Thursday, April 28, 2016

County Commissioner convicted of 15 felonies

Former Rockingham County Commissioner W.L. Pryor charges a Neely Chronicle photographer during a soiree thrown by Economic and Tourism Development at the former Eden Country Club.  W.L. threatened to beat the photographer's ass for harshing his mellow.

But, the sad news about W.L. is he has just been convicted of 15 felonies related to gambling.  Pryor will have to pay a $15,000 fine and serve 12 months on probation.

Pryor is probably best remembered for lecturing the county's many unemployed for not attending Rockingham Community College.

Pryor had a failed run for the N.C. Senate.  Click here to see a list of his major contributors.

Pryor was once the most powerful man in Rockingham County.  He ruled everything, everywhere!

Is anyone starting to notice a trend with our local lawmakers?

Read all about it here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Talents of the Purple One not appreciated

The artist formerly known as Prince struts his stuff in 1981 during a brief appearance before a Rolling Stones concert.

Contrary to news reports and biographical material being televised since his death, apparently everyone, especially Rolling Stones concert goers, didn't appreciate the Purple One's musical talents.  He was booed off the stage shortly after this photo was made.

Mick Jagger should have paid attention.

Click image to enlarge

Review revives poll

The Reidsville Review online has revived its long lost poll.  Today's question is about whether you forgive Duke Power now that it has given $250,000 to "a Rockingham County organization".  So far, the vote is not in Duke Power's favor.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Neely Carbuncle dicks Dell deal

The following is an article re-edited and re-printed with the kind permission of the Neely Carbuncle.  It is a long read, but I hope you will learn something about the way Rockingham County government works.

Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

His name is Steve Allan (yes, with an 'a').  He lives in Charlotte.  He is a consultant, more specifically he is a consultant to local governments - county commissioners, city councils, and such.  Because Mr. Allan is a consultant and he lives more than 50 miles from Rockingham County, he is considered an expert on any subject.   If Mr. Allan lived in Rockingham County, he would be considered just another local yokel with an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions and certain body orifices.   The only way Mr. Allan could live in Rockingham County and still be considered an expert would be if he were friends with Dubby Pryor

Because he is an expert and a consultant to government, Mr. Allan has made a lot of money during his career.   In fact he has made much of his fortune from you and I.  Mr. Allan is so expert at what he does he has been hired to study the Rockingham County Courthouse every three or four years since 1994.  As you already know, all of Mr. Allan's studies have always reached the same conclusion - Rockingham County needs a new and very expensive courthouse.

Mr. Allan has made more money telling the Commissioners that the county needs a new courthouse than the entire staff of the Neely Carbuncle (we'll explain later) and their children, grandchildren, and great-granchildren will pay in property taxes in all their lifetimes.  Every dime the Carbuncle staff and their descendants have and will in the future borrow on their credit cards to pay property taxes has already gone in consultant Steve Allan's expert pocket.  No less than four generations of the Richard Moore family will break into a sweat every December 31st trying to figure out where to come up with the property tax money to pay Steve Allan to tell the Rockingham County Commissioners that the courthouse is old.

Mr. Allan has done such outstanding work on studying the Rockingham County Coruthouse that the County Commissioners recently hired him to do an organization efficiency study of the Rockingham County government.  The fact that Mr. Allan had never done an organziation efficiency study did not deter the Commissioners.  The Commissioners were so pleased with Allan's many courthouse studies that Allan's total lack of experience with organizational efficiency studies was overlooked.  Mr. Allan was also the low bidder for the efficiency study job.  Better yet, County Manager Tom Robinson personally gave Mr. Allan a big "thumbs-up" for efficiency study job    Apparently, Tom and Steve had been pals when Tom was the Pitt County Manager.   It always helps to have friends in high places and very often it helps to have friends in low places.

At the same time the Commissioners formed the Citizens Budget Study Task Force Pilot Program (CBSTFPP) to find ways for the county government to save money, the Commissioners also decided to hire Steve Allan for $18,000 plus expenses.  No doubt a few people saw the irony of the Commissioners forming a cost-saving committee while in practically the same breath hiring an inexperienced consultant to do yet another study for the county government.  It would take only three months for that irony to hit full force in the face of anyone with a pulse.

The Commissioners briefly struggled with how the work of the CBSTFPP would relate to the work of expert Steve Allan.  It was finally decided the CBSTFPP would do its thing and the professional (Mr. Allan) would do his thing and help the amateurs whenever they could not understand and appreciate the complexities of county government.

Allan met with the CBSTFPP one time for less than an hour, for which the taxpayers were probably billed $300-$500 for his time and travel expenses.  During the meeting, Allan basically did only two things: 1) let the amateurs know they were amateurs and misguided to boot; and 2) announce that he could write a better newspaper than the Neely Chronicle even if he didn't know how to slop hogs better than CBSTFPP member Garland McCollum.  The encounter left somewhat less than a pleasant taste in the mouths of most CBSTFPP members.  No one had any idea of just how unsavory things would be when professional Steve Allan delivered his report to the Commissioners and collected his $18,000 fee.

After the meeting with Allan, CBSTFPP Chairman Tom Schoolfield naively speculated that Allan didn't share much of substance with the CBSTFPP because Allan was holding back the "good stuff" for when he made his report to the Commissioners.  Chairman Schoolfield was not impressed with Allan, but he wanted to believe it was because Allan was hiding the "goodies" from the CBSTFPP.  Allan was being paid $18,000 for his expert services and he didn't want the CBSTFPP to steal his thunder.  The amateurs would have to settle for a serving of oatmeal while the professional brought home the bacon.

Schoolfield seemed to think Allan intended to punch out the Commissioners' lights.  Schoolfield believed Allan was going to take the Commissioners to task for not minding the store.  A month later, Tom Schoolfield learned he has never been more wrong in his entire life.    Steve Allan, like every consultant, especially a consultant to government, knows who butters his bread.

If anybody's lights got punched out when Allan delivered his report to the Commissioners, it was Tom Schoolfield's.  Steve Allan accused Schoolfield's committee of comparing "bananas to basketballs" when the CBSTFPP reported departmental operating cost differences to the Commissioners.  "Bananas to basketballs" - pretty funny, huh?   Surely, somebody put Allan up to trying to discredit the CBSTFPP with the "bananas to basketballs" wisecrack because the CBSTFPP had absolutely nothing to do with Allan's organizational efficiency study.  No serious consultant would have drifted into the CBSTFPP's territory unless they were instructed to do so.

By any measure, Tom Schoolfield and the CBSTFPP have done an excellent job of researching the cost of running Rockingham County government versus the cost of operating other county governments.  Schoolfield and company did three months of meticulous and objective research to discover at least six departments in Rockingham County government may be spending an inordinate amount of money to accomplish the same thing that some (not all) other counties accomplish for much less.  The CBSTFPP's report to the Commissioners wasn't the end product, it was a starting point for department heads to get cranking to find out why somebody seems to be doing it cheaper, in some cases a lot cheaper.   Steve Allan didn't see the CBSTFPP in the same light.

In essence, Allan dismissed the work of the CBSTFPP as a bunch of hooey and he took great pains and a considerable portion of his two-hour oral report to point that out to the Commissioners.  It's not about how much money is being spent by county government, it's about the services being delivered.  The CBSTFPP amateurs don't understand the county government equation.

According to Allan, Rockinham County government has three fundamental problems: 1) The county government lacks a mission statement.  Nobody in county government knows where they are going, and why they do what they do, because they lack the vision that would come from a mission statement; 2) county employees,especially department heads, need more time to be creative so they can solve the county's problems; and 3) the public is grossly misinformed about what county government does.

Every consultant, government or private business, who has studied the Standard Book of Consultant-Speak, jumps on the mission statement thing.  It's been in vogue in the consulting world since 1985.  Every organization needs a mission statement and a consultant must be hired to formulate and/or appraise that mission statement.  If you want to know more about what a mission statement is, go to and search for 'mission statement'.   Our search returned 69,300,000 hits.  The best examples of mission statements can be found at the "Mission Statement Generator" page found at .  Please try the link.  We promise you will be rewarded for your effort.

If you don't have a computer, go to the Rockingham County Public Library and use one of their computers.  If the library's federally-mandated filtering software doesn't block the page, you can learn to become a consultant to government and private enterprise, proving the public library is both a career center and a place to pick up government-provided paperback Harlequin romance novels with Fabio and his famous flowing locks and chiseled pecs on the covers.

Steve never really explained about county employees being more creative.   Presumably Steve will provide more details if the Commissioners decide to hire him to do Phases II and III of his organizational efficiency study.  Phases II & III are more expensive than Phase I, and the Commissioners will need some time to fully digest what they got for the $18,000+ they paid for Phase I.

Allan noted he never caught any county employees reading Playboy or Good Housekeeping, but he also never caught any of them reading County Employees Weekly or the Consultants Journal.  Allan indicated county employees need more resources, such as better office furniture, better telephones, more space, and more help.  These resources will give county employees more time to pursue creative endeavors.

County employees are spending too much time "putting out fires" or performing routine tasks.   There is not sufficient time in the work day of the average county employee to be creative.  The Commissioners should provide more resources to allow county employees to be more creative.  Some suggestions for creative outlets that we've heard here at the Chronicle include photography, sculpting, painting, pottery, and wood craving, but the Commissioners should consult with their expert before deciding what is appropriate.

Now comes the sweetest morsel of the $18,000 report from professional consultant Steve Allan.  Allan only spent a few minutes on it, but it was potent.  The failings and inadequacies of the CBSTFPP got far more attention from Allan, but there were ten people on the CBSTFPP.  The best buy per pound was Allan's comments on the how the citizens of Rockingham County are misinformed about county government.

It seems, thanks to a newspaper known as the "Neely Carbuncle" (that's how Allan referred to the Neely Chronicle), that many citizens think County Attorney Eugene Russell, who is often mentioned in the "Carbuncle", handles divorce cases.  Of course, Mr. Russell does not do divorce work.  He is a full-time employee at Government House.  Mr. Russell's job is to defend Government House and the Commissioners no matter what they do or don't do.  Mr. Russell has his hands quite full without getting involved in who gets the kids and who gets the family goldfish,

The "Carbuncle" is also responsible for people calling the 9-1-1 Emergency Call Center to get directions.  "Carbuncle" readers have been told to call 9-1-1 if they need to know where to find the best bologna burger in Reidsville (Stadler's Grocery, according to a critically acclaimed Monday Night Live viewer poll).  He may have been paid $18,000, but Steve Allan is full of...well, bologna.  The "Carbuncle" has never told anyone to call 9-1-1 to get directions to Stadlers.  Only call 9-1-1 to order an emergency delivery of a bologna burger from Stadler's

OK, now you want to know what this "Neely Carbuncle" business is.  You probably also want to know what a "carbuncle" is.  First the easy part - a carbuncle is a painful, festering, pus-filled boil.
"Carbuncle" is also what Steve Allan called the Neely Chronicle when he told the Commissioners in his $18,000 report that the "Neely Carbuncle" is the reason Dell Computers abandoned its plan to build a new manufacturing plant in Rockingham County and instead decided to go with Forsyth County.  Allan told the Commissioners that Michael Dell, the CEO and founder of Dell Computers, read a copy of the "Neely Carbuncle" (possibly Issue #45) and ordered all plans to build the factory in Rockingham County to be scrapped.

This is not a joke.  The preceding is what Allan reported to the County Commissioners.

Apparently, the $42,000,000 that Forsyth County and Winston-Salem coughed up, along with another $250,000,000 in state corporate welfare, played no part in the decision to build the Dell plant in Forsyth County.  It was the "Neely Carbuncle" that dicked the Dell deal at the last minute.

We've always said corporate welfare doesn't accomplish anything except make the taxpayers poorer.  Taxpayers are forced to pay corporate welfare to companies that have already decided on a location based on many other factors, such as skill level of the workforce, cultural amenities, infra-structure, education, and ease of doing business in a particular location.  Now Steve Allan has supported our contention.  Dell didn't abandon its Rockingham County plan because Forsyth County held out a $42,000,000 carrot,  Dell chose Forsyth County because the Winston-Salem Journal, which is part of the Media General Empire, doesn't sass local governments.

The Winston-Salem Journal, like all Media General papers, toes the party line.   The "Neely Carbuncle" makes local governments and public officials look bad by reporting what they actually do and say rather than printing the official script as it is written for the media.

The "Carbuncle", the boil that festers on the butts of local officials, probably cost the county 5,000 jobs, if you include the Dell workforce and all the businesses that will service the Dell factory.  If you don't believe the lowly "Carbuncle" has that kind of power, then ask professional consultant Steve Allan or any of the Rockingham County Commissioners.   They'll give you the straight of it.

Just to make sure Steve Allan wasn't giving the "Carbuncle" more credit than it deserved, we called Lisa Perry, Director of the Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development (the BORG), to verify Allan's claim.  We figured if anyone knows what went into the Dell decision to go with Forsyth County rather than Rockingham County, it would be Perry.

Incredibly, Perry answered "That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard" when asked if the "Neely Carbuncle" was responsible for Dell rejecting Rockinham County.

According to Perry, Dell selected Forsyth County because of its proximity to the interstate highway system.  She then added Michael Dell wasn't even on the site selection committee.

What a bunch of nonsense!  Obivously, Ms. Perry has some sort of ax to grind with the "Carbuncle."  She refuses to give the "Carbuncle" the credit it is due.    We're sorry we ever made that phone call to Lisa Perry.  What the hell does Lisa Perry know?    Nobody paid Lisa Perry $18,000 to do an organizational efficiency study and give her professional opinion of the "Carbuncle."   That was Steve Allan's job.

Ms. Perry should, as South Park's cartoon character Cartman tells everyone, "RESPECT MY AUTHORI-TIE!"

We should mention the always astute Tom Schoolfield said Steve Allan did not point out every carbuncle has a root cause.  There is always a reason boils erupt on somebody's butt.

More findings from Steve Allan's Phase I $18,000 organizational efficiency study of the Rockingham County government...
  • Although his contract called for him to actually spend very few hours in Rockingham County to do his $18,000+ organization efficiency study of the Rockingham County government, Allan reported the Tax Department, the Register of Deeds Office, the Veterans Office, the Emegency Services Department, and the Sheriff's Department are all doing excellent jobs.    We can only assume Allan was able to do such an incredible amount of research by studying charts or making a lot of phone calls from his home/office/den/kitchen/garage in Charlotte.
  • Allan said the county's Legal Department has saved the county millions of dollars by practicing an "avoidance style of management."  Allan didn't explain "avoidance management".   We assume Allan was referring to Eugene Russell's extraordinary ability to rationalize any legal missteps made by the Commissioners and other Government House officials and public boards.  You never have to waste time or money on defending your client if you can always invent a loophole that proves your client never did anything wrong in the first place.  There is no one better than Eugene Russell, who doesn't handle divorce cases, by the way.
  • People who complain about the money being spent or mismanaged by the Public Health Department need to consider what will happen when funding to the Public Health Department is cut and then terrorists launch a biological attack on Rockingham County.  I can tell you what will happen - you'll be damned sorry you ever complained about Public Health Director Glenn Martin's whiny monotone.
  • The Emergency Communications Center needs a new building and a new communications tower that is less susceptible to lightning strikes.  Incredibly, this is the same conclusion that other engineering consultants reached many, many months ago.  Steve Allan obviously spent some time reading the engineers' reports or at least he read the minutes of the Commissioner meeting when the engineers gave their reports.
  • The Planning and Inspections Department has "got their hands full."  This kind of insight doesn't come cheap, folks
  • If you're going to have a Public Library, then you should "do it right".  To prove his point, Allan recounted a story of meeting a 58-year-old man who looked like he was at least 70.  The weary man was laid-off from one of the county's many defunct textile factories.  The man wanted to apply for a job at Food Lion, but Food Lion's job applications are only available online.  The mill worker didn't have a computer so he went to the public library to download an application to work at Food Lion.   Steve never heard whether the man got the coveted Food Lion job, but he's going to check on how it turned out some day, and besides the story proves how important it is to "do it right" when it comes to the public library.  You may be wondering what this tale of the hapless mill worker has to do with an organizational efficiency study.   Your wondering only proves you have absolutely no aptitude to be a hot-shot professional consultant to local government like Steve Allan.  Get a life, loser!
  • Animal Control should be handled by another department.  Enough said.
  • The Elections office is little more than a closet.  If the Elections office had more room, it would eliminate many of the nuisance calls that the Elections office receives.  That makes perfect sense.
  • The Register of Deeds Office gets more hits than any other county government web page.   This proves the CBSTFPP's scrutiny of the Register of Deeds Office was a witch hunt.
  • It's really, really great when Dumpster Deputy Tinker Woods catches people dumping trash on a green grassy spot.
  • CBSTFPP member Garland McCollum's comment that county government should use a more business-like approach was laughable because Garland didn't consider Enron, Tyco, Burlington Industries, and the American Tobacco Company were all miserable failures.   Allan's comment about Burlington Industries especially impressed Tom Schoolfield who is a retired Burlington Industries manager.
  • People who complain about a property tax increase are a bunch of whiny little babies.   The whiny little babies should shut up and pay the increases that are necessary to hire consultants.
  • The only way government can be changed is for government to change itself.  The change cannot come from outside government.  Steve was right on the money with this observation.  Citizens who think beating their heads against the wall will eventually cause the wall to crumble are living in a fantasy world.  Give up and give up now.   It's hopeless.  There is nothing you can do.  Not even elections can make a difference.  If elections actually changed anything, then elections would be outlawed.   If by reading the "Carbuncle" you have gotten the idea that you can make a difference, then you are wrong.  This false hope is part of the "Carbuncle's public misinformation campaign.  The sooner you abandon all hope, the easier things will be for you.
  • Allan suggested the Commissioners organize community focus groups to help solve the county's problems.  He suggested the Commissioners meet with high school students, go to retirement homes, and talk to the Jaycees to unlock the creative power of the people.   Whatever you do, just don't form another loose canon like the CBSTFPP committee.   Allan said something about involving the "worker bees".  He may have been talking about harnessing the creative power of county employees.
  • In the 21st century, the most successful problem solvers will be creative people, not wealthy people.  County employees cannot be creative if they are overworked.
  • The county needs to spend a year to do strategic planning and prepare a large document to illustrate and support its strategic plan.  An example of such a plan can be found on the Dilbert Comics web site or by looking at the volumes of material produced by the Rockingham Tomorrow group.  The Rockingham Tomorrow volumes can possibly be found on a high shelf in the County Manager's office.  If they're not there, check in the little building behind the Rockingham Public Library.  It's being used to store items that nobody ever uses, but everybody is afraid to throw away.
Suggestions we've heard for how the county government can lance the "Neely Carbuncle" Problem, which is sometimes called the "Richard Moore Problem":
  1. Shut down Moore and his pesky little bookstore and newspaper.
  2. Hire Steve Allan to mount a massive "anti-Carbuncle" campaign.  If you say it often enough and long and loud enough, people will eventually believe the "Carbuncle" kept Dell out of Rockingham County.
  3. Knock some sense into county and city officials and the school board, drying up the rich source that feeds the huge "Carbuncle" on the butt of local government
  4. Buy Moore's silence.  It will cost a lot less than Steve Allan has charged to discover the Neely County Courthouse is old and report Food Lion puts it job applications for grocery baggers on the internet.
Editor's note:  Consider #3 to be a lost cause.  #2 is certainly doable, but it would take a lot of time and money.  The county has plenty of money.  What money Government House doesn't already have can be easily looted from the taxpayers.  Time is the limiting factor for option #2 - a quicker solution is needed, especially now that the "Carbuncle" has a weekly TV show and an internet radio station.  The county's three new Super Wal-Mart's may do what David Wise, Jeff Sykes, and Celeste DePriest have not been able to do on their own - option #1.  If the Super Wal-Mart nuclear devastation option should fail, and a quick solution is needed, option #4 is the ticket.  Moore has said he has a figure sealed in an envelope in a Duke's mayonnaise jar buried in his back yard.  Any county or city government or school board willing to meet or exceed that figure can have the bragging rights that will go to the buyer who finally solves the "Richard Moore Problem".

"I thought it was a Laurel and Hardy routine until I realized they weren't joking." - an on-the-air caller gives his reaction to hearing Monday Night Live host Mark Childrey and Neely Chronicle Publisher Richard Moore discuss Steve Allan's accusation that the "Carbuncle" was responsible for the county's loss of the Dell Computer factory.

Update: The Reidsville Police Department caught Rockingham County School Board member Ron Price taking Democrat Brad Miller campaign signs from the roadside and replacing them with signs for Republican Vernon Robinson.  Ron Price sued Richard Moore and the Carbuncle for reporting these facts.  Price lost the case, but the high cost of defending Moore and the Carbuncle ended the newspaper.  Dell eventually opened a facility in Forsyth County, operated a few months, and then closed up and moved out of North Carolina.  Dell received nearly $300 million in incentive money from the taxpayers.  More than 900 people lost their jobs when the plant closed.  This happened after the "Neely Carbuncle" had been run out of business.

It turns out Allan was right all along about the "Carbuncle".

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tied to the Whipping Post After Almost 50 Years

Do you remember Watkins Glen?  That's Watkins Glen, NY and the year was 1973.  It was the site of the largest music festival ever staged.  There were 600,000 people in attendance.  One man died in a parachuting accident and two teenagers disappeared - forever.  It made 1969s Woodstock festival look like a backyard party with a few friends.  There has been nothing like Watkins Glen since that time.  

This frail looking man, who is almost 70 years old, was the star of the Watkins Glen show.  He could rock then and he can still rock.  

I know, I've attended about five of his shows since October, 1970 when I first saw him perform with the Allman Brothers Band at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

This is Gregg Allman.  

He and his brother Duane with Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, and Dickie Betts started the Allman Brothers Band in 1969.  Duane died in 1971 in a motorcycle accident and then Berry died in 1972 in another motorcycle accident just a couple miles from where Duane was killed.  Dickie Betts was eventually fired.

Lamar Williams replaced Berry Oakley, but Lamar died of cancer.  He was replaced with Allen Woody, who died of some mysterious illness or a drug overdose.  Who knows?

Guitar players and drummers were replaced several times and keyboard players were added and then fired.  Chuck Leavell played the piano for several years before moving on to the Rolling Stones.

Gregg sang with the "Brothers" in 1971 on what is the best live rock album of all time - Live at the Fillmore East.  If you've never heard it, go now and buy a copy.  You will not regret it.  You can try clicking here to get a small taste of the Allman Brothers.  The audio is not great.  Gregg's vocals are lost in the background.

Gregg has been married six times, including once to Cher for a few years.  He's had maybe six children, all of which are musicians, except one.  He's been addicted to alcohol and all manner of drugs.  He's had a life-saving liver transplant due to hepatitis caused by a dirty tattoo needle.  Please notice his tattooed sleeves.

He's appeared on Cher's variety TV program.  Do you remember that piece of crap show?  Gregg sang a tune with Cher.  There were dancers in the background.  Gregg and Cher wore matching outfits.  It is 40 years later and I still shake my head in disbelief.

He's written an autobiography entitled "My Cross to Bear",  I have a copy which my daughter gave me for Christmas.

He's performed on Saturday Night Live with the "Brothers:.  He's played bit parts in a few films.  Remember "Rush"?  Gregg played the drug dealer.  When he takes his long blond hair out of a ponytail, he definitely looks like he can play a drug dealer.  His music is featured on many, many sound tracks.

My suite mate (J. Fred Knobloch) in college became a successful songwriter in Nashville, TN.  Allman recorded one of his songs for the movie "Next of Kin".  You can decide for yourself how much you like the Allman version.

Allman was the honored guest at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.  The Fox show is where famous musicians gather to perform songs written by the guest.  Gregg Allman has written a lot of tunes.  The edited show lasted two hours.

He's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He wore a tuxedo with a top hat and cane for the event.  He was stoned out of his mind at the time and he slurred his way through his acceptance speech while the "Brothers" nervously squirmed beside him.

Despite his fame, he seems a very quiet and somewhat reclusive person.  I recently caught him doing a 60-minute TV interview with Dan Rather on AXS TV.  It's the most I've ever heard the man speak, including the time when I spoke to him personally after a concert in Birmingham, AL.

He's truly lived the life of the Blues Man.

Gregg carried on with the Allman Brothers until they all finally called it "quites" at the end of 2014.  He's had an on-and-off again solo career with different hired musicians.  Now he is performing as "The Gregg Allman Band".

The crowds are much smaller than Watkins Glen, but Gregg Allman is still "da man" when it comes to singing the blues.  

He just this week performed at the Cone Denim Center on Elm St. in Greensboro.  I'm told the theater will hold 1,000 people and it was full.  There is open floor space and seats in the balcony.  Thank goodness we had balcony seats.  Balcony seats were $80 each and floor space was $40 per head.

Most, but not all, of the folks had gray hair on their heads.  All of the ushers looked to be senior citizens.  The bar runners, who served drinks to the elderly, were pretty young.  All of the beer came in tall 24-oz cans that ran $9 each.  A 16-oz bottle of water was $4.

In this photo a slightly stoop-shouldered Gregg Allman (left) appears his age and the hard road he has followed throughout his life.  Despite his almost Johnny Winter appearance, Gregg is reportedly now clean and sober.  That's a good thing because he almost died.

Gregg is best known for playing the Hammond organ, but he can certainly strum a guitar.  He reportedly taught his older brother to play guitar when they were children.  Even with a short life, Duane Allman went on to become one of the top guitarists of all time.  Gregg did not demonstrate any of his special guitar skills in Greensboro, but I can assure you he can play the guitar better than he plays the organ.

Gregg took up his guitar for several songs that included "Melissa" and "Midnight Rider".  Of course, the crowd sang along with the these two tunes.

In case you are wonderin', Gregg opened the Cone show with "Don't Keep Me Wondering".  No, it wasn't "Statesboro Blues" which the Allmans frequently used as their opener.

Gregg opened with the song I played over and over while I was wonderin' about a girl I would eventually marry.  When "Don't Keep Me Wondering" wasn't on the turntable, it was "Can't Lose What You Never Had", another Allman Brothers song by Muddy Waters.  I played "Can't Lose" in case I needed consolation.  Fortunately, I didn't need consolation.

Gregg closed the show with "Whipping Post".  It was totally re-arranged from the Allman Brothers famous "Whipping Post".  Gregg's version is slower, jazzier, less intense.  And, it certainly didn't last 20 minutes like the Fillmore East days.

"One Way Out" was the encore number which took ten minutes of loud cheering from the audience to make it happen.  I didn't hear the whole song because I had to rush to the restroom to keep from peeing in my pants.

Above is a photo of the entire Gregg Allman band.  Don't count the four heads in the very front.  Even with good seats, it's not easy to get a decent concert shot.  The guy in the leather vest kept bobbing and weaving.  I usually had to point my lens between him and the woman in the beige top and hope for the best.

Gregg is seated at his organ on the left.  Behind him are three horn players - a tenor sax, a trumpet, and a baritone sax.  A guitar player stands in the middle, a drummer in the background, a bass player beside him, then a percussionist in the right background.  A keyboard player is in the right front.

Gregg took a break while his band featured a nice solo by the tenor sax player and some pounding by percussionist Marc Quinones. Quinones is the only player from the Allman Brothers Band left with the Gregg Allman Band.  He is not an orignal member of the Allmans, but he has been the third Allman Brothers drummer for many years.  Yes, that's right, for many years the Allmans had three drummers - Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, and Marc.

Today Allman's music has much more of a jazz twist.  He still rocks, but many of the arrangements have been designed to point in a jazz direction.  Gregg's three horn players definitely point towards jazz.  The Allman Brothers almost never used horn players.

Maybe more than three-quarters of his show were old Allman Brothers tunes, mostly written by Gregg.  But the added horns breathed new life into the songs, some of which are approaching fifty years of age.

The Gregg Allman Band was loud, no doubt about that.  But, the sound was well balanced.  You could hear every instrument and all the vocals.  My ears did not ring after the show.  I would say it was the second best live concert sound I have ever heard.  Nothing will match Jethro Tull live in Baton Rouge.

Interestingly during the ride home after the Allman show, my date suddenly muted the XM radio in her car.  She never mutes her radio except when she receives a phone call.  She said the song playing was annoying the hell out of her by repeating a musical phrase over and over.  I noted the song was a Little Milton tune.  Gregg Allman has credited Little Milton as a major influence in his vocal style.

Allman spoke very little during the concert, but you could understand most of what he said.  His smooth southern drawl was more troublesome than the sound system.  He is a Georgia/Florida boy.

The Allman Brothers Band is frequently credited with creating the Southern Rock sound.  I understand the "Brothers" don't much care for the label, preferring to be called rock/jazz/blues musicians or better yet just musicians.

Musicians they were/are indeed and Gregg Allman is still a master musician. Go see Gregg Allman if you get a chance.

This guy opened the show for Gregg Allman.  He had a real nice voice and could play the guitar and harmonica very well.  He was half finished his set before he said he had been playing in Europe before joining Gregg.  He encouraged everyone to buy his new CD.  He said his name was Gabriel.  That's it.  No first or last name.  Gabriel can go either way.  He never said what the title of his CD is.

Click images to enlarge.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Worst job ever

The following was chosen as the worst job ever by CBS Money. The pay is way overstated for a Reidsville Review reporter where the pay is about half of what's listed here.

Worst: Newspaper reporter (print), $36,390

The ultimate worst job in America has held the title for three years in a row. Print newspaper reporters are suffering from a decline in the financial health of their employers as readers increasingly turn to online sources for their news.

The resulting decline in ad revenue has created a poor income outlook for the profession, and the number of jobs in the field will likely decline by 9 percent by 2024, CareerCast said.
Former Reidsville Review editor Jeffrey Sykes once declared print media to be "dead".  Many years later he still works for print media.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Vanilla Ice Reborn?

Last I heard this dick-weed had been arrested for burglary.  Now I'm seeing advertisements for the new season of Vanilla Ice's DIY Network television show starting in late April.  What happened to the arrest warrant for Vanilla Ice?  He seems better suited for a life in prison rather than a TV career.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rockingham County History - Remember This #3

Remember this fellow?  He's very important to the history of Rockingham County.

Here's a hint: Neely Carbuncle.

Remember you can find this web site by going to You might want to also try reading our restaurant reviews at 

Friday, April 8, 2016

$68,000 totem rises from Scales St. (edited 4/10/16 12:31 PM)

On April 8th, thousands turned out to worship at the base of the new Reidsville downtown sculpture.

Well, it was supposed to be thousands, but three people is the most we ever saw admiring the "Budding Future" by Greensboro artist Jim Gallucci. 

The original Confederate soldier monument had stood in the Scales St. round-about since 1910 until Greensboro resident Mark Vincent plowed it with his van in May of 2011. 

"Budding Future" was known as the "Gallucci Alien" when the original design looked like a giant blue egg from the movie "Alien".

The occasion for the mass gathering was the first Cruise-In of the season.  Reidsville city officials rushed the installation a bit in order to have the "Budding Future" erected for the April car show.

According to the Reidsville Review, Gallucci said, "...he hopes that this work of art will help encourage small businesses to get started in Reidsville."

Gallucci probably shouldn't hold his breath waiting for more small businesses to come to Reidsville.  If anything, the Gallucci may push some existing businesses over the edge.

I estimate about three out of four people don't much care for the Gallucci creation. Most want the Confederate soldier back.   Many have said they won't come to downtown again as long as the "Budding Future" stands in the street.

Reidsville Co-Mayors James Festerman and Clark Turner discuss the giant blue "Alien" egg on top of a model of the original Gallucci.

My preference is for the street to be completely cleared and a couple of traffic lights put up to replace it all.

We had to wait a full day to get an answer from the City Clerk, but the cost of the "Budding Future" was $68,000 from design to installation,

The total was reduced to two people after just a couple of minutes.

The fellow on the right in the black sweater turned out to be Reidsville Review kid reporter Justyn Melrose who said he came to the Cruise-In just to find out the cost of the "Budding Future" and to spot any City Council members.  Melrose left soon after we told him $68,000 (about the value of a typical home in Reidsville) and that City Council members rarely attend the Cruise-Ins.

Melrose said the "Budding Future" might have looked good standing in Greensboro, but it seemed out of place in Reidsville.

Notice Melrose and the unidentified woman standing on the brick sidewalk. 

During the time of protests to keep the Confederate soldier monument in the round-about, the city fathers declared standing on the brick sidewalk to be illegal.  Protesters were forced to balance on the tiny curb inside the brick sidewalk.  Anyone caught on the sidewalk would be cited.  Apparently, the rules have changed since the protesters lost their case in court and no longer gather to protest.  It is now legal to stand on the brick sidewalk.

Before he left, Melrose said he heard more was to be added to the "Budding Future".  We heard a smaller egg was planned for the very top of the spire.

Amazingly I later met a City Council person who was not aware the police had declared the sidewalk to be off-limits to protesters.

A rather strange-haired police officer came out very soon after we arrived.  She had blond hair on top of black hair.  She reported by cell phone to headquarters that ten or so Confederate flags had been planted around the "Budding Future".

You will no doubt recognize the Stars and Bars.  The other flag was the first Flag of the Confederacy.

The police officer photographs the flags on her cell phone before the removal process began.  She no doubt sent the photos to HQ.

Whatever the flag, the officer was directed to remove all of them and she did so after a long conversation on her cell phone.

The strange-haired officer was joined in the street by two other officers after she removed the flags.  The three talked for several minutes while she held the bundle of flags.

The officer walked away with the flags and that was the end of the throngs at the idol.

Here's a little video I stitched together of the Flag Cop doing her thing

While visiting the "Budding Future", we couldn't help but notice the waterfall at Kelly's Way was not falling.  The water has been shut off.

The same City Council person, who did not know about the sidewalk, told us more rock has been added at the base of the former waterfall because kids were using it as a wading pool.

I should mention Judy Gonzalez came up behind me during the Cruise-In and started incoherently rambling to me about something.  I told the crazy bitch to shut-up and to get the hell away from me.  She immediately went directly across the street and talked to a police officer.  I can only assume it was about my very rude and crude treatment of her.  He listened to her for a couple of minutes and then she disappeared down the street.  I fully expected him to come over to me to ask about the incident, but he never did.  Two armed detectives will probably show up at my house next week to tell me how I treated Judy "might be illegal."

Click the images to enlarge.

Mike DeLapp: One man, two worlds

There seems to be two different versions of former Reidsville Review publisher Mike DeLapp's history in the news business.

First is an article from the Triad Business News.  Author Bill Cresenzo reports DeLapp was fired and DeLapp is "angry about it".  DeLapp should be angry.  He served the paper for a very long time.

Cresenzo then reports David Clevenger was appointed to replace DeLapp.  Cresenzo did not know it at the time, but Clevenger was let go in very short order and he was replaced by a long string of publishers and reporters.  Media General refused to comment on DeLapp's termination.  It apparently was not pleasant.

Here's the original story from 1999:

The young Mike DeLapp was fired from the Reidsville Review in 1999

The following article is reprinted with the kind permission of the High Point-based Triad Business News which frequently seems a lot more interested in Rockingham County news than our own local rags.

Ousted Reidsville publisher `did everything they requested'

REIDSVILLE -- After a 30-year career at The Reidsville Review, now owned by Media General, the paper's publisher was fired last week and replaced by the publisher of the Review's two Rockingham County sister papers.

"I'm angry about it," said Mike DeLapp, who had been publisher of The Reidsville Review since 1986. "I did everything I felt was in my power to do what they requested of me, and it became very obvious to me that whatever I did, it wouldn't be enough."

DeLapp first worked at the Review as a paper boy and made his way through the newspaper ranks, working in the mailroom and later as an ad representative and ad manager before becoming publisher in 1986.

 Media General named David Clevenger, publisher of The Daily News of Eden and The Messenger of Madison, as DeLapp's replacement. Clevenger will continue as publisher of The Messenger. He will be replaced as publisher at The Daily News but will oversee all three of Media General's Rockingham County papers.

 Bob Childress, who is publisher of the Danville Register & Bee and Clevenger's boss, refused to comment on DeLapp's termination.

 Media General first entered the Rockingham County market in 1996 when it bought The Daily News from Park Communications. The company then bought the Review and The Messenger from Southern Newspapers of Texas.

In 1998, Media General and Eddie Dettmar, publisher of The Daily News, terminated their relationship. Media General brought in Clevenger to replace Dettmar.

DeLapp said it was then that he began to suspect that he would lose his job.

I began to see the writing on the wall at that time, I think," DeLapp said. "When you've worked for a company for a long time and somebody new takes over, long-term employees often do not fit into the plans of the new organization .... I am the third publisher that has left Media General this year."

The Review, like the other Rockingham County papers, has seen declining circulation recently, but DeLapp said that was not a factor in his termination.

During his tenure as publisher, DeLapp oversaw the Review's switch from an afternoon to morning publication schedule and the construction of a new 17,000-square-foot office.

DeLapp, 49, said he does not have any concrete plans for his future.

"I have already talked to three different companies, and I'll just be pursuing another career," he said.

"I'm still a young man and in good health. I'm a high-energy person and I have a lot to offer."


Skip forward 17 years and now the Review feels more inclined to discuss Mike DeLapp.  Notice there is no mention of Delapp being fired from the Reidsville Review.  It is doubtful any of the Review staff had ever heard of Mike DeLapp until the Herald-Citizen story was written.  Hell, most of the Review staff was wearing diapers when DeLapp was last publisher.

The old Mike DeLapp was let go from the Herald-Citizen in 2016

Click here to read the Reidsville Review's new polished version of Mike DeLapp.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Phat Man is going down

Jeffrey Sykes, Judy Gonzalez, Ron Price, Jay Donecker...I love these videos of Reidsville's most prominent citizens talking about what a sleazeball Richard Moore is.

For the record, Sykes is a convicted felon who lost his Reidsville Review job due to a scandal, Moore was found innocent of attacking Gonzalez in less than 45 minutes with no testimony from all the witnesses, and Ron Price's lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice against Price.

Donecker has yet to be caught, but he will be one day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Old favorite from WGSR

Remember this one from Jeffrey Sykes?  He had what might be called a volatile temperament.  I'm told he is now a reporter for YES Weekly.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Dr. Bill Capehart Caper

Dr. Bill Capehart gives the finger to the Rockingham County School Board.  His assistant, Bill Holcomb, dozes.

You gotta figure anybody with PhDs coming out their wazo is a pretty happy fellow.  While it's true he has held at least 23 jobs in his 30+ year career, and he's still looking for another gig, Dr. Bill Capehart is a pretty happy fellow at this point...he's working the Rockingham County School Board for all it's worth

Capehart had recently left a very sour, but brief job as the Superintend of Public Schools in Boyd County, Kentucky where he flip-flopped a few times on an argument about sex clubs in the schools.  The Holy Rollers didn't like the idea of sex clubs, but the ACLU and the law thought otherwise. Caperhart "began flipping and flopping more than a catfish tossed up on the banks of the Ohio River."  What's a poor Superintendent to do?  Well, flip-flop, of course, until the jig is up and you move on to the next job.  Capehart's flip-flopping got him featured in a New York Times article.  Apparently, the article got Capehart noticed by the Rockingham County School Board.

That finger is part of his lecture to the Rockingham County School Board when Capehart was the new Superintendent of Schools.  Yes, that's right, for a very brief seven month period, Capehart was the head dude in charge of education in Rockingham County.  It was a short, but very exciting run.

Dr. Bill Capehart runs one of his few Rockingham County School Board meetings

I'm not sure whether the seven months covers his Leave of Absence or not.  But soon after taking the Rockingham County Superintendent job, Capehart went out on medical leave.  It was reported he had some sort of heart ailment.

Eventually School Board Chairman Wayne Kirkman got to wondering about Capehart's condition and starting doing some checking.  It seems Bill Capehart wasn't quite so sick as the Rockingham County School Board had been led to believe.  He wasn't at home suffering in his sick bed.  Capehart was discovered working at Marshall University in West Virginia while on sick leave from Rockingham County.  Capehart even had an office and a phone number at Marshall University.  You could call him up and chat if you liked.  All the while he had a paying job in Rockingham County.

Capehart had two jobs at in Rockingham County and one in Huntington, West Virginia.

Wayne Kirkman is pretty dumb, but this didn't sit well with the Chairman.  The School Board had no choice, but to let Capehart go.  Rockingham County had been hoodwinked and Marshall University got their man fulltime.

After Capehart was shed of the Rockingham County School Board, and comfortable at Marshall U., the Reidsville Review finally got wind of what was going on and reported Capehart blamed his troubles on the Neely Chronicle.

I've included a copy of Capeharts resume in this link.  You can see he refers to his heart ailment as a "Personal Family Health Issue" and calls the Rockingham County School Board "challenging" and "politically polarized".  I've pulled the section from Capehart's resume about Rockingham County below:

Superintendent | Rockingham County Schools
JAN '05 - JAN '06 (1 YEAR) | EDEN, NC
Superintendent, Rockingham County Schools, Eden, North Carolina 2005 to 2006: Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances occur in every family. My tenure here in this school district of 9,000 was limited to seven months due to a personal family health issue. Although it was a very political polarized board, all members were valuable assets attempting to do what was needed for children. This leadership position was the most challenging to date. Now, with the family need taken care of. I returned home to Marshall University, where I had served as an an adjunct professor from 1973 -2006.

I have no doubt Capehart's experience with the Rockingham County School Board was "challenging". This was during the time of Celeste DePriest, Wayne Kirkman and Herman Hines. I should note Rockingham County has about 14,000 students, not 9,000 as Superintendent Capehart seemed to think.

If you click the link to his full resume, you will see Capehart is currently working at the gift shop and snack bar at Lakewood Campgrounds at Myrtle Beach.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and look at the lower right hand corner.  Apparently, the Professor is doing a fine job there.  He's been there for two years and got a raise for outstanding performance.  I understand the gifts and snacks are also outstanding.  You have to wonder what happened at Rio Grande University in Ohio that sent Capehart to work at a campground.  A heart condition, maybe?

Nevertheless, Dr. Bill Capehart would like another job.  Maybe something in school administration.  Gift shop and snack bar work is not so rewarding.

I should mention Lakewood is serviced by Snappy Zappy's Pizza and has guest wi-fi in the coffee shop.  Snappy's only gets one star from but, hey, you can't have everything.  Can you, Dr. Bill?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Coming soon....

1. We reveal the secret identity of our Rockingham County history guest #2.  You're not going to believe what this guy is doing.

2.  The ALIEN is about to land and we plan to document the event.  Event cancelled

3.  Our dinner at Crafted.

4. Blues legend Gregg Allman will be in concert and we plan to be there.