Category Archives: General

Meeting the Neighbors, Episode One: The Broomsman

Listen to this story. Seriously. It’s even better than reading. At the corner of 10th and Ritter, Jim Richter has a corner on his vanishing little corner of the market. He’s 77, and he learned to make brooms in high … Continue reading

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A love story in clay: Bill and Jayne Harris

Bill and Jayne Harris are high-school sweethearts who have carved their life’s work together, first in wood and now in clay. Bill, who is also the elected chief of the Catawba Indian nation, creates traditional Catawba pottery, carrying on the … Continue reading

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Rob Levin, artist in glass

An an art form, says Rob Levin, glass is “wonderful, mysterious, miraculous.” Levin has been living and working in the North Carolina mountains for nearly all of his 40-year career, and he’s known for his inspiring use of color and … Continue reading

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Kind World

Every now and then, I get the chance to help out a radio producer from some faraway place by being their in-person proxy for an interview. I get directions, gather up my gear, and my only job is to listen … Continue reading

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First Freedom

For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the geopolitics of religious freedom, thanks to the latest assignment from Congressional Quarterly Researcher. Turns out there’s a whole world of folks who care a great deal about … Continue reading

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Listen to Your Elders, Part Two

“If you’re lucky enough to know love, hang onto it,” says Ellen “Lennie” Gerber, “because it’s truly a wonderful thing to have.” Amen, sister. Lennie and her partner, Pearl Berlin, got married this year at the synagogue in Greensboro, N.C., … Continue reading

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Listen to Your Elders

In a 1965 sermon at Temple Israel in Hollywood, “Keep Moving From This Mountain,” the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said: “The moral arc of the universe is long, and it bends toward justice.” My conversation a few … Continue reading

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Mountain Tango

         To the world outside North Carolina, Asheville might seem like an odd place to find a professional tango orchestra, but it makes perfect sense to those of us who love the place for its wide-open scene … Continue reading

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Leaning Way In

For the last couple of months, I’ve been fully immersed in the production of a report for Congressional Quarterly Researcher, on the topic of women, work, and 50 years of the feminist movement. It’s a wide-ranging look at social, political … Continue reading

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The Wood Guys

Joel Hunnicutt and Brian Bortz, Artists in wood from Michelle Johnson on Vimeo. Christine and I have been criss-crossing the Piedmont and Western North Carolina for the last several months, dropping in on some of the most amazing, creative and … Continue reading

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Liz Spear: Thread of the Story

Meet Liz Spear, one of five artists that the river partners (or, as some of our fans now call us, ‘the dream team’) are meeting and featuring as part of Piedmont Craftsmen Inc.’s 50th anniversary commemoration. Never mind that I … Continue reading

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All in a day’s work

Life is taking me some pretty amazing places these days, some of which require special gear (see photo). Christine Rucker, Phoebe Zerwick and I are at work on yet another cool project, one in which we get to drop into … Continue reading

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The Sweet Spot

I’ve been pretty slack about posting lately, but cut me some slack: I’ve been busy making things, and thinking, and making my way through the post-employment landscape that’s pretty much the story for millions of Americans. But I’m taking inspiration … Continue reading

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Unsolicited Testimonial

For the record, I am not being paid anything to endorse Wix.com, the slick little HTML5 website building tool I used to create a site for our project, “Story Of My Life.” I’d been wanting to play with it for … Continue reading

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Undocumented drivers

UPDATE: On Thursday, March 21 the N.C. DOT said it’s scrapping the pink-striped design. It’s been a long time since I had the pleasure of producing a story for a national radio program, so it made me really happy when … Continue reading

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