Fairmont couldn’t compete with ‘New York’s siren song’

A link posted by the indefatigable Jim Romenesko reminded me to check in with author Thomas Kunkel, who discovered Joseph Mitchell’s unfinished memoir while researching a biography of the uniquely esteemed New Yorker writer.
Kunkel took a break from his duties as president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., to recall via email his impressions of Mitchell’s native Fairmont:
“I have been to Fairmont several times, but those visits were very early in my research and I am almost embarrassed to say how long ago that was.
“The place did not leave a huge impression on me, I have to say, but that was in part because I was focusing more intently on the people I was there to see — Joe’s youngest brother, Harry, for instance, and his nephew Jack, whom he was very close to.
“I come from southern Indiana, which has many similar small towns and is a big farming area, so that backdrop all felt very familiar. It was a friendly place but the sort of small town that you see today and wonder how on earth people make it. And certainly I got the sense why a creative young fellow in 1929, no matter how much he loved the place, might have been tempted by New York’s siren song. But for outsiders like Joe Mitchell gravitating to New York, there never would have been a New Yorker magazine!”
“To be honest, I regret that I hadn’t found Joe’s memoir-in-progress recollections of Fairmont before I spent time there. His memories are so vivid that I would have looked the place over again in a new light — as I may yet do.”

Check out what’s new in the North Carolina Collection.

Several new titles just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Fresh recipes from the collection.

It’s summer and that means fresh fruits and veggies ripe for the picking.  Here are a few recipes to put those fresh ingredients to use.

Fresh strawberry pie - Carolina Cooking

Fresh Strawberry Pie from Carolina cooking.

Fresh Cauliflower Tomato Scallop-Recipes We Love to Cook

Fresh Cauliflower-Tomato Scallop from Recipes we love to cook.

Fresh Blueberry Funny Cake-Pie-Welkom

Fresh Blueberry Funny Cake – Pie from Welkom : Terra Ceia cookbook III, a collection of recipes.

Fresh corn pudding - The Charlotte Cookbook

Fresh Corn Pudding from The Charlotte cookbook.

fresh coconut cake and filling - What's Cook'n at Biltmore

Fresh Coconut Cake and Filling from What’s cook’n at Biltmore.

Garden Fresh Cucumbers - Welkom

Garden Fresh Cucumbers from Welkom : Terra Ceia cookbook III, a collection of recipes.

Fresh Strawberry Salad-The Pantry Shelf

Fresh Strawberry Dressing from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.


You don’t have to be Jewish to cover NASCAR, but….

“Yes, Nascar was born in the Bible Belt South. And racing and religion are inseparable. Each weekly driver’s meeting ends with a prayer and every pre-race ceremony includes an invocation….

“But… it’s one of the oddities of Nascar: Many of the people who cover the sport happen to be Jewish….

“Many of us are based around the Nascar hub of Charlotte, N.C., land of a thousand churches … and two temples. But hey, at least [speed.com editor-in-chief Tom] Jensen was able to find a nice place to celebrate his son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah.

“It will be at the Nascar Hall of Fame. Where else?”

— From “The merry Jews of Nascar” by Viv Bernstein at Jersey/SLANT (July 23, 2013)

As might be deduced from the idiosyncratic spelling of NASCAR and the obligatory “N.C.” after Charlotte, Ms. Bernstein covers the sport for the New York Times. 


It’s a royal affair…recipes from the collection.

In honor of the newest addition to the royal family, we present recipes fit for royalty.

Duchess Potatoes - A Taste of the Old and the New

Duchess Potatoes from A Taste of the old and the new.


Breast of Chicken Queen Elizabeth - Best of the Best

Breast of Chicken Queen Elizabeth from Best of the best from Carolina cooking : selected recipes from the North Carolina AT & T Pioneers.


Ham and Cheese Royal - Love Yourself Cookbook

Ham and Cheese Royal from Love yourself cookbook : easy recipes for one or two.


Duchess of Windsor Coffee Chocolate Pudding - Sweet Carolina

Duchess of Windsor Coffee Chocolate Pudding from Sweet Carolina : favorite desserts and candies from the Old North State.


Regal Burnt Sugar Sauce - Family Circle

Regal Burnt-Sugar Sauce from The Family circle cookbook.


Princess Dressing - AsheVittles

Princess Dressing from AsheVittles : favorite recipes from Asheville, North Carolina.


Chicken Mushroom A' La King-Recipes We Love to Cook

Chicken-Mushroom A’ La King from Recipes we love to cook.


House of Lords martini and hot toddy - AsheVittles

House of Lords Martini from AsheVittles : favorite recipes from Asheville, North Carolina.


FDR’s ‘concentration camp for all Americans’?

“The Nazi metaphors reached their zenith in May 1945, when a freshman North Carolina congressman called [FDR’s Fair Employment Practices Commission]  ‘a concentration camp for all Americans.’ Speaking for over an hour, Joseph Wilson Ervin warned that the FEPC  ‘would operate with the weapon of fear’ by hauling off employers to trial at the hands of ‘carpetbagger personnel.’

“Noting that the majority of FEPC employees were black, the younger brother of North Carolina judge and future senator Samuel James Ervin added that most of the agency’s white staff belonged to the ‘lunatic fringe.’ He read the FEPC employees’ names aloud, noting the preponderance of ‘interesting’ surnames such as Asepha, Castenada, Wazem and Zeidman. ‘How would you like one of these birds to try your case?’ he asked his colleagues.”

— From “Defending White Democracy: The Making of a Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics, 1936-1965” by Jason Morgan Ward (2011)

Eight months later Joe Ervin committed suicide. Sam Ervin was elected to complete his brother’s term in Congress, but he did not run for election.


Presidential campaign train vs. funeral procession

“I regret that our [campaign] train trip last month interrupted your father’s funeral procession. However, I was heartened to read that the incident helped to ease somewhat the tension of that solemn occasion. You’re right; the Lord does work in mysterious ways….”

— From a note to Anne Fisher Williams of Thomasville included in “All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings” by George H. W. Bush (2013)

President Bush, a prolific and often effusive correspondent all his adult life, wrote Ms. Williams on Nov. 10, 1992, only a week after being defeated for reelection by Bill Clinton. “All the Best” opens with several letters to his family from Chapel Hill, where he was enrolled in Navy Pre-Flight School.


National Ice Cream Day recipes.

Not only did President Ronald Regan deem July National Ice Cream month, he also designated the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day.  So, this Sunday, July 21st, 2013 do as your loyal fellow Americans have done since 1984 and celebrate National Ice Cream Day with your favorite frozen treat.  Consider it your patriotic duty.

Scuppernog Ice Cream-Dixie Classie Fair

Scuppernong Ice Cream from Dixie Classic Fair for Northwest North Carolina : favorite recipes from friends of the Fair.

Lemonade Ice Cream Cake - Pass the Plate

Lemonade Ice Cream Cake from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Chocolate Malted Ice Cream - Summer Food

Chocolate Malted Ice Cream from Summer food.

Homeade Chocolate Ice Cream-Recipes We Love to Cook

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream from Recipes we love to cook.

Graham cracker ice cream - Good Eatin' from Duke Memorial

Graham Cracker Ice Cream from Good eatin’ from Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, Durham, North Carolina.

old fashioned lumpy peach ice cream - High Hampton Hospitality

Old Fashioned Lumpy Peach Ice Cream from High Hampton hospitality.

S'mores Ice Cream Squares - Welkom

S’more Ice Cream Squares from Welkom : Terra Ceia cookbook III, a collection of recipes.

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Dessert - Granny's Drawers

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Dessert from Granny’s drawers : four generations of family favorites.


Raleigh 1861: A lament on watered-down whiskey

“Times are tight here, as indeed they seem to be everywhere.  Pea-nuts have advanced fifty per cent., and three-cents-a-drink whisky is now so diluted, I am told, that a good sized drink would come near to bursting a five gallon demijohn.  I have noticed several who kept well soaked during the winter season, have not been generally more than half drunk during the present, owing to the aqueous element present in the elevating fluids, thus preventing the stomach from holding enough to affect the head. ”

— “A Raleigh correspondent of the High Point Reporter,” quoted in the Memphis Daily Appeal (October 16, 1861)


Everything’s just peachy…recipes from the collection.

Peach kuchen - Historic Moores Creek Cook Book

Peach Kuchen from Historic Moores Creek Cook Book : a collection of old and new recipes.

Peach and Sour Cream Pie - Sweet Carolina

Peach and Sour Cream Pie from Sweet Carolina : favorite desserts and candies from the Old North State.

Peachy Pickle Chicken - A Taste of the Old and the New

Peachy Pickle Chicken from A Taste of the old and the new.

Peach Crisps - Granny's Drawers

Peach Crisps from Granny’s drawers : four generations of family favorites.

Mellicotten - The Lost Colony Cookbook

Mellicotten from The lost colony cookbook : 400 years of fine food & feasts in the Old World & the New.

Ginger Peach Froth - Pass the Plate

Ginger Peach Froth from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Peach Superb - Peace Cookbook

Peach Superb from Peace cookbook.