Rolling with Stone
As I write this I am sitting in a Washington, D.C., hotel room on Sunday night. It has been an incredible day — and I am exhausted. We drove to D.C. from Charlottesville this morning and didn’t waste any time getting started on trying to fit everything into the 24 hours we had.
The first stop was the Newseum — 250,000-square feet of news artifacts from Pulitzer Prize winning photography, the best investigative cases, 9/11 exhibits and so much more. There are many hard days for a reporter, but it is so rewarding. Seeing the progression of my profession made me proud to be a part of it — however small it may be in the grand scheme of history. I could have spent all day there, but we had to move on to the National Mall.
I’ve never been to our nation’s capital before. I can’t explain how surreal it is to finally see all of the historic icons that are plastered all over our TV screens. We walked more than two miles to the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.
After the long walk we sat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and watched the hundreds of others climbing the steep steps. One thing that struck me was how many people from other countries were visiting our capital and learning our history. It made me realize how little I really knew about our 200 plus years of history, and I need to do better.
Food has been the other highlight of my trip. At the recommendation of a fellow burger connoisseur, we ventured out to find Ben’s Chili Bowl for its famous chiliburger.
A nice gentleman waiting in line with us filled us in on the diner’s history. Ben’s was one of the few places in the area to survive the riots that ensued after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Thanks to famous patrons like Bill Cosby and President Obama — Ben’s has become a landmark. I highly recommend the chiliburger, but be sure to keep some Tum’s handy afterward.
And if you’re ever in Charlottesville, a wonderfully friendly college town, try some of their local brews. After dinner we tried a few local beers at Mellow Mushroom per my beer columnist, Greg Copen’s, request. And good recommendations they were — Starr Hill in Charlottesville has some great seasonal beers — Pumpkin porter — and Devil’s Backbone Brewing. Hanging out in a college town makes me feel younger, even though I was back at my hotel in my pajamas and ready to go to bed at 11 p.m.
By the time you read this on Wednesday (hopefully), we will be heading back from Wilmington, Delaware. We will spend Monday in Philadelphia and Tuesday, we will be in New York City watching “Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. This will be my second Broadway show and what is more of a classic than Phantom?
I would like to congratulate Ben Sears — this year’s winner of Haywood’s Got Talent. Check out the story about Sears and more photos from the show in the center-spread. Thanks to John Highsmith for lending us some great shots from the show.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend in Haywood County, you may want to check out the story on page 10 about Jason Crabb. He is a Grammy-Award winning Christian artist and he is coming to Haywood Community College this Saturday.
Former Waynesville resident Jeff Minick will be reading from and signing copies of his first novel at 3 p.m. Saturday at Blue Ridge Books. Jeff took the time to answer some questions about himself and “Amanda Bell” on page 12.