From Peace Cookbook.
From Peace Cookbook.
“A white man named Billy Harwood, who was imprisoned in 1994, started work at Smithfield [Packing Co. in Tar Heel] after his release in 2001.
“Aghast at the number of Mexicans, Harwood wondered aloud, ‘What the hell’s going on?’ By that year, fully one-third of the babies born at the health clinic in neighboring Robeson County were Latino.
“As Charlie LeDuff reported in the New York Times, Harwood ‘was Rip Van Winkle standing there.’ Locked up for seven years, he had missed the birth of a new kind of Southern racial order. Suddenly, he found himself thrust into the middle of it.
“Harwood still believed his skin color conferred on him a certain kind of advantage. While Harwood found the work terrible, he could take solace. ‘At least I ain’t a n—–. I’ll find other work soon. I’m a white man.’ ”
— From “There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975” by Jason Sokol (2007)
In preparation for the barrage of disrespect sure to accompany the Democratic National Convention, I’m offering a second sampling of past insults endured by the host city:
“They don’t know art from nothing. Half of them don’t even know what state Charlotte is in.”
— Vernon James, D-Pasquotank, describing his constituents’ reaction to the debate over funding the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (1987)
“The tall buildings, crowded sidewalks and endless stoplights confuse and annoy me. . . . A damp doom descends on me. I feel like my luck just ran out and washed down the gutter.”
— Mike McIntyre, author of “The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America,” recording his impression of Charlotte. (1996)
“A Mickey Mouse ruling delivered by a lay jury in a place that is not known as a great metropolis.”
— A spokesman for the British conglomerate that owns Meineke Discount Muffler, sniffing at a Charlotte jury’s award of $346 million to dissident Meineke dealers. (1997)
“So much to do, I don’t know how y’all made it here tonight.”
— Comedian Chris Rock, commenting oh-so-drolly on Charlotte’s entertainment options beyond his performance at Ovens Auditorium. (2003)
“I dreamed about playing in the National Football League all my life. The Eagles, the Giants, the Redskins, the Bears. But I found myself playing for the Carolina Panthers, wearing this funny-looking uniform, and I didn’t even feel like I was in the NFL.”
— Quarterback Kerry Collins, tracing his problems to his rookie year in Charlotte (2007)
Given the unabashed enthusiasm Miscellany readers have shown for all things Krispy Kreme, I have to pass along this recipe from the Nose Dive Gastropub in Greenville, South Carolina. (Hat tip, Garden & Gun.)
The essential instruction: “Puree the doughnuts and half-and-half…”
I was surprised to find that Krispy Kreme’s own flavor inventory includes (or has included) a nod to the Francophile favorite.
One of our blog readers sent us this bit of news:
Garden & Gun magazine has named Hillsborough as one of its picks for “Best Literary Town” in it’s list of most creative southern small towns…
When I moved to Charlotte in 1974, I soon learned that George Washington had memorably dismissed it as “a trifling place.” But that was only the beginning — as the prototypical overreaching Southern boom town, Charlotte has lent itself to decades of insults.
Because the Democratic National Convention will test as never before the thickness of our civic skin, I’ve preemptively assembled some notable putdowns from the past (first of a series):
“Charlotte is not Jerusalem. Charlotte is not Mecca. Charlotte is just a big city sitting on the South Carolina line.”
— Rep. Melvin “Pap” Creecy, D-Northampton (1983)
“The ugliest collection of third-rate buildings in America.”
— PBS architecture critic Robert A.M. Stern (1986)
“I hope this doesn’t mean we’re going to become Charlotte one day.”
–– Harry Carter, city manager of Cornelia, Ga. (population 36,000), sharing with The New York Times his worst fears about growth. (2001)
“What are we going to do in Charlotte? Go to the Bass Pro Shop or something?”
— Virginia Tech guard Jacob Gibson, mulling a possible bid to the inaugural Continental Tire Bowl. [The Hokies ended up in the San Francisco Bowl — 1,750 miles from the nearest Bass Pro Shop.] (2002)
“We come from labor, steel mills, blue-collar workers. They are like little daffodils. They wear their hair in a bow and say, ‘I just hate that for you.’ ”
– Teddy Xidas, president of US Airways’ flight attendants union, contrasting members in Pittsburgh with those in Charlotte. (2004)
The accomplishments of North Carolina’s native son Kay Kyser have been well documented: UNC cheerleader, class president, and bandleader; host of the successful radio show Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge from 1938 to 1949; big band leader with eleven number-one records to his name; star of seven feature films. Kyser’s rise to fame was swift, and he left an indelible mark on the Big Band era.
That’s all well and good, of course, but what did he wear to the beach?
The answer is our July Artifact of the Month.
When Kay Kyser headed to the shore, he used this red, white, green, and blue cap to shield his face from the sun. The cap’s exaggerated brim displays some of the characteristic whimsy for which Kyser was known throughout his show-biz career.
The hat also bears a U.S. Marine Corps insignia pin, but the only connection I could find between Kay Kyser and the military is his performance of a song called “Tell It to the Marines.” (If you know of something I’m missing, please chime in with a comment!)
Readers curious to learn more about the life of Kay Kyser can consult the papers of Kay and his wife, Georgia Carroll Kyser, which are in the Southern Historical Collection.
We’re thrilled to add this great piece of Kay Kyser memorabilia to the Gallery.
The polling-places of such out-of-the way districts as Nantahala Precinct, Swain Co., N.C., where our sketch was made on the day of the late Presidential election, are not provided with all the modern conveniences, nor are the honest voters addicted to vain pomp and personal display. The sacred privilege of the franchise is exercised in an old wagon-shed, adjoining a corn-crib. The ‘judges’–he is a small man, indeed, in that section of the country, who bears a less important title than that of judge or colonel–seated on a bench, are the inspectors of election. Each guards a tin coffee-pot, which serves for a ballot-box. Occasionally a judge leaves his seat and circulates amongst the crowd, electioneering, coffee-pot in hand. Refreshments, in the form of ginger-cakes and cider, are to be had on the premises, and such a thing as a drop of blockade whisky is not, we presume, wholly unobtainable. The gathering is a mixed one, and includes a paroled convict in uniform, who probably is employed in the construction of a railroad in the vicinity. There is not much style about the balloting up there in the mountains, but in the great national result the votes count just the same as though they had been cast in a crystal and nickel-plated ballot-box in a brownstone-front polling-place in the city.
— From Frank Leslie’s Ilustrated Newspaper, November 29, 1884.
We’ll be examining historic political campaigns in North Carolina during a conference on Sept. 14-15 and we hope you’ll join us. Details on “To Gain Attention to Their Various Claims”: Historic Political Campaigns in North Carolina are available here. In the lead up to the conference, we’ll be sharing other interesting tidbits about campaigning and campaigns on the blog. Keep checking back.
“Former Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina… is the only name on this list [of women Mitt Romney might choose as a running mate], apart from [Michele] Bachmann, to have officially run for president before — although her candidacy, in 2000, was mostly a flop. Her strong personal qualities and long history of public service might nevertheless make her an interesting choice, but she would be 76 years old upon her inauguration next year.
“That would make her the oldest vice president on inauguration by some margin; the current record-holder is Alben W. Barkley, who was sworn in at 71 in 1949. Since Mr. Romney, 65, is himself fairly old, and since the Constitutional function of the vice president is to be ready to step in if the president dies or resigns, that is probably disqualifying.”
— From “In Search for Female Running Mate, a Shortlist for Romney” on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog in the New York Times (July 13)