Lifestyles Columnists

June 22, 2017

I was blessed this past week to be challenged and inspired by the Bible teaching of Greg Jones. Jones, a former dean of the Duke Divinity School who currently heads a leadership education center at the Divinity School, has always seemed to be speaking directly to me so that I come under strong…

June 21, 2017

I love watching thunderstorms.

Flashes across the dark sky, sudden booms or thunder, and the rush of falling rain add excitement to a long, hot day.

From inside the house, or on the front porch, if I am daring, I feel its power from a safe distance.

Nearby lawns and trees almost glowed in green…

June 18, 2017

To bear a standard, or to fly a flag has been an essential practice for mankind throughout our history. An army/legion, organization or political group proclaimed their unity and loyalty to their cause by identifying with a distinctive ensign. In ancient Rome legions of soldiers were led out of…

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June 17, 2017

When I was a kid I played with toy cars and trucks. Zoom, zoom. I pretended like the miniature automobiles had personalities, could interact like people. Hey, it’s what kids do.

Pixar (Disney’s 3D animation studio) understands that, even if the kids are grown up. It started a movie…

June 16, 2017


Last week I profiled some sun loving plants that attract hummingbirds. This week I’ll discuss my favorite shade dwellers that hummingbirds adore. There aren’t as many, since producing flowers requires energy. There’s less sunlight, so usually that means less spectacular…


June 14, 2017

Jane and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

I say “celebrated” because it was a celebration, despite being more low-key than usual.

I try to pay extra attention to milestone anniversaries such as 25th and 30th. Last year was the 30th and we had a more elaborate…

June 14, 2017

My daughter says she learned a valuable lesson from her dad by watching him drive.

He is a calm driver, she noticed, but there was something more. He is always looking out for the other driver -- and not just to avoid a collision. Rather, he jumps at the opportunity to help, looking for a way to…

June 11, 2017


Chowan County, according to primary and secondary documentary resources, is very important in North Carolina’s frontier history especially its early development of an almost utopian tri-racial society with the largest free population of blacks and mulattos of African descent in the New…

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June 11, 2017

Final part in a series

Writing for “The Daily Advance” is a nice hobby that complements my full-time job as a history professor at Elizabeth City State University. What makes it extra special is when readers share obscure, if not secret, details about the area’s past with me.…

June 10, 2017

After the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, 11 people who were there died under mysterious circumstances. Their deaths were attributed to a “curse.” This inspired Universal Pictures to produce 1932’s “The Mummy,” starring Boris Karloff.

That movie -- along…

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