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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Boone - Brooms - and Bountiful Food

Posted May 23, 2011 11:46 a.m. EDT

How was your weekend? Do anything interesting?

Well, I finished the William Trilogy. Cindy and I helped move Will from Boone to his apartment in Charlotte where he recently started work with a movie production company. The previous two weekends we had William graduation parties in Boone and Cary.

The move really wasn’t bad. College kids don’t usually accumulate too much stuff. We did have a couple of heavy amplifiers and a drum set along with a big mattress, box springs and a heavy chest to take to Will’s apartment near Uptown. Fortunately it’s a first floor unit.

After the move Will insisted on treating Cindy, his girlfriend Jessica and me to sweet tea and Southern soul food at Mert’s. I just had to try the grilled salmon cakes at this Uptown restaurant. They were outstanding – the best I can recall especially when served with remoulade sauce, cole slaw and mashed potatoes. The corn bread was like dessert. I will definitely dine at Mert’s again. Nothing fancy – just great food.

I gave my GPS fits by driving back to the Triangle on NC 49. I just love that route with its dense hardwoods, rolling terrain and modest ranch homes scattered about. I was thrilled to see an old sign in Davidson County south of Asheboro on 49 – Fine Broom Company. 20 years ago I did a story on an elderly man who made brooms there. We still have two of his brooms and they are holding up just fine. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to Samuel Fine. He sure made a simple but great product. I did a little research this morning and learned that Mr. Fine died in 1998 after operating his small broom company for 55 years.

And what’s the story with Asheboro? That town always seems to have the cheapest gas prices - 3.59 for a gallon of regular. It was nearly 30 cents a gallon cheaper than what we saw in Charlotte.

Well, that was my weekend. How about yours?