You might think it's crazy in fact, you might think it's totally absurd - but I'm getting email from Charles Kuralt. From the grave. Ok, actually, the emails are from my Dad. See, he thinks I should take Charles's place in the world (you know, minus the part about how he fathered children in two different families that came out after he died). My Dad thinks that I'm the perfect type to follow in the former "CBS Sunday Morning" show host's footsteps, by writing travel books, excelling at broadcast reporting, and accentuating the common things that make this life so beautiful. Actually, that last part - that is exactly what I'm interested in doing. I'll have to prove my talents in the other two, I suppose.
About a year ago my parents were visiting and we did something we'd talked about doing every time they'd come down, but never had time for. We found Kuralt's grave. He's buried in a Chapel Hill cemetery right near the university. Once we found the unadorned tombstone and paid our respects to the man, my father grabbed me by the shoulders and started shaking me semi-violently, asking Charles to enter my body and guide me. Nope. Not kidding. He was kidding, sure. Sort of, anyway. I really hope someone saw that happening. I hope Charles did, at least.
Last night this area witnessed the atrocity of three cross burnings in Durham. I forwarded the story onto my father. He sent back a reply, saying he had heard about it. The reply from Charles was next, who said maybe I could touch on this in my next newspaper column. Also, to "please mention that I'm buried in Chapel Hill and I'm pissed!" I know, Charles. We're all pissed. I'll do my best to carry on your legacy, you, my most unusual guardian angel.