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Art Harberts 1926 to 2014

Sad news. My dad, Arthur Stanley Harberts, died this week. He was 87. The obituary I wrote for my best friend, Dust Bowler, husband and dad reads as such:

My dad Art Harberts on his 87th birthday. He never was much of a cake man so I just put the candles on a bottle of his favorite whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Black Label. He died at home surrounded by his family.

Art Harberts, son of William and Lydia (nee Schmidt) Harberts,… Continue reading

Watch "Mule Rider" on UNC-TV

Fancy life in a mule wagon? Last winter, mule Polly and I hit the road with a film crew from UNC-TV. We spent the better part of a week traveling the back roads of eastern North Carolina – from Oriental to Aurora. Through the dormant potato fields, past the moored shrimp boats and giant rusting anchors. We visited with net maker Virgil Potter and guitar picker John Carawan.

What the film crew captured that blustery week recently aired as… Continue reading

UNC-TV and Our State "Mule Rider" Program

Note: the following article is about the making of “Mule Rider”, the UNC-TV program that ran the “Our State” program on October 3.
Post Scrip: You can watch the program below

Bayboro, North Carolina. That winter night I parked the wagon by the shrimp boat fleet. Their nets hung like green mist. Mule Polly was grazing next to that giant anchor and I thought of how all day long, she’d marched through the wind and highway trucks and now… Continue reading

Ronald's Borrowed Vomit Saddle Bags

It started pouring with rain and in minutes I was soaked. As was Buddy, the mule I was sitting on. And coming from Polly, my pack mule, a noxious, air sick smell. Damn, maybe Ronald was right. Maybe someone really had puked in to those duffel bags he’d loaned me.

Buddy the saddle mule carries me across the Low Water Bridge. Carrying the pack saddle – and a load of mysterious smelling cargo – is my mule Polly. Look closely… Continue reading

It's Not's What's Over the Door

This week I went rambling in the Uwharrie Forest with Polly and Buddy, my mule companions. Just the three of us, 100 miles of road and a bit of gear: hammock, sleeping bag and string. No great mission. Just two mules and a man out clearing his head.

Days, we traveled the back roads. Nights we camped with friends new and old. The second night I slept in a hammock tied to Wayne Hussey’s corn crib.

My ramble mates Buddy… Continue reading

How to Stow Away on a Sailboat

So you want to stow away on a sailboat, eh? Blend in somewhere on something like that salty sailboat I built 20 years ago. See where it takes you.

Damn. Unless you could shape shift into a seat cushion, brass lantern or bronze port, I’d rate the odds of remaining undetected on a 18 1/2 footer as slim to delusional. If you still insist, though, I would suggest seeking shelter in a cockpit locker. Don’t try to hide under the… Continue reading

Seek Work

Then came the day I realized I was 45, my dad was almost twice that, and I needed a job. Cash money baby. The folding kind. Not the kind that gets electronically deposited into your account on Friday. No, for that you need to commute and smell nice and tuck in your shirt.

The lifestyle that Polly and I had chosen just wasn’t up for that zeros and one kind of monetary lifestyle.

Polly’s my mule.

Nope, it was all… Continue reading

Whiskey Bottle Cake

My dad Arthur Harberts on his birthday, June 13. He never was much of a cake man so I just put the candles on a bottle of his favorite beverage. Cheers!

Today’s the Big Day. Dad turns 87. Happy birthday dad!

My dad Arthur Harberts is my closest friend. He’s also my traveling hero and the man who taught me one of life’s most important lessons – improvise. This year, when I came up short in the cake department, I… Continue reading

Spring 2013 Hoofing It program schedule

Ready for a quick ramble? Join me for one of the upcoming “Hoofing It” programs. All the excitement of traveling across North Carolina with a mule (minus the saddle sores and slugs).

Saturday, May 6
3p
Mebane Public Library
101 S. First St.
Mebane, NC 27302
(919)563-6431

Tuesday, May 14
11a
First Lutheran Church
3600 W. Friendly Ave
Greensboro, NC 27410

Monday, June 10
7p
Allegany Public LIbrary
122 N. Main St.
Sparta, NC 28675


Crippled Camera Photos

During this week’s 90 mile shakedown cruise from Oriental, NC to Lowland and back, my old Canon started loosing its mind. The lens blades stuck. The flash stopped working. That speck in the sky wasn’t a plane. It’s not dirt on your screen. It’s crud deep down near my camera’s mind’s eye.

Seeing the photos reminded me of the soon-to-be-deceased. Right before they die, they go through death throes and say some funky things. Or maybe it’s just jibberish. Either… Continue reading

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