackling across your skin? Do you miss the the steamy impact of air molecules careening into your body? Can you hearken to July, to when the air melts over the landscape, when a human radiates ripples of infrared as if a companion…

joy moses-Hall.jpg

May 19, 2018

We are fully mobile — as in “auto-mobile” — now that our twins have turned 16 and are licensed drivers. It’s a development that is both wonderful and terrifying, and one that is requiring us to test-drive a lot of used cars.

Since we tend to drive our vehicles into the…

TooMuch Volvo.jpg

May 16, 2018

Former state senate leader Marc Basnight’s restaurant near Manteo evokes two of my favorite things: politics and people coming together for good food.

Working on a follow-up to my book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries,” I am gathering material about local, family-owned…


May 13, 2018

I could make a case that no one has ever been more persistently argumentative than me.

Now I’m reaping what I’ve sowed, right there in the exact same weedy, thorny field known as Facebook. Yes, a troll is lurking, determined to exact a toll in the form of my agreement with his theories.…

Bob Garner

May 13, 2018

I’ve been watching a lot of musicals lately. They do my heart good. There is something both ridiculous and uplifting about imagining a world where everyone is always bursting into song.

When I say “someone,” I don’t mean myself. I haven’t any vocal talent. If I was…


May 12, 2018

My wife insists that some stories are better left untold. Perhaps, but if newspaper columnists adhered to that rule we would have very little to say. This story is about tires, tire stores, and, I’m going to say, tiredness.

I decided many years ago to steer clear of tire stores, mainly…


May 06, 2018

Here are four more North Carolina-related books for your spring reading.

Many of us remember the court-ordered desegregation of schools back in the early 1970s. But we never really understood what it was like for the children whose routines and expectations were disrupted. Two female students, one…


May 06, 2018

We only get one life to live.

For better or worse in today’s world, a photo often has many thousands of incarnations. But it only takes one to add a spark to our own all-too-short earthly journey.

I’m thinking of a photo that still makes me laugh, even though I only saw it twice in a…

Bob Garner

May 05, 2018

We made it up to Flag Pond for the Upper East Tennessee Fiddlers Convention again last weekend, and I realized a couple of things: The old school building is seeing brighter days, and square dancing is something I probably ought to do.

Flag Pond is a small community in Unicoi County that sits just…

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