Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Only Five States Left

Posted August 31, 2007

45 down. Only five to go. Only five states left in our quest to receive comments about North Carolina from people living in all 50 states. But today is the deadline.

Please. Please. If you know anyone living in the following states ask them to either email me today at or comment on this blog about what they miss or appreciate about North Carolina:


North Dakota

South Dakota

Rhode Island


We've had some heartfelt and colorful comments this week all across the fruited plain. Please keep them coming today even if your state has already reported.

Special thanks to the Gary family in Cary for securing comments from their sons living in Hawaii and Alabama.

Tar Heel native Phil Baigus in Wyoming had a long list of things he misses about the Old North State including "the smell of rain in a hardwood forests, front porch folk song pickin’, barbeque, sweet tea, Merlefest and Roanoake River stripers and blackwater rivers."

The eloquent Meredith Carswell-Sheline living now in Alabama longs for the autumn colors of Chapel Hill "in their hues of scarlet and crimson, canary yellows and golden orange." Meredith also pines for " the eclectic culture of downtown Durham and Chapel Hill, the intensity of the nail biting basketball games between UNC and Duke, and the absolute serenity of Carolina’s campus early in the morning."

And from retired WRAL Farm Reporter Dix Harper who lives now in Wisconsin: "I miss the friendly appreciative farmers we’d meet in covering the WRAL-TV area, the Farmer’s Market – what a unique blessing for you people lucky enough to be patrons. And, don’t forget pork barbeque –Eastern NC style—with hushpuppies and lots of sweet tea. Oh, yes, and enjoying a peck of steamed oysters! You can’t get any of these in Wisconsin."

Okay. Both Dakotas, Idaho, Montana and Rhode Island, please check in today!

Click the link below to see previous posts and comments.


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  • ashesc02 Aug 31, 2007

    Hello from Mountain Home Air Force Base Idaho. We have been here 9 months. I am from Mount Olive NC. Here in the high plains desert there is so much I miss about NC. Family and friends are greatly missed along with trees, a drive to the beach, and wonderful southern food! Really what is there not to miss!!

  • zoetimm2 Aug 31, 2007

    Hi Bill! I am from Montana but have lived in NC for 13 years. I actually have lived in FL and TX since I moved from MT. I always felt extremely homesick for my home state until I moved to NC. MT is beautiful and the people are great but NC has so much sunshine, beautiful hardwood trees, wonderful access to mountains and beach. I love it. I have been out of MT since 1977! Oh by the way, I was born in Idaho...Wallace. That also has some beautiful scenery. I have relatives in Idaho. Hope this counts as Montana comment. Zoe

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    South Dakota signs in! Only Rhode Island remains! Here is the email:

    Hi! We were stationed at Fort Bragg for 9 years. We loved North Carolina. We miss the climate, being so close to the ocean and lots of great friends that we left behind in Erwin, NC. We miss the feeling of pride that comes with being attached to the 82nd Airborne. We will be retiring from the military in 1-2 years. Who knows, maybe we will even come back to stay if all cards fall into place!

    Deana Parry

    Brandon, South Dakota

    Deana M. Parry

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Here's an email I just received from Michigan:

    A family friend sent me a link to your blog...

    I am a native North Carolinian, living in Michigan. What I miss most about North Carolina is my family (of course), dogwood blossoms in the spring and clear winter days. As I sit here on this beautiful August day where the high temperature is 77 degrees, I must note that Michigan has lots to offer, but it will never be home. I think once you have North Carolina in your blood, no other place in the world can compare!

    Kelly Taylor
    Beverly Hills, MI

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Another email from North Dakota. Thanks!


    What I probably miss the most about North Carolina was the great people I met when I lived there. The hospitality my husband and I received when we moved from the top rectangular middle state was terrific.

    I loved the weather, especially the rain which comes straight down. North Carolina has so much history to see and experience. We tried to see as much of the state as we could in the short 3 years we lived there. You have the best of both worlds - mountains and beaches.

    Dinners out had to be at a non-chain restaurant. We found so many enjoyable restaurants that it was hard to make a return visit. I truly value the friendships I made while living in North Carolina. Ardella Larson Legal Secretary to Paul M. Hubbard CONMY FESTE LTD. 200 Wells Fargo Center 406 Main Avenue PO Box 2686 Fargo, ND 58108-2686

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Just got this email from Fargo, North Dakota:

    Greetings from Fargo, North Dakota!
    Anyone who has a chance to visit North Dakota during
    September or October should be aware that there is
    big doin's going on at the Fargo Air Museum where
    an exceptional World War II Exhibit is in progress.
    At the moment, reservations are being taken for rides
    in a B-24 "Liberator" that is already parked at the museum! Many others are on display. A movie, "Thunder over Reno" will soon premier. It is a good human relations story that centers around flying and contains scenes that were filmed in North Dakota by one of the well-known pilots and aviation advocates, Bob Odegard. No "computer generation" coming out of North Dakota!

    Lois Monson

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Montana is rock solid after this email:

    Hi Bill,
    This is officially from Nye, Montana - bears and all. I sent an email to my niece and husband, Jackie and David Cobb who are former Clayton residents.
    Hope you get all 50!
    Barbara Stevens

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    this is the rest of the previous Idaho letter:

    We live in Boise, home of the undefeated 2007 Fiesta Bowl Champions and they won their opening home game last night against Weber St. 56-7! But I will always be a UNC Tarheel fan for life!

    My son and I used to watch you, Linda, Valonda, Elizabeth and Mark every morning and really miss you all.

    Yours truly,
    Michelle Baptiste
    Monty and Brent

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    How sweet is this? A heartwarming letter from Idaho. So only the Dakotas and Rhode Island are left.

    Hey Bill

    My husband and I along with our most reluctant teenage son moved back to Idaho last year from NC. We moved to NC back in 2002 because I was homesick. I was born and raised in NC and most of my family still lives there, but we had to move back to Idaho last year for my husband's family. He gave me four wonderful years to spend time with my Mom, Dad, Sister and her family and my numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am very fortunate to have a job that allows me to continue to work for my wonderful employer in NC, so my ties to NC are very many and I still miss it terribly. I read your blog faithfully and monitor WRAL's web site daily. I don't always have time to participate in your blog's but couldn't pass up the chance to respond to this one. There are numerous North Carolinian's here in Idaho and as beautiful as it is here I really miss North Carolina food, the mountains,

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Between pwilliamson and his email from Tom Land I think we can lay claim to Montana. Only four states to go but these could be the toughest:

    I retired from the USAF in 2003, but from 1988-1991 I lived in Great Falls Montana. It is a beautiful part of the country and a great place to live. Especially if you like short summers. The scenery is breathtaking. I now live in Cary and this is the third time I have lived in North Carolina. My Dad was in the US Navy and we lived at Camp Lejeune. After flight school, my first operational duty station was Seymour Johnson. When I retired, my daughter, son, and I knew this is where we wanted to live. The choice of the beach one weekend or the mountains the next is something that is almost unique in the United Sates. The quality of life and the southern cooking is next to none. I know this will be my final move. I may visit other places, but I will always come home to North Carolina.
    Tom Land




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