North Carolina

Three wonderful people live in the Raleigh-Durham area: Aunt Caroline Becker-Long, Drew Brown and Tyler Hansbrough. We had a great time visiting with Brian’s Aunt Caroline in her home as well as in many local restaurants. Aunt Caroline is always up to something interesting like traveling or a project that keeps the whole Becker clan well connected. She’s just plain fun to be with. For years she has served on the Eno River Association so we visited the beautiful Eno River where we saw the remnants of the old Cole Mill operation. We also visited Duke University campus and toured the Duke Chapel. I was intrigued by the downstairs crypt where we saw casts of the Duke founding fathers lying in state. Strange.

Many years ago Drew Brown was a youth in the youth group that Brian and I led in Poplar Bluff. We have always thought highly of Drew and after spending time with him in his home turf we are doubly impressed with him. Drew rolled out the red carpet for us and treated the four of us to a Tarheels game. It was amazing to witness how plugged in Drew is in the Greensboro-Raleigh-Durham area where he is a successful attorney in Greensboro. He is as well known and well loved there as he is in Poplar Bluff. He’s such a great guy and we had a blast with him.

And speaking of that Tarheels game… What a thrill to see Tyler Hansbrough play! Everybody knows that I’m not much of a sports fan BUT it was so exciting to see Tyler and witness the wild Tarheels home atmosphere with Drew. Tyler’s mom, Tammy, was in town and we were glad to visit with her for a while after the game and say hi to Tyler. The boys got a pic with Coach Roy Williams and were psyched to see Tyler and Tammy again. Ben and Jack have fond memories of the Hansbroughs from living in PB. Tammy would pick them up and take them to her house where they got to play with those giant boys, Ben and Tyler. It was special to reconnect with them as well as Drew and Aunt Caroline!

As we headed west toward Missouri for some family time Brian planned a special stop for me. We spent a couple of nights in Asheville, NC. where I got to spend a day touring the Biltmore Estate. Biltmore House took six years and 1,000 men to build; it opened its doors on Christmas Eve in 1895. With a 390-foot fa̤ade, the House has more than 11 million bricks, 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms, and three kitchens, all of which are contained in over four acres of floor space. The massive stone spiral staircase rises four floors and has 102 steps. Through its center hangs an iron chandelier weighing 1,700 pounds and containing 72 electric light bulbs. At its completion, Biltomore House was one of the most innovative and technologically advanced homes in the world with indoor hot and cold running water, elevators, indoor heating, a fire alarm system, refrigeration, electric lightbulbs, and 10 Bell telephones Рall unheard-of luxuries at the turn of the century.

Guess what the boys did while in Asheville. Fished 🙂

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