All posts by Larry Penkava

John Pugh, we’re going to miss you

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

I knew John Pugh before he was a legend.

John died Sept. 10, 32 days from his 102nd birthday.

I grew up in the community where John had established an Esso service station and a heating oil distributorship. He was a self-made man, working a full-time job in a textile factory while building up his business.

John Pugh
John Pugh

I had known of him from early in my life but got to really know him as a young husband and father. In 1976, I was living in Greensboro when I took a job in Asheboro, near where I grew up. I knew that, with a family, I had to find a place to live close to my work.

Continue reading John Pugh, we’re going to miss you

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Dessert under the elms

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

Dear Uncle Ambrose and Aunt Victoria:

Gopher Woods experienced its first citizen’s arrest the other day.
It was bound to happen, according to Horace “Barney” Moffitt, our lone law enforcement officer. Barney has long decried the lack of driver etiquette in our fair hamlet.

“I could see this coming since the night the Yank first drove his Harley down Main Street, revving his engine at 2 o’clock on a Sunday morning,” Barney said as he hitched his belt that tends to sag with all the attached law enforcement accoutrements.

Continue reading Dessert under the elms

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Growing old? Who, me?

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

Do you know what’s the worst thing about growing old?

Well, besides growing the spare tire around the midriff.

Or seeing those moles pop up overnight.

Come to think of it, I can’t forget the fact that since getting old, bending over to pick up something has become an engineering project. I have to factor in weights and balance, compute distance and speed, analyze cost-efficiency and finally decide it’s not worth the effort.

Continue reading Growing old? Who, me?

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Tora! Tora! Tora!

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

I’ve never considered mowing my yard as hazardous duty.

The most dangerous part has always been mowing the steep bank next to the road. It’s 6 or 8 feet high and I have to walk sideways, like plowing a field in the mountains.

Only a time or two has mowing the bank resulted in me landing on my derriere. In those cases, the only injury was to my pride.

Continue reading Tora! Tora! Tora!

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OMG, the OBX is MAD: The Islanders strike back

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

I seemed to have caused quite a stir with a recent column.

It was about a June trip to the Outer Banks, specifically the Nags Head to Kitty Hawk area. I complained that we couldn’t find green vegetables in the local restaurants.

I might as well have screamed that apple pie is a communist plot.
The online column was picked up by The Outer Banks Voice’s Sam Walker, who said my claim that I couldn’t find a green bean was “hard to stomach.” Then he asked readers to comment.

Continue reading OMG, the OBX is MAD: The Islanders strike back

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Dial ‘M’ for moron

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

I’m dumber than a smartphone.

And that’s not necessarily something to be ashamed of. According to Wikipedia, a smartphone is “a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system.” It’s like a cell phone/personal digital assistant/media player/GPS navigation unit, all wrapped up into one hand-sized device. Continue reading Dial ‘M’ for moron

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A tale of two counties

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

I’ve been spending a lot of time with someone else.

It’s not like I’m unfaithful, but …

Let’s just say there’s a bigger world out there.

When I became a freelance writer, I decided I’d split my time between my home of Randolph County and our neighbor to the southwest, Stanly County. As it’s turned out, I’m spending more time in Stanly while Randolph has become almost an afterthought. Continue reading A tale of two counties

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Dear, I’ve seen that 7-Eleven before

Larry Penkava
Larry Penkava

“Are we there yet?”

“No dear, your daddy thinks he’s in the Daytona 500. He just made his 10th lap around the block because he refuses to stop at the corner service station to ask directions.”

Sound familiar? Men have what they think is an inborn compass by which they use dead reckoning in finding their way in unfamiliar surroundings. Continue reading Dear, I’ve seen that 7-Eleven before

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