Introducing the Researcher – The Anonymous Source

This is to announce that Main Street Rocky Mount now has an ‘anonymous source’ who will be referred to as the ‘di ricercatore,’ the Italian word for a researcher. The reason for the secrecy surrounding this source is that an interesting and brilliant man prefers to remain in the background. I can tell you that he is a historian and a genealogist among many other things, and he engages in the art of conversation on a myriad of subjects. Imagine my pleasure in discovering this story-teller is willing to share what he knows about the history of Rocky Mount and its citizenry. ‘Di Ricercatore,’ with his vast knowledge, links the social fabric of the times with those who lived and worked in Rocky Mount and beyond. It is endlessly fascinating.

As a writer, I know it is true that to write well, you must read well. My ‘anonymous source’ has an enviable library and is a fine writer.  As a researcher, he has piles of books pulled and at the ready for his various research projects. We’re going to collaborate from time to time, which will spark future posts about this place we call home and about the people we honor. Though I can not reveal the name of my  ‘anonymous source,’ he will be given credit when appropriate.


Di Ricercatore brings to our attention,  Earl Carnegie Burnette (1907-76) Go to the Smokehouse for another great meal! and before leaving, stand outside and look kiddie-corner across the street. There in The Douglas Block once stood a drugstore. Earl Burnette initially worked in the Burnette Drug store as the employ of his uncle, B. J. Burnette. Tomorrow we will take up more of this story about this loved and respected man.

FYI: (and for fun) In the thirty years following the Watergate scandal, the identity of the most notorious ‘anonymous source’ in history remained a mystery. It was not until 2005 that the truth emerged in a Vanity Fair article in which William Mark Felt revealed himself to be the asset codenamed ‘Deep Throat.’ Perhaps in time, my source will reveal his name as well.



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