• May 10, 2013

Our 10 Favorite Stories

In celebration of our 80th anniversary, we list our favorite ten stories that you shouldn’t miss.

Our State features the best writers in North Carolina. So choosing just ten stories to list as our favorites was a difficult task.

The stories below are listed in no particular order, and is not a ranking. Do you have a favorite story we didn’t mention? Tell us in the comment section below.

Mountain Dancer by Leigh Ann Henion

September 2011
When he was a boy growing up in Sugar Grove, Robert Dotson took up flatfooting. Now 88, he still lives in the same High Country community, and he’s the master of an art form that requires his feet stay close to the ground. Read the full story. Meet Robert Dotson and see him perform in this exclusive video.

Doc by Philip Gerard

July 2012
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson
As an infant growing up in Watauga County, Arthel Lane Watson lost his sight. As a teenager, he picked up a guitar and created a sound. Now, that sound and that guitar and that blind man are forever linked in one name that will live as long as music is played: Doc. Read the full story. Watch writer Philip Gerard play his favorite Doc Watson tune.

Hazel by Michael Graff

August 2012
On October 15, 1954, a terrible storm makes for a terrible day for the entire country. One county in rural southeastern North Carolina takes the most direct hit, with lives and communities shattered under the storm clouds. Read the full story.

Music for All: The Can Joe Man by Carole Moore

March 2004
CanJoe Man
Herschel Brown constructs buildings and delivers quality — and now he also builds one-string instruments and delivers happiness. Read the full story.

Renaissance Man by Scott Smith

January 1997
Renaissance Man
It would have been easy for Billy Arthur to look around and see the differences between himself and others when he was growing up in Charlotte. Upon seeing that his friends were growing taller and that he would be left topping the measuring stick at 39 1/2 inches, it would have been so easy for this unlikely source of inspiration to perhaps settle for a little less in life. Read the full story.

Christmas Eve 2012 with the Funeral Militia in Listre, North Carolina by Clyde Edgerton

December 2012
Funeral Militia
An original fiction story by Clyde Edgerton for Our State‘s December 2012 issue. Read the full story.

Crab Pot Creation by Bill Morris

December 2004
Crab Pot Creation
With a name like Nick, this Down East businessman may have been destined to invent a new kind of Christmas tree. Plus when it comes to holiday traditions, the folks of Down East Carteret County take a back seat to no one. Read the full story.

A Carolina Calling by Michael Graff

March 2010
Woody Durham
Every time he straps on a headset, Woody Durham imagines speaking to just one person — you. Read the full story.

To Ride by Michael Parker

March 2012
Let's go for a ride
Never in my house was it, “Let’s go for a ride.” Always — and impromptu, although ever-anticipated on those steamy, buggy late-summer nights or languorous Sunday afternoons of my youth — my father said, when he was ready to ramble about town and through countryside, “Let’s go to ride.” Read the full story.

Pittsboro by Sarah Perry

February 2013
Pittsboro Plenty
In a town where everyone seems to have big ideas, the success of a local currency shows the value in working together to make them happen. Read the full story.

Our State
Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.