Past Times Blog
Posted by Teresa Leonard on September 11, 2014
Before he became a recurring character in the TV series Boardwalk Empire, Gaston B. Means was a real-life North Carolina native who built his reputation as a private detective, salesman, bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer and con artist before dying in prison in 1938. In 1964, writer Heath Thomas profiled what he called Americas Greatest Rascal.
The highly gifted Gaston B. Means had started his career in his own community of Concord as a representative of textile king J. W. Cannon. The work, however, did not furnish the drama and excitement which he relished.
In 1914, the tall, heavy, saggily built Tar Heel applied for a job with the Burns Detective Agency. Within a year he was rated the greatest operative in the Burns organization.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on September 3, 2014
The News and Observer, as the major state capital paper, has long made political and government coverage its meat and potatoes. For most of its history, Raleigh was a company town, and the business was government - and education.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 28, 2014
In the age of Google, it's hard to remember that computers weren't always a part of our daily lives. It was 55 years ago that one of the first Univac computers was installed in the basement of Phillips Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, primarily to support the work of the US Census Bureau with its upcoming 1960 census.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 21, 2014
A frequent sight in the streets of downtown Raleigh about 1900 was "Aunt" Betsy Holmes, who drove her cart to market each day. Drawn by a bull named Joe, it came to be known as her "automobull." When she died in 1906, the newspaper noted the end of an era.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 14, 2014
Down here where the sea breeze laden with salt meets the green of the marshes, there is a man who lives as he has always dreamed, his working day consisting of making leisurely cruises on his own sailboat through the sounds and bays of his adopted home.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 7, 2014
Must be cold up North, for our southbound traffic has shown a considerable increase the past week. Opening the “Flying South” season was Miss Laura Ingels, who came through in a sleek little Ryan the day before election, stumping mightily for Wendell Wilkie by displaying a sign on the fuselage proclaiming she wanted “no third term.” Next, along came Russ Molderman flying the one-time Republican Presidential candidate, W.D. Gannett of the Gannett Publishing Company.