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Archive for the ‘Just A Bite’ Category

“The great barrier islands of America’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts have been moving for centuries. Of Hatteras, North Carolina, it has been said: ‘This island is nothing fixed. It has transience, shiftiness, built into its very existence..’ In the 1980s, Hatteras ‘houses well back from the beach [were] sold on the basis of “Ocean Front […]

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“North Carolina is a world leader in producing student theses about underwear…. “[One author] begins by saying: ‘Although my name is attached to this thesis I must admit that God has been the true author; because every word, table and figure have only been made possible through Him.’ “She finishes with these words: ‘Of the […]

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“At the very least, we can definitively trace the term to 1937, when it was used in a popular song. It is likely that Cackalacky’s etymology runs much deeper, however…. “It may have arisen from a kind of sound-play utterance used to refer to the rural ways of people from Carolina — a play on […]

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“I’d spent most of the day in the archives of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where a patient young archivist named Aaron Smithers had played me a stack of Blind Blake 78s…. “Despite most [78 rpm record] collectors’ contentious relationship with academia and with archives in particular, […]

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“Ringgold, Ga., has a mayor who’s one generation removed from the Civil War. “Joe Barger’s grandfather — that’s right, his grandfather — Jacob A. Barger served as a private for the South in North Carolina’s infantry. Mayor Barger grew up in Salisbury, N.C., about 35 miles north of Charlotte. ” ‘He was born in 1833,’ […]

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“If you have any oyster shells lying around, the U.S. Army wants five dumptrucks’ worth. You don’t even have to include the delicious oysters inside. And they’re willing to pay up to $15,000 for them. “That’s the gist of one of the stranger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracts in recent memory. Last week, the […]

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“On February 18 [1915] Wilson and his daughters and his Cabinet gathered in the East Room for the first running of a motion picture in the White House  [“The Clansman,” later retitled “The Birth of a Nation.”] ” ‘It was like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so […]

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“….One of the ‘papers,’ as they called them in the big Cambridge exam, was on the period from 1569 to 1603. In the course of immersing myself in that brief period, I read the poetry of Sir Walter Ralegh, which amazed me — really amazed me. I couldn’t understand how someone in the 1590s had […]

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“In Regulator-controlled Anson County, North Carolina, during the balloting in 1773, ‘sundry evil-disposed persons’ stationed themselves several feet in front of the courthouse and stopped ‘the freeholders on their way to the Table,’ asking ‘who they intended to vote for.’ “Those who opposed the Regulator candidates were ‘obstructed and hindered…some them being violently pushed back, […]

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“Then there’s [Little Rock, Ark., entrepreneur John Rogers’] rediscovery and purchase of over 8,000 glass negatives by the famed early sports photographer Charles Conlon, who shot some of the first ‘action’ sports photography between 1909 and 1930, capturing some of the most iconic images in history. Rogers, who calls Conlon ‘the Matthew Brady of baseball, […]

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