For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to
For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.
Even when it wasn’t Halloween, the late Carl Goerch put the “trick” in trick or treat … and it nearly cost him.
Goerch, the founder of this magazine — and a notorious jokester — came into possession of a rubber mask with an assortment of wrinkles and a ghastly pale complexion. When he wore it, he looked like a frail old man about to die — or one who already had.
In a column titled “The Rubber Mask Caper,” which he wrote for The State in May 1970, Goerch described donning the mask on a lark to visit some friends. The results did not disappoint: At the sight of the masked merrymaker, a friend’s butler backed away slowly and then made a break for it.
On another occasion, Goerch wore the mask to ask an elderly gentleman for directions. After telling Goerch which way to go, the man took another look, rubbed his eyes, and said, “Mister, you ain’t feelin’ so well, are you?” Goerch stifled a laugh and replied, “I’ve been dead for two weeks, and I’m looking for a cemetery.”
Goerch’s fun ended the night he wore the mask to the home of a friend in Raleigh — a stout, powerfully built friend. When the pal’s maid saw the mask, she screamed, causing the hulking homeowner to storm down the hall, roll up his sleeves, and demand, “What’s going on here?”
Now, it was Goerch’s turn to be terrified. “That’s when I went into action,” he wrote. “That mask came off my face faster than it takes to tell about it.”