Commentary by Jerry Sternberg

The Gospel According to Jerry

Where the hell are all these “bad” teachers that our governor and Republican legislators want to purge from our city and county schools? Are we talking about those idealistic souls who finally got their first teaching job in Asheville, Buncombe or elsewhere in N.C. at the munificent starting pay of $30,800?

Commentary by Jerry Sternberg

The Gospel According to Jerry

Ladies and gentlemen!!!! From the producers of “Murdock Madness,” “Kimberly KonKrete Kar Krushers” and “Macon Mayhem” now comes their final (we hope) chapter: “Charlotte Street Constipation,” featuring “multimodal” (which sounds like a laxative but, when combined with reducing Charlotte Street to three lanes, is actually the perfect recipe for gridlock).

The Gospel According to Jerry

Editor's note: This is the ninth and final installment of Jerry Sternberg's "Life in Seely's Castle" saga. The earlier pieces are available on the Xpress website or at www.gospeljerry.com (which also contains additional photos of the castle and its furnishings). It didn’t take long for my partner and me to figure out that if we […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Editor's note: This is the eighth installment of Jerry Sternberg's "Life in Seely's Castle" saga. The earlier pieces are available at mountainx.com or gospeljerry.com (which also contains additional photos of the castle and its furnishings). Life in the castle ranged from the usual round of raising a family to the periodically bizarre feeling of living […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Editor’s note: This is the sixth “Life in Seely’s Castle” tale. All are available, with photos, at mountainx.com or gospeljerry.com. A lot of people let their hair down in my castle, but Rapunzel never did. No, the answer to the third-most-frequently-asked question about my former residence lay deep in the bowels of the ominous, imposing […]

The gospel according to Jerry

Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment of Jerry Sternberg’s continuing “Life in Seely’s Castle” saga. The earlier pieces are available on the Xpress website or at www.gospeljerry.com (which also contains additional photos of the castle and its furnishings). Fred Seely, a teetotaler, would have turned over in his grave if he’d known that I […]

Now I understand

Now I understand why Carl Mumpower (in his Aug. 17 Asheville Citizen-Times piece), North Carolina Rep. Larry Pitman, Missouri Rep. Todd Aiken, vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin Sen. Paul Ryan and their fellow male counterparts have such cavalier disdain for Planned Parenthood and their efforts to promote women's health and reproductive rights. If they are […]

The Gospel According to Jerry: Fur­nishing the Great Room

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of Jerry Sternberg’s continuing “Life in Seely’s Castle” saga. It could have been the set for one of those stuffy old English movies where the royalty sit around in their robes surrounded by their fittingly dressed councilors and courtiers harrumphing about the commoners’ shortcomings. The very enormity of […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Editor’s note: For the first two installments of this continuing saga, see “Seely’s Castle, an Asheville Wonder” (May 9 Xpress) and “Buying Seely’s Castle” (June 20). The first question people would ask when they heard about my acquiring Seely’s Castle was “What’s it like living in that place?” The answer was, “Actually we just camp […]

Rock solid: Fred Seely— son-in-law to E.W. Grove of Grove Park Inn and Grove Arcade fame — built Overlook Castle in 1914-15 with rock quarried nearby. Today, we know the 20,000-square-foot structure as Seely’s Castle. photo courtesy of the E.M. Ball Collection at UNCA’s Ramsey Library

The Gospel According to Jerry

Everybody dreams of being king for a day, but I became a king for several years. Not really, though I did get to live in a real castle, which was certainly a very special life experience. High above Asheville, right off Town Mountain Road, sits an imposing stone castle offering spectacular panoramic views. The 20,000-square-foot […]

The gospel according to Jerry

I’ve been having a hard time getting my head around the Occupy Asheville movement. After reading many news reports, I’m still bewildered. I may be classified as a member of the 1 per cent, but I strongly believe that many in the 99 percent are getting the short end of the economic stick. Over the […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

If you own a home, farm or business, you could suffer huge losses when Jesse James and his Eminent Domain Gang ride onto your spread — unless you know what to do. I speak from experience here, having recently concluded a run-in with the Metropolitan Sewerage District. I’m not a lawyer, but here’s my take […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

In case you haven't noticed, Asheville and Buncombe County have been inundated by a political tsunami. As an amateur political seismologist, I can tell you that the underlying political earthquake came from several directions and still caught most of us by surprise. There were the national tremors caused by the bad economy, unemployment and huge […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Two recent Asheville Citizen-Times articles really caught my attention. One said that Rep. Heath Shuler had co-sponsored a bill to withdraw government funding from Planned Parenthood. The other reported that state Rep. Patsy Keever, with whom I’ve had serious political differences, bravely cast the lone vote against a law banning anyone considered a sex offender […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I am about to commit an act of blasphemy that will rival Salman Rushdie's insult to the Prophet Muhammad and may create an equivalent firestorm. But before you start heating the tar buckets and fetch the rail, please keep in mind that at this point, I am merely postulating, not advocating. Still, with March Madness […]

Life’s a beach: “Intensive intervention” students at Reynolds High cooked up this creative entry for the Grove Park Inn’s annual gingerbread-house competition — and came up winners. photo by Annie Joyce

House of triumph

Every so often there’s a story that just cries out to be told; this is one of them. There are two classes of very special young people at A.C. Reynolds High School. These “intensive intervention” classes serve young people ages 15 to 21 who’ve been diagnosed with a wide range of disabilities, from autism to […]

Hand-me-down memories

As I begin my ninth decade of living in Asheville and reflect upon holiday memories from my youth, I find an interesting dichotomy. Here are a couple of examples. I’ve written about attending the city schools in the 1930s and ’40s and my discomfort at having to endure daily Christian prayers and Bible readings as […]

Then and now

Watching the children scurry around getting ready for school again, I can’t help but remember my own first entrance into that huge, gleaming-white, Merrimon Avenue monolith known as Claxton School some 74 years ago. I had lived in the neighborhood for two years, and now I was finally ready to join my older pals as […]