Even when on vacation, it's hard not to talk with friends


Reggie ponder lifestyles chowan herald


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hello, again.

I’ve been out of town all week but I managed to get this written before I left. By the time you’re reading it I suppose I’ll be on the way back to Elizabeth City.

Since I was going to be away this week I considered asking for a vacation from this column to go along with the rest of my vacation. 

Stranger things have happened. Columnists I have read regular over the years, such as Dennis Rogers and Barry Saunders, would from time to time leave town without writing a column and the News & Observer would either get someone to fill in, or, more typically, run an older piece by the columnist with an explanation that he was on vacation and this “reader favorite” column was being offered in the meantime.

I started writing this column in March 2010 so I have a few reader favorites by now. I also have a few favorites of my own, and in some cases my favorites and the apparent reader favorites are the same.

So I gave serious consideration to going the retread route this week.

As it turns out, though, writing the column for Thursday is not like the rest of this job. This is barely work at all because it’s a weekly visit with friends.

I’m concerned that will sound overly sentimental, which is a concern only because I don’t think it’s particularly sentimental at all but just a fair description of what happens. I would have let the column go years ago in order to focus more exclusively on hard news were it not for the relationships that the column helps me maintain.

Since this is a visit with friends I’ll give you an idea of what I’m planning to do this week on vacation.

We’ll be in Chattanooga, Tenn., to visit Jane’s older son Michael and his family. That’s the principal purpose of the trip and the main agenda.

While we’re in that area, though, we plan to make it over to the Moon Pie Museum (or Chattanooga Bakery and General Store, as it’s officially known) to see where the beloved Moon Pie was invented.

I really do try to eat healthy, but I realize I’ll never convince anyone of that now that I’m writing about Moon Pies after doing a previous column about the legendary collard sandwich of Robeson County.

“Collards are healthy,” Jane offered when I mentioned what I was writing.

“They are,” I half-agreed, “except when they’re cooked in bacon grease and served between two pieces of fried cornbread with a side of fatback.”

Have a great week and see you next Thursday.

Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance.