Last month Peter Werbicki, the President and CEO of the Food Bank of CENC, called to tell me I was chosen as the recipient of the Hunt-Morgridge award. This is a beyond humbling honor for me. The award is given in November at the Evening of Appreciation, the Food Bank’s big recognition event.

Apparently a number of my friends received a “Save the Date” e-mail from Amy Beros that I did not know was going out, since neither Russ nor I received one. My friend Suzanne forwarded it to me with a note of congratulations, which was very sweet and an apology she can’t make it. Since she lives in NYC I told her that it would have been way over the stop for her to come, even though I would take any visit from her anytime. Today I got a note saying that my friend Kelly, from Atlanta, had sent a donation to the Food Bank in my honor.

I want to thank all of my friends who have supported the Food Bank over the twenty years I have been working with them. You all never complain to me about how often I share news or information about the need and the good work the Food Bank is doing in one third of North Carolina.

If you got this save the date, please do save it and come to Raleigh on November 14 if you can. The party is a good one and I would love to show you the Food Bank if you have never seen our new head quarters. If you didn’t get the save the date and want to come, please let me know. I am allowed to invite anyone I want, at least that is what I’m told. The actual invitations will be sent in October.

Good Afternoon,

Please save the date for our annual Evening of Appreciation on November 14, 2019 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at our Raleigh branch. We hope you are able to join us, so we can say thank you for making our work possible. We will also be recognizing this year’s Governor James B. Hunt and John Morgridge Service Award Winner, Dana Lange. Dana’s dedication to our work over the past two decades has been integral to serving our neighbors.

Additionally, as an important member of our Food Bank family we want you to be the first to hear about an exciting new chapter in the history of the Food Bank!

Because of you, the Food Bank can nourish our neighbors and build solutions to hunger in our community. Thank you for being part of our Food Bank family!

A formal invitation will follow. You can rsvp to

Amy Beros

Vice President of Development

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

1924 Capital Blvd. Raleigh NC 27604

OFFICE 919.865.3073

CELL 919.608.9884

Mission: No One Goes Hungry

@FoodBankCENC #NoOneGoesHungry

Drive By Visit

Since Russ and I were in New Jersey we made plans to see his Dad and his sister for breakfast. We weren’t exactly near them so I determined where a good meeting spot might be. Frenchtown looked like the nicest town. It was about an hour and fifteen minutes from where we woke up in Jersey and only 45 minutes for Russ’ family.

They got to the restaurant before we did and secured a table. Russ had been told the might be a wait so we were thankful for their early arrival. It was a good catch-up since we hadn’t seen them in a year. The last time was the night before my Aunt’s memorial service. My family seems to be providing us opportunities to spend just a little time with Russ’ Dad.

After our short reunion Russ and I drove back to Newark to come home to puppy. I tried to sleep on the plane, but the sound of Baby Shark playing behind me to the infant who was a new flyer kept me up.

At last we got home and I just passed out on my bed with Shay and took a nap. Now I am a mess. I slept too close to bedtime, I made no dinner and it is hot as the Fourth of July here. My body is as confused as my mind. Time to reboot and get back on Durham operating system.

Mr & Mrs. Harvey

Today was the big day we had traveled to NJ for, the wedding of Winston and Emily. Before the big event at 5:00 we had all day to fill. Ours started early with the arrival of the animals at the petting zoo just outside our room. I have never been to a hotel with a petting zoo so I made sure to go and visit the two goats, four bunnies, duck, and multiple chicken first thing this morning.

Russ and I went on a field trip to the quaint town of Warwick, NY for breakfast. We walked around and found Fannies and hip little place where I had zucchini pancakes with peach salsa and Russ had eggs on homemade bread. We had to get out of town soon after breakfast because Warwick was hosting their annual Fireman’s parade and the town was filling up with big fire trucks from all the surrounding villages and hamlets.

My Aunt Eddie had organized a brunch for the family and I joined them just to talk while they ate. Since my hands were free I got to hold five month old Weaver and I told three year old JoJo about the petting zoo which caused her to break into a quiet version of Old Mc Donald’s Farm.

We still had more time to kill until the wedding so my sister Janet invited me to come play cards in her room. Since she is always so hospitable she offered me some iced tea, which of course I took her up on. She apologized that she only had a mug to serve it to me in as she put ice and poured tea from a bottle. She put the mug down in front of me and I noticed a big lipstick stain on the rim. I pointed it out to her and Janet said, “Oh, I’ll fix that,” and turn the mug around so I could drink form the side without the lipstick. Such hospitality had me rolling on the floor in laughter and that got Janet going too.

Eventually it was time to dress and go to the wedding at one of the wedding Mecca golf clubs in the area. The weather was perfect for the outdoor ceremony. Winston and Emily wasted no time getting married and then it was off to the party. We had a lovely cocktail hour where there was enough food to be our whole dinner.

Then we were invited into the ball room for dinner and dancing. This is where JoJo, as the three year old flower girl, stole the show and danced all night. If it weren’t for JoJo I am not sure people would have filled the dance floor as much. I was thrilled to get to sit with my cousins JIm and Steve and Steve’s new wife Amanda. The completed the full circle of my first cousins on my mother’s side.

Emily and Winston were the perfect bride and groom and fun was had by all, until the old folks hit the wall and we needed to go back to the hotel to sleep, leaving all the young people to dance the night away. I am so thankful I am an old folk now. Best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey.

The Wright Side

My mother was a Wright and she had two younger sisters. Those three Wright girls had eight children. I am the oldest of those children and the youngest is getting married tomorrow. Those eight children have had seven children so far, (with one more on the way) and the current youngest came this weekend to be introduced to the family.

Russ and I flew up to NJ and drove out to the northwest corner of the state which appears to be a wedding Mecca. We checked into the hotel where the Wright clan (who all being girls have many different names now) and friends are staying. My Aunt Edie and Uncle Bill, the parents of the groom, were waiting in the lobby for their room so we waited with them. Their oldest son, Will was with them, and then their middle son, Wright, arrived with his wife Calvene and their kids JoJo, and newest son, Weaver the five month old. Eventually my Mother, Sister Janet and Sophie arrived.

At check-in the wedding Mecca was apparent as there were hundreds of gift bags for guests of the six different weddings just tonight, that are staying here. Gaggles of girls in matching dresses streamed by us on the way to the wedding venues. There was the beige bride maid party, the maroon and the navy blue.

There was not a traditional rehearsal dinner as all the private rooms were full of actual weddings. Instead my Aunt and Uncle hosted us at a restaurant at the sister resort down the road. Russ and I were taking my Aunt’s life-long best friend Townes and her husband Bob with us. I have known Townes my whole life and she is like a bonus Wright girl.

My mom rode with Sophie and Janet, following us to the resort. We had sketchy instructions on exactly where we were supposed to go and the lack of any street lights did not help. After circling the other resort twice we eventually found our dinner spot.

It was our first chance to see the bride and groom Emily and my cousin Winston. They were calm and ready for this wedding to happen. Clearly the Mecca knows what they are doing and I guess you just pick and bridesmaid color and add water.

Our dinner table was the most fun. Not that we are competitive, just actually having a great time. We talked and ate and told stories and drank and then we all hit the wall. It was a long travel day. Tomorrow is the big event. Hopefully I will be efficient in finding the wedding venue for the wedding we are actually invited to. Given that Mecca can host so many weddings at the same time you can’t just assume that the woman in the white dress is the one you know.

It is wonderful that we, from age 90 to five months, have all gathered to celebrate Emily and Winston. The Wright Clan is not consistent at gathering together, except for funerals and by then someone is missing. So hooray for a happy event that brings us together in one place, and Mecca makes it easy.

Why Journalism is Important

Recently a friend of mine drew my attention to an editorial board opinion in USA Today from September of 2016. It was a historic moment for the normally vanilla, middle of the road, we don’t want to offend anyone, publication. Never is the 34 year history of the newspaper had they made a voting recommendation. They broke their own rule of bipartisanship and laid out the argument why people should not vote for Trump.

As I read it yesterday it laid out their long list of facts about candidate Trump that concerned them so much as to step out of their normal line. Reading it two years later it is an eerily perfect prediction of how Trump will be as a President based on his past actions.

Because I am not a technological pro I have included photos of the article for you to read yourself and decide how accurate you think USAToday was in their predictions. To me it reads as if it is a report on how he actually has been for the last two years.

If Trump wanted to prove the news really was fake he could have acted the opposite of all these predictions once he was in office, but then he is not an actor, he is a reality TV person who can only be what he always has been. He told us what he was going to be like and has been that from his inaugural speech on.

Good job, USA Today editorial board for pointing out what we would be getting. Too bad all your predictions came true and then some.

Happy Sally

One of the best things about living here is that old friends come to visit when they come to see their kids in college. Today is one of those great days because my boarding school friend Sally is here for the night on her way to see her son at Elon.

Sally has been living in Northern California for many, many years so my chances of seeing her are few and far between. This year we have had two visits. The first at our 40th, YES Four, O, reunion. It is hard to believe that we have known each other for forty-four years now. We aren’t that old. And now a second visit in the same year.

Sally is easily one of the happiest people I have ever known. Perhaps that is why I have liked her all these years. Why she has stuck with me is a different question. There is something about those friendships I started in boarding school that stay strong. I am not sure if the bond is from surviving those turbulent years or that we really got to know each other well as there were fewer of us and we were stuck at school. I don’t feel like my friends who went to day school developed the same depth of friendships with so many people in their school as we did.

Nonetheless, anyone who knows Sally loves her and I count myself lucky to have her as a friend. Tonight we got to revisit all our conversations at our reunion and compare notes on what we heard from our classmates. It was great fun.

I am realizing that next year Sally’s son will graduate from Elon and she will not be flying out here regularly. This is already making me sad. I think I need to plan a mini reunion of boarding school friends in a couple of years, Sally will be a good draw to get us together.

KoKyu Na’Mean

In an attempt to ignore all the big news of today because it is just the beginning of a story that is yet to be rolled out I am going to tempt you with yummy distraction. My friend Lane is always up for a hidden gem adventure when we meet up for lunch. I can’t remember how I heard about KoKyu Na’Mean, but I had wanted to try it and Lane was game.

The tiny strip mall sandwich shop is so hidden that it is in a strip mall behind a strip mall at Highways 55 & 54. You would never see it from a street and would have little reason to turn on the access road unless you where going to the Cook Out that is in front of the first strip mall and got lost and ran into the second strip.

The outside is unassuming in that “We don’t need a fancy sign because we are that good,” kind of way. But the dozen or so picnic benches that line the sidewalk, full of diners at noon makes you realize you are at the right place.

The small as you can possibly rent property is painted in brightly colored graffiti giving the place a hipper than the normal hole in the wall look. The menu of Bahn Mi sandwiches of a dozen variety and bowls is on the wall above the one station ordering cash register. There are about ten tables inside that are almost full as well as the outside.

When Lane and I went we decided to try a chicken and a short rib Bahn Mi, cutting them in half to share. Along with your sandwich you get a little cup of a side. Lane had a chick pea salad and I had coconut slaw. After ordering we took out little number on the metal stand and set it on our table. The wait for the food was not too long considering the size of the crowd.

The flavors were fantastic and clearly the reason all these people have searched out the strip behind a strip was apparent. It was just another example of interesting food being produced in Durham.

Now that I have found it, I must introduce it to Russ. It is right up his alley. The bad thing for me is this is the kind of place I should only eat at twice a year because it is a treat kind of place. But you should find it and go!