Former Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston shares his recap of key developments in 2020’s local media landscape.
As one contemporary newspaper account noted, Uva Minners’ specialty was “walking out onto a wing and going though acrobatics without any safety attachment while the plane whirled along at more than 100 miles per hour.”
Last month marked the 400th anniversary of the introduction of slavery to North America, triggering a new round of national soul-searching about human bondage and its complex legacy. And closer to home, Lost Cause-era monuments to Confederate figures at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher also raise significant questions about the country’s troubled history and this region’s place in it.
No one knows how many Asheville neighborhoods or properties were once subject to racial covenants but, says Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger, “These things are buried all over the place.”
With James Lee opting out mid-term to take a job in another state, Asheville City Council will soon select at least one new member to serve on a board that will be compelled to turn the ship around. Two other members, Martha Geitner and board Chair Shaunda Sandford, are completing their first terms on the board and seeking reappointment. Meanwhile, in a process that will play out in the coming weeks, 11 other community members have applied to be appointed.
Local media operations mostly held their own in 2018. While the Citizen Times staff are now tenants in their historic building in downtown Asheville, the paper bagged first place for general excellence in a statewide competition (from which Xpress also brought home a plentiful array of awards). Learn what media expert Jon Elliston found notable on the local media scene in 2018.
In “The Thirteenth Juror,” Asheville writer Nelda Holder explores one of the most controversial legal proceedings in modern history.
All are invited to attend a new conference in Asheville, Bringing It Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone. The event will be held Wednesday, March 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Haynes Center at A-B Tech’s Enka campus.
The last time Rob Delaney played Asheville, in 1999, he was starring as Sir Lancelot in a traveling production of the musical Camelot. In the years since, he’s survived alcoholism, depression and an epic car wreck, ultimately settling into a fertile mix of sobriety, married life, childrearing and a multipronged comedy attack that brings his […]
Amid the flood of new books marking the Civil War’s 150th anniversary, one tells a uniquely North Carolinian story — that of a desperate prison break in the Piedmont and a flight through the state’s mountains, where neighbors sometimes fought neighbors with the fury of rival armies. In Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: […]
During summer sessions at Black Mountain College in the late 1940s, the futurist Buckminster Fuller struggled to create the geodesic dome. It would ultimately prove to be one of his most iconic inventions, but for months, a workable design eluded him, and the search for the right building materials was fraught with trial and error. […]
When Asheville-based jokester Greg Brown wanted to perform in public six years ago, he had to do it at open-mic nights at local bars. “I’d go up and tell jokes between acoustic-music sets,” he remembers. “So it’s so cool to see comics have places to perform now.” Brown co-founded the Laugh Your Asheville Off festival, […]
Some of WNC’s stars will come into alignment this Saturday, Aug. 4, at the launch for Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina, a new book by Hendersonville author Jack J. Prather. The release event, at downtown-Asheville bookstore Grateful Steps, will feature appearances by at least half of the luminaries profiled in the book, including public-relations […]
Local web star Kelby Carr re-enters the print world with two books about Pinterest
Is sharpening pencils a lost art? Was it ever an art to begin with? To hear David Rees tell it, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. He makes a sometimes-plaintive, sometimes-preposterous case in his new treatise, How to Sharpen Pencils (Melville House, 2012). For the past two years, Rees has made a […]
The North Carolina Writers’ Network’s 26th annual Fall Conference, held over the weekend in Asheville, was the group’s largest gathering in years, organizers said. (Photo of Silas House by Jon Elliston.)
The Aug. 24 Xpress cover story takes a graphic stroll down memory lane to tell the tale of Camp Catawba, a refuge for refugees near Blowing Rock that became an incubator of young artists. For those wanting to know more about the camp, there’s a growing wealth of information online.
Ben Lovett spent a decade assisting and promoting other artists’ projects. “After a while,” he says, “I started to get the same response over and over again: ‘Ben, yep, this sounds great, it’s all great … but when are you going to release some of your shit so we can listen to that?’” Lovett finally […]
"What can one say when a good thing comes to an end? Just that it was good while it lasted." Lines from a plaintive autobiography or sappy romance novel? Nope: These poignant words, culled from an official government document, are part of a loving farewell to a local spy base. According to a once highly […]
Part 1: Burning memories (Part 1) Jon Elliston | 06/18 Tomm Friend was snoozing in his cabin when gunfire and the whoosh of flames pierced the night quiet. “I was awakened by a blast,” Friend remembers 45 years later. That summer, the 15-year-old was attending a camp on the outskirts of Rosman, N.C., a small […]
New disclosures about 1963 attack on a WNC children's camp