Editor’s note: This article features news and photos from past editions of the Watauga Democrat.

Feb. 21, 1977

“Ski instructors, ski patrol, life operators, lodge workers, they admit it,” stated a Feb. 21, 1977, Watauga Democrat article titled “Ski Lodges Substitute for Singles.” “They are fascinated by them. The ones who come not to ski.”

“They have watched them every season,” the article stated. “But now, a UPI check of ski areas coast to coast indicates their numbers are rapidly going. Many swinging singles … have discovered ski lodges are an alternative to urban singles bars.”

“We don’t necessarily encourage it. It’s just that skiing is a very romantic sport,” said Howard Erickson at Boyne Mountain in northern Michigan in the article.

“Pam from Mammoth, (Calif.), a former ticket taker, said she once set up her boyfriend — now her husband — by yelling to the lift line, ‘This gorgeous guy wants to know if anyone is riding single!’” the article stated.

Feb. 25, 1987

As part of Potato Lover’s Month from Feb. 23-27 in 1987, Watauga County school cafeterias featured a different potato product every day in an article titled “Schools observing Potato Month” in the Feb. 23, 1987, Watauga Democrat.

“Various activities have ben planned by the cafeteria managers that will involve students and the teaching staff,” the article stated. “These activities will include potato costumes, potato ‘people,’ poster contests, guessing games and curriculum coordination.”

“The following poem was written by Linda Clark, child nutrition director for Watauga County Schools, in honor of Potato Lover’s Month. The poem is adapted from ‘How Do I Love Thee,’ by Elizabeth B. Browning,” the article stated.

“How do I love thee, potato? Let me count the ways.

I love thee baked, boiled and fried

Anyway you can be prepared, and many ways have been tried

With new additions everyday.

I love thee to keep my tummy full

And fill my nutritional needs, by sun or candlelight.

I love thee freely, because you are abundant;

I love thee purely, because you are worthy of praise.

I love thee with the passion of a starving soul

Because you are always there to fill my gnawing pain.

I love thee with a love that nothing else can satisfy.

I love thee with every waking breath

Through smiles and even in times of tears — you are there for me.

And if my cafeteria manager choose — I shall learn

To love you in many more ways, for my good health.”

Feb. 26, 1997

Two North Carolina men who helped pull a woman out of a burning car in 1996 and 15 others across the United States and Canada were honored for their acts of heroism in 2017. The heroes were included in a Feb. 26, 1997, Watauga Democrat article titled “Two N.C. residents among 17 honored for heroism.”

“Brentwood Parker, 34, of Whiteville, N.C., and Jerry Caines, 38, of Riegelwood, N.C., worked to save the woman from the car in Whiteville last year,” the article stated. “The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awarded $2,500 each and gold medals to residents of the United States and Canada who risked their lives.”

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