Hometowns: Megan Hodge

This is the fifth in our series profiling the hometowns of current (and past) members of the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team. Today we look at Durham, North Carolina, the hometown of Penn State All American Megan Hodge.

There’s alot to do in Durham. Let’s start our visit with a tour led by Flat Stanley (a fantastic guide who is oddly reminiscent of several of DigNittany’s crack team of researchers and statisticians):

Flat Stanley does a great job, particularly for someone with his dimensional challenges, but he did overlook Riverside High School, Megan Hodge’s alma mater. [Editor’s note: The Flat Stanley Project actually is quite remarkable. For more on Flat Stanley and the Flat Stanley Project, click here].

Riverside High, the Durham public school system’s flagship school, has a great reputation for academics, the arts, and (of course) sports. Here are some Riverside students doing something you don’t see very often: singing the quadratic formula.

Singing math students aside, Durham is home to great music, starting with the annual Bull Durham Blues Festival. Take a look at this film from the 2008 edition:

Or you can visit the Dinosaur Trail at the Museum of Life and Science:

If you are completely insane adventurous, you can visit the Museum’s Dare Cafe for a quick bite (Warning – not for the faint hearted):

Personally, we’d stick to barbecue at The Original Q Shack (“BBQ tender as a mother’s love”) or The Pit (Whole hog and pit-cooked):

For art lover’s, there’s the Nasher Museum

And for quiet reflection, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

Durham also boasts many famous residents and former citizens. One is saxaphonist, composer and bandleader Branford Marsalis, a current resident of Durham, who in this video from a November 13, 1987 concert at the Spirit Square Arts Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, performs a Kenny Kirkland tune, Dienda, with his quartet (Branford Marsalis: Saxphones, Kenny Kirkland: Piano, Delbert Felix: Bass, and Lewis Nash: Drums):

Another is gospel singer and preacher Shirley Caesar, winner of eleven GRAMMYs, who was born in Durham. Here she is at the White House singing her GRAMMY award winning song “Rejoice”:

[Editor’s Note: DigNittany’s crack team of researchers and statisticians insists (somewhat churlishly, in our opinion) that the Branford Marsalis and Shirley Caesar videos are way irrelevant slightly off topic, but we included them because we like the music.]

So there you have it — DigNittanyVolleyball’s take on Durham. There’s much more to see, of course (case in point, as the young narrator of the following video from the Nasher Museum of Art astutely points out: “it’s not everyday you see beer bottles holding up balloons.” ) But sometimes its best to “See it for yourself.”