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It takes a village

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There's a new Village Voice in the Triangle these days, and one northern Durham neighborhood is especially happy about it. These Voice readers are looking forward to monthly columns on local events, social news, word usage, visiting speakers, poetry and area history. Editor Ruth Ambrosius receives a variety of submissions each month from writers who have been on the scene for the past 70 or 80 years. They are residents of Croasdaile Village, a thriving retirement community of cottages and apartments, linked by walkways and ponds.

The village's birds get a lot of attention in the Voice. In one front-page "Bird Talk" column, writer Alan Reckhow described seeing a Great Blue Heron catching a fish and swallowing it whole. The winter issue chronicled the lives, habits and beauty (there's an undercurrent of debate over their messiness) of the 100 Canada geese that took up winter residence on one of the ponds. Now the talk is of bluebirds and buntings.

Feature writer Ruth Connell tends the "Village Scoop," a genteel non-gossip column that helps Village residents keep in touch with each other, discuss their hobbies and interests and share seasonal family memories. Mal Mallette recently wrote with great wit of finally reading Moby Dick--60 years after it was assigned by his college English professor. Gardening tips and humor pieces off the Internet show up often, and there is poetry, as well.

"Three Little Words" blazed the front-page headline of the most recent issue. How could a reader not be curious enough to follow that lead? What followed was a casual, but mouth-watering chronicle of lunch and dinner spots close to the Village. The writer recommended Rick's on University Drive for its fried bologna sandwiches and Bullock's Bar B Cue for their entire menu. And what were the three little words? "Let's eat out."

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