The September 2020 Issue


Welcome Home

Downtown: Elkin

This mountain town draws hikers and shoppers: When Main Street doubles as a hiking trail, you get the best of both worlds.



A Time to Fly

As the seasons turn, migratory birds and restless humans have something in common: the urge to spread our wings in search of someplace new. Turns out, that feeling has a name.

A Space-Age Oddity

Decades ago, in small-town North Carolina, the future creator of one of the most iconic stereo designs of the 1970s had a dream of rocket ships and rock ’n’ roll. His ideas took him to Manhattan boardrooms and sent him jet-setting around the world. But Granville County always beckoned him home.

House of Stories

For a Wilmington writer, her childhood home was like a fairy tale — full of love and adventure, joy and heartbreak, and even a ghost. But the historic house that she turned into a bed and breakfast holds more than her own memories: Here, endless narratives fill pages and shelves.

The Green Book Guide to North Carolina

For Black families in the 1950s, the ribbons of asphalt that crisscross our state could be dangerous obstacle courses: Most hotels and other businesses denied African-Americans basic services. Many travelers of color looked to the Green Book to find safety on the open road and community in our towns and cities.

The Wonderful World of What-A-Burger

The 1960s architecture, croaking call boxes, and carhops toting plastic trays stacked with steaming fries and frosty shakes: What-A-Burger — the beloved North Carolina chain, not the popular Texas franchise — is a living remnant from a time when cars were king.

Buskers and Music at the Crossroads

For nearly a century, North Carolina singers and songwriters have built careers busking for tips in the great outdoors. At these five spots, the kindness of strangers has helped fund some of our most enduring classics.

The 1960s: The Class Acts

In the 1960s, with the expansion of the Consolidated University of North Carolina and the state’s community college system, more North Carolinians than ever head to college classrooms.