July 22, 2018

If you spent an afternoon impatiently vacuuming up hundreds of thousands of sand grains from your hair and shoes and are perhaps a little annoyed at their persistence, know that they are grains of history, a long and patient history.

Each one is an artifact, a memento of a long-ago place and time,…

joy moses-Hall.jpg

July 21, 2018

When we moved from eastern North Carolina back to East Tennessee, I thought the war on bugs would require less firepower. I was wrong and I’m calling in the big guns.

The occasional appearance of giant fishing spiders has become more annoying than startling. Roaches are minimal, and…

Ants in the Kitchen.jpg

July 15, 2018

I am a word person.

Even as a child I remember being enthralled by reading and writing assignments. I thumbed ahead in books and finished chapters while other were still struggling through the opening pages. 

Having parents who were always reading to me probably was the key to my love of the…


July 15, 2018


A TV viewer who I’ll call “Joe” recently commented on Facebook about my review of The Prime Smokehouse in Rocky Mount.

“Thanks for the review, Bob, but while I live in Raleigh, I'm a native of Rocky Mount,” Joe said with pride. “It once called itself the…

Bob Garner

July 14, 2018

My anthropology professor once told about a group of tribesmen who left the deep interior of the Amazon rainforest for the first time. When they saw a paved highway, the men asked their new friends how in the world anyone ever found such long, flat rocks.

I know a stretch of Interstate 26 where…

BumpyNoMore I-26.jpg

July 08, 2018

Facebook back-and-forth can be civil but still confusing. This is a condensed online conversation I had this week.

(Me) Any family-farm Facebook friends know what this is in my backyard? Durn … looks like it will grow too tall to pass as ground cover or natural area.

(Farm guy) Looks to be…

Bob Garner

July 08, 2018

What is the worst thing that has happened to us in the last few weeks?

Our state legislature’s final week of secrecy and surprises?

North Korea’s reported resumption of processing of nuclear fuel, a violation of President Trump’s understanding that North Korea’s nuclear…


July 07, 2018

A sidewalk and a patch of lawn between West Albemarle (North Carolina) Baptist Church and its parsonage is where I spent most of my earliest outdoor time. Up to about age four is one of the few stretches of my life that I wouldn’t change even if I could.

Well, maybe I would omit the time when…


July 01, 2018

I heard her Tuesday on the BBC World Service, where she presents each weekday’s first broadcast of NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report.

The heart of that day’s segment concerned pig slaughtering facilities abroad.

Some 25 years ago, ironically, she was being dispatched by UNC-TV to…

Bob Garner

July 01, 2018

The other day, I bought a rather expensive pillow.

I wasn’t fulfilling a long-held dream, mind you, just responding to some alluring advertising promising me the best night’s sleep ever.

It occurred to be, even as I was contemplating the purchase, that buying an expensive pillow was a…

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