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Recruiter should attend
to county improvements
Hoke County officials are getting close to implementing a plan to
hire an industry recruiter who will scour the countryside for new
firms to locate here.
However, the present scheme may require the new county
salesman to hit the streets with an almost empty display case and lit
tle to show his prospective customers.
Under the plan, resources of the Chamber of Commerce, the City
of Raeford and Hoke County would be combined to hire the in
dustry hunter and provide him with a budget to bring back what this
community needs: more jobs, more residents and more tax dollars.
With a new industry or two, we could have better schools and
continue to keep up with the spiraling cost of providing services,
county officials reason.
Even a trained professional, no matter how good he is at his job,
would have a difficult time selling the "promise" of this county to
national firms, considering the competition we have from other
North Carolina counties and from other states.
Here is the scenario:
?The Hoke County recruiter sits in the waiting room of a Fortune
500 company, when, in walk salesmen from:
?Scotland County offering an airport large enough to land com
mercial jets surrounded by an industrial park with sewer and water,
a college in Laurinburg, good highway access, rail service, motels,
good schools, adequate restaurants and friendly residents.
?Cumberland County touting countywide telephone service, a
top technical school, easy access to 1-95, good shopping,
restaurants, hotels, a new industrial park with sewer and water, a
commercial airport, a revitalized downtown and two colleges.
?Moore County showing off numerous golf courses, hotels and
restaurants, a commercial airport, good highway and rail access,
good schools, a community college, abundant shopping and plush
?The Triangle area, Lee County, the Greenville-Spartanburg
area of South Carolina, the Dekalb-Peachtree Industrial area near
Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, all with slick presentation and bags
bulging with amenities.
-The Hoke County representative opens his display case, and in
side tie finds inexpensive land prices, high unemployment, a sewer
system which is under the suspicious eye of the state, and friendly
system on tire way- up,
beset by problems, "no countywide telephone system; no accom-" '
modations for visitors, limited places to eat, no theatres, no bowl
ing alleys, limited shopping, no countywide zoning and no in
dustrial park with full utilities.
-The Fortune 500 company peeks in the Hoke County bag,
laughs and goes off for lunch in the Triangle area, for cocktails in
Atlanta and dinner in Dallas.
We are not suggesting that Hoke County could one day compete
with the Triangle, Greenville-Spartanburg or Atlanta for industry,
nor are we suggesting that this county should not make an effort to
obtain new businesses.
Our league of competition is with the surrounding counties and
with comparable rural areas in other states. If we are prepared, we
will be able to land a few new firms.
We must first give our salesman reasonably obtained amenities to
sell, like a good school system, a community college, four lane
highway access, zoning, sewer, water and a higher standard of liv
In the past few years, Hoke County has suffered from a lack of
Currently, elected officials seem to barely have enough time to
conduct the duties of office and to still maintain personal
livelihoods. What this county now needs is an aggressive leader with
Although citizen groups are beginning to emerge and to take
positive steps to improve this county's bag of lures, their efforts are
Before we send a recruiter on the road to sell Hoke County, we
should make it that person's responsibility to spearhead the home
It should be the industrial recruiter's job to motivate and coor
dinate citizen groups to work on revitalizing downtown, obtaining a
college, fourlaning US Highway 401 and establishing countywide
At the same time, a recruiter should also be working to obtain a
site for an industrial park and to find funds to provide adequate
sewage and water service to the location.
The recruiter's office could also keep tabs on a county planner
and could campaign for countywide zoning.
In addition, the industry hunter could motivate the Board of
Education to implement school improvements and to see that our
schools compare favorably with those in surrounding counties.
Industry hunting is a difficult business, but once we begin show
ing signs of meeting the needs of this community, Hoke County's
positive assets, like having pleasant surroundings, low crime, inex
pensive real estate prices and friendly neighbors, will put us ahead
of our competition.
In the business of industry hunting, Hoke County has got the
steak; we just neti| to add the sizzle and a rich aroma.
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School days evoke
old time memories
The sight of children wending
their way home after a hard day at
the neighborhood brain factory
sen^s me on a nostalgia trip. *
My thoughts go skittering back
^where-4 embarked oil ...
tional pilgrimage 47 years ago.
Everybody called it "the
school." Not "high school," or
"middle school," or "elementary
school." No need to make such
fine distinctions. There was only
one school. Scared first-graders
and high-and-mighty seniors went
through the same portals every
The official title for the
teachers, among us young
scholars, was "Old Lady." Even if
Miss Smith happened to be just 27
years old, she was still "Old Lady
Smith" to us. The only male
teacher I can remember was the
school coach, who handled basket
ball, track, baseball, and taught
square dancing on the side.
The principal was a man, too. A
pretty scary one. Being sent to see
the principal was the ultimate
punishment for offenders whose
sinful natures couldn't be cured
any other way. It was common
knowledge among us grade
schoolers that you got killed, or
worse, if you ever had to go to the
We had two recesses, one in the
morning and one in the afternoon.
This was the favorite time of day,
for teachers and pupils. ' The
playground surrounding the school
was sort of a giant dust bowl, since
no grass grew there. It was really
much better that way. Much more
For example, a good soaking
rain would always leave a huge
mudhole on the east side of the
school ground; and it was great
sport to see who could ride a bicy
cle all the way through the mud
without falling over. We didn't
We didn't have computers,
videorecorders, or electronic
calculators. But we also didn't
have drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes
on the school grounds. And we did
learn to spell pretty good.
Letters To The Editor
, v. ?? ,
Parents would support
a better school system
To the Editor:
In response to the recent article
written by Ed Miller titled
BOTHERS COUNTY SCHOOL
I find it difficult to believe our
Superintendent was really surpris
ed by the number of students who
did not show up for school on
Wednesday August 29. I do want
my children in school for the re
quired 180 days but with a little
more thought, school could have
been postponed until after Labor
Day as it was in Cumberland
County and St. Pauls schools. I
feel sure this would have
eliminated a lot of the problems
this county had with children not
reporting on the first day of
As for our students crossing
county lines to attend school.
Maybe most of the parents of these
children saw the report on WRAL
TV 5. According to this report,
Hoke County spends only $250 per
student per year. This was com
pared to other counties that spend
over $800. Can you realistically
blame parents for wanting to send
their children to another county?
I am not sure what the solution
to this problem is, but I would
think a person who would qualify
for the position of Superintendent
of Hoke County Schools would be
able to provide us with some
answers. I feel sure the parents
would stand behind any im
provements that could be sug
Hoke student's talent
should be recognized
To the Editor:
Most all of us are familiar with
the maxim: "A mind is a terrible
thing to waste.** That is tratf But?
What is "mind?" In short: a
"mind" is that which develops in
to love, understanding, spiritual,
and intellectual capabilities. But!
Talent also develops from
So! Let us say: "A talent is a ter
rible thing to waste."
1 do sincerely congratulate
Charles Andrews, of the
Hollywood- Robbin Heights area
of Raeford, for his great talented
ability for break-dancing, "rap
ping" and other intellectual
Mr. Andrews has great potential
Mr. Andrews, better known as
"Cool C," a black high school stu
dent of Raeford, is a great example
of some fine, black talented youth
in the Hoke area.
School officials, parents or
senior guardians should recognize,
take notice of such good potential
among today's youth, and en
Charles Andrews, an ROTC stu
dent, is a potential leader and a
fine young man.
I say to the elders and to the
young: when you see good talent,
please encourage it.
Your young "Saturday Night
Breakers" of today may very well
be the nation's "Michael
Jacksons" of tomorrow.
Remember: "A talent is a terri
ble thing to waste."
Thank you sincerely,
Pine Ridge, Box 301
can be compared
to throwing dice
One of the issues in the
Presidential race, if there are any
other than who can get televised
the oftenest with the biggest
crowds with the most flags, is sup
posed to be foreign policy ? which
candidate is better equipped to
I have never understood foreign
policy or what it's for. For the
most part it looks like trying to set
tle a family squabble next door,
something most people had rather
dodge if they know what's good
Some prospective candidates,
looking ahead to a race, visit a lot
handle fctreigiuaf fairs.
Also, it's hard for countries to
understand each other's foreign
policy when th<fy don't understand
their own. I doubt if there are 10
voters out of 75 million or 2 con
gressmen out/ of 433 who know
what our foreign" policy is right
now, and none who know what
it'll be tomorrow. Count me
among those who don't know what
it was yesterday.
Trying to establish a foreign
policy with the squabbling shape
the world's in today is like a
farmer's trying to plan next year's
farming operations on a normal
year, when every farmer knows
there never has been a normal
year. The weather, like nations,
operates in a very haphazard pat
tern. How does anybody know
when the next uprising is going to
break out in Central America or a
hail from storm in Hoke County?
Roof work brings aches, pains
As part of the overall enrichment program, members of the Hoke
County Culture Club recently traveled to Holden Beach to inspect
the damage from Hurricane Diana.
We had been offered a free place to stay for the weekend, and
most of the members felt the two-day visit would give us ample time
to get a close look at the havoc wreaked on the area by the high
winds of the storm.
The ride down was pleasant. Everyone was in good voice as we
rolled along in the old Bluebird. In fact we did such a good job on
"Over There" that Sadie Louise, who was leading the singing,
made us go through it three times.
There was quite a bit of damage to the roof of the place where we
were staying, and rain was expected the next day. Our host, who is
an aspiring member of the club's inner circle, informed us that if we
did not make repairs, we might all be sleeping on mattresses which
were reminiscent of early childhood.
Although I did not remember my own bedwetting experiences, I
did recall the time Little Ralph went in his sleeping bag during a
backyard cam pout, and I did not want any part of spending a night
in the same sort of mess. I got up early, ready to patch the roof.
After several cups of coffee, a club rendition of "The Wakeup
Song" and an international breakfast featuring bagels and cream
cheese, we were ready to work. It was 6 a.m. <0-4 ft
Once on the roof, Sadie Louise broke into a French verse of
"Brother John" and was just setting into a good loud "dormez
vous" when the neighbors started complaining.
"Well, he just doesn't know fine musk when he hears it," she
said, shortly after one neighbor suggested she do her gargling
It wasn't long before we all realized that Sadie Louise would be
move useful on the ground. We sent her off to conduct a geological
survey of the storm rtamagr on the beach.
When we got to working on the roof we found that the hurricane
had not blown off many shingles, but that orach of the damage had
been caused by an earfier repair job done by the " Jackkf Roofers,"
who turned out to be a rock and. roll group from Perth Amboy,
New Jersey. ? gt -?
The Puppy Papers
Following a storm several years ago, our host had seen the name
on the side of their van and had hired them to fix the roof.
The band members kept insisting that they had only come to the
beach to play for a bar mitzvah and that they knew nothing about
roofing, but their New Jersey accents were so thick that our host,
who hails from the Sandhills, could not understand them.
"I just thought they were foreigners," he said, as we pried off the
pieces of sheet music which had been tarred down for shingles dur
ing the earlier repair. ,
We finished the job in about six hours. Although there were only
12 shingles to replace, the work was slowed when we found the first
sheet of "Rock Around the Clock" under a layer of tar. Of coarse,
we had to sing it, which was difficult because some of the words
were smeared black.
Later in the day after a number of rounds of cooling refreshments
and a few comments like: "It doesn't get any better than this," we
decided to go into the roofing business to raise money for future
Culture Club events.
The next day, our muscles ached and our skinned hands hurt.
Sadie Louise gave her report on the beach erosion. We enjoyed a
piece of homemade Boston Cream Pie. A vote was taken, and we
decided to charge $1,000 a shingle. We hoped no one would hire is.
"1 think I had rather sleep on a wet mattress, than have to listen
to y'aO complain about your aches and pains," Sadie Louise added
We had a good time at Holden Beach, but it was nice to pile back
intheoklBKiebird and to head for hone, even if wedidhaveto ring
"When Jojbany Comes Matching Home Again" six times and the
Culture Club theme song twice .