When politics should take a back seat to reality…

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 10.39.01 PMHow can we pretend that what is going on isn’t going on?

Terrorist attacks every week – more than 950 since New Year’s Day.

Rampant hatred.

Madness so severe that it would lead a man to drive a truck down a crowded street, murdering 84 people as they celebrated Bastille Day in Nice, France.

The United States is at DEFCON 3, and we aren’t paying attention. The world is at DEFCON 2, and we’re doing other things.

You know what DEFCON means. You’ve heard of the U.S. military’s defense readiness condition that ranks alert levels based on how much danger we face. It ranges from DEFCON 5 at its lowest to DEFCON 1 at its highest. I first heard it while watching “War Games” with a young Matthew Broderick saving the world from a playful computer.

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A Lifelong Teacher 
Leaves a Lasting Legacy

Marva Jeanne Pitt Riley grew up in east Tarboro on a street where the neighborhood village raised all the children and helped teach all the children.

When she came of age, Mrs. Riley did the same thing: She became a teacher.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from North Carolina Central University and taught elementary school. When illness took her from the classroom, she continued to teach. She gave grammar lessons on the front porch of the family home on East Church Street. She helped friends and family, and Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 12.13.07 AMlater some staff members at the Golden Living Center, where she spent the last years of her life, to ensure that their work was well done.

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Surprise moment in dress store yields joy

I had just finished co-hosting the annual Bookstock Best Award presentation – honoring fourth-grade essay winners and their teachers – and I was feeling really good.IMG_5452

Since I had a TV appearance the next day, and I needed something to wear, I dropped by Von Maur for a dress.

As I headed into the section I used to live in, a very nice sales clerk rushed up to greet me and said: “Oh, honey this isn’t your section. These are too big. Your dresses are over there.”

And she pointed me toward the section I hadn’t set foot in in 10 years, the section of single-and lower- double-digit-sized dresses. It was as far from Plus Size as it was possible to be and remain on the same floor.

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