A little dash of this and that

Published 5:54 pm Thursday, May 30, 2024

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This is for all those in the Roanoke-Chowan area who feel “slighted” because the cicada invasion bypassed their property.

Millions of those critters emerged from their 13-year or 17-year (depends on which brood) slumber a few weeks ago. After shedding their outer shell, these ugly insects – with their bulging red eyes and wide wing spans – have perched in trees and began to serenade each other with what can be best described as the sound an alien spacecraft makes in a low budget movie.

I can hear them in the woods behind my house, in front of my house, at the Ahoskie Creek ballpark, in the trees here at the News-Herald office, and at Ahoskie Commons Shopping Center, just to name a few.

This past Saturday, I was “attacked” by multiple cicadas while working in my yard. I guess the sound of my lawnmower engine and the engine on my weedeater attracted them. On one occasion, one hit me right between my eyes while weed-eating my ditch. While mowing at the back of my barn, three or four of those critters dive-bombed me.

The good news is they are harmless to humans – unless you fall off your lawnmower while trying to swat them away.

So, for those who will not be visited this year by these pesky critters, count yourself as lucky.


Received an email last week forwarded to me by the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office. Attached to that email, which was originally sent to the Sheriff’s Office by an individual, was a bit of very intriguing information.

The attachment was a copy of an article published Oct. 1, 1813 in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette. That short article said that on Sept. 15, 1813, Jordan W. Morgan, a constable in Hertford County, was found dead. It was written that on that date, Morgan was serving warrants on a man. Morgan’s body was found at a fence about 100 yards from the home of where the Constable was serving the warrants.

A suspect of the Constable’s murder was identified and, according to the article, “on being arrested, circumstantial evidence appeared so strong against him as to warrant his commitment, and he is now in Winton gaol.”

Gaol is an obsolescent spelling of the word now usually spelled jail.

The attachment also contained a follow-up article published in the Nov. 12, 1813 edition of the Raleigh Minerva. That two sentence article read: “On Friday the 12th inst. will be executed [hanged] in Bertie County, pursuant to the sentece [sentence] of the Honorable Superior Court of that county, Mr. Moore for the wilful murder of Mr. Jordan W. Morgan a Constable of the county of Hertford.”

The email referenced the information coming from research conducted at the Digital NC, North Carolina Newspapers website. I used the link to that website to verify the authenticity of that information.

I never heard the story of the Constable Morgan’s murder or the one about the accused killer meeting his fate by hanging.

If anyone knows about the life and death of Constable Jordan W. Morgan, please contact me at the phone number or email address shown at the end of this column.


For all you lovers of a hog, slow roasted for hours, and then finely chopped and doused with a vinegar based sauce, mark this coming Saturday (June 1) on your calendar and make plans to travel to Murfreesboro. There will you find a new version of a once-popular event: Pork Fest.

Members of the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department have been working hard over the past few months to stage Pork Fest as a major fundraiser. Proceeds will help them purchase much-needed equipment, which they in-turn use to protect the public.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at 201 East Broad Street (the same location used for the annual NC Watermelon Festival).

As with the previous Pork Fest (held until 2019 at Jefcoat Museum), there will be a cookoff sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council. Fifteen teams from all over the state – and one as far away as South Carolina – have registered to take part in this year’s event.

In addition to the barbecue, Pork Fest will host food vendors offering “sweet treats” such as cotton candy, funnel cakes, and more. There will also be a vendor fair along with a car and tractor show.

Music throughout the event will be provided by DJ Jesse (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), RT Johnson (2-4 p.m.), and Skosh (5-7 p.m.). The stage will be set up in front of the Murfree Center.

There will be activities and games for children and their families to enjoy. That includes bounce houses, cornhole boards, a dunking booth, and more.

Hope to see you there!!


And, finally, I’m sharing the following I saw on a friend’s Facebook page:

“I was following a car. The sign in the back window says, “Learning stick sorry for any delay.”

“Knowing this, I was very patient with their slow shifting, and honestly they were doing pretty well for still learning. Then I asked myself a tough question: Would I have been just as patient if the sign hadn’t been there? I can almost definitely say no.

“We don’t know what someone is going through. We don’t wear signs that illustrate our personal struggles. You don’t see signs taped to people’s shirts that say, “Going through a divorce”, or “Lost a child”, or “Feeling depressed”, or “Diagnosed with cancer”.

“If we could read visually what those around us are going through we would definitely be nicer. But we shouldn’t have to see signs and have reasons to treat strangers with kindness. We should do it anyway, whether we know what is going on or not. Whether they deserve it or not.”

Those are words I can live by.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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