Contributing Works Stories

Swimsuit Dilemma

by Debra Vernon

I am blessed to have many friends and acquaintances to share this thing called “life”. And there are two I know I can count on through thick or thin. We refer to ourselves as the “YaYa’s” and we have a grand old time when we are in each other’s company.

A couple of times each year, we try to schedule a road trip to spend some quality time together. Our quality time consists of eating, sleep, laugh and repeat. We do this over a span of one or several days. We have an upcoming beach trip planned for September, and no matter the weather, we WILL have fun when we go.

I have worn the same two swimsuits during our beach forays for several years. I do not use them much, so both are still in decent shape. But I thought perhaps I would procure another one, just so the YaYa’s would not have to see the same old dull and boring ones of years past. Let it be known from this point forward that I am not a small woman. I am not even close to small/petite/slim or any other adjective indicating someone who wears a swimsuit well. I am a chunky chick, and big girls like me can encounter problems when it comes to finding a decent and suitable swimsuit. There are a few stores that cater to the “full figure” woman, and heaven knows I am quite full. So, I ventured forth one recent Saturday to see what the fashion world was offering up for beach attire.

The choices for those who are “normal size” offered up bright colors, cute ruffles/frills, along with one and two-piece options, in halter style, over-the-shoulder straps or tankinis. So cute! But then I passed on through to the chunky chick section. The colors there were not as bold, and although I would never subject the human race to seeing my various body parts dangling outside the confines of a bikini, it would be nice to at least see one on the rack. But all the choices were one piece or two pieces, with the bottom either a pair of shorts, or a skirt looking contraption.

After finding one somewhat pleasing to my eye, and in a size I thought compatible, I ventured to the fitting room. I was sternly warned by the attendant to not try it on without my underwear still firmly in place, and I assured her I would certainly adhere to that request. There were also signs in each fitting room to warn of the dangers of cootie contamination if I completely undressed to try on the bathing suit. Check and check on those two items – I moved on to the try-on.

I understand swimsuits must be made to fit the body closely and also withstand water/chlorine/sand. This often means they are made of a type of spandex material that has lots of give/stretch, and repels water well. However, this also means it takes monumental strength to get the thing on and then up over the body. I am amazed others in the fitting room did not call out to see if I was okay, as all the wheezing, groaning and the slap of elastic hitting fat had to have them wondering what in the world was going on in my little cubby.

By the time I worked the one piece up and over my belly, I had perspiration dripping off me like sweat! No “glistening” for this southern belle! And, I still had to corral the bosoms, capture them under the stretch spandex, and get the straps over my shoulder! This swimsuit did not have a built-in bra, so it was hard to discern if I had placed “the girls” correctly in the suit. But once I completed the task, nothing was hanging out, so I figured I was okay.

A look in the mirror let me know I was NOT okay, as this was not the most becoming look I had ever modeled. I could plainly see if someone approached me with a sharp object, and just lightly touched the fabric over my belly or butt, they would have suffered a debilitating injury from the quick release of the spandex which would whip outward from my space and into theirs. I also noticed my fat rolls had relocated to other parts of my body, mainly up or down, depending on their original location. My muffin top had traveled up to my neck area, while my lower abdomen excess was hugging my kneecaps. All that spandex was squishing me out of my regular proportions! And, probably most concerning, it was difficult to breathe. Breathing is extremely important to me, so I decided to look for another swimsuit. But first, I had to get this one off.

Remember all the sweating mentioned in putting on the swimsuit? Moisture such as that does not bode well for getting a very form-fitting outfit off your person. I took a deep breath (as much as was allowed by the “tougher than steel” elastic encompassing my chest), and proceeded to yank and pull from the top. As I worked my way down, I unleashed body parts that had been confined by the spandex, and they jiggled and wiggled themselves into blissful freedom as they proceeded to let gravity pull them back into their rightful place. I was also able to take a breath, which was quite beneficial. After wrangling around for a few more minutes, I was able to escape the swimsuit, and exited the fitting room with the offending garment in hand to be returned to the rack.

Rather than subject myself to another episode of “chunky chick aerobics”, I decided the two swimsuits already in my possession were quite sufficient for my YaYa beach trip and did not seek out another one. I mean, they cover what is necessary and after my experience of shopping for a new one, I did not care if the two YaYa’s were tired of looking at the old ones. I just wanted to be able to breathe and enjoy the hot tub, without being suffocated by my relocated muffin top.

Contributing Works Stories

Insurance, Heal Thyself

by Debra Vernon

Recently, I experienced some abdominal distress which would come and go, but never entirely go away.  After one eventful morning full of pain and unpleasant side effects, I figured I had better have it checked out.  This is when I entered the world of “healthcare insurance hell” and it has been quite the journey.

If I go to a doctor for anything other than routine lab work associated with a maintenance drug I am on, it is a clear sign I am sick.  When I informed my daughter of my first office visit, she jokingly asked if she should prepare my final arrangements.  She knows if Mom is going to the doctor, mom is NOT WELL.

The healthcare which can be obtained in the US is top notch.  However, if you are blessed to have health insurance, convincing your carrier to let you partake of the healthcare services and/or products which can ease your discomfort and make you well is a job within itself, and not one for the faint of heart.  Luckily, the career path I have had over the last 30+ years has more than equipped me with the education and expertise to “talk the talk” of insurance.

Early on the first morning of this odyssey, I called my primary care provider (PCP).  I explained my symptoms and asked if it were possible to be seen.  There were no openings that day, so I opted to go to a local urgent care.  I did check to make sure the urgent care facility was an “in-network provider”, so my insurance would cover the cost.  They were in-network, so I arrived and was seen promptly.  Lab work as well as an abdominal ultrasound was deemed necessary and scheduled at the local hospital outpatient facility.  Lab work was scheduled right away, and the abdominal ultrasound for later in the afternoon.  Since the hospital is in-network, and there is no pre-approval process for either lab work or imaging, I was able to provide copious amounts of blood that morning and have the ultrasound performed later in the day.  Results of both tests did not clearly indicate the cause of my pain and distress.  I was advised by the urgent care to set up an appointment with my PCP to continue to pursue answers.

Now, it just so happened I was scheduled to see my PCP the very next morning for bloodwork.  I checked in at the window for the appointment, and explained what occurred the previous day, and asked if I could be worked in to see my PCP.  The person at the registration window looked for an appointment and explained I could be seen in mid-August.  I carefully explained I could be dead by then of an unknown cause and needed something just a wee bit sooner.  They said they could work me in the very next morning to see a Nurse Practitioner (NP), and I told them that was fine, and I would take it.  Meanwhile, after providing bloodwork and speaking with the phlebotomist about what was happening, she went with me to another scheduler and lo and behold, she was able to get me an appointment later the same day.  

I return to the office late in the afternoon and visited with the NP, who was very nice and listened intently to my spiel of symptoms and gave me a brief physical exam.  Her thoughts were to obtain a CT scan of the abdomen.  It was late afternoon, and their scheduler had left for the day, but the NP said she would make sure she had the paperwork and everything ready for the scheduler when she came in the next morning.  So, I returned home with a prescription for anti-nausea medication, with hopes the scan would be scheduled soon, so a diagnosis and treatment plan might be obtained.

The next morning (now day 3 of being more than just a little sick), I called the office around 11 am, as I had not heard anything.  When I spoke with the scheduler, she stated she was working with my insurance carrier on getting pre-approval of the CT scan.  I explained that my summary plan description (SPD) stated no prior approval was necessary for imaging.  She told me the carrier did say it was required for this test, and she was working on getting approval from them.  I thanked her for the information as well as her efforts on my behalf.  I believe the folks who work with insurance companies must be angels in disguise, as I know it cannot be an easy job to perform.

The next day was Friday, and day 4 of my misery.  By this time, I was ready to take treatment into my own hands by slicing my abdomen open, peering into the cavity, and yanking out anything I believed may relieve my symptoms.  The phone rang around 4 pm, and I was excited to see the caller ID of my doctor.  However, my happiness was short-lived.  Per the scheduler, she was still trying to obtain approval for the CT scan, but my carrier did not do their own approvals; they outsourced them to another company.  That company said I did not have a policy with the carrier so they could not approve anything.  The scheduler tried to appeal to them with the information on my ID card with the insurance carrier and explained this was now day 4 and the scan was needed ASAP.  They said they could only help once they confirmed I was insured and then it would have to be approved by medical review.  They anticipated this would happen in 4-6 business days.  

As you can imagine, this is NOT what someone who has felt like crap for several days wanted to hear.  I proceeded to enter “insurance mode” and started quoting verse and chapter of my plan document as it related to complex imaging.  I referenced the mobile application for my carrier which had the info clearly stated that no preapproval was required and explained it could be found on the carrier website as well.  I obtained a cell phone number for the scheduler and sent screenshots of both the SPD relating to the scan, as well as my insurance carrier ID card.  I was not rude, but I was firm in my response.  I could tell she was frustrated with the carrier as well, and with the information I sent, she promised to call them back.

While I waited for her to return my call, I was doing my own search for the preapproval company of my insurance carrier.  I did find a page dealing with changes made in 2019 as it related to preapprovals needed for imaging due to a cancer diagnosis.  But that was not the case here.  Someone at that company was not paying attention to the MD orders.

After a few minutes, the scheduler did call back with good news!  I did not have to have pre-approval (imagine that)!  But, since it was almost 5 pm on a Friday, she could not get a scan scheduled until the following Tuesday.  I was still ecstatic, as we were making progress, and I had learned how to alleviate some of the distress and discomfort.  I thanked her for her efforts and told her how much I appreciated her tenacity on getting me the help I needed.  

As I write this, it is the day prior to the scan.  I have some special vanilla-flavored contrast dye to consume later tonight and first thing in the morning (I’m sure it’s just absolutely yummy), and then the procedure will be performed.  Hopefully, it will provide the information necessary to find a treatment plan and get me back to feeling better very soon.

I have figured out my out-of-pocket expense for all of this after deductibles and coinsurance have been applied.  It is quite the chunk of change.  But I am still thankful to have insurance to help pay a large portion of the bills.  I am also appreciative of an MD office that works hard to help me obtain the care I need when I need it, as well as a healthcare facility close to home. But how much do you want to bet that when the bills start rolling in, I will have to review them for accuracy, to make sure they are paid in accordance with my SPD?  There is no doubt I will be on the phone, explaining to the insurance company what their responsibilities are concerning payment of my healthcare expenses.  Insurance, heal thyself – it is desperately needed.  

Contributing Works Stories Uncategorized

How’s Your Garden Doing?

By WT Cox

That is a question that is commonly heard around these parts this time of year.  Here in Southern Randolph County, almost every homeowner has a garden.  Even “town folk” and people living in apartments will have some veggies growing in pots or in flower beds around the house.  I am amazed at how well tomatoes, squash, peppers and herbs thrive in pots.  This year, I planted some onion pods in a few unused flowerpots we had sitting around the house and almost all of them grew to golf ball size onions that I have used for salads and in recipes. The reason for the curiosity about one’s garden is two-fold.  On one side, people may just be curious and wanting to start a conversation, but on the other side, more likely they try to give away some of the vegetables they have grown.  People tend to be generous with the bounty of their gardens.  Once you have planted and tended to one, you surely hate to see the fruit of your labor go to waste, so giving them away to someone to enjoy is a great option.   I try to use everything I grow.  That means cooking fresh grown produce at home or canning and freezing for future meals.  It can also mean sharing with my neighbors and friends. Green beans are always welcome, but they are hard to pick, and when you acquire some, it means more work. Green beans have to be strung, washed, snapped and prepared… but the hard work is certainly worth it.   If you are offered green beans from someone’s garden, then you have a good friend.   More times than not, the offering will be for zucchini, squash or tomatoes, which are all good.   Once these vegetables start coming in, they tend to do so rapidly.  One can only eat so many zucchini before you run out of ways to fix them.  Zucchini can be stewed, fried, sautéed, steamed or served raw…  probably you will serve them several times a week during the peak harvest season and still have plenty to give away.  

Can You Eat Green Beans Raw?

I am not a big gardener.  My father was, and so was my grandfather, and I  have  a lot of memories working in their gardens during my youth.  I used to grow green beans and corn and sell them along the roadside to make extra money when I was young, so I grew up knowing how to raise a garden.  Now, I don’t have time to plant a big garden because my businesses take up most of my time, so I have opted for a nice raised bed garden. My wife Lisa is very understanding with me not having much free time and she helps me when she can. Our hectic schedule sometimes keeps us from spending the time required to have a “great” garden.  A good garden requires a lot of work.  Daily weeding and supervision is needed to keep critters and insects away and prevent weeds from taking over.  This year I put up strands of red survey tape around my garden and that seemed to keep the deer away.  I also use fake owls and a scarecrow along with marigolds all around the perimeter to deter insects. Last year I did not do the work that I should have and my garden did not do very well.  I was determined not to let that happen again this year.  This year, by the 10th of May, I had my garden planted and most of the items were coming up.  My little 40’ x 50’ raised garden seemed to be thriving. Squash was the first to arrive.  We took a weekend and went to the beach and when we came back, my three squash plants seemed to be dying. Squash bugs had taken their toll. I was disappointed that we only got a few squashes before the plants died, but the zucchini plants seemed to be thriving.  I took some seeds from a spaghetti squash I purchased from Food Lion and planted them in two hills just for the heck of it.  They came up and are growing like crazy; they now cover the south corner of my little garden.  So far we have gotten at least a dozen of these tasty squash from those two vines and more to come.

Are Squash and Zucchini Actually the Same Thing? | Recipes, Dinners and  Easy Meal Ideas | Food Network

  My cucumbers began coming in several weeks ago.  I planted six hills of pickling cukes, but only four survived … one I stepped on by mistake while pulling weeds and the other was stepped on by my dog Jasmine (she was helping)…  but four vines survived and are doing well.   I love cucumbers … I could eat them every day.  I prefer small pickling cukes, not over 4 inches in length.  This year I have been getting between 4 and 8 every day from my four little vines… just enough to keep me happy.  My green beans did exceptionally well too.  I planted two 30 ft rows of half runners and about 15 ft of bush beans. So far, we have gotten at least three bushels to can and have given away almost that much more.  I like to fix green beans in my wok, with fresh garlic, olive oil, and salt… they make a great addition to almost any meal. My tomatoes are coming in too.  Right now our kitchen counter is covered in tomatoes in various stages of ripening.  I have learned to pull them off the vines before they get too ripe because squirrels will get them if  I  don’t.  The produce drawer in our fridge is full of zucchini and we have cantaloupes that are just beginning to ripen.   I planted my okra from seed, and probably should have thinned them more because the stalks are too close together now, but still are producing as much as we can eat.  My dad used to pull the leaves off below the okra pods when they were harvested.  He said it made the stalks grow taller and produce longer.   That seems to work. Soon all of these veggies will be gone.  My cucumber vines are already starting to turn brown around the edges, so they won’t be producing much longer.   I will be glad when my friends ask me “How is your garden?  Do you need any veggies?”.

It won’t be long before it will be time to pull up the old vines and plant new greens/broccoli and collards for the fall.  That will be another story.   

Here is a tasty treat that was told to me by my friend Roger Brown.  If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of yellow squash, try this.  Take a young “baby” squash, one that is only three to four inches long.  Wash and slice in half.  Place a chunk of real butter between the slices and lightly salt, then put into the microwave for 20 seconds.   Yum!

Contributing Works Stories

The Southern Yellow Jacket

By WT Cox 

I love doing yard work and spend a lot of time working my our yard, which  consist of mowing, putting out mulch, weed eating, trimming shrubbery and the like. You have to enjoy having a nice, manicured yard because it is a lot of hard work.  

Not only is the heat this time of year exhausting, here in the South, but we are also in a constant battle with wildlife. The deer love my fruit trees, and usually get more apples and peaches than I do. During rutting season, the bucks like to use my small fruit trees as scratching post for their antlers. Fire ants are also a menace. If left un-treated, red hills of aggressive little fire ants would dot my landscape, but I have learned to keep a bottle of acephate on my mower to sprinkle on the hills when I first seen signs of them.   Moles and voles can also wreak havoc on a yard. The trick to keeping them away is to treat the yard in the spring for the grubs that they are seeking. This is not a sure cure, but it does help. 

The most irritating and annoying critters that we have to deal with are the vicious Yellow Jacket. This time of year these little devils seem to be everywhere.  These small wasps are not only annoying, but their stings can also be very painful. My mother was putting out some pine bark nuggets along her drive a few days ago and inadvertently laid a bag directly on top of a nest of yellow jackets.  Before she knew what was happening, she was stung over 40 times. 

While the sting of a yellow jacket is painful enough to earn my respect, if your are allegoric to bee stings like my mother is, they can be deadly. Within a few seconds, she began to swell and lose conscience. It was nothing short of a miracle that she was able to call for help and was rushed to get medical help. That many stings could have easily caused death if not treated quickly. 

Yellow Jackets are vicious little critters. They are considered beneficial insects because they feed their young on insects that would otherwise damage crops and ornamental plants in your garden. They can also feed on house fly and blow fly larva.  All this is great, but to me, they are just a pest. I was mowing my yard a couple weeks and got popped in the back of the neck by one. It felt like someone had hit me with a baseball bat.  I can only imagine what my 89-year-old mother must have went through when she got stung so many times.

A yellow jacket will sting you seemingly for no reason.  While enjoying a picnic or meal outdoors, they will fight you for your food and refuse to leave you alone. Yellow Jackets are basically the assholes of the wasp family. They live in very well camouflaged holes in the ground, usually in flower beds or around trees and shrubbery, just waiting for a reason to attack.  There can be thousands of them underground and you never see them until you inadvertently stumble onto their liar… then it is “run for your life.” If you just stand there as swat them, they will cover you up with stings in a few seconds.  

The best cure for these little devils is gasoline…   I am not a fan

. Jackets Pest Control Services, Nest Removal ...

Contributing Works Stories Yesteryear

How did they celebrate the 4th of July 150 years ago???

The 4th of July did not always mean fireworks, hot dogs or a trip to the beach. Years ago it had a more traditional meaning. Somehow over the years, we have lost much of our patriotic pride that used to be exhibited to the fullest on Independence Day. As for me, I am very patriotic, but I still enjoy our trip to the beach every July 4th.

Traditional Independence Day celebrations used to include the singing of the National Anthem and the Reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was a time of remembrance and one of thanksgiving for the freedom we enjoy as Americans. Marching bands, local militias doing drill marches and a lot of flag waving were the order of the day. Afterward, a speaker would usually give a patriotic speech and then more singing, then a covered dish dinner on the grounds. 

Our current “National Air ” or anthem is of course The Star-Spangled Banner, but it probably was not the song played in this position on the program. President Woodrow Wilson first ordered the SSB to be played at military and naval occasions in 1916, but it was not designated the national anthem by an Act of Congress until 1931. Before that time, “Hail Columbia” had been considered the unofficial national anthem. The words to “Hail Columbia, Happy Land!” were written in 1798 by Joseph Hopkinson (son of Francis Hopkinson, composer and signer of the Declaration of Independence), and set to the tune of “The President’s March,” a tune composed by Philip Phile for President George Washington’s inauguration.  ‘Hail Columbia’ is still used as the official song for the Vice President of the United States of America.

Whether vocal, instrumental or military, there is a wealth of American Independence Day music that could be inserted here.  “The Liberty Song”, written by Founding Father John Dickinson in 1768 and set to the music of William Boyce’s “Heart of Oak” was perhaps the first patriotic song written in America. The song contains the line “by uniting we stand, by dividing we fall…”  Others written in the 18th century were “Ode for the 4th of July” and “Ode for American Independence” (1789).  “The Patriotic Diggers,” published in 1814 was popular in the period. If it was another ‘patriotic hymn’ read and sung, “The American Star” is a good possibility because it is one of the few non-religious songs published in the original Sacred Harp hymnal (#346, 1844 ed.).  The first publication of the song was in an 1817 collection entitled The American Star, which was inspired by the War of 1812 and also included the first printing of the Star Spangled Banner.   White and King’s “The Sacred Harp” was first published in 1844, but it was based on William Walker’s “Southern Harmony” (1835).

Taken from, by Mac Whatley , with introduction by WT Cox

Fife Drum OSV2

Independence Day OSVIndependence Day OSV 2

Contributing Works Stories

The Tale of a Talented Broomstraw

by Debra Vernon

My Saturdays are spent washing clothes and cleaning house. While bedecked in my little terry cloth robe over the
weekend, I proceeded to sweep the kitchen. Somehow I managed to trip over my own two feet and took a tumble to the floor. I felt a brief sting in my derrière at the time but gave it little thought. I picked myself up, determined there were no broken bones and started sweeping again. It was then I felt another stabbing pain in my right buttock. I rub my hand over the area and can feel something where there should be nothing. A quick trip to the bathroom and a mirror in hand reveals a broom straw embedded just under the skin of my right butt cheek! How in the world did it evolve from a normal broom straw to a hypodermic one in the nano-second it took me to fall upon the broom on my way to the floor? And how did it manage to wedge itself between my robe and body? This was a seriously talented broom straw! It had traveled places where no one had before! And I wanted it out! Then I had to ponder – should I just yank it out or try to gently pull on it? What would I do if I broke it off before getting it all out? Go to the ER
with a straw in my butt? Nope, not an option. Didn’t want to have to explain to the doc or the insurance company. So with a “grin and bear it” mentality, I took a deep breath and pulled out the offending particle. I’m glad to say I successfully removed all of it, and with very little bloodshed. But I do believe I will switch from a straw broom to a Swiffer. What can possibly go wrong with that, right?

Contributing Works Stories Yesteryear

Nicknames. Like it or not, most of us had one.

by W.T. Cox

What’s in a name?  Every person has one.  The folks from Randolph County are special, in that most people who grew up here have more than one name.  Almost everybody had a “nickname”.  These were names given to people and you were known for the most part by your NickName.  Many times, we recognize a person’s nickname and not know his real “birth” name.  Nick Names are special and are given for a variety of reasons.  Some glamorize a person or highlight a certain achievement.  Examples of this kind of nickname is “Slugger”, or “Hard Hitter”.  Other nicknames describe a person’s appearance, such as “Red”, “Freckles” or “Slim”.  There are even nicknames that are basically shortened versions of a person’s name, such as “Mit”, “Bob”, and “Ed” for Eddie.   Then there are the nicknames that are given for reasons unknown that seem less glamorous.  Examples of these are “Stump”, “Fat”, “Stick” and “Dub Dub”.   Also some nick names seem to be given for no reason at all.   For these, there seems not to be an explanation. 

One thing is certain:  No one ever gets to choose their nickname.    

My nickname growing up was “Dub Dub”.  I used to hate that name.  It seemed so demeaning, or sometimes like a tease.  But over time, I accepted it, and today when someone comes up to me and calls me “Dub”, it brings back memories of growing up here in Ramseur and many of the good times I shared with friends.   Just like most people, I did not have a choice as to what my nickname would be.  Mine goes way back to my first grade class in Ramseur School.  I was in Ms Pete Burgess’ first grade class.  As a six year old, I saw Ms. Burgess as a strict, no nonsense teacher, but one that we could tease… sort of like a female Sergeant Schultz. In our class, we had three “Tim’s” in there, and when the teacher would call on “Tim” to answer a question or to tell “sit down and behave”, all three of us would answer.  This seemed to irritate our teacher, so naturally we all did it every chance we got.  There was Tim Cranford, Tim Clarkston Cox and me… William Timothy Cox.   Sometimes we would do this just to spite Ms Burgess.  Most of the time, we knew which one of us she was referring to when she snapped “sit down and be quite”, but being the malicious little kids like we were, all of us would answer.  Eventually Ms Pete got tired of our mocking and came up with a solution.  She said, “for now own, when I call on Tim, I mean Tim Cranford and just him.  If I say Tim C, then that is you Timothy Clarkston, and from now on Mr. Cox, you will be Tim W.” I immediately protested saying that my name was not Tim W, but W Tim.  Ms Burgess would not listen to reason, and told me to shut up and sit down or I would experience her wrath (which could be considerable). When recess came and we were allowed on the playground, my classmates began to laugh and kid me about my new “name”..  “Tim W… Doubua.. Doubua…   Dub Dub”. Well, I did not like the nickname, but it stuck. I did not have a choice. That was 62 years ago, and some of my classmates still call me by that name.  Over the years, I have accepted it and actually like it now.   

Most people with nicknames can recall how their name came about, but some still don’t have a clue. One thing is for certain. We don’t have a choice of what we are called, but almost everyone had some kind of nickname growing up here. Below are just a few that I remember? There is also a list of nicknames I recall growing up, but cannot put a name to them. How many of these do you remember? 

Nick Names from the Eastern Randolph area:  

–Twink/ Larry Wright

–Tink/ Tim Wright

–Pickles/ Sally Tucker

–Doughbelly/ Mickey Simmons

–Flash/ Jerry Parks

–Pulpwood/ Danny Presswood

–Stick/ Ricky Horner

–Nose/ Hal Richardson

–Pig/ Bill Marley

–Mit/ Milton Brown

–Mushie/ Johnny Crutchfield 

–Measel/ Kenny Morgan

–Wolfee/ Jerry Wolfe

–DubDub/ Tim Cox

–Yellar/ Richard Garner

–Bubba/ Billy Whitten

–Chigger/ David Chriscoe

–Stump/ Larry Stout

–Noonie/ Robert Poe Tucker

–Blimp/ Bobby Johnson

–Porky/ Karl Ernst

–Skinny/ Joe Hodgin

–Boody/ Waylon Brown

–Mayor/ Steve Siler

–Moe/ Franklin Clyde  McAlister

–Son/ Charles Lane

–Prissy/ Janet Siler Booth

–Cube/ Don  Burgess

–Fat/ Ashley Goldston

–Nellie/ Carnell Goldston

–Ernie/ Earnell Watson

–Red/ Teresa Horner

–Red/ William York

–Happy/ Hampton Spivey

–Gouber/ Bob Graham

–Toad/ Craig Macon

–Toad/ Jerry Hopkins

–Pep/ Culpepper Watkins

–Toot/ Thursell Lineberry

–Pot/ Benny Flowers

–Dynomite/ Mike Brown

–Greenie/ Harris W Marley

–Cowboy/ Richard Garner

–Fish/ Wayne Salmon

–ET/ Claude Edgar Tucker

–Goat/ Billy York

–Jay Bird/ Millard Everette Hinson

–Stanjo/ Stan Brown

–Puddin/ Jaws Jeff Hoover

–Pierre/ Perry Stout

–Flea/ Keith Carmac

–Stop/ Danny Gallimore

–A-Boo/ Edna Nixon

–Hat/ Bobby Bower

–Fid/ James Coward

–Ott/ Arthur Gant Sr

–Little Ott/ Arthur Gant

–Ear/ Ronnie Campbell

–Cotton/ James Raines

–Donut/ Delano Welborn

–Hat/ Clarence Harris

–Bubby/ David Kenedy

–Bush/ Phillip Wright

–Bush/ David Craven

–Cactus/ Terry York

–Charm/ Bobby Burgess

–Soup/ Crain Campbell

–Little Armp/ David Staley
–Sharp Eye/ Jack Stout

–Rabbit/ Jeff Wright

–Measel/ Kenny Morgan

–Duffy/ Jerry Cox

–Tiny/ Frank Chamberlin

–Bunt/ Cletus Carmac 

–Soup/ Craig Campbell

–No Hit/ Wayne Burgess

–Ace/ AJ Kirkman

–Doc/ Robert Thomas

–Doc/ Robert Graham Sr.

Here is a list of NickNames from the Ramseur Area over the past 50 years.  Do you recognize any of these?  E-mail your answer to us and we will include them in the next issue of the “Bulletin”.  Send your answers to 






Hard Rock

Sharp Eye


Red Eye

Bad Eye





Short Jaw

Crooked jaw


Tall Man









One Arm









Short Legs






High Crown


New Grounder


Long Arm




High Gear



Wild Man

Dirty Jack







Double P


Big Daddy





























Duck Soc



















Contributing Works Stories

Is That A Tick?

by Debra Vernon

Here is something sure to entertain you for the evening. I call this little ditty “is that a tick on my nether regions”? After mowing and weed-eating my yard and my mom’s, I came into the house and immediately jumped in the shower. While lathering up, I thought I detected a little “bump” where there should be none. After getting out of the shower, I proceeded to investigate. “How,” I asked myself “can I even see the nether regions area to investigate?” I proceeded to put a mirror in my hand and propped one of my legs up onto the edge of the bathtub, intending to get a peek at the area where I felt the bump. As I’m tilting the magnifying mirror to and fro, the mirror itself falls out of the frame and breaks. I now have one leg in the air, little slivers of glass on the floor, and still the possibility of a tick munching on my nether regions. I lower the leg, clean up the glass and press on. Next up is trying to use the video option on my phone to see if there is a blood-sucking parasite located in the nether regions. I can only hope I deleted the video before it uploaded to the cloud, or I may be arrested tomorrow for indecency. After all this, no tick was found feasting on my nether regions – believe me when I say I looked closely! Now, this makes your evening seem much more serene and pleasant doesn’t it?

Contributing Works Stories

Defeated No More

By Debra Vernon

It’s early morning on a Monday as I write this to you.  I love the long days of summer when the sun rises early and sets late.  It provides a lot of hours of daylight to fill with either activity or rest.  I am a morning person.  I do not mind getting up early and enjoying the quiet time before the start of the day.  But if you expect much out of me after 9 pm, you’re certain to be disappointed, as I turn into a sleepy gremlin around that time!

I especially cherish this morning, as my outlook on life has improved from where it has been these last few weeks.  The long days of summer bring heat, and I don’t do well with heat, even in my air-conditioned world.  It causes me irritation and frustration, and there are times I let that fester and grow into a season of discontent.  Joy becomes reclusive during these times, and a smile is not as quick to show on my face.  The quiet I usually cherish becomes dismal due to no one to talk to.  And it sneaks up on me, hardly without notice, until something or someone mentions a change.  I was reminded of this on two separate occasions just yesterday: first at worship and then at prayer group.

During worship, a missionary our church has supported for years came to provide an update of their work in South Africa.  And a mighty work it is!  I am so enthralled and appreciative of those who pack up their family and their home and move to a land far away to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  There are hardships for sure, but evidence shows there are blessings unmeasured in following His will to go into the world and tell others of His love.  The speaker mentioned that people go through seasons; and challenged us to find our season and the purpose of it.  So, I took the challenge and reviewed my situation.  

My most recent season has been one of some mild physical ailments, work which has taxed the limits of my expertise and ability, and an unusual feeling of loneliness.  What’s up with that?  As I age, with a birthday this month, I guess some physical limitation is to be expected.  I am blessed to continue to work through the pandemic and into the recovery period, but the stress of trying to help all those who call upon me with their problems has stressed me out.  And then, though I speak with folks daily on the phone and some in person, the end of the day has me wondering, “did anyone think of me today”?  What is my purpose during this time I am in the valley instead of on the mountain top? 

I was still pondering this as I arrived for prayer group.  I almost did not go.  It was hot, I was tired even after a nap, and I just wanted to stay home.  Not exactly the picture of someone with a purpose in life, right?   As it turns out, the gathering was small.  Tis the season for summer vacations, so that attributed to some absences, and health issues to others.  But the ones that were there greeted me with a smile and a hearty hello as I arrived, and I was happy I had come.

Our prayer group is such a blessing to me, and others!  We share our hopes, dreams, hurts and frustrations.  In other words, these folks see me “warts and all” and still love me.  You cannot ask for more than that.  And it was there, as we met together and prayed for our families, our church, our community, and a host of other things we stormed the gates of heaven with, I became aware that satan was being vanquished.  For you see, I had allowed him to occupy my thoughts, and he did what he does best:  kill, steal, and destroy.  He was killing my desire to gather with other believers, stealing my time away from being in The Word and destroying my joy!

Well, let me tell you.  A great burden was lifted from me last night.  And I believe others felt it too.  Will I succumb to the valley again?  I can guarantee it.  Will I be able to lift myself out of it?  Only through the One that loves me like no other.  But with Him by my side, as well as my prayer buddies, I am defeated no more.   

Contributing Works Stories

Arrowheads and Stone Tools

By: WT Cox

WT Cox and his dog Brandy

The rich history of Native American Culture can be found almost everywhere among the rolling hills and countryside of eastern Randolph County.  One of my favorite past times growing up was looking for “Indian Arrowheads”.  I remember priming tobacco when I was young and looking along the rows for those hidden treasures. Most farm boys (and girls) that grew up here in Randolph County have a collection that was found on their land.  History tells us that there were several large Indian Settlements in western Randolph. The ones around Caraway Creek and the Uwharrie River are the most famous, but eastern Randolph had its share of settlements as well.  

I remember years ago when Deep River was at a drought stage and the water level was almost dry, evidence of a large fish trap that spanned over half the river could be seen just above the bridge on US 64. The settlements that were here may have been smaller, but some date to a time many consider to be much older, perhaps over ten thousand years old.  Now, most of the best land for hunting arrowheads is either in the pasture or not accessible on private land, so there are not many places left to look for these ancient relics anymore. I guess growing up in the ’60s had its advantages. My relic hunting nowadays is limited to roadsides and garden patches.  Occasionally a farmer will let me walk a field that has been plowed, but most are reluctant to let people they don’t know onto their land, and who can blame them.  I certainly found my share during my younger days.  Many of the items that I recognize today as tools and objects Native Americans used, were discarded when I was younger because I simply did not know what I should be looking for.  Even with my lack of knowledge and experience, I was able to find several axe heads and stone hammers.  I even found a mortar stone that was used to grind grain, and multiple drills and arrow points ranging from tiny bird points to spearheads.  Once when clearing land for a new home site, I ran across a hoard of “un-finished” points.  I could not understand why so many half-made arrowheads were in one location… there were chips of flint all over the ground, but in one spot, I dug up enough rough points to fill a 5-gallon bucket.  I later learned that Indians would bury un-finished points along hunting paths so they could re-claim them the next year and have most of the work crafting the points already done.   When I was young one of my hunting spots for relics was not far from my house.  My grandfather farmed, so his land was always accessible, but  It was on land that once was an old home site for the Cowards back in the late 19th century that was my all-time favorite.  In my time, it was owned by CH Burgess and we were free to walk the fields after they were plowed. There was an old “Indian Stove” carved into a large rock in the woods near a tobacco field, and evidence of another “stove” on a rock not far from there.  I have read that these were used to heat stones for medical purposes, but I had always been told that it was a stove and used for baking.  Whatever the original purpose was, it was a cool place to visit.  We used to camp out there with our horses when I was a pre-teen and tell ghost stories… Those woods and the stories that could be told about the past made that it an enchanting place.   The “stove” is still there today but in the middle of a cow pasture.  The trees have been harvested, but the old stove is still there on private land.