This must be the place: Ode to the written word, ode to putting the paper to bed

It’s a lot quieter this week at The Smoky Mountain News. Not just because of the unusually warm weather this past weekend sparking folks to frolic and head for the hills.

Keep telling the story

When I first arrived in Western North Carolina just after New Year’s Day, 2014, I wasn’t planning to stay. 

This must be the place: ‘I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together’

I’m a minimalist. I don’t want much, nor do I care to ever have much. As long as I’m surrounded by shelves of books and stacks of vinyl records, a comfy recliner and some cold suds in the fridge in my humble abode of a one-bedroom Waynesville apartment (that also has a porch with mountain views, thankfully), I’m good to go.  

This must be the place: ‘To laugh at the impossibilities which are here always after we are not’

Saturday. Late morning. The Waynesville apartment was quiet save the occasional motorcycle roaring along nearby Russ Avenue. My girlfriend had already gotten up and was at work by 10 a.m. I slept in a little bit, though my restless soul wouldn’t let the day fade.

This must be the place: ‘I cherish my intercontinental friendships, we talk it over continental breakfast’

The smart phone dinged incessantly early this morning ‘round 8 a.m. at my small Waynesville apartment. Social media notifications and text messages. Then came the phone calls from my mother and father way up in the North Country. It’s my 39th birthday. 

This must be the place: ‘If there’s a goal that everyone remembers, it was back in ol’ 72’

The title of this column is the opening line of the song “Fireworks” by The Tragically Hip. A cherished Canadian rock act, the melody itself an ode to the legend and lore that is hockey and coming of age as a kid — a love of hockey transitioning to a love of women. 

This must be the place: Ode to Wild Kathy, ode to never slowing down, never growing old

My best girl (aka: my mother Kathy) turns 75 years young today (Jan. 21). Currently, it’s a cold, frigid Sunday here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, same goes for my hometown of Plattsburgh, New York.

Humans are entirely unworthy of our dogs

We hoped he’d die in his sleep, that we’d find him curled up in the bed in that old, familiar way, having slipped as comfortably and naturally from this dimension to the next as a river flows into the sea. 

Reflections in an election year

To the Editor:

Beginning a new year during a cold winter, and an election year, I find myself soulful and introspective. 

Remembering Fred: Frazier, Rash, Burnette

Editor’s Note: A renowned Western North Carolina writer, Charles Frazier burst onto the worldwide literary scene with his seminal 1997 novel “Cold Mountain,” which won the National Book Award for Fiction. In 2023, he released “The Trackers” to widespread acclaim. 

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.