David Sedaris gets a job (and maybe an alarm clock?)

“March 28, 1979


“I found a job. Today I’ll work, really work, for the first time since December. I’ve been hired as a waiter at a little restaurant next to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio called the Breakfast House, so I’m up at five. The last time I was up at five was because I hadn’t gone to bed yet.”

— From “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” by David Sedaris (2017)

Sedaris spent the late ’70s and early ’80s in Raleigh, working odd jobs, making art and getting high. Despite his record of unreliable narration   “Theft by Finding” more often than not struck me as credibly poignant. The guy can sure tell a story.


North Carolina Historic Newspapers to Add More Titles to Chronicling America

North Carolina Historic Newspapers Available via Chronicling America
North Carolina Historic Newspapers Available via Chronicling America. Project titles to date can be found on this map:

North Carolina Historic Newspapers will digitize runs from the following newspaper titles in 2017/18, totaling approximately 100,000 pages. These will be added to the over 200,000 pages of historic North Carolina newspapers pages already available on the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America newspaper site.

  • The Hillsborough Recorder, Hillsborough
  • The Independent, Elizabeth City
  • Henderson Daily Dispatch, Henderson
  • Tabor City Tribune, Tabor City
  • The Onslow County News and Views, Jacksonville
  • Marion Progress, Marion
  • Old Fort News, Old Fort
  • The Times-News, Hendersonville
  • Carolina Watchman, Salisbury
  • The Wilmington Morning Star, Wilmington
  • Roanoke Rapids Herald, Roanoke Rapids

In 2016, the National Digital Newspaper Program expanded its scope from newspapers published from 1836 – 1922 to include titles published from 1690 – 1963. This expansion has allowed North Carolina Historic Newspapers to select titles covering pivotal events in North Carolina such as early westward migration, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.

Salad(ish) recipes from the collection

Salads from Dixie dishes.

Fresh Spinach Salad from A source of much pleasure : receipts old and recipes new, 1785-1949.

Blueberry Salad from Butter ‘n love recipes.

Bird’s Nest Salad from The Raleigh cook book.

Tomato Spoon Salad from Heavenly delights.

Crab Flake Salad from The Farmville cook book.

24 Hour Fruit Salad from A Taste of the old and the new.

60 years ago: A gruesome day on Bloody 301

“FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The nation’s worst two-truck highway wreck has claimed its 20th victim, one more than the previous record set in a similar wreck in Texas in 1947.
“Thursday’s fiery collision occurred at an intersection [U.S. 301 and N.C. 162] about 9 miles south of here….
“The victims were members of a crew of about 40 Negro farm laborers, heading toward the day’s job of bean picking….”

— From “Wreck toll now standing at 20 dead” (Associated Press, June 8, 1957)

 The death toll on the overburdened highway already known as Bloody 301 would later reach 21.

Chick Jacobs has a detailed look back in the Fayetteville Observer.


Macon warns against a ‘government set on wheels’

“In the fall of 1814 [after the British burning of Washington] Congress crowded into one of the few surviving public buildings, the Patent Office (now the National Museum of American Art), and debated whether the capital should be moved someplace else, perhaps inland, to a location ‘with greater security and less inconvenience.’

“Congressmen who supported remaining in Washington argued on more defiant symbolic grounds. ‘I would rather sit under canvas in the city than remove one mile out of it to a palace,’  declared Samuel Farrow of South Carolina. Or, as Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina warned: ‘If the seat of government is once set on wheels, there is no saying where it will stop.’ ”

— From “American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Addressby Stephen Puleo (2016)

Given Macon’s reputation for fiscal tightfistedness, he might also have wanted to avoid the expense of relocation.


Young man stakes out future in Asheville real estate

On this day in 1888: George Washington Vanderbilt, age 25, purchases the first of 661 parcels that will ultimately become his 125,000-acre Biltmore Estate near Asheville. He is the youngest of eight children of railroad tycoon William Henry Vanderbilt, reputedly the world’s richest man.