How Terry Sanford greenlighted the Big Dig

“By 1987 Reagan found his control over Congress slipping….The Democratic majority in the House easily overrode his veto [of what would be the last interstate highway authorization], and the Senate did the same by a single vote.

“A hapless freshman senator from North Carolina [Terry Sanford] , who had opposed the bill because there wasn’t enough pork for his state, switched his vote after a phalanx of senators threatened to kill federal subsidies for tobacco farmers.

“In a curious way, then, those subsidies enabled Boston to transform its landscape with the most expensive interstate highway project in history [to be nicknamed the Big Dig].

— From Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life” by Tom Lewis (2013)


A big, beautiful, high-tech wooden map of North Carolina

“My friend does some work for ShopBot Tools in nearby Durham, N.C. He recently let me borrow a HandiBot CNC tool.

“One of the first things I did with it was cut out a small etching of North Carolina and its 100 counties….”

— From “A Wooden Map of North Carolina”  by Michael Fogleman at (June 23, 2015)

The handsome outcome, illustrated step by step, is 80 inches wide, 30 inches tall and weighs 50 pounds.


In Taylorsville, a one-man desegregation movement

“One day in the early 1960s, when drinking from the ‘Whites Only’ water fountain on the factory floor [in Taylorsville, my husband, Mike Claman] had had enough of it. He tore off the signs. He then went to the ladies’ and men’s bathrooms and tore off the signs there, announcing that there would be no more segregation within the plant.

“The outcry was horrendous, with delegations marching into Mike’s office. He politely informed the workers that if they did not want to drink the same water, from the same fountains, they could go thirsty; if they did not choose to use common facilities, they would have to wait until they went home….”

— From North Carolina Ends Factory Desegregation—with Backlash” by Edith Claman at Moment magazine


Recipes for that sweet tooth!


Candies and Confections from The Progressive farmer’s southern cookbook.


Reba Bowen’s Molasses Pull Taffy from Columbus County cookbook II.


Cream Candy from Cook book.


Caramel Layer Chocolate Squares from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.


Ladyfinger Dessert from Count our blessings : 75 years of recipes and memories / Myers Park Presbyterian Church.


Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Cream from The Fearrington House cookbook : a celebration of food, flowers, and herbs.


Congo Bars from Favorite recipes : Blowing Rock.

Lost Colony: For Hollywood a gift that keeps on giving

“The most famous ghost that is said to haunt the shores of North Carolina and pop culture in equal measures is the spirit of Virginia Dare… the New World’s first Christian ‘wild child.’ The sweet babe likely never survived infancy, but her name is immortal.

“She has been the subject of numerous romance and supernatural novels, including the rather cringe-inducing 1908 book ‘The Daughter of Virginia Dare,’ where Virginia is revealed to be the secret mother of Pocahontas (a later 1930 novel would in contrast place Virginia in a love triangle with John Smith and the teenage Pocahontas)….”

— From “Roanoke: The Real History of the Lost Colony & How Its Legend Haunts Pop Culture” by David Crow at Den of Geek (Sept. 20)

Indeed,  “American Horror Story: Roanoke” is only the latest modern knockoff of the Lost Colony story. What would “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” have been without it?