The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, April 08, 1993, Page PAGE 4-A, Image 4
Opinion Page THE BRUNSWiCK&BEACOM 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 problem. 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 author. 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 community. To Sgt. Lisa Masscy and Officers Hal Macon and Edward Rudloff, a special thank-you and well-done. Mitchell Faulkenberry N. Myrtle Beach (More Letters, Following Page) Worth Repeating... 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 Lord. ?John Cheever 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. ?Anais Nin 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 ably encounter ?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 Lynn Carlson 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 cloth napkins. 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 pond. 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 saying good-bye. 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 tapes? 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 every morning. 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 there. 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 ?*% Eric ' Carlson ' 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 the edge. 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 pede. 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 highway. 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 Pacific cliffs. 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 versa. 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.