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Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Lynn S. Carlson Managing Ekiitor
Susan Usher News Editor
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Eric Carlson Sta ff Writer
Peggy Earwood Office Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Tlmberley Adams, Cecelia Gore
and Linda Cheers Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brennan and Brenda Clemmons Moore ..Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Lonnle Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Tammle Henderson Photo Tixrhnlcian
Phoebe Clemmons and Frances Sweatt CUvulation
PAGE 4-A, THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1993
Soles Bill Stacks Deck
In Favor of District 1
Given Senator R.C. Soles' powerful position as deputy presi
dent pro tempore of the N.C. Senate, there is good reason to be
lieve that his bill calling for a vote to divide Calabash and
Carolina Shores will clear the Senate as written. This despite the
fact that the measure conceivably could allow a very small num
ber of unhappy Calabash residents to force a split that the majori
ty may very well oppose.
The Soles bill provides for a referendum on removing
Carolina Shores Village from the Town of Calabash as of June
30, subject to the the approval of a majority of voters in either
voting district. The operative word is "either," and therein lies the
In 1989, both districts voted in favor of consolidating to form
what is, at least for now, the Town of Calabash. Old Calabash
voted 42-36 and Carolina Shores voted 458 to 142. If history
were to repeat itself in terms of District 1 turnout, and if even a
handful of those voters have changed their minds about the
union, as few as three percent of the town's residents conceivably
could force a split.
Soles said Calabash and Carolina Shores "incorporated by
vote and can unincorporate by vote." However, his bill stacks the
deck in favor of District 1, despite some strong indication that a
majority of residents of the whole Town of Calabash as it cur
rently exists would like to continue trying to work out the town's
deep-seated problems. A good example is the fact that only three
of 200 people attending a public hearing on the matter in
February said they support the division.
District 1 residents who favor the split have been given some
good reasons to throw up their hands in exasperation. The busi
ness people and native Brunswick Countians who make up the
district have been afforded very little support of their endeavors
to make a living and to continue doing so with as little govern
ment nitpicking as is possible. But cutting off Carolina Shores
won't solve all the problems and may well create some new ones.
For instance, a separated Calabash will be bordered in large part
by Carolina Shores, cutting off much of the extraterritorial juris
diction on which the town has come to rely for revenue. And if
the past is an indicator, a separated Calabash may have difficulty
assembling a municipal government system in which there is
healthy public participation.
Since there apparently is no avoiding some sort of vote mak
ing the division of Calabash and Carolina Shores possible, it
should at least be made a fair vote?one in which 40 or so people
in District 1 do not have the power to scuttle an incorporated
North Carolina municipality of 1,200 residents.
The people in best position to do that are Reps. David
Redwine and Dewey Hill, who have not said publicly whether
they will support the Soles bill as is, assuming it reaches the
House of Representatives intact. Although Soles says he has con
ferred with the two representatives "at length" on his plans,
Redwine has declined to say whether he will support the bill until
he sees what sort of measure the Senate ends up sending the
House. We hope Redwine and Hill do their part to make the vote
fair by amending the bill to require both districts to approve be
fore a split takes place.
It's too early to give up on the possibility of making the four
year-old union work.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sunset Police Recover
Stolen Property Promptly
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
letter wa.v addressed to Mayor Ma
son Barber of Sunset Beach. A copy
was shared with the Beacon by the
To the editor:
Recently, my wife and 1 spent two
months on the island of Sunset
Beach. We enjoyed our stay very
much. You truly have a community
to be proud of.
Unfortunately, in February, near
the end of our stay, our peace was
shattered by a robbery at our house
as well as another on the same
street. We reported this to the Sunset
Beach Police Department, but we
felt sure we would never recover our
property. I was wrong.
The officers promptly responded,
took our report and went to work. To
make a long story short, your police
department solved this case in 72
hours. Within three weeks, we had
our property returned to us and the
thieves were in jail.
We encountered several officers
during that time and were always
treated with courtesy, helpfulness
and professionalism. Your police de
partment is truly a credit to their
To Sgt. Lisa Masscy and Officers
Hal Macon and Edward Rudloff, a
special thank-you and well-done.
N. Myrtle Beach
(More Letters, Following Page)
mFear tastes like a rusty knife and do not let her into your
house. Courage tastes of blood. Stand up straight. Admire
the world. Relish the love of a gentle woman. Trust in the
mEach friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not
born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a
new world is born.
Drop-Out Rate Hiqh In Manners 707
A Gaston la physician writing to a
Charlotte newspaper says men who
keep their caps on while eating in
restaurants arc "another indication
of a cultural decline in our society."
While the infraction seems to me
fairly low on the scale of all social
blunders, the good doctor is right.
When did people get to be as ill
mannered as they arc these days?
Folks in Gaslonia must be light
years beyond lots of other places?
our own beloved environs includ
ed?if the grossest violation he wit
nesses on the public dining scene is
hat-wearing. In any given week of
eating lunch out every day, 1 invari
?a table neighbor whose uncov
ered death-rattle cough for a full half
hour not only ruins my appetite but
convinces me that the Black Plague
has returned and mutated;
?a toddler whose care-giver bla
lantly ignores prolonged and repeat
ed shrieks loud enough to make
dogs howl in Charleston;
?and countless cap-sporting (or
even curler-wearing) diners with
both elbows on the table, hunkering
over plates, shoveling with one hand
and sopping with the other, simulta
neously talking and chewing.
Granted, this ain't Manhattan and
we're not lunching at La Cote
Basque. But I'm not talking about
knowing which fork to use or how
to hold your own in tnc wine-open
ing ritual with a supercilious waiter.
I mean Manners 101.
1 had my first formal class in din
ing etiquette at Miss Funderburk's
Little Red Schoolhouse at age 5,
right along with learning to tic sad
dle oxfords and do the bunny-hop.
And I'd already heard it at home.
But I suppose there arc kids out
there now who never (never!) have
experienced a whole-family sit
down meal or dined in a restaurant
that serves water in goblets and uses
Television's "Frugal Gourmet" re
cently devoted part of a show to
teaching children about table man
ners, and it was fascinating. He took
a group of four kids about eight
years old to a fancy restaurant and
did a beautiful job of explaining to
them where the manners rules come
from, and how they arc designed not
to intimidate us, but to make us feel
more comfortable with each other.
They took to it like ducklings to a
But by all means, let's not limit
this to a discussion of tabic inaniiCfv
I get frequent phone calls at work
from people who neither say hello
nor identify themselves before they
launch into a spiel, making it neces
sary for me to interrupt and say,
"I'm sorry, but I have failed to intuit
who you arc or what you want from
mc." Others are busily carrying on a
conversation with someone else for
several seconds after I've picked up
the receiver. Many hang up without
What happened? Is it that parents
no longer have time to teach man
ners, or has w hat my elders referred
to as "plain old common courtesy"
simply gone the way of eight-track
Part of the problem is that harsh
modern realities and our hamster
wheel lifestyles have made us sus
pend some of the old rules to protect
ourselves and our offspring. In the
safer world of my childhood, not be
ing attentive and polite to a stranger
calling on the phone or knocking on
the door would have been a faux pas
punishable by the familiar parental
rhetorical question, "Haven't I
taught you better than that?"
But for today's home-alone kids,
survival rules like remembering to
always leave both the dcadbolt and
the answering machine engaged must
supercede the less essential behav
ioral rules like remembering to al
ways say "yes ma'am" and "yes sir."
And although my mama would
remain unfailingly gracious, even to
a telemarketer who called during
supper, I've decided that it's perfect
ly acceptable to suspend all rules of
nicety (even to the point of cussin'
and hangin' up) when hucksters in
vade the privacy of my home.
Nonetheless, I'm convinced wc
suffer as individuals and as a com
munity when the tenets of genteel
behavior lose their priority. I re
member them all, the silly as well as
the sacrosanct Although I still get a
chuckle from the former (never wear
white before Easter or after Labor
Day. ladies don't smoke on the
street, always go to the powder
room in pairs), I will always respcct
the latter (people really DO appreci
ate a thank-you note).
After all, the rules of behavior wc
obey when we're young arc the
highway markers we rely on until
we learn the way by heart.
In My M/ncf I'm On The Road Aqain
This morning, as I crossed the
Holdcn Beach Bridge, I realized that
eleven years ago today I was silting
on a motorcycle rumbling across an
other bridge?from Nags Head to
Roanoke Island?just as 1 used to do
Yet 1 still remember minute de
tails of that ride: how the cool air
fell as it wafted into my helmet, the
way the sunlight glistened off the
water, and how the heavy, fertile
aroma of the salt marsh signalled an
other low tide.
1 remember because I wasn't just
riding west for another day of work.
1 was REALLY riding west. Past
Mantco, over Croatan Sound, be
yond the Alligator River. Then on
through Rocky Mount and Atlanta
and Birmingham and Shreveport
and across the Great Plains and the
Rocky Mountains to California.
Nothing freshens your outlook on
life and recharges the batteries of
your soul like an epic journey. And
for Americans, that means a cross
country road trip.
We seem to be unique in this re
gard. You won't hear restless Irish
men getting fired up for a blitz trip
from Dublin to Galway. Maybe be
cause it's the same distance as from
Wilmington to Raleigh.
The (former) Soviet Union is big
ger than the United Suites, but no
body writes songs about driving
from Leningrad to Kamchatka. Be
cause they never had a Route 66 (or
a little red Corvette) to take them
Australia is a bit like America,
with two coasts, a vast land mass
and a similar breed of adventurers.
But there is just too much nothing
between Sydney and Perth for a trip
like that to catch on.
Lewis and Clark introduced us to
the West. Then Horace Greeley
urged young men to go there.
Kerouac and Cassidy made it the
hippest trip in town. Chuck Berry
put the road west to music. "Easy
Rider" brought it to the screen.
Hunter Thompson's acid wit gave
tripping west a savage reputation.
And Thclma and Louise took it over
A cross-country journey with
"farther" as your only itinerary is the
quintessential expression of the
American free spirit. To date I've
made the BIG DRIVE twice and
would do it again in a heartbeat.
A year from now, the only thing
I'm likely to remember about the
past two months will be the March
13th storm. But even now, eleven
years later, I can still re-play every
day of that 10,000-mile journey like
a mental videotape.
After four days of interstates and
hotels, I spent my first night in the
southwestern desert. Amid fitful
moments of sleep I awoke to behold
a luminescent landscape haihcd in
silence so profound that the scurry
ing of homed toads echoed off
canyon walls like a buffalo stam
At dawn I jumped lo my feet con
vinced that an avalanche was bear
ing down on my campsite. But it
was only a muie deer setting a few
rocks rolling as it lazily climbed a
hillside a thousand yards away.
There were two days of explo
ration in Carlsbad Caverns. Three
nights in the Gila Wilderness. Then
an unpleasant visit to the Flagstaff
emergency room with a runaway
case of poison ivy.
I recall finding Indian petrogiyphs
in the Grand Canyon. Seeing Lib
erace in Las Vegas. A sunset at
Zabriski Point in Death Valley. The
wacky world of planet Los Angeles.
Chilling out in Big Sur. A pilgrim
age to Haight Ashbury. Then up, up,
and away along the Pacific Coast
I remember 20 feet of snow at
Crater Lake in May. Re-tracing the
Oregon Trail. Sleeping beside a
moonlit waterfall in Idaho. Real
cowboys in Wyoming. Forty-knot
winds in Nebraska. Frank Lloyd
Wright's "Falling Water" house in
Pennsylvania. Old friends in Wat
kins Glen, N.Y. My brother's gradu
ation in New Hampshire.
You simply can't understand our
country's vast diversity until you've
driven coast-to-coast. Until you've
crossed the endless plains, peered
deep into the Grand Canyon and
watched the waves crash against our
Everyone ought to do it. In fact, if
I were king, I would proclaim it
every American's birthright to drive
across the country from ocean to
ocean. Here's how it might work:
On your 18th birthday you would
receive a special credit card. With it,
you could go to your nearest airport
and get a one-way ticket to any air
port on either coast. There you
would use your card to rent a car. (In
a perfect world, this would be a
Cadillac Eldorado convertible with a
killer sound system).
Then, every day for the next two
weeks, your card would allow you
to charge three modest meals, a ho
tel room and all the gas and oil your
car needs. The only requirement
would be that each overnight stop
must be at least 200 miles cast or
west (depending on your starting
coast) of the previous night.
After 14 days (and at least 2,800
miles), you would exchange your
car for a plane ticket home.
Imagine the boost this travel
voucher would give to the economy.
A few million people turn 18 each
year. If each car makes about 20
trips, the program would boost auto
sales by 150,(XX) units per year. The
oil companies, tire makers, mechan
ics and used car dealers would also
get a shot in the arm.
The travel industry could sell an
another 42 million room nights and
126 million meals annually. The air
lines would fill several million addi
tional seals. Retailers across the
country would benefit as Easterners
bought Western souvenirs and vice
But more importantly, we would
grow stronger as a people. Indepen
dent ranchers in Wyoming might
come to understand the plight of de
caying Northeastern cities. Environ
mentalists in Boston could lcam first
hand how an unemployed Oregon
logger feels about spotted owls.
If nothing else, we'd all have
some great stories to tell.