ROSES to Nick McCrory, the phenomenal young local diver who has won three state championships at East Chapel Hill High School.McCrory, who is just 16 years old, came within a whisker of making the U.S. Olympic team. He finished fourth in the Olympic Diving Trials' 10-meter platform competition -- not quite enough to make the Olympic team, but enough to earn him a spot in the national selection camp. That amounts to a recognition that he is one of the nation's top six divers and a superb prospect for the future.
ROSES to Roland Giduz, honored recently with the inaugural Horace Williams Award from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill.The award marked the 35th anniversary of the restoration of the Horace Williams House and the 150th birthday of Williams himself.Giduz hasn't been around quite that long, but he is a virtually bottomless well of knowledge about Chapel Hill history. A writer, photographer, editor and former Chapel Hill alderman (that's what they were called back in those days), he served in the Army in World War II, graduated from UNC with a degree in journalism in 1948 and chronicled life around here in words and pictures for more than 50 years. Not only does he remember everything and everybody, but he's happy to share his knowledge in whatever form is most useful. Want to know what it was like here when Hurricane Hazel roared through town in 1954? Call Roland. Need a photograph of a long-gone scene or personality? Call Roland (although you may be redirected to the North Carolina Collection at UNC, which now houses many of his photographs).For those with a love of this place and a curiosity about how it came to be what it is, Giduz is a priceless resource. Congratulations, Roland.
ROSES to Jean Anderson, whose latest cookbook, "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking," recently scored a remarkable double-whammy: winning both a James Beard Foundation Book Award and a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2008 Book Award.The James Beard Foundation named Anderson's new book the winner in the Americana category. The Beard awards are commonly referred to as the Academy Awards of cookbooks."A Love Affair with Southern Cooking" also won the SIBA Award in the cookbook category, one of five categories in which awards area given. The awards are chosen by the members of SIBA, independent booksellers throughout the South.Anderson, who lives in Chapel Hill, has long been known as one of the best food writers in the business. She has written for publications including Bon Appetit, Gourmet, the New York Times and more, and she's the author of more than 20 cookbooks. Her "American Century Cookbook" was a finalist for both the James Beard and Julia Child cookbook awards in 1998.Anderson says she poured heart and soul into researching, testing and writing "A Love Affair With Southern Cooking" for nearly four years. It shows. Far more than just a cookbook, the book was a New York Times Best Book of 2007.