On My Mind

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column runs every Monday on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE.

Six months.

That’s how long it’s been since we all had anything resembling a normal day.

In this summer of so many terrible things that have happened on the streets of America, the most disheartening thing, to me, is something that didn’t happen.

The Republican National Convention is finally here in Charlotte, and to be honest, you might not even notice. Instead of a three-ring circus, it has turned out to be more of a flea circus thing.

There's a buzz outside our house these days. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about the similarities between the two big stories of 2020 – the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, and the global protests on inequality and policing sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

The weirdest sports season of our lifetimes has begun. I’m just not sure how long it’s going to last.

Welcome to the laboratory. Our current work is centered on how to educate our schoolchildren in the time of the coronavirus. We’ve got many experiments going on at once.

According to WUNC, 14 Confederate monuments in North Carolina have been taken down – or are in the process of being taken down – since the death of George Floyd on May 25.

No matter what topic you can think of, someone, somewhere is an expert on that topic. It turns out that Lee Gray, of UNC Charlotte, is an expert on elevators.

Here’s a useful public service announcement about the coronavirus from the Red Cross: “Wear a mask and save your life! The man or woman or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker.”

About a year ago, when Charlotte was debating whether to bring the Republican National Convention to town, I wrote that the city should say yes.

ESPN has a tagline it likes to use for its “30 for 30” documentaries and podcasts. The commercials often start like this: “What if I told you ...”

Sometimes, when you’re looking for signs and symbols, the gods just drop one on your head.

These last few days, as people have talked about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, some of them have brought up the names of so many other black Americans left to die on the streets of this country. But I’ve thought about another name from here in Charlotte: Trystan Terrell.

Jodie Valade / WFAE

When I talked to Brad Ritter about the Manor, he tried not to get emotional. But sometimes he couldn’t help it.

“What’s been the best part about this job?” I asked him.

There’s a long pause. I thought he might not have heard me.

Carol Montuoro

Connie Montuoro died from the coronavirus on May the 4th. She probably didn’t know why she was sick, or how she ended up at the hospital, or why her family didn’t come to see her anymore. She lived so much of her life in the dark.

A lot of these last two months has felt like time spent underwater. But this is the point where we’re in danger of getting the bends.

What do you miss?

Here’s what I miss:

School is closed for the rest of the school year in North Carolina, and the long phase-out of the stay-at-home orders are going to take us into June or beyond.

We watched “Groundhog Day” over the weekend because we were in the mood for a comedy. But as we watched it, it felt more like a documentary.

Every night at supper, we say a little prayer. And the longer these virus days go on, the longer the list of things our little family can be grateful for.

It always comes down to lives versus freedoms.

I see that some of you have started to cut your own hair now, or you’re letting a family member do it. Peace be with you. I’m going to hold out a while.

The neighbor came from across the street with her daughter in one arm and a string of balloons in the other.

Almost every time I get wound up over something – or as my wife’s family would put it, when I start borrowing trouble – it’s because of one thing: incomplete information.

Over the years I’ve ended up in the middle of several hurricanes.

The other night I made fried rice.

Music has gotten me through a lot of these virus nights.

There are plenty of ways to divide us into two types of people. I think the newest way is this: Those who wear masks when they go out and about, and those who don’t.

We had a little Palm Sunday service in our living room, just the three of us.