The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, April 22, 1993, Page PAGE 5-A, Image 5
PHOTO BY BILL FAVIR CAR I. SANDBURG wrote about the wilderness within us. From The Wilderness BY BILL FAVER One of my favorite poets, the late Carl Sandburg, seemed to have the ability to capture some profound understandings in a few well-cho sen words. He loved the ont-of doors and wrote about natural things, usually relating them to himself or all mankind. A good example of such a poem is in "Wilderness," one of the "Com husker Poems." Sandburg begins by claiming 'There is a wolf in me., .fangs pointed for tearing gashes., .red faver tongue for raw meat.. .and the hot lapping of blood." Then he moves to the fox in him: "I sniff and guess... 1 pick things out of the wind and air...I nose in the dark and take sleepers and cat them and hide the feathers...." The hog in him is responsible for snout and belly, for eating and grunting, and for lazily sleeping in the sun. The wolf and the fox and the hog all come to him from the wilderness. The poet acknowledges the "fish in mc...I know I camc from salt-blue water-gates." Then he says, 'There is a baboon in me., .clamber ing clawed...dog-faced.. .yauping a galoots hunger." Also there is an eagle and a mockingbird. The eagle "flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want. . .The mockingbird warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes...." All these come to him from the wilderness. They evidence his relationship to other animals and his de pendence upon all forms of life for his own well-be ing. Carl Sandburg sums it up with these line: "0,1 got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart - and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where - For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: / am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness." Duncan Ki And Pirate ng: Warrior For A King If you've lived in southeastern North Carolina very long, you've probably heard the story of Duncan King, captain of a privateer for the King of England. He was a colorful figure whose life has added to the richness of lo cal history, though 1 never know how much is fabrication and how much fact. Duncan was a native of Scotland and later served as an officer under General Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec. But he's most rcmcmbcicd in these parts for the food and muni tions and other prizes he wrestled away from French and Spanish ships in the name of the King George II, and the romancc for which this ca reer was indirectly responsible. In autumn of 1752, King was sail ing along the coast and spotted a vessel. Depending on who is telling the story, it may or may not be de scribed as a pirate ship. In any case he pursues this vessel and opens fire, and wins the battle. Aboard the vessel. King found a beautiful dark haired girl who was about three years old and wearing dainty, fine clothing. The child had been taken by the Spanish a few days earlier when they had sunk a merchant ship bound for the West Indies and had killed the child's parents. For some reason, this waif touched a chord in King. He turned his vessel back to Susan Usher ward Smilhvillc (now known as Soulhport), the story goes, and left the child in the carc of a Mrs. Holmes. The little girl was Lydia Fosque, origins uncertain. Duncan King sailed away on the king's business, fighting with Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec and other wise serving King George II. The king was grateful and rewarded Duncan King with lands in Vermont and long the Hudson River. However, these holdings were naturally confiscated during the American Revolution. After helping wrest Canada from the French, King decided to give up his role as warrior and return to North Carolina, where his ward re mained. As the story goes, he arrived in Southport and found that Lydia was no longer a child but a beautiful teen-ager with sparkling eyes, lovely curly hair and a smooth olive com plexion. Duncan King fell in love and they were married. Lydia didn't like the northern temperatures of King's granted lands, prompting him to buy several thousand acres in Bladen County. Lydia was instrumental there in organizing Shiloh Church, the story goes. King supposedly remained neutral during the American Revolution. Though he lost his northern lands, those in North Carolina went un touched. One story goes that King was visiting with a Loyalist friend, William White, when Whigs show ed up at the church. Lydia managed to slip away and warn King, who again escaped capture and managed to protect his status as a neutral, un like White. Lydia and Duncan were the founders of a southeastern North Carolina dynasty. They had at least five sons: Alexander, who is one of my forbearers, and Moses, James, Duncan and Solomon, plus daugh ters. They and their families spread all over this part of the state. Today Shiloh Church is in Columbus County. The graves of Duncan, who died in 1793, and Lydia, who died in 1819, arc in woodlands. But near Shiloh Church, a granite monument stands to their memory? and to one of the more fascinating talcs of southeastern North Carolina. Go Slowly BY JOHN HOOD GUEST COLUMN On Year-Round Schools A Lost Friend From A Post Life Their lilllc girl was born three weeks before our little boy. We fol lowed each other's progress and shared all our pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum horror stories. We sent each other flowers in the hospi tal. We put our babies in a playpen together and joked about how they might grow up and fall in love. We had them exchange cards on Val entine's Day. That was back during another life, 15 years ago, in a different marriage and a distant small town. The hus bands had similar jobs and became personal and professional friends. The wives had little in common ex cept pregnancy, then new mother hood She was tall, blonde and loved the kind of clothes that made people turn and stare?the expensive stylish kind, not the outrageous tacky kind. I was decidedly not tall, not blond and most at home in jeans and bag gy sweaters. We were never closc "couple friends," the real kind you can count on to keep on loving you even when you stop being a couple. But it was nonetheless a comfort, our being new in town and new to this parent ing thing, to know we had someone to share experiences with. We agreed that when you tried to talk to friends who'd never been through it, you bored them; the ones who were old hands at it would just tell you to stop being such a repulsive neurotic Lynn Carlson and insufferable braggart. As if that were possible. He was the the best kind of dad, ready for the role, utterly comfort able it and fully competent at it. The kind who paid attention even when she wasn't misbehaving. Who made it a point to praise her lavishly and criticize her sparingly. Who would not hesitate to take a day off from work and care for her when she was sick. Who would beamingly tell oth er people?even other men?how proud he was to have a daughter. This wonderful daughter. They moved away to a university town after he got a chance to make a bold career move?the kind most men in his respectable high-profile position would be scared to give a serious second thought. Their bright girl-child would be able to go to Montcssori school in this town, to study dance and go to museums and the theater. The wife landed a job managing the trendiest boutique in town. Wc visited ihcm oncc more, briefly, when wc accompanied some mutual friends to a football game in their town. That was 11 or 12 years ago, and wc never heard from them again. I learned of his death last night when on a whim I called those mu tual friends. I had not seen or talked to them in five or six years. My friends, who arc still in the town where we oncc all lived, told mc he had AIDS and lost the fight two weeks ago. I don't know any of the circum stanccs, nor arc they any of my busi ness. 1 don't even know whether he was still married. All I know is that 1 can't stop thinking about that baby girl he trea sured so. When 1 saw her last she was in his arms, a toddler in footed jammies, having to be rocked to sleep because four noisy grown-ups had shown up and interrupted her bedtime routine. 1 can imagine her now, though, just a few weeks shy of her 15th birthday. I'm sure she's beautiful, tall, blond, smart and sophisticated beyond her years. What I can't imagine is what she must have been through and how badly she must hurt. Again tonight I'll go to bed and send up a little prayer that she'll be all right. The year-round bandwagon is rolling, and many of North Caro lina's school districts seem poised to leap on board. The number of year-round school programs in our state will double in July, from the current 40 programs in 22 North Carolina school districts to 80 programs in some 40 districts. At a March meeting of the Year Round Education Institute of North Carolina in Winston-Salem, year round advocates released a survey of administrators at North Carolina's 132 school districts. Of the 107 re sponding districts, 102 say they ei ther have year-round schools or arc studying the merits of implementing such programs. Emotional debates about year round schooling currendy rage in Forsyth, Wake, Davidson, Watauga, nash and many other North Carolina counties. 1 certainly hope that these school administrators will study all of the available evidence on year-round schooling, not just the claims of the idea's most zealous boosters. There is little evidence one way or the oth er about the effects of year-round schedules on student performance? and the scanty research that does ex ist offers no unanimous verdict. The National Association for Year-Round Education reports only 13 recent comprehensive studies on the impact of year-round education. Seven of these studies show that stu dents in the year-round programs do significantly better than those in tra ditional programs. That's liule more than half. And even those studies are weakly con structed, according to education re searchers?some lack control groups and proper breadth. Furthermore, eight of them were performed in California, where a fourth of the na lion's year-round schools arc locat ed. Rigorous findings on year-round education must be based on duplica tion in various settings, not on the possibly idiosyncratic California ex perience. There arc several studies which suggest little relationship between year-round schooling and achieve ment. One study, published in the Journal of Education Research, found that many middle-class stu dents actually gain in academic skills over summer vacation, while poor students show a decline?sug gesting that year-round schooling may be an appropriate tool to help some, but not all, children. Overall, according to a survey of literature on year-round schools by education researcher Gary L. Peltier published in The National Asso ciation of Secondary School Princi pals Bulletin, "studies have indicat ed that there is no significant differ ence in achievement (as measured by standardized tests) between stu dents on a year-round schedule and those on a traditional nine-month schedule." What about research here in North Carolina? All of the stale's year-round school programs are of relatively young vintage. One study by an Appalachian State University researcher of a year-round pilot pro gram in Blowing Rock found no sig nificant differences between year round students and traditional stu dents in student achievement or at tendance, but in fairness the study was based on only one year of data. Experience is really our only guide right now. Many parents in counties with year-round schools are satisfied with their performance; others arc not. There is clearly inter est in North Carolina communities, as applications for year-round schools continue to escalate. But as far as solid evidcncc is conccmed, we will probably have to wait. That suggests caution should guide North Carolina school dis tricts' decisions about year-round schooling. Since there is no clear ev idence of educational benefits, the analysis must turn to the idea's other benefits, mostly financial. Unfortunately, as Peltier's paper argues, financial gains arc often dif ficult to achieve, and almost always require that "participation cannot be only voluntary"?though most North Carolina year-round programs arc, properly, not being forced on all parents. There arc additional costs for air conditioning, instruction and trans portation. "Because many of these expenses and considerations are overlooked in the planning stages," Peltier notes, "savings in some in stances have been so minimal that year-round schooling has been aban doned after just a few years of im plementation." If year-round schooling docs not provide generalized acadcmic or fi nancial advantages, its proper role would seem obvious: as a voluntary program specifically designed to serve poor or remedial students or parents who seek such schedules for their children on the basis of person al judgment or convenience. Naturally, given the scanty re search available thus far, no sweep ing judgment should be made yet. But school officials should not be hoodwinked by year-round devotees into believing that the idea is a proven, documented success so far at improving performance or saving money. Far from it. John Hood is research director of the John Locke Foundation and a columnist for the Triangle's Spec tator magazine. SBTA's Recent Positions To the editor I have had it with the Sunset Beach Taxpayers Association. I grew up in Sunset Beach and I still receive the Beacon to keep up with the area. Over the past few years I have read articles in your paper dealing with the SBTA and have held my tongue, but the article on the front page of your April 15 edi tion is too much. Clctc Waldmiller complained about a lack of representation on the town council of the island residents. If memory serves me correctly, sev eral members of the SBTA have run for council scats in the past few elections. Obviously they were not elected because their positions on is sues of concern were in conflict with those of Sunset Beach citizens. It is just as obvious that the moti vation for this proposal is to increase representation of the SBTA (which is dominated by non-residents), not that of island residents. The bottom line, however, is that "majority rules," and as long as the SBTA's views arc in a minority, they will not be carried out by the town. In reference to the proposed sew er system, SBTA treasurer Minnie Hunt said there is "no conclusive cv idcncc that septic tanks arc polluting our environment." This seems to be a rather hypocritical point of view. A 1990 SBTA lawsuit is holding up the proposed high-rise bridge until an environmental impact study is completed. The SBTA claimed that the possible ill effects of the bridge on the environment outweigh its ne cessity. What about the "possible" pollution from septic tanks? If Mrs. Hunt would like some ob jective information on just how quickly contaminated ground water flows through a medium like coarse quartz sand, a good reference is Groundwater by Freeze and Cherry. My master's degree project here at N.C. State University deals with ground water flow, and 1 refer to this and other texts quite often. Finally, Bill Ducker, in reference to Janie Price's proposed develop ment of Bird Island, said that a bridge and causeway built for access "essentially converts public lands for private use." 1 wonder how Mr. Ducker got onto Sunset Beach last time he went? He probably used the causeway, which traverses public marshland. Is there any public land on Sunset Beach except for the strand and one parking lot? If Mrs. MORE 'frTTCDC LL I I L_ f\?J 'Too Much' For Former Sunset Resident Pricc plans 10 sell property on Bird Island, it is just as public as Sunset Beach is. 1 sincerely hope the people of Brunswick County see the hypocrisy in the positions of the SBTA. Julius A. King Raleigh Support Symphony With Tickets, Cash To the editor: Brunswick County residents and businesses are urged to support the North Carolina Symphony concert at Hatch Auditorium on May 10. Since the late 1940s, the symphony has annually given three conccrts? one for adults and two for the school children. In the '90s, the adult con certs were increased to two. Now Raleigh is threatening to cancel the May 10 concert for lack of support. As all businesses ^and the symphony must be run as such) they must meet a budget. In jeop ardy also is the November concert scheduled for our new Odell Williamson Auditorium. The amount needed urgently?by April 30- is S20.000. If you want to retain this mar velous asset for our county?a plus for both businesses and people? support the local symphony chapter by buying tickcts and making contri butions, the latter completely tax de ductible and most urgently needed. Make a call today, because time is short. In Southport, call 457-5656 or in Shallottc, 754-6707 or 754-8941. Jack Harrison Shallottc Handling Of Wilson Case Is 'Appalling' To the editor As a well-wisher, supporter and constituent of Governor James B. Hunt, I was appalled, disgusted, hu miliated, stunned and bewildered to leam of the inhumane treatment giv en to Mr. Junius Wilson by the State of North Carolina. This illegal matter is degrading, improper, discriminatory and down right insulting to the voters and tax payers of North Carolina. This concerns an individual who has been incarcerated by this slate for a crime that it appears now that he did not commit. After more than 67 years of complete incarceration, this in my opinion is wholesale racial discrimination at its cross burning worse, and also constitutes a mockery of the slogan, "First in Freedom." I urge the governor to exercise the powers and authority of his office to speak out, talk publicly and walk heavy concerning this matter. Jesse A. Bryant Supply Don't Close Library During Renovations To the editor: 1 can't believe the Brunswick County Library Board would con sent to the closing of the Shallottc Library for a period of six to seven months as proposed. I realize our area of southeastern North Carolina has grown tremen dously in the past several years; we do indeed need larger library facili ties. This enlargement can be done without shutting down the entire li brary; other buildings have been en larged and modernized without clos ing the entire building?Bclk and KMart, for example. Brunswick County schools rate very poorly compared to other school systems. Arc we willing to deprive our children of the use of their local library and the many chil dren's programs offered by the Shalloue Library? Closing the library would be for the convenience of the contractors without ever considering the incon venience of the people who support it. This is irresponsible on the part of the library board. I urge everyone interested in the welfare and education of our chil dren to write to the library board and to the county commissioners protest ing the proposed closing of our Shallotte library. Phyllis Manning Calabash Write Us The Deacon welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and include the writer's address and telephone number. Under no circumstances will unsigned letters be printed. Letters should be legible. We reserve the right to edit libelous comments. Address letters to The Brunswick Beacnn, P. O. Box 2558, Shalloue, N. C. 28459.