The Gospel According to Jerry

For some time now, I've been reflecting on the astonishing visit of our president and first lady, who chose Asheville to enjoy a brief respite from the unbelievably trying duties of the office of president and the leadership of the free world. It's significant that these two people of color chose to stay at the […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The recent discussions among Asheville's "progressive-leaning" City Council members have cooked up some real food for thought. In a recent City Council meeting, Council member Gordon Smith made an eloquent appeal to provide city employees with same-gender partners — I don't agree with labeling them "same-sex partners," because we can't assume that they have sex […]

The Gospel According to Jerry: Hawaii oh no

I am mad as hell about the Airport Authority delegation's $13,000 trip to sunny Hawaii in the dead of winter to attend the Aviation Issues Conference. I'm not mad because the delegation went to Hawaii; I'm mad because the local press irresponsibly sensationalized the issue. They served up this red herring to a populace already […]

Turkey in the straw

When I attended UNC-Chapel Hill in the late '40s, most students viewed the holiday season as a time to relax. For me it represented economic opportunity. My parents had saved to pay my college expenses, but I was responsible for earning my spending money. My first year home from college, a close family friend gave […]

Traffic Calming

The city gaveth, and the city must taketh away. I have been on a crusade of sorts for the last year and a half. At issue is the city's inept, ineffective and dangerous attempt at traffic calming in north Asheville, on Charlotte Street and on Macon and Kimberly avenues. In the spring of 2008, City […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

By 1936, the Great Depression had savaged the nation and the world, and Asheville and Buncombe County were left in dire financial circumstances. Schoolteachers were being paid in scrip (IOUs from the county that some local merchants reluctantly accepted, at deep discounts, so that teachers could buy the bare necessities of life). Land was still […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I suffer from the same senior malady as most of my peers in that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast or where I left my cell phone, but I am blessed with an uncanny recall of things that happened when I was a very small child. Given the present economic situation, I thought […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Ever wonder why Asheville is such a clown town when it comes to local politics? Our City Council works very hard with good and honorable intentions, but they seem to trip over their personal agendas, egos and lack of pragmatism. My conclusion is that this is because they’re elected by, and only hear the drumbeat […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I’ve been taken to the woodshed by some animal-rights folks after describing my experience buying a lot of old horses and mules at the Asheville stockyard to be processed in my father’s rendering plant (see “The Gospel According to Jerry,” Nov. 26, 2008 Xpress). There was no truck available to haul these animals. My father […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

When I grew up in small-town Asheville, Christmas was magical. True, it was a secular holiday for my family and me. But who could ignore the excitement of the Christmas parade, the lights and decorations, the music and the spirit of giving and caring that pervaded the community during that time of year? “White Christmas” […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Let me tell you about one of the longest days of my life. As I’ve mentioned in earlier columns, my father operated a rendering plant on Riverside Drive just south of Broadway. We bought product from many different sources, one of which was the Asheville Livestock Yard, located near where the Day’s warehouses are now. […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

As I watched the final night of the Democratic convention, I reflected on how I was brought up segregated in Asheville. It was made clear that I shouldn’t drink from the black water fountain at Sears, or use the black men’s room on Pack Square, or sit in the back of the bus or in […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

We have a free front seat at one of the great melodramas, replete with Roman tragedy, Greek pathos, bathos and raw comedy. The opening scene takes place in City/County Plaza in the ancient village of Asheville. Many worshippers and mystical witches are dancing around a beautiful magnolia tree that they have imbued with a special […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

MooI was 14 years old when V-J Day was declared in August of 1945. It happened that my crazy Aunt Johanna, whom I just loved, was visiting us from Philadelphia. She asked my dad if I could go back to Philadelphia with her. My dad said it would cost too much for a train ticket, […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

An expert is a person from more than 50 miles away with a briefcase. Recently the city of Asheville hired a group of experts called Goody Clancy all the way from Boston, Mass., to tell us what we should do with our downtown in order to appease our no-growth activists. It seems like we go […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

I hope this column passes the smell test. Actually it seems appropriate that as a preamble to this narrative we discuss people’s selective acceptance of unpleasant odors. When I was very small, my father was a dealer in cowhides. He would come home in the evening, pick me up and give me a big hug, […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

First of all, I want to announce that I am not a hysterical revisionist. In my Feb. 6 column, I mentioned that the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on Dec. 7, 1942; the correct year is 1941. Both my editor and I missed it: my bad, he badder. This mistake did have one positive effect, […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

The 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, got me reflecting on how much the 1942 attack changed my life—and changed Asheville. I have a particularly vivid memory of what happened that fateful day. My father had taken me and several of my little friends to the Isis Theater in West Asheville, where we […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

My most exciting memories of life along the French Broad River in my very early teens were of my surreptitious forays to the Asheville stockyard, which was then on Riverside Drive near Day’s Tobacco Warehouse. I would wait till my dad left for his regular Friday buying trip and then jump off the back rail […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Council member Carl Mumpower and I must have had similar upbringings, learning at home and later in the military that laws were made to be enforced, and violating them would bring swift justice. Our country is now overrun with millions of illegal immigrants who are thumbing their noses at Uncle Sam. They are sucking the […]