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THE CAROLINA CHICK/WEE is " a tiny bundle of black , gray and white feathered energy and
Carolina Chickadees Are Favorites
BY BILL FAVER
One of the first birds to come to a newly installed
bird feeder is the Carolina
Chickadee. This "animated ball of
gray and white feathers" sports a
shining black cap and bib and a
white face. It is about the size of a
small sparrow, a little over four
Carolina Chickadees are small
er than their northern cousins, the
Black-capped, and were discov
ered by Audubon and Bachman
near Charleston in 1833. In the
west, we have another similar species, the Brown
The natural habitat of the chickadee is the woods
and hedgerows where they find dead trees in which to
hollow out cavities for nesting. A pair will work franti
cally for days to fashion a hole about eight to ten inch
es deep and then fill it with every kind of soft, downy
material. They nest early in spring and, after the eggs
are laid, the female covers them with some of the
down when she is off the nest. This helps conceal the
four to eight eggs from predators as well as to provide
the warmth needed to continue incubation. These birds
will also nest in bluebird nest boxes and other bird
houses with small entrance holes and deep interiors.
The cheerful chickadees are one of our most vocal
species, with their "chicka-dee-dee-dee" and their
scolding "fee-bee. fee- bay." They are among our most
energetic birds and feed almost constantly to keep up
their energy level. They are very acrobatic, sometimes
hanging upside down on a branch to search for insect
Now is the time to get the bird feeders ready. I can
almost guarantee you'll have a Carolina Chickadee
among your first visitors. I hope you will agree with
Robert l.tmmon in Our Amazing Birds, when he
wrote. "If chickadees spoke English, it would be easy
to imagine one of them calling to its gang through the
gloom of a winter blizzard or sleet storm. 'Are we
downhearted?' and all the other chickadees calling
back in chorus. 'NO!' . For if ever there was a tiny
bundle of black, gray, and white feathered energy and
optimism, the chickadee is it."
Riding Rails Brings Back Memories
Do you remember your first train
If you're trom someplace back
East and over 60 years of age, taking
a train may not have been that un
common. And there's always the
subway or the elevated.
But for a kid from southwestern
Brunswick County, riding the train
could be a very big deal. If you
haven't noticed, there aren't any
railroad tracks in this part of the
county, and haven't been in my life
time. Before that, lumber companies
did build narrow-gauge tracks into
the swamps to bring out prime hard
woods such as cypress. But most ev
idence of those tracks has long since
I can still remember my first train
ride, though differently from the
way an adult would remember it. I
would guess it was first grade. Gay
We combined a trip on the train
from Whiteville to Wilmington, with
a field trip to Greenfield Lake, if
memory serves me right.
The train came alive under us like
a cat purring, and then the conductor
shouted his last warning ? and blew
the whistle! My first. Then, gradual
ly, the train began to pick up speed,
shoosh, shoosh, shoosh, just like the
train in the book The Little Engine
That Could. It did, and 1 had a win
dow seat on the world. It looked
That experience stuck with me.
Ever since then, I've taken advan
tage of any and all opportunities to
ride the train, which admittedly have
been few on my limited budget.
But being of the press has its priv
ileges, along with some pains. One
of my favorite feature stories in
volved spending an entire day up in
the mountains with folks who were
seeking state and private support to
restore a narrow-gauge train that had
once served a mica quarry and a
spring factory and could have been a
great tourist attraction.
The conductor took me out for a
ride, creeping along the rickety track
along the North Toe River that even
tually connected with a larger rail
way in Tennessee. Ahead of us the
rail literally bounced; we were limit
ed to 5 mph. That's why getting the
story took all day; I spent portions
of four other days writing it up, fol
lowing up my visit with phone calls
to various parties.
I still have a stake from that rail
road. It never got the funding it
But another railroad did, and on
our last vacation. Don and I rode on
part of the Murphy Branch of the
Great Smoky Mountains Railway,
from Bryson City across Fontana
Lake to the Nantahala Gorge.
At times the scenery was spectac
ular, as when we watched whitewa
ter enthusiasts kayaking in the
Other times, the view was almost
obliterated by kudzu, scourge of
Piedmont and Western Carolina.
My recommendation: go in late
spring or early summer, when
there's more activity in the Gorge,
Fontana Lake hasn't been drained
down to accommodate winter rains
and early spring flooding; and the
kudzu isn't at its annual peak.
It's a fun trip, with a choice of
club or open cars, box lunches or
dinner at the restaurant at Nantahala
Gorge. The Nantahala Outdoor
Center and the railroad also offer a
combination package for folks who
want to combine outdoor adventure
with a rail trip. It makes for a differ
ent kind of day, wouldn't you say?
Holden Beach Voters
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Mayor, Council, Not ' Others'
Responsible For Good Works
To the editor:
As a non-voting permanent resi
dent of a community bordered by
the Town of Sunset Beach on three
sides, I would like to remind the citi
zens of Sunset Beach of their re
sponsibility in the upcoming town
Mayor Mason Barber. Ed Gore
and Julia Thomas have certainly
been good friends to our non-voting
community of Shoreline Woods and
Seaside Station, and I would like to
remind the voting citizens of those
who fought the Food Lion store for
opening a store in the Town of
Sunset Beach ? not the mayor or
council, but Others.
I would also like to remind the
voting citizens that the bridge was
not fought by the mayor and coun
cil, but Others, and now the price of
the bridge has escalated to nearly
three times the original cost. Action
for the bridge was placed in Sup
erior Court, not by the Mayor and
Council, but by Others.
When the sewer authority was
created by the mayors and councils
of Sunset Beach and Calabash.
Others fought the sewer authority.
When the mayor and council went
to Raleigh for a public hearing to
speak in favor of the sewer system.
Others spoke against the much need
ed sewer system
Also, when a lady from Green
sboro wanted to develop her Bird
Island property, the planning hoard,
with mayor and council approval,
developed the Conservation Reserve
Zoning District, which allows the
owner her legal rights while limiting
The mayor and council provided
funds for a free paved parking lot
and a beautiful gazebo, with access
for the handicapped, which greatly
improves access to the beach.
There are so many more good
deeds that the mayor and council
have done that space would not per
mit them to be printed. Even though
I am not a voting citizen of Sunset
Beach, I dine, bank, and buy gro
ceries in Sunset Beach (and get
caught by an out-of-date worn out
bridge), am protected by the Sunset
Beach Fire Department and Rescue
?First Reponders and purchase water
whom are produced by the commu
nity colleges. These dedicated health
care personnel are "in the trenches"
every day rendering service directly
to the patients in a compassionate,
confident and cost-effective manner.
However, our ability to continue
to render these fine services will be
determined in large part by the avail
ability of qualified staff. The bonds
you will vote on Nov. 2 will enable
community college in the region to
enhance their nursing and other
health care programs in order to con
tinue to provide health care providers
the supply of health care personnel
we need to serve the public.
EDITOR S NOTE: Tin- writer is
president of Interim HealthCare of
the Eastern Carol inas, Inc.
Where Was Concern
With Nuke Plant?
To the editor:
My question to alt those con
cerned citizens (opposing Martin
Marietta's quarry proposal) is where
were you when CP&L acquired the
land to build a nuclear power plant?
Where were you when the impact
studies were made? Did they spell
out to you the impact that a nuclear
power plant would have should a
Of course not. Back then no one
had seen the movie "The China
Syndrome," nor had anyone heard
of Three Mile Island, much less
The biggest danger to all of us
was here long before Martin Mar
ietta decided to locate here. All we
need is a hurricane, a forest fire and
cracked shrouds at the same time,
and God help us all on Oak Island ?
one way on, one way off.
Potholes on the roads along N.C.
211 and 133 from Martin Marietta
can be repaved. Thousands of lives
in the Southport-Oak Island and
Long Beach areas cannot be re
placed due to nuclear holocaust.
Once something has been
cracked, it's never the same. God
bless us all.
Sandy B. Coffey
from Sunset Beach. In an emergency
the sherriff's department would eall
the Sunset Beach Police Depart
ment, as they could respond quicker
than the sherriff's department.
In closing I would like to thank
Mayor Mason Barber, the town
council, the employees of the town.
Sunset Beach Fire and Rescue Re
sponders, the Sunset Beach Police
Department, and the sewer authority
and planning hoard for looking after
my best interests. Not Others.
Lloyd V. Grantham
Of Vested Interest
To the editor:
The coming election in Sunset
Beach is vitally important to not on
ly the residents of the town, hut also
to those of us who live in adjacent
Every action of their mayor and
town council affects our present and
future environment. The present of
ficials. by and large, represent vest
ed interests seeking to further their
In contrast, we have an individual
with an outstanding record in public
service of representing and fighting
for the homeowners. Minnie Hunt is
the ideal candidate for mayor.
I urge every homeowner to make
a "yes" ballot for Minnie Hunt and
aid her efforts to keep Sunset Beach
the best retirement community in
Dr. Arthur Templeton
Saying 'Yes' To Bonds
Boosts Health Care
To the editor:
I am encouraging all voters to
vote for the bond referendum on
Nov. 2. While there are many worth
while projects to be voted on in this
bond. I would like to particularly ex
press support for the community
As a provider of health care ser
vices throughout southeastern North
Carolina, we employ hundreds of
registered nurses, licensed practical
nurses and nurse aids, many of
"Protecting Our Legacy To Our
Children And Grandchildren"
? Sunset Beach Property Owner For 20 Years
? President of Sunset Beach Beautification
? Public Health Nurse 15 Years
? Supervisor of Adult Health, Florence, S.C.
County Health Department
Kols on November 2nd
Remember, Your Vote Is Important.
PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE FOR REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
Joseph Brandel, Treasurer