They used to run to center stage, a lithe blonde with a tall, goateed man on her right and a shorter goateed man on her left. The group was the creation of a manager who’d heard about them in Greenwich Village, where they’d worked all the clubs during the folk music craze of the late 1950s and early ’60s. Even as the Beatles invaded with their brand new sound, and some of the folkies faded, these three were always there, always popular.
From the beginning, the pundits — insufferable, self-righteous, all-knowing Washingtonians — sat from on high and predicted a quick end to the campaign of Donald John Trump, the silver-spoon kid from New York who descended on a golden staircase to proclaim his candidacy for president and talk about how rich he is.
The family plot is in the well-shaded Sunset Cemetery in Shelby, 40 or so miles west of Charlotte in the foothills. This past Thanksgiving, on a sunny afternoon, my cousin Charles and I paid a visit. Here was the family circle, with our grandparents, his mother, my mother and father, infant children of our grandparents who like some in the early 1900s did not survive childbirth or early childhood.
Pope Francis speaks out, fearlessly, with a passionate seriousness criticizing the greed of capitalism run amok, recognizing the reality of climate change, the danger of guns and the need for all nations to welcome refugees and immigrants.
He was, by the time I got to know him, somewhat hampered physically by old age, but his mind was still razor sharp. When I called Bill Aycock a few years back, probably to talk about the infamous Speaker Ban law of the early 1960s, he came up with details decades old, but with a freshness that made them seem they’d just come off the vine. So he was until the very end, friends said, when death came Saturday at the age of 99 in Chapel Hill.