Nan Graham


Nan Graham has deep roots in Alabama and Carolina soil. She graduated from Tuscaloosa High School and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with an AB in English. She obtained her Masters degree from The Citadel in Charleston. In 1995 Nan began broadcasting her bi- weekly commentaries on WHQR Public Radio in Wilmington. She continues these bi-weekly broadcasts along with teaching at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the Honors College. She has taught for thirty-eight years...everything from first grade to graduate level university courses...(the last is far easier than first grade!).

A lifelong Southerner, Nan Graham's spirited view of her cock-eyed family and friends has delighted public radio listeners for years. Nan's second book, In a Magnolia Minute...Secrets of a Late Bloomer as well as her first, Turn South at the Next Magnolia: Directions from a Life-long Southerner, were both on the SEBA (Southeastern Booksellers' Association) bestseller list. The books are compilations of her best and most popular radio commentaries which have been broadcast continuously since January 1995.

Nan is presently working on her third book of commentaries and a novel set in post WWII Wilmington.

You can visit her website at


Sep 10, 2008

"I have no idea what you do with these charming animals. Too small to ride or to pull anything, they spend their days grazing in lush meadows and breeding."

Wilmington, NC – Commentator Nan Graham is the author of two books, "Turn South at the Next Magnolia," and "In a Magnolia Minute." Here website is

Fat Cat

Aug 28, 2008

"Bullet's headshot, in a circle with a diagonal dash through it, was posted on most of the groomers' walls throughout Wake County."

Wilmington, NC – Commentator Nan Graham discusses her feline friends.


Jul 30, 2008

"Winnie's only character flaw is that when you do not follow her directives, she gets annoyed and sometimes downright hysterical when I deviate from the instructions."

Wilmington, NC – It is a curious thing about back-seat drivers. They are always perceived as women. In this wondrous age of the electronic back-seat driver, you can have your own satellite nag.

Chevy Tahoe

"When sandwiched between two such giants, the driver of the normal-sized car has to ease out with zero visibility into the road behind. It tends to make the drive of the regular car a bit huffy and the word "bully" frequently hisses between clenched teeth."

The Glorious Fourth

Jul 2, 2008

"One gleeful lad of about seven holds a flag while he shoots multiple firecrackers at a terrified cat, beating a hasty retreat."

Wilmington, NC – Commentator Nan Graham was never allowed any fireworks as a child. Her daddy's friend had blown his hand off on the fourth of July 1910. Now she learns about a national movement with the same sentiment.

"There is really a need for a card for newcomers..."those from someplace else" as I like to call them, since I consider the "Y" word unkind. Laminated, this card could be carried in your wallet like a tip card."

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham wants to instill confidence in our visitors and newcomers. How better to do this than by adding a card to their wallet?

Van Gogh's Relatives

Jun 5, 2008

"I have never heard it reported that Vincent Van Gogh had a knee-slapping sense of humor."

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham talks about the many relatives of Vincent Van Gogh, like Where Diddy Gogh and Winnie Bay Gogh. Seriously!

"Then the lungs were trotted out. Grisly specimens that resembled smoked Swiss cheese were passed around. We were assured that if our lungs didn't look like this now, they soon would. On the way home I restocked my cigarette supply at the 7-11."

Mark My Words

May 8, 2008

The latest from commentator Nan Graham

Wilmington, NC – "I have made language reform my project. When I thank them for something they usually answer, "No Problem." I have forbidden this dismissive response in my presence."

O Lost...

Apr 24, 2008

Commentator Nan Graham keeps losing things. More and more these days...

More and more things keep dropping out of commentator Nan Graham possession. Today she has some thoughts on how they've vanished and why they disappeared.

Words from the War

Mar 27, 2008

Commentator Nan Graham

Some of the expressions we use today were born of war a hundred and fifty years ago. Commentator Nan Graham explores some language and idioms which survived not only the civil war but the century and a half since.

Can war ever be a good thing?

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham doesn't think so. But some of the innovations from war can be surprising, she says...even from the bloodiest of wars, the Civil War.

Dark Disney

Feb 28, 2008

Quick. What's the first movie you can remember seeing as a child?

Wilmington, NC – Was it a Disney film? Commentator Nan Graham has a few thoughts on the Dark Side of Disney.


Feb 14, 2008

Looking for a special something for your Valentine? Commentator Nan Graham has a suggestion for you...

Wilmington, NC – Or maybe not

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Jan 31, 2008

The latest from commentator Nan Graham

Wilmington, NC – Nan recently found that cooking a meal with help from her husband wasn't exactly a recipe for togetherness.

Relative Inventory

Jan 3, 2008

Happy New Year! from commentator Nan Graham

Wilmington, NC – Commentator Nan Graham's granddaughter Caroline has a young friend who is a cousin to pop icon Miley Cyrus. Now Caroline is searching for famous cousins of her own. This set Grandma Nan to thinking...

Commentator Nan Graham has vivid memories of her mother's Christmastime creations.

In commentator Nan Graham's home at Christmastime, the mantelpiece became a little wintertime world unto itself.


Dec 6, 2007

Pareidolial! What the heck does that mean, you ask? Nan Graham knows, and the only way to find out is by listening to her new commentary.

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham is the author of several books, including "In a Magnolia Minute," a collection of her WHQR commentaries. Her website is

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2007
Sarah Josephus Hale

Nan Graham gives us some background on the origins of Thanksgiving.

Wilmington, NC – Thanksgiving wasn't recognized as a national holiday until President Lincoln declared it so in 1863. But the person actually responsible was Sarah Josephus Hale, the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Commentator Nan Graham has a personal connection to October, being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Wilmington, NC – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is great to see all the articles and programs about breast cancer. It is a disease which flew under the radar for years, only whispered about or not spoken of at all, says Nan Graham.

I Do!

Sep 27, 2007

The latest from commentator Nan Graham.

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham loves a century old essay she heard at a wedding brunch. It reflects the changing world of matrimony! The subject? Husbands, of course!


Aug 30, 2007

When a star falls from the sky, Nan Graham is there to catch it.

These things do seem to happen in the South. In 1940 a rather large meteorite fell and bashed a mailbox in Claxton, Georgia. Nan Graham wonders if it really was a case of an infamous Claxton fruitcake hurled from a passing car...

Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!

Aug 16, 2007

Elvis died 30 years ago, August 16th. Nan Graham looks back.

Wilmington, NC – In memory of Elvis, commentator Nan Graham recalls a visit to the OTHER Graceland, Graceland Too.

nan graham commentary

Aug 3, 2007

Today our commentator Nan Graham renews her acquaintance with a prehistoric fruit.

In her recent trip home to Alabama, commentator Nan Graham had a rather sticky encounter with the very odd osage orange.

Alabama It Girl

Jul 5, 2007

Nan Graham has always wished to be a 1920's flapper.

Commentator Nan Graham has always had a not-so-secret yen to be a 1920's flapper. An "It" girl...

Ads for the Elderly

Jun 21, 2007

You think you've got spam issues? Wait until you hit "senior" status.

Wilmington, NC – Commentator Nan Graham talks about some of the ridiculous ads she's been subjected to since becoming a "senior citizen."

The Orphans

Jun 7, 2007

Antique baby pictures used to creep out the visitors of Nan Graham's daughter, Molly.

Wilmington, NC – Fans of antique shops, Nan Graham and her daughter, Molly, picked out an oversize photograph of Kemp Battle, president of UNC in the 1880s. It was proudly hung over Molly's couch, terrorizing visitors for years.

Wedding March

May 24, 2007

Commentator Nan Graham recalls a bizarre wedding.

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham takes a look back at some of the more interesting weddings she's witnessed.

Nan Loses It!

May 10, 2007

Nan Graham comments on her forgetfulness.

Wilmington, NC – WHQR Commentator Nan Graham talks about losing things, worst of all, her mind!

Currency of the Day

Apr 26, 2007

Nan Graham deals with the rigors of modern economics.

I am miserably uninformed about economics, but do wonder about the evolving state of the consumer these days and how we pay for things.