A Pre-Thanksgiving Feast of Podcasts and Memes
In today's Tiny Rabbit Holes: a brand stinkin' new Interstate, a Large Adult Panther, and elementary school journalists who are better than all of us. Plus, podcasts!
Thanks for reading the North Carolina Rabbit Hole! We’re now a reader-supported newsletter, and if you like what you’ve been reading here, please pledge your support with a monthly or yearly subscription. You’ll can read more about what you’ll get and why I’m doing this here. You can help out by clicking or tapping the button below.
Tiny Rabbit Holes For Your Tiny Ear Holes
If you’re looking for something to listen to, and if you don’t mind listening to me blather on, may I recommend today’s episode of Tying It Together with Tim Boyum. It’s a really great show put on by the political team from Spectrum News 1 in Raleigh, and, for some reason, they wanted to talk to me about all things North Carolina. If you’ve got some time on your Thanksgiving drive today or tomorrow, give it a listen:
Many thanks to Tim Boyum and the GOAT Ben McNeely for having me on. Also, nice try on getting me, a native Ohioan who calls North Carolina home, to take a side in the Wright Brothers debate.
We also talked about Away Message, the podcast I made while I was Our State. I really enjoyed creating every episode, but if there’s one that gets overlooked, it’s this one from the first season. Someone recommended that I got to Knotts Island, which is a curious bit of land up in the northeastern corner of North Carolina. I wasn’t sure if it was really a remote place, so I just went around talking to as many people as I could, and what I ended up with was a quirky little portrait of an isolated little island:
Also, may I make a blanket recommendation here? People ask me quite a bit about other North Carolina-related podcasts they should be listening to, and my answer is pretty much: Anything WFAE has been putting out. SouthBound by my bud Tommy Tomlinson is always insightful about the South. Amplifier was a wonderful show about local music. FAQ City is a great way to learn about random Charlotte facts, and Sarah Delia is responsible for She Says, The List and Still Here, all of which hit you right in the gut. All were helped along, in some way, by Joni Deutsch, whose last day at WFAE was on Friday. She also led the Charlotte Podcast Festival and is just a lovely person to talk to about all things audio. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
I’m obviously missing some other, North Carolina-related podcasts, so if you have episode or show recommendations, please leave them in the comments for others who might be looking for something to listen to.
Reheating A Thanksgiving Leftover
Hey, lookie there, the president pardoned some more birds.
So, what happens after a turkey gets a presidential pardon? Well, they usually go to a farm upstate…
(whispers so the kids can’t hear)
…where they die!
I actually investigated this for a timely and morbid edition of the Rabbit Hole from last November. Re-read it to have the information you need to creep out relatives who you don’t really want to talk to anyway:
New North Carolina Interstate Alert!
Folks! We got ourselves a brand new interstate Highway, which is actually a 3-digit spur route that connects Wilson to Greenville. I-587 will run on the existing U.S. 264 route, and signs will go up next year.
One thing for you folks who don’t live in eastern North Carolina: Greenville is a really big deal! Every time I’ve talked with folks who live within an hour of there, the conversation inevitably ends with well, gotta go, have to drive to Greenville to run a few errands. You already know it’s where East Carolina University is. It’s also where B’s Barbecue is, and the mall there has a cemetery hidden in its parking deck. It’s the city that has it all, and the fact that it’s now connected to an interstate highway gives it a little bit of the respect that it truly deserves.
Here, though, is where the absurdity comes in. Three-digit spur interstates have to connect to 2-digit interstates. Someday, I-587 will run all the way to I-87 in Zebulon, but for now, the newly designated interstate stops at I-95. So, there’s that. Also, road nerds (this is not a slur, since I consider myself one) point out that the highway will allegedly have a north-south designation even though it CLEARLY runs east-west. Also, its shoulders are NOT up to interstate width standards! And finally, consider this: As of now, I-87 in North Carolina is only 12 miles long. That means I-587, which is currently 37 miles long, is I-87’s Large Adult Son.
Meet Matt Rhule’s Large Adult Son
Sure, Cam Newton came back and the Panthers still lost, but here comes this fantastic meme, straight from the photographer who took the picture:
DISCLOSURE: Khadejeh took a lovely picture of my daughter at The Running of the Balls in Greensboro back in her News & Record days and I’ve been a follower of her fantastic work ever since.
The Best Journalism Of The Week Comes From Elementary School Kids
Our friends at The Charlotte Ledger put out an edition of their newsletter written entirely by 4th and 5th graders, and it is fantastic. Here are the parts of it that resonated the most with me:
Have you ever noticed how unusual it is to see a school like Ballantyne Elementary, that has three floors, yet is so big and so wide?
It is rare for a Charlotte elementary school to have three floors. Other elementary schools have just one big floor with everything on the same level.
This is one of those things that seems simple, but contains multitudes. Four students—Siya Dama, Nili Desai, Aaira Gautam, and Mila Pinkney—interviewed a facilities planning director for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, who gave some fascinating answers about state requirements (kindergartners through second graders can only be on the ground floor!) as well as real estate concerns.
Also, those journalists polled their peers about Charlotte’s hottest restaurants. Folks, never feel guilty for liking the things that you like:
McDonald’s: “My favorite restaurant is McDonald’s because in the past, we went on road trips and went to McDonald’s for fries. I especially like the big ones most, and how they taste so salty.”
Finally, a Cameron was interviewed:
Meet Cameron!: One of the top names at our school is Cameron, so we interviewed one who is in the third grade!
Q: How do you feel, knowing your name is one of the most popular?
Q: Are there any other Camerons in your class this year?
Q: How many Camerons do you think there are in our school?
Please subscribe to The Charlotte Ledger, which also pledges to keep you updated whenever DaBaby does something.
That’s all for this week. I’m thankful for my family, my health, and for all of you. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you all on Monday.