As we parked at Brigadoon Kennels, the dissipating drumming of the pouring rain was replaced by a chorus of barking and yapping alerting the neighborhood of our arrival. Evidently, this was the right place.
Back in 2015, a DNA study revealed that the first domesticated dogs came about 33,000 years ago, a solid 20 millennia earlier than previously believed. The DNA study revealed that a line of domesticated dogs migrated to Europe from southeast Asia complicating the previous dominating narrative that dogs were domesticated in Europe. Regardless of when you believe dogs were domesticated, they are the first domesticated animal - long before cows, chickens, horses and cats. And hence, they own the title of man’s best friend.
LexingCon is an annual, local comic book show held in Lexington to celebrate the art of comics in both a family friendly and multigenerational environment. Since April 2014, Marcia Myers, the event creator, has worked with a team of volunteers in the community to put together a comic convention that gives all proceeds to a local charity. LexingCon’s tagline is “the smalltime comic show with a big heart.”
Lisa Whitaker, Chairwoman of the Denton Pyrate Invasion & Artisan Market (DPIA), has a passion for the historical timeframe of the 18th century, particularly the Golden Age of Piracy. Over the last several years, she coupled her knowledge, interest, and expertise of this era with a need that the Town of Denton shared. They felt it important to hold a new event that would inspire people to visit Denton offering both economic benefits and providing the local children a fun, educational experience.
It all started with a visit to a friend who had amassed a collection of arrowheads and spear points; some found in creeks and fields in and around the county, and some handmade by the friend himself.
Tom Sink, a Davidson County native, was intrigued.
He asked to borrow a book and videotape that the friend had used to teach himself the art of traditional flintknapping, which involves the use of deer antlers and moose paddles to transform pieces of flint rock into functional – and very sharp – instruments for hunting and cutting.
“That just set me on fire,” says Sink with a grin. “I went to Youtube and found some flintknapping videos and said, ‘I got to learn how to do this.’”
Denton boasts a lofty population of about 1,700 residents. However, around the week of Fourth of July, tens of thousands of people flock to the Denton Farmpark for the Annual Southeast Threshers' Reunion. This year will mark the 48th anniversary of the largest steam, gas-engine and antique farm show in the Southeast.
The festival began as a way to celebrate threshing, which is the process of separating edible grain from the inedible chaff that surrounds it. It has grown over the years and includes a variety of historic demonstrations, hundreds of antique tractors, cars, and engines.
Poised like the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, Khalisa “Kelly Rae” Williams claimed her space on the Piedmont poetry slam stage, smooth brown hands slightly flexed. Her shoulders were upright, but her head was bowed so deeply, it appeared to be buried within the nurture of her own chest. I recognized that stance; the spoken word poet was finding her “special place” before an outpouring of words that birthed Davidson County’s Speak Up! poetry movement.
Getting up early on a summer morning, throwing on our cutoffs, and running out the door is a memory those of us between the age of thirty-five and fifty can relate to. There was no time to waste. We had to get outside to feel the warm sun on our skin, the cool breeze on our face, and breath in the smell of new plastic as we cruised along on our treasured trike—the Big Wheel. We realized at a young age that a bowl of cereal and a ride on our Big Wheel was all it took to have a thrilling Saturday morning. Almost every person born in the 1970s and 80s experienced that freedom and exuberance on our plastic bikes. We imitated the Dukes of Hazard, Evel Knievel, or one of our many other childhood heroes. But as we outgrew our Big Wheels, we lost part of that freedom.
Like many natives, Kaitlin Baker, executive director of the South Davidson Resource Center (SDRC), remembers the security of growing up in a thriving Denton community. She also recalls a major shift occurring, as rampant job loss brought a proud Davidson County to staggering levels of poverty, unemployment, and reliance on community resources for self-sufficiency. In 1993, SDRC began providing food, clothing, and utility assistance in response to the growing number of Denton and Silver Valley families lacking adequate transportation to Lexington or Thomasville for work or assistance.
Since the 1940’s, cruise-ins have been popular around the country. Robert Hearn, Steve Everhart, and Larry Helms decided they wanted to relive earlier times by gathering friends and their specialty cars in a cruise-in location. Cruise nights ran regularly in Uptown Lexington, but were disbanded in 1988 due to disrespectful crowds, weekend traffic congestion, and difficulty getting emergency vehicles through the traffic. Hearn contacted Uptown Lexington and the Chief of Police to reestablish a cruise-in, and the cruise-ins were back.
I was fascinated with trains as a child and remember begging my father to go to the depot to watch them. I recall seeing passengers eating at white-clothed tables in the dining car. Train watching still entertains many fans young and old around the world—young and old. These days without having to visit the tracks, ardent fans (called railfans) are tracking and live streaming trains on their cell phones and other devices.