Craving a president who smiles with his eyes

A while back I noticed President Trump does not smile with his entire face. It struck me one day when I saw a photo of him with his signature closed-mouthed grin. The expression did not leave the jaw area. There was no twinkle in the eyes or lift of the cheekbones. I started watching more closely and yep, no smiles or laughs. I even Googled “pictures of President Trump smiling,” and of many images, there was one photo where he sort of looked like he was truly smiling while walking hand in hand with Melania. 

Cawthorn’s claims about Davis are ridiculous

Keep electing people who are ideologically too far left or right to reach across the aisle, and we’ll have the same kind of Congress we have today: divided, ineffective, laughable. So despite Madison Cawthorn trying to brand himself as a new face of conservatism, many of his statements since winning the 11th District GOP primary reveal a young man with a narrow, hard-right world view that may make him the darling of a certain segment of his party but will do little to help those in his district or help get Congress moving in a positive direction.

Pondering fences and their removal

By Rich Byers • Guest Columnist | Robert Frost said that “fences make good neighbors.” I get that. I am not a sociable person. However, I do know and like almost all my neighbors. And, granted, my entire yard is fenced in. It makes it much easier to have two dogs who are sociable, sort of.

Motherhood isn’t martyrdom

When I became a mom at age 29, I did all the things I was supposed to do, all the things society correlated with being a “good mother.”

Western Carolina University is ready to meet the challenges of a fall semester during unprecedented times

By Kelli R. Brown • Guest Columnist | These are uncertain and challenging times. Our communities, our state and our nation are grappling with an unprecedented set of issues that affect each and every one of us. 

As Chancellor of Western Carolina University, your regional public university, I believe that institutions of higher education can help prepare our citizens to live through times like these – how to cope, how to manage and perhaps not just survive, but thrive. 

A strange back-to-school season for everyone

From my earliest memories, the back-to-school season has been a flurry of excitement. Both my parents were teachers. I worked in the field for 10 years and have two children who have been in the public education system for seven years. Shopping for new outfits and backpacks, anxiously awaiting supply lists and taking last minute summer trips have been a part of my life forever. 

The common thread — we’re Americans

In the streets of Western North Carolina, mostly young protestors calling for an end to structural and sometimes violent racism are being confronted by working-class Americans who think many of those grievances are illegitimate. Statues of Confederates and former slaveholders are toppling, and those that remain will forever be looked upon differently.

Look to the stars and beyond

I’ve been looking at the stars a lot lately. It started several weeks ago. 

It was 10:18 p.m. on a Sunday. We were driving the parkway, windows rolled down, Van Morrison on the radio. My boyfriend, Matthew, looked over and squeezed my knee. 

Let’s try to avoid pitfalls when school reopens

By Dale Carpenter • Guest Columnist | North Carolina public schools will reopen while the COVID-19 Pandemic is still with us and it is impossible to predict what will happen as we try to cope with the complexity of it all. Parents, educators and students are learning to adjust day by day to changing conditions. 

As consultants, beach week is a bit calmer these days

Edisto Beach, SC — As if this year weren’t already weird enough, my son is in the bathroom of our rented house shaving for the first time. His mom has been onto him about needing to shave and for reasons known only to a teenage boy — or maybe not even known to him — he has chosen this moment, just after a twilight walk on Steamboat Landing to look for little frogs and then watch dolphins from the pier, for this milestone.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.