N&O Person of the Year

In keeping with my commitment to hold North Carolina media accountable for contributing to the common good, I want to acknowledge the News and Observer's choice of Martin Eakes as its "Person of the Year" for 2005.

A Yale-educated lawyer with a public administration degree from Princeton, Martin Eakes, 51, has spent 25 years at the helm of the Self-Help nonprofit, which helps the poor build their own assets.

I don't know Martin Eakes, but I've seen what he's accomplished , , , and it is remarkable.

Kudos to the N&O.




Self-Help is a remarkable organization and a saving grace to Durham.

From a novel I'm writing . . .

For nearly two decades, civic boosters in Durham, North Carolina, have tried to convince outsiders that their old tobacco town should be known as the City of Medicine. But with strong competition from major league crime and minor league baseball, the City of Medicine moniker has yet to stick.

Despite the mild identity crisis, there’s one way in which the City of Durham is truly blessed. It’s filled with remarkable restaurants. And one of these extraordinary eateries serves as the favorite meeting place of Preacher Joseph J. Peters and sexy Sally Susser.

On most Tuesday evenings, observant diners at the Emisphor Grill will find the couple holding down a brocade booth in the backest, darkest corner of the restaurant, sometimes laughing, occasionally groaning, and frequently leaving before even glancing at their menus.

The Whole "City of Medicine"

thing has always been a little puzzling to me. Thanks for the excerpt!