Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Newcomers: Don't miss Civics 101

I hope everyone is having a great holiday week! I’m guessing most folks haven’t had time to read their Charlotte Observers faithfully every day, so I wanted to call your attention to an item my colleague Jim Morrill wrote for today’s paper about the next installment of Civics 101.

This is a great opportunity for newcomers to learn about local government. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters, it involves classes throughout February and March to learn more about the City Council, board of county commissioners, state courts, the school system and more. Click here to see Jim’s article, or try


And now, a follow-up to my last entry and column on my difficulty in finding butter mints (click here to see the column and butter mint cookie recipe). I got some help from readers, but I didn’t get as many pointers as I thought I might – proving that this delicacy has fallen out of favor at mass retailers. One thing that did surprise me, though, is learning from readers that the candy is traditional further outside the South than I thought.

Here are some other spots you can find them (and I know you’ve still got room after all your holiday eating):

--From Sue Schall in Waxhaw: “Thought you should know you can get them at Cracker Barrel restaurant gift stores. I have enjoyed them for years. By the way I am a ‘transplant,’ Indiana born and bred, and I was raised on sweet tea, fried mush, grits, and anything you could make with buttermilk. My wedding 32 years ago featured the exact menu you described from a Southern wedding - cake, punch, nuts,and butter mints- but I was married on the far west side of Indianapolis, having never been south of the Ohio River in my life.”

--Margaret Hood writes: “Five years ago I found Mrs. Duncan's (Butter Mints) in the Presbyterian Hospital gift shop uptown. Now, Captain Steve's fish restaurant in Matthews on Monroe Road has Parson's Butter Mints (Homemade Style).”

--“Anonymous Yankee” writes: “I'm sorry to disappoint you, but butter mints are a Michigan tradition also. I grew up in the metro Detroit area, and every wedding or baby shower had butter mints. In Michigan, they also come in yellow. I remember as a child liking the creamy, buttery flavor. I believe that butter mints should not be called a ‘Southern’ classic, rather just a classic.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

IN response to newcomers taking a civics 101 leason.

While us new comers are talking this class can we please have the long time Carolina residents take a civility class. One of my biggest disappointments since moving here is finding "Southern Hospitality" to be a myth.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If unhappy here then rememberm I-85 goes north

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my biggest disappointments since moving here is finding "Southern Hospitality" to be a myth.

"Hospitality" is for invited guests. I didn't ask any of you to move here.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read your dictionary:

Hospitality: refers to the act or practice of being hospitable, that is, the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, with liberality and goodwill.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must be something about this place that invites invasions from up north and further south!

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's migration; one place fills up, the next place receives the overflow. In effect, NC is a second choice.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Hablo Northern said...

Must be something about this place that invites invasions from up north and further south!

There are a number of reasons as to why people move here. Charlotte is a cheap place to live. One can buy a home and afford to do other things without having to work 2 jobs.

Also, people are moving here (and elsewhere) from cities like Buffalo and Pittsburgh because those cities aren't doing very well in terms of holding on to jobs and people.

Finally, some are moving here because they want to get away from the city while others are moving here to get a feel for what a bigger city is like.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just tried to drive home today, and this has no bearing on your topic but had to say...

It's rain people........ not snow, not ice. DRIVE YOUR CARS!!! Oh and to the guy in the blue caprice with the great spinning rims going 40 on a highway marked 55 somkin a blunt.... I'm blinking my lights at you and beeping because you should not be in the left lane @ 40. If your car can't go faster than that on wet roads because of you big rims and tires get in the left lane or stay home and smoke your blunt.(theres an idea) Don't hold me up or flick me off when I have to speed around you, it's so I don't get slamed into and you're the cause!!!!! If you were in NY you'd get run over. I propose us "northerners" start our own civics class....a honking revolution to get the "southern hospitality" in check. Easy, just move over!!!!!!
- A logical northerner

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey buddy, take a yoga class. If you blinked at me like that I would slow way down. Might want to think about that when it's raining.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, after reading the comments posted by my fellow Southerners, I can see why Northerners find Southern hospitality to be a myth. I am truly embarrassed that you are getting comments from and meeting such rude, jingoistic, bone-headed jerks. They are certainly not typical of the Southerners I know.

The good people of the Carolinas, at least the ones in my experience, teach their children courtesy as a requirement, not an option. Most will knock themselves out to make you feel at home and are truly interested in you and delighted to meet you.

Unfortunately, Charlotte has gotten too big, too fast (yes, for the South, it's very fast), and too over-populated with rubes-come-to-town-and-don't-know-how-to-act.

Our apologies for those very non-Southern behaviors you Northerners are encountering.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where to find curing salt (to process meat) in York, Rock Hill or close by? Can't find this anywhere. Thanks.

1:15 PM  

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