The Imperial Centre Fall Exhibitions: Adaptive Preservation Par Excellence and Talent Galore

“If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Guilty as charged! I haven’t visited  The Imperial Centre since the Charles Killebrew photograph exhibit. I loved the experience, slowly moving from one photograph to the next. My favorite was of three or four young boys in the early ’40s in their bibbed overalls and short sleeve tee shirts. It was iconic. I told myself, you must come back and see this again. Of course, I never did. I did take a great grandchild to the children’s wing this summer.

What is it about traveling to ‘other’ places, when we are willing to stand in line if need be, to visit a museum, an art gallery? I once flew from Chicago to Atlanta to attend a large exhibit of Iconography. (Something I know a bit about.) Yet, here is this treasure at 270 Gay Street, which takes only minutes to drive to, and I have only just now gone back to the Reception for Susan Fecho and the Watercolor Society of NC juried art. This wonderful opportunity will close on December 29, 2019. Like books, we all have different tastes, but here are a few of my favorite watercolors. There are many more to enjoy. Read more about the Imperial Centre architecture on my new facebook page.  named for the blog, Main Street Rocky Mount. I invite you to like and follow both this site and the new Facebook page too. And, treat yourself to the current exhibits at the IC.





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The Run Off Election For Mayor – Vote For Sandy Roberson

“you know, they say if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve.”

On election day, October 8, of those who voted in the mayoral race, they elected Sandy Robinson by a landslide, eliminated two candidates, yet failed to capture 50% of the vote. He was 177 votes short. I’m sure you heard me hollering from the middle of Main Street….who stayed up all night and thought up a system where Mr. Williams, who came in second with his 27.1 % or 2,652, deserves a run-off? Mr. Roberson’s total was 48.2% or 4,718.

Mr. Williams said,  “The reality is Rocky Mount is 67% African-American, and we have not had an African-American mayor since it’s inception.”  Contrary to the talking points about racism being the reason for that, this runoff election is not about skin color. It’s about competence, experience, a proven track record and a moral compass that points to what is best for Rocky Mount. Sandy Roberson provides that kind of leadership. Mr. Williams has the endorsement from the  ‘majority four,’ a lot of campaign rhetoric about how important unity is and all of a sudden how important things are that have been ignored. There is no chance that Bronson Williams can provide the change we desperately need.

It is all academic if people don’t go and vote for Sandy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking he won the first time and will again. Rocky Mount deserves the very best and the man of the hour to bring what we need is Sandy Roberson!  Promise me you’ll go and vote.








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Invitation: A New Facebook Page For Main Street Rocky Mount

Here is the link to the newly created Facebook Page:


Where better to create a new Facebook page with my sweet friend, Denise Watkins, of Sky-Vue Skateland, than at the newly preserved and restored, Larema Coffee, in the beautiful old 1st National building. Hanging out with the ECC students, people coming and going, sitting in this pleasant open restored and repurposed setting, ah, a Rocky Mount high! as in…… such fun. (We each had a delicious chicken salad sandwich for our lunch.)

Afterward, we strolled the area, stopping to see Javelin Guilford at The Secret Garden.  He gave us a quick peek at his preparations for the holidays. A not to be missed Open House  Nov. 1-3:  Friday, November 1st, 4pm- 8 pm: Saturday, November 2nd, 10-4pm and Sunday, November 3rd 12 noon – 5 pm. Soon he will be announcing flower arranging classes and is launching the space next to the floral shop, for gifts. This wonderful man, who is always upbeat and BUSY, was headed out for two big events today. Put the open house on your calendar. The shop is already beautiful!

I checked on the building next to Davis Furniture – It is only ‘worser!’ since I showed you photos in February 2019. Why there hasn’t been a fire is a miracle. The owner continues to get away with this because she is part of, how did it get so bad? The facade of this building has to be supported before we lose it, which will interrupt the Main Street streetscape of these wonderful buildings. If necessary, we’re going to have what I call, a fly apart, so the facade is not demolished. Here is an example of what can be done.

On the bright side, the Music City buildings are well underway. New cement floors have been poured and framing for the living above the store-flats. Two buildings are being saved and repurposed. I have more photos to show you of this project on Facebook.

About this new Facebook page: It is going to focus on the preservation and restoration of Main Street’s commercial architecture and saving the neighborhoods that are the answer to our needs and concerns. I will post photos and comment on what you’re seeing. I invite you to like and follow this new page and keep me company. It’s the place to be – Main Street!

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T. J. Walker Wins in Ward 4 – Let’s Go Higher!

(Click on the video several times until the bar shows up at the bottom. You will see the sound bottom on the right with an X on it, click on it and the  sound will start.)

I love this campaign video on Facebook. It makes me sway with the music and there is no question, it is time for a change in Ward 4. Here is the young man, T. J. Walker, that is going to bring it. It was my loss that I never spent time with this fine young man before the election. I heard him speak at the ECC forum and knew this was the winner.

As luck would have it while taking my slot at the polls for Sandy Roberson, I walked over and introduced myself to a gentleman who had been standing there since the polls opened. Only the pride and love of his son could have kept him on his feet all that time. My hands were cold after two hours and my wet hair started to curl, but  I made a new friend that afternoon while standing with Mr. Walker: T. J.’s dad.

There is so much hope wrapped around this young man’s shoulders. Is he strong enough, his own man enough, brave enough as this new young generation steps up to the plate in Ward 4? He has no idea how much we want him to succeed! He already talks the language of the youth in Rocky Mount. He brings new eyes to our problems, new energy, a moral compass to guide him on his way. You know how the home plate umpire bends down and brushes off the plate before the batter steps into the box? The voters of Ward 4 have done that for T.J. Walker. The fans in the Rocky Mount stands are already cheering the new kid on the team who is warmed up and ready to go.


I hugged my new friend, the proud Dad goodbye. The polls closed, the voters in Ward 4 had spoken. From where I sit, I hope this new councilman can hear me cheering, “Come on, batter, batter, batter, let’s go higher.


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Rocky Mount’s Lone Ranger – Lige Daughtridge – In The Saddle and Ready to Ride

You are familiar with The Lone Ranger, a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his Native American friend, Tonto. This character became an enduring icon of our American culture. He is a perfect foil for our Lone Ranger, Lige Daughtridge!

Lige has acted as the Lone Ranger for Rocky Mount for a long time. I have watched him rise from his seat, papers in hand, and walk to the microphone in the Council Chambers, to speak on behalf of the taxpayers. Click on William Tell Overture Finale and have a laugh with me.

This is the music I connect with the new Councilman in Ward 5 who replaces Tom Rogers. A businessman, with a long respected family name in Rocky Mount, Lige has kept watch over the affairs of the city government and work of the Council for years. He has brought his education, passion, and experience to this moment of winning his election. We have cause for celebration knowing this reasoned, bright and articulate man, who has served Rocky Mount in many capacities and helped shape the dialogue over many issues, now has a vote!


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The Big Winners – Kevin Jones and Tarrick Pittman

“If your actions inspire others to dream more,                                                                                 learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams

Young, smart, articulate, confident, engaging, well-educated, each with personal inspiring stores to tell, Kevin Jones and Tarrick Pittman were big winners on Tuesday.  When you add to that mix the hearts they have to raise people up, especially our youth,  you recognize how fortunate Rocky Mount is to have their commitment to the future.

They both have to be exhausted and disappointed. They worked tirelessly to meet and greet, shake hands, smile, tap dance, and hopefully, find laughter along the way. I know they don’t regret a moment of this effort. They emerged clear winners! What was impressive to me was the plans they clearly put forth to make Ward 1 a better place and all of Rocky Mount. At the ECC Forum, they stood, they spoke, they were prepared, they had at it, and walked away with the respect and admiration of the audience. We can build a future on the likes of these two gentlemen. Integrity intact, having conducted themselves admirably, we congratulate them both on inspiring others to believe that they too can make a difference. I click my heels and salute you.


“Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart



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Big Change Ahead – October 8th – Keep Breathing and Believing

As for the election on Oct. 8th-have you voted? With all the talk and speculation, worry and who to believe, it feels at times like waiting for the umpire’s call after the slide into home plate just as the ball hits the catchers glove! Every little something means something even if it doesn’t. Like – look how worried the incumbent in Ward 1 is with all his tactics. Now that’s true!

Someone on Concerned Citizens posed a ‘what if’ question. I put my preacher robes on and answered. I forgot to say what I keep telling myself, keep breathing and believing!

SFH Answer: I knew a little boy years ago that came up with an expression I’ve used ever since.  “Don’t borrow a worry!” I will add what Julian of Norwich said, “All will be well, all matter of things shall be well.” These two notes from today’s sermon a few days before the election.

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