When Paul Church told his family about this interview, one of his sons asked, “Why do they want to talk to you?”
Well, son, your dad has been a photographer for The Courier-Tribune for 18 years, nearly half his life. He’s been seen around town more than most people, yet many don’t really know much about him. So here’s a chance for him to peel back his layer of anonymity just a little bit, expense a little advice for those who want it, a few photography tips for others. And as your father is wont to do, he even gets a chance to wax a little poetic.
You may not appreciate all of that right now, but you will one day.
One of the many things I loved about teaching overseas was the closeness of the faculties. Most of us were young, single and lived in the BOQs. We rode to school together, went out to eat in groups and traveled together when our boyfriends were “in the field.”
Schweinfurt, Germany was an Army Base and my main squeeze was Captain Tim Stephens from Florida. When summer came, 3 of my friends and I decided to take a trip to Scandinavia in my vintage Volkswagen bug, Old Blue. On the sly, Tim checked out two pup tents, four winter sleeping bags, four canteens, two small camp stoves and a case of rations.
MAC WHATLEY: I am from here. I was born in Asheboro Hospital, April 20, 1955. Dr. Cochran and Dr. Dalton.
HUB: So you grew up in Asheboro?
WHATLEY: I grew up in Asheboro. My mother was a teacher at the high school and then at Teachey School and my father ran the Auto Mechanics Department at RCC. I went to Ashebopro High School, graduated in 1973, then went to Harvard. I was in the Park Street Players when they first started at the high school. I was in the band, all that kind of stuff. I didn’t do that kind of thing when I went to Harvard.
I went to Harvard because of going to governor’s school in drama. They had college day with Ivy League schools. Who knew that Ivy League Schools went to college day? That’s why I applied and got accepted, to the surprise of all the guidance counselors at Asheboro High School.
Tim Luck’s family roots run deep in Randolph County. His own do, as well.
He’s worked several jobs before landing as an engineer for the NCDOT in Asheboro. Right now, he’s working on Working on the Hwy 24-27 bypass south of Troy, near Town Creek Indian Mound.
He’s also a parent to a teen and a pre-teen, a long-time scoutmaster, for years taught voluntarily at the N.C. Wildlife Commission, helps the commission in Marion spawn about a quarter-milliion trout every year, has a guide’s license which he uses to take youth and many adults on hunting excursions to teach them the right way to hunt.
Over the years, my wife and I have told our sons many stories about exploits that happened when we were young … and often stupid.
I won’t reveal hers, but I might tell of sneaking out my bedroom window at night and riding my bike across town to play tennis at 2 in the morning. (It’s one reason we like our house with bedrooms high off the ground and creaky floors just outside our bedroom door, to deter efforts at “history repeating itself.”)
When you start a new business, you have to start a new email. That’s like covering a fork in peanut butter, leaving it in an open space and daring the ants to come.
I know about these guys, gals, organizations, who are in Nigeria or India or England or wherever they hide away from the rest of the world. Having worked in the newspaper business for seemingly eons, I’ve learned to ignore anything that looks not just suspicious, but also too good to be true. (No, I have not actually won the lottery in England in which my email address was pulled from a jar, nor has Bill Gates actually given me anything through some magical Microsoft drawing.)
We’re entering the dog days of summer, so when would it be more appropriate to let the dogs in the pool?
Never, you say? Most pool owners would agree, but not Tot Hill. Not after Constance Ulrich, in 2005, convinced them to let her try a dog pool party at the end of the swimming season. It worked so well, it’s been going ever since, with the exception of last year, when Ulrich and her recently retired husband were in New Zealand visitng her son and his wife and her new grandbaby.
“The first year was Hurricane Katrina. That’s what got me going. It was in about two weeks that I whipped this up,” she said.
As soon as I found Rob Herronen’s house down a narrow drive off of Spero Road, we were in his backyard checking out his train setup.
And a few minutes later, I was taking this photo, sitting on a flatbed rail car, being pulled down part of the 450 feet of track he has laid so far, about a third of the vision he has for his property.