Family, football, old Joe, beer & doughnuts

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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A lot of information to pass along this week so let’s start off with the all-important stuff – an update on my wife’s recovery from knee surgery.

For those tuning in late, Deborah went under the knife on March 29 to repair her left knee, which had given her fits over the past few years.

The surgery, by Dr. Richard P. Holm, went well and she was released from the hospital on March 31.

Deborah is now recuperating at home and going to physical therapy twice a week. The overall pain is subsiding and she’s becoming more mobile every day.

What she is forced to “survive” has nothing to do with the surgery or post-operative care. Rather, she has to deal with my cooking and cleaning efforts. Thus far, she hasn’t threatened to kick me out just yet. Maybe that’s because she’s afraid that “kick” will cause pain in her knee or maybe she just feels sorry for me and my lack of overall housekeeping skills.

The good news is I haven’t mixed colors with the whites in the washing machine and I haven’t broken any dishes in the sink. Maybe by the time she returns to work I’ll get the hang of being a house-husband.


According to posts from my friends on Facebook, this past Saturday was National Siblings Day. So, I need to give a late shout-out to my baby brother, Tommy “T-Bone” Bryant.

I wish our older sister, Cindy, was alive to help T-Bone and myself celebrate this day set aside to pay honor to siblings. She was the oldest and, according to her, the favorite child in our family. Cindy was a sweetheart, even though she tormented me through childhood. She passed away from cancer in 2012.


With the exception of Northampton High School, the delayed and shortened prep football season came to a quick end for two other local teams: Gates County and Hertford County.

The Red Barons never found their rhythm due to a low turnout of players. Meanwhile, the Bears played well in four games and stumbled in two. One of the latter was a loss at home vs. Northeastern in the second week. That one game decided early who would represent the conference in the post-season and when the NCHSAA brackets were released this past Saturday, Hertford County wasn’t listed despite its 4-2 record.


Try as I might, stories by this newspaper on the closure of Rivers Correctional Institution never found their way to the mainstream media.

The whole ordeal surrounding the closure was mired in political mud….starting with President Biden’s Executive Order barring any federal contracts with privately operated prisons. There was an effort to allow the US Marshal’s Service to use the Rivers facility through a contract with Hertford County local government, but despite some political push from Congressman Butterfield and Senator Tillis, that possible scenario never got off the ground.

I passed the story along with a few friends with connections to regional and state newspapers, hoping they would pick it up and use their vast resources to dig a bit deeper, but it appears no one wants to ruffle Biden’s feathers right now.

The majority of the mainstream media remains on a honeymoon with the new president. That’s extremely evident through the press pool reports I receive numerous times a day. When journalists use their time to write about how the weather is in DC; what flowers are in bloom along the Potomac; and what the POTUS and First Lady are wearing rather than digging in their spurs and asking tough questions about important foreign and domestic issues, then you are doing all Americans an injustice.


And, finally, on the COVID-19 front, despite some fearing another wave of the virus is imminent, I see light at the end of the tunnel as it appears that we’re finally gaining some ground in our 14-month battle.

The vaccination numbers are growing nationally. Here at home, Albemarle Regional Health is reporting nearly one-half of those eligible to receive the vaccine have gotten at least one dose. Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent have received both shots locally.

There have been no COVID-related deaths locally in two weeks….a first for us since last year. And the number of active cases locally continues to decline overall.

While on the COVID-19 news, I did read a recent story in the New York Post that shared information on how those getting the vaccine are reaping rewards.

Krispy Kreme announced that people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can get a free original glazed doughnut at US shops — as long as they show a valid inoculation record card.

“We’d like to show sweet support to those who have received the COVID-19 Vaccine,” the North Carolina-based doughnut company and coffeehouse chain said in a tweet.

The special promotion will last through the end of the year.

Starting April 12, beer company Samuel Adams will give $7 to the first 10,000 people who share their vaccine cards with the hashtag #ShotForSam and the tag @samueladamsbeer on Instagram or Twitter. Just be careful not to give away any personal information. You can also opt for a pic of your vaccination sticker. The idea is that you’ll use that $7 to buy one of their beers.

“Sam Adams hopes drinkers will get back to supporting the bars and restaurants they love. So if you get vaccinated against COVID-19, we’ll buy your first beer back,” said a company official.

Lyft and Uber are offering free or discounted rides to and from vaccination centers.

Staples, Office Depot and Office Max stores in the US are offering free lamination of vaccine cards through July 25.

See….there are advantages to getting this life-saving vaccine other than the obvious.

On a personal note, I’m scheduled to receive my second dose this week. I plan to celebrate by getting a Uber driver to take me to Staples while I wash down my doughnut with a cold Sam Adams.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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