Local authors Dave Otto and Richard Ellington have teamed up to write a second book on Carrboro, released last week by Arcadia Publishing.
Titled simply “Carrboro”, this book depicts the changes occurring in Carrboro today. The authors’ first book, published in 2011, documented the history of Carrboro from the time of the first settlement by Europeans in the 1700s. The second book, in a new series called “Images of Modern America,” starts in the 1950s when the transition from quiet mill town to bustling urban center began. This book focuses on the emergence of Carrboro as a center for artistic innovation.
The book is organized by subjects, which define the essence of Carrboro and make it such a lovable and quirky place to live or visit.
Chapter one provides a poignant depiction of life in the ’60s and ’70’s. Chapter two details Carrboro merchants who have been in business for a quarter century or more. Chapter three describes the blossoming of the arts. Chapter four provides a sampling of Carrboro festivals, what the authors call “the town’s obsession with celebrating life.”
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Chapter five introduces leaders who guided Carrboro through the challenging period of transition. Chapter six details the town’s changing demographics with the influx of Latinos beginning in the 1980s and of the Karen from Burma more recently.
The final chapter focuses on one of the most dramatic changes occurring in Carrboro today: architecture. The town is rapidly running out of buildable land, the authors say. “The solution – unthinkable until recently – is to build high rises, which is happening now in the downtown area,” they say.
The book contains vivid pictures and descriptions of leaders in business, government and the private sector, including Brother Peacemaker , owner of Gates of Beauty Auto Body and Paint Shop on Main St.; Cliff Collins, owner of Cliff's Meat Market: Frank Heath, the owner of Cat’s Cradle; sculptor Mike Roig; Planning Director Trish McGuire; and a face familiar to most of the town’s residents and visitors.
“When the music starts, Bruce Thomas appears and begins to dance,” they write. “Sometimes he can be found dancing by himself on the green, driven by the silent beat of an inner muse.”