July 23, 2016

Among the many true blessings that have come my way is one that sat next to me during a Greenville (N.C.) Noon Rotary Club meeting several years ago wearing a stylish red beret. Evelyn McNeill was in her early 80s and looking so elegant in her beret that most of us were not even aware it was hiding…


July 17, 2016

Aren’t the rocks in North Carolina good enough?

That was the question I had when I came across a NC home-school group traveling to West Virginia last month for a geology field trip.

The answer I got, from geologist Rob Greenberg of the Hawbridge School in Chapel Hill, conceded that the…


July 17, 2016

We’re barreling into Loudon today coming off what was simultaneously one of the deadest and yet chaotic weeks of the NASCAR season.

If you’re reading this, you likely know Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will sit out today’s race at New Hampshire…

NASCAR Pocono Auto Racing-5

July 16, 2016

Back in 2001, when Bobby Burns, then city editor of The Daily Reflector, was driving me around Greenville, N.C., and offering me a job, I distinctly remember the flood-damaged street we were on when the subject of hurricanes came up. “We do have hurricanes here,” he said, “but not…

Mark Rutledge

July 10, 2016

Do you remember your childhood hero?

Most of us had at least one person we longed to emulate — someone who helped shape the person we eventually became.

For me, that person was Lucy Colucci.

Mrs. Colucci was the librarian at Union Lake Elementary, the school where I spent the first six years…


July 09, 2016

The action late in last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Daytona was everything that is fun about restrictor plate racing.

So, of course, this column isn’t about how great the racing was or what a great story it was to see Aric Almirola finally get to be behind the wheel for an Xfinity…

NASCAR Daytona Xfinity Auto Racing

July 09, 2016

My younger brother, Jeff, asked if I would accompany him on a mission to remove a large nest of yellow jackets from a friend's crawl space. Because my brother so rarely asks for assistance, it's hard for me to say no, but I managed.

"The good thing about this nest ...," my brother began before I…

Mark Rutledge

July 03, 2016

My heart skips a beat as I hear my phone’s notification alert me to breaking news. I am silently hoping it’s not yet another horrible national tragedy. I pick up the phone and my heart sinks, it is another shooting, one out of many in the last year alone. As I read the details, I am…


July 02, 2016

In a season filled with dramatic finishes and great storylines, Tony Stewart’s victory last weekend at Sonoma may have been the best one so far.

Stewart outrunning Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., then body-slamming Hamlin out of the way in the final corner, was the closest we’ve come…

NASCAR Jeff Gordon Live With Kelly Auto Racing

July 02, 2016

After treating our young daughters to their first rock concert a few years ago in Cary, I shared with a co-worker what a wonderful experience the outdoor show had been. The next day the co-worker handed me a double-CD recording of the very show we had attended.

It seemed a pleasant surprise and a…

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