Off the Record

• Last week, I rode in a Tangler Trash Service truck. As I get older, my perception of the world continues to evolve, but one of my earliest beliefs always seems to hold true: Big trucks are cool.

• I also learned last week that a cotton picker is a piece of farm machinery after one caught on fire in Littleton. Growing up in northwestern and north central Warren County, I did not see much cotton.

• McDonald’s announced the arrival of three new chicken sandwiches to its menu and KFC also added a new fried chicken sandwich to its repertoire. Are there too many chicken sandwiches?

• Nope. Speaking of chicken sandwiches, Popeye’s recently opened in Henderson. I waited about 15 minutes in the drive-thru for a sandwich last week. I can report that on this occasion, it was worth it.

• I don’t think this has been true since Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Muggsy Bogues wore teal, but the Charlotte Hornets are a fun team to watch. That’s largely because of 19-year-old LaMelo Ball, who is absolutely worth your attention if you enjoy basketball. Last week, he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.

• But going back to chicken... I understand there were past discussions to bring a Bojangles to the Lake Gaston area; emphasis on PAST. Bojangles at the Lake? Seems like a missed opportunity.

• A Missouri woman believed to be the last Civil War widow died last week at 101. She was 17 when she married a 93-year-old Union Army veteran in 1936. Really messes with your head, doesn’t it?

• There’s a bullet train in China than can travel 217 mph in 40-below-zero temperatures. You first.

• Finding out when you can be vaccinated for COVID-19 and where is a little more complicated than it should be, especially if you aren’t Internet savvy. The best thing you can do if you’re not sure is to call your county health department. Those phone numbers are listed in our story today about vaccinations.

• “In our finest hours...the soul of the country manifests itself in an inclination to open our arms rather than to clench our fists; to look out rather than to turn inward; to accept rather than to reject. In so doing, America has grown ever stronger, confident that the choice of light over dark is the means by which we pursue progress.”

- Author/historian Jon Meacham