Posts Tagged ‘Vance County NC’

My visit to the Confederate graveyard

July 16, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 16, 2015

I’ve lived the past decade and change in North Carolina, and for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it. This is not a knock on Henderson or Vance County, but I’m much better suited to Durham, and Durham is much better suited to me, than the small community where I lived for four years when I first came to the state.

My point here, however, is that despite those 11 and a half years, I am not a Southerner. I grew up outside New York City, went to college in Northern California, and returned to New York before moving to North Carolina.

As a result, my opinions on the Civil War are very different than they might have been had I been raised here. I view the Confederated States of America as a rebellion, not any kind of noble or lost cause. To me, symbols of the Confederacy stand for a group of secessionists who fought to maintain the cruel institution of slavery, not liberty-minded individuals who were standing up for states’ rights. Not until I had long been an adult, frankly, did it ever occur to me that any rational individual would think in the latter fashion.

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Notes on tiny Kittrell, North Carolina

July 11, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 11, 2015

When you drive north along U.S. 1 from Raleigh, before you reach the city of Henderson, you’ll come across Kittrell, North Carolina.

To be frank, you might not notice Kittrell — and you could easily be forgiven for overlooking it. Here, according to the 2010 Census, were the populations of the three incorporated municipalities in Vance County, N.C.:

• Henderson (Vance County seat): 15,368.

• Kittrell: 467.

• Middleburg: 133.

If memory serves, Kittrell is a no-stoplight town. I worked for the daily newspaper in Vance County, which covered Vance and the counties immediately to its east and west, for more than four years. I can only remember going to Kittrell for work purposes once, to cover a community meeting about the proposed establishment of zoning authority in Vance County. (The proposal was quite controversial and was quashed by conservative rural property owners who were afraid the government would prevent them from doing whatever they wanted with their land.)

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There I was, driving in my car, thinking about a lake named Carr… Err, I mean Kerr

December 18, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 18, 2014

On Wednesday evening, I was making a short drive to a local coffee shop. I fiddled with the radio and found myself listening briefly to a North Carolina State men’s basketball broadcast on the school’s flagship station, Raleigh’s 101.5 FM WRAL.

I didn’t listen very long before changing the station, and I didn’t pay much to what I heard, but broadcaster Gary Hahn uttered a sentence that stuck in my mind.

“When you’re feeling it, when you’re a shooter, the basket looks as big as Kerr Lake,” Hahn exclaimed. He was discussing a hot-handed player — presumably senior guard Ralston Turner, who scored 33 points in the Pack’s 83-72 home win over Tennessee.

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