This must be the place: ‘Tired, but wiser for the time’

The trifecta.

By this past Monday morning, I was running on fumes heading back to my humble abode in downtown Waynesville in preparation for the solar eclipse. Three nights. Three bands. Three genres of music — and also attitudes — that shaped who I ultimately am today.

In the words of Belushi, ‘I hate Illinois Nazis’

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the 1980 cult classic film “The Blues Brothers,” Jake and Elwood are stuck in traffic as a Nazi rally blocks the bridge they need to cross. When they ask a nearby police officer about what’s going on, the officer shrugs, “Ah, those bums won their court case, so they’re marching today.” Jake replies, “What bums?” The officer shoots back, “The f**ckin’ Nazi party.”

This must be the place: ‘Catch my soul, catch the very light ... ’

It does mean something.

Sitting in the darkness of the Grail Moviehouse last Thursday, this overwhelming feeling of deep sadness and endless curiosity washed over me. It was as if everything I’ve ever known, ever thought about or questioned, meant nothing at all — a huge waste of time, a merciless vacuum of birth, death, and destruction.

This must be the place: ‘We will get by, we will survive’

Happy birthday, Captain Trips.

On this day (Aug. 1) some 75 years ago, Jerome Garcia was born in San Francisco. You might not recognize the name Jerome, but a lightbulb may click on when you remember him by his nickname: Jerry.

Sixth time’s the charm: Folkmoot comes full circle, enters new era

I kept glancing over at the signs.

Strolling the long and busy corridors of the Folkmoot Friendship Center (Waynesville) this past Sunday evening, I couldn’t help looking at the signs posted on the walls next to the doors. “Argentina.” “Israel.” “Russia.” “India.” “Taiwan.” All of these foreign countries, these ambassadors from every corner of the world, each with their own set of social and economic issues, many mirroring our own.

This must be the place: ‘Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control’

This one? This one hurt.

When I heard Thursday afternoon about the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, I was taken back, as if someone had punched me in the chest. Suddenly, dozens of memories started flooding my field-of-vision. I remember listening to their groundbreaking mix of hard rock and hip-hop in middle school, seeing them in Montreal in high school, and always blasting their melodies before track-and-field meets all throughout my adolescence and early adulthood.

This must be the place: ‘Everywhere I turn, here we are…’

I was about an hour late.

Rolling up to the Swain County Business Education & Training Center in Bryson City last Saturday morning, I slammed the brakes of the old truck into the parking space, grabbed my box of books and headed for the front entrance.

This must be the place: ‘Would you like to know a secret, just between you and me?’

Those who forget history, tend to...

Well, you know the rest. Nowadays, it seems each morning we awaken into another national and international crisis. Be afraid of the Russian influence on America. Be afraid of nuclear war. Be afraid of presidential and political scandals. Be afraid of the Middle East and terrorism. Be afraid of racial and social divides. Be afraid of economic depression and lack of employment.

This must be the place: The year is half-over, my cup half-full

I remembered those places, and those faces.

Scrolling through Facebook — through the “fun in the sun” Fourth of July photos — in my office on Monday morning, I couldn’t help but have this feeling of longing to see and interact with friends and family celebrating the holiday weekend back home in Upstate New York.

This must be the place: Ode to Lloyd, ode to the faces

It’s the hardest part of this gig.

As a journalist for just about a decade, I’ve been lucky enough to interview and photograph hundreds of folks, from all walks of life, that, perhaps, I may have never had the chance to interact with had I pursued another career path.

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