Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Missing the Road

Posted January 23, 2007

Guess I’m a vagabond at heart. I miss the road. This weekend while traveling in the cold rain down US 1 to my musical concert in Hamlet at the incredibly beautiful Cole Auditorium I felt the tug of sentimentality for my days as a roving reporter for WRAL. With at least five hours of every work day devoted to anchoring I don’t have the opportunity to get out as much and report. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job and the great people I work with. And it's always a thrill to get the opportunity to work on a documentary. But I do miss hitting the highway and covering and crafting a story for the evening news. I used to play trivia games with my videographer while on the road. We would see who could name the most Tar Heel towns and counties in alphabetical order. Then we would do county seats, rivers and lakes. That's how I learned so much about the state - going to all the places and then reinforcing the knowledge with "brain games." Once in middle school I memorized all 100 counties and county seats overnight to bump my history grade up a notch.  Before I retire (many years from now) I hope WRAL will allow me to hit the road and do a series of stories on US 64 from Manteo to Murphy.  That might be one way to cure my wanderlust.

Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • hballardhb Jan 24, 2007

    Bill, when the powers that be in the WRAL news department do let you hit the road and go from Manteo to Murphy, let me know. I want to apply for a position on the crew. I think I would enjoy that ride just about as much as you would. Lately my favorite exercise to keep the memory sharp is to grab a sheet of paper and start writing down North Carolina counties in alphabetical order and then count to see if I listed all 100. I often find myself missing a couple, so then I go back and try to remember the ones I missed. When you cross from Randolph into Davidson County on this road tour, be sure to allow extra time in Lexington for extensive barbecue study. It is always a pleasure to read your blog and this long time friend in Virginia hopes you're doing well.

  • packandcanesfan Jan 24, 2007

    Bill I hope you get to hit the road soon since it is your passion. I always enjoyed your "on site" Tarheel Traveler reports. You are a joy to watch in the mornings and every opportunity that I have had to say hello to you in person has been a pleasure.

  • wilfhh29 Jan 23, 2007

    When I was in 8th grade, I memorized all the NC counties and their places on a map overnight. I didn't tackle the county seats though. That knowledge of where the counties are has come in handy in the past 17 years. I think you would be great if WRAL needed someone to be "on the road" doing feature stories.

  • CestLaVie Jan 23, 2007

    Maybe you should develop something with WRAL and take up where Charles Kuralt left off, or many others who've done similar reporting gigs. I understand completely your desire to hit the road. I work at a desk in an office 5 days a week and love going someplace on the weekends; my husband drives an 18-wheeler and is on the road 5 days a week and loves staying home on the weekends. That's my dilemma, for now. When we retire, we're hitting the road too. Sell the house, buy a camper and see the country, at last!!

  • wolfmom402 Jan 23, 2007

    I also have a great desire to ride down the road! My father was in the military for 24 years so we did a lot of traveling. Now we get in the car and ride from Fayetteville to Lexington just to eat BBQ. And my fiance's one wish is to ride his motorcycle on US 64 from Manteo to Murphy. Isn't NC WONDERFUL!

Meet the Author
Bill Leslie