Jerry Nelson’s Morning View: Sandy Mush

Local photographer Jerry Nelson joined a recent SouthWings flight over Western North Carolina and took this shot of the Sandy Mush community in Buncombe County. The area was suggested as a possible repository for nuclear waste 30 years ago, and more recently, with the recent closure of Yucca Mountain out west, some local residents are asking, “Is Sandy Mush back on the table for discussion?”

Photos by Jerry Nelson

Sunday’s lone flute

Lee Pate, Asheville Resident, practices his flute playing under the Interstate 240 Overpass on North Lexington at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, March 20. Pate says the acoustics caused by the concrete help him to hear the notes clearer. I don’t know about that. But there is something hauntingly beautiful about flute sounds in the wee morning hours on a deserted street.

photo by Jerry Nelson

The writing on The Wall

Even at the height of tourist season, “The Wall” is a lonely place. “Big, Black Gash” … “Wall of Shame”… these are just two of the many derogatory names applied to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial since its dedication in 1982. But The Wall is also a place of healing. For the roughly 60 veterans who […]

Outdoors: The view from above

“Slipped the surly bonds of earth … and touched the face of God.” Have basket, will travel: Each balloon ride begins with a series of steps, from safety lessons to filling the 180,000-cubic-foot “envelope.” Photos by Jerry Nelson These words from an old poem — made famous by President Ronald Reagan during a eulogy for […]

Tales from the trenches

Jerry Nelson keeps his camera — and his heart — trained on Asheville. The Vietnam veteran, who's also sounded off via an Xpress commentary, advocates for the homeless while sharing experiences from his own life. To view more of Nelson's work, visit The photos presented here show scenes from the play Always Expect Miracles; […]

Don’t scapegoat the homeless

I was dismayed by some statements published in the Asheville Citizen-Times recently and attributed to Asheville City Council member Jan Davis. An article in the Dec. 15 Citizen-Times titled "Police Hope to Boost Presence Downtown With Substation" said that "Residents and business owners have voiced concerns over nuisance crimes such as public drunkenness and panhandling, […]