The next Rhino Times Schmoozefest is Thursday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The W on Elm in downtown Greensboro, 324 S. Elm St. Business professionals who sign in and wear a name tag are invited to enjoy free beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

And with kids back in school, it’s just a matter of time before the holidays. The Rhino Times is asking loyal schmoozers to help make Christmas special this year for the 470 children in Guilford County foster care by bringing an unwrapped toy for a child or a gift card for a teen to Schmoozefests through November. Tax-deductible donations can also be made out to Celebrate the Children, the organization that will distribute the presents.


Guilford County Board of Education member Amos Quick must have been shocked when he opened the News & Record on Thursday, Sept. 15 to find out that he is now a state representative. No doubt, Dist. 58 state Rep. Chris Sgro was shocked also.

As much as the N&R wants to make Quick a state representative, newspapers don’t have that power. Quick is running unopposed for the seat held by the late Ralph Johnson, but he hasn’t been elected, much less sworn into office. Quick chose to finish out his term on the Board of Education – an admirable decision and one that few elected officials make. They run for higher office all the time and resign the position they were elected to serve. Quick chose not to do that. Barring some unforeseen circumstances, Quick will be elected on Nov. 8, will be sworn into office in January and then he will be a state representative.

Quick has been a conscientious and thoughtful member of the school board and no doubt will serve the people with the same good-natured diligence in Raleigh, but he’s not there yet.


It was déjà vu all over again on Friday when I stopped at the Sheetz on Battleground across from Marshall Free House to top off my tank. I had three-quarters of a tank, but like half the other people on the road I thought I might as well fill up. I’m not sure whether I filled up or not; I got 5.6 gallons, which is about right. Then, not just my pump but all the pumps cut off and an announcement came over the public address system that Sheetz was out of gas.

I was taken back to my college days in the spring of 1974 when the gas crisis was at its height and the Duke rugby team played in the Mardi Gras rugby tournament in New Orleans. We traveled down there in five cars and all made it, but we saw a lot of cars parked at gas stations along I-85 waiting for them to open. If you timed it wrong you could be stuck for days. It’s the last time I remember being at a gas station that had run out of gas.

This shortage was caused by a leak in the gas line, not by OPEC trying to raise prices, but the result is much the same.


I’m feeling old this week, not that I have more aches and pains than usual, but Thursday I was on the UNCG campus and Tuesday on the High Point University campus, so I’ve spent a lot more time around college students than in my normal week, and they are all so young. In my mind it wasn’t that long ago that I was a college student, and in geological time it wasn’t, because what is 40 years to a rock.


I was talking to a couple of guys making a documentary for Sky News, a British news network, at the Trump rally who had arrived in North Carolina for the first time two days earlier. They asked me about the state and how I liked living here. I don’t think I was the first North Carolinian they had questioned because one of them asked me, “Have you lived here all your life and do you love living here?” like they were anticipating my answers.

I said I did love living here but I had also lived in Washington, DC, and Lisbon, which caused them to scratch their heads. I think they had decided that people never left North Carolina and thought it was great because they didn’t know any better. I also had fun explaining the reality of North Carolina politics versus what they had been reading in the mainstream media. Of course, a lot of folks would disagree with my version of the reality, but at least they heard something different.


Talking to those guys about North Carolina made me think of the trip the Muse and I made to Nashville, Tennessee, a couple of weeks ago. We were too early for the truly spectacular fall scenery in the mountains, but it’s hard to drive through that part of the state and not be struck by the beauty. North Carolina has a tremendous amount of natural beauty and so far we’ve managed not to mess it up too much. It’s certainly one of the reasons so many people really do love living here.


At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the rezoning request for land along Lake Brandt and Trosper roads was postponed for 30 days. Controversial rezoning cases seem to always be postponed at least once, while the opponents attempt to get organized, the proponents try to work out a deal or both.

It made me wonder if every rezoning of any size in other cities faces serious opposition or if Greensboro is different. It would be a good project to research on a slow day, if there is such a thing in the news business. Some rezoning requests are clearly bad ideas, but it is rare to see a major rezoning that doesn’t face serious opposition.