Ten years ago this week I left my native Upstate New York for my first journalism gig out of college in the tiny mountain town of Driggs, Idaho.

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing. As opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

— Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa)

That slow walk from the car.

When I was 16 years old, I entered the American workforce. I was the breakfast and lunch cook for McDonald’s in Champlain, New York. And it was that slow walk from my rusted out 1989 Toyota Camry to the side entrance under the bright yellow arches, into another morning and early afternoon amid the chaos of the fast food world.

Film fever is hitting Sylva as the release of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” draws closer.

It’s about finding a balance between your creative soul and your sanity.

“When you feel you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and things aren’t going well at the same time, and you still believe in what you’re doing, but there’s no relief,” said Thomas Johnson. “It makes you feel crazy, because you believe in what you’re doing, and you think it’s important and good, and it’s not connecting. Am I crazy? Am I too close to it?”

In less than a week, I’ll spend Tuesday evening traipsing the streets of Waynesville watching two little boys knock on doors and end the night with bags full of sugary candy and gum. I’m a bit of a health nut and try to keep yucky ingredients and coloring out of my children’s diets, but on Halloween, I push my additive/preservative paranoia aside to be a spirited parent and embrace the evening’s wicked vibe.

The bowling alley construction at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort wasn’t even finished when ground broke on a similar addition at Harrah’s Valley River Casino in Murphy.

The trifecta.

By this past Monday morning, I was running on fumes heading back to my humble abode in downtown Waynesville in preparation for the solar eclipse. Three nights. Three bands. Three genres of music — and also attitudes — that shaped who I ultimately am today.

With the demise of The Black Crowes in 2015, Rich Robinson was in search of new digs.

WNC prepares to celebrate Solar Eclipse

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