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PHOTO BY BILL FAVER
THE TUFTED TITMOUSE is a small, plump bird and can be very acrobatic in its search for food.
Tufted Titmouse: A Flying Mouse?
BY BILL FAVKR berries and insccts.
If you happen to sec a small mouse-colored bird on On feeders, they are partial to sunflower seeds and
your feeder, don't think you're seeing a flying mouse. suet. They are very vocal with a "peter, peter, peter"
It's just a relative of the chickadee called a tufted tit- song and a sometimes harsh, scolding call to let you
mouse. These plump little birds know when they are disturbed or unhappy.
with soft and fluffy feathers and Titmice nest in tree cavities and bird houses and
little thin bills belong to the family construct a nest cup of moss, thin bark and hair in the
Paridae along with their cousins, bottom of the cavity where the female will lay 5 to 8
the chickadees. white to creamish eggs with brown specks. The female
Titmice are generally grayish, incubates for about 14 days, and the young birds will
dark above and paler below, with stay on the nest for 15 to 18 days.
rusty colored sides. Their domi- The male feeds his mate while she is on the nest,
nant crests are dark gray, and the and then both birds feed the young. Usually only one
small forehead is also dark. Eye is brood is raised each year.
also black. They vary in size from The tufted titmouse is a common permanent resi
FAVER 6 to 61/2 inches long. They are the dent of the Carolinas and is easily attracted to feeders,
only titmouse in the Carolinas and are representative They are not afraid of people and will continue their
of the 10 species of that family in Nonh America. activities while being watched. They can be trained to
Tufted titmice arc very active, feeding and calling feed from your hand if you have the patience. They
constantly, often in groups as they move about looking readily respond to "squishing" or squeaking sounds
for insects, seed and fruit. Their strong feet and legs and come quickly to investigate.
allow them to be very acrobatic as they extract seed These perky, nervous birds are fun to watch, and I
from cones and move on to the tip of tree limbs for hope you will get to know them.
How About Them Apples...Er, Colas?
To the editor:
Depending upon how old you are,
you may remember one of the most
famous advertising radio jingles
ever produced?it goes like this:
"...Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces,
that's a lot; twice as much for a
nickel, too, ...Cola is the drink for
This jingle started this company
on the way to fame and fortune. The
original cola drink came, of course,
in a six-ounce bottle and, as the
above jingle concluded, cost a nick
Just this past week, a major drug
store chain was featuring a return of
the famous six-ounce bottle of cola.
The packaging was an eight-pack
offer with a price of $4.19 plus de
posit on the bottles. Any way you
cut the mustard, so to speak, that
comes out to better than 52 cents per
six-ounce bottle, or better than 62
cents per bottle ($4.99) if you don't
return the bottles which, of course,
you're not going to do, because
these you will save for collectors'
Also just this past week, another
major drugstore chain was offering
this same brand (not the competi
tion) at 99 cents for a six-pack, 12
ouncc size, in cans. This, as anyone
can calculate, is 16.5 cents per can.
How about them apples?er, I mean,
And, while I'm on the subject of
advertising, back when I was in ra
dio and TV, an FCC rule was that
under no circumstances was a sta
tion to schedule an advertiser's mes
sage any closer to a competitive
product than 30 minutes. This later,
I believe, was adjusted to 15 min
Just this past week (yep, again)
during a major athletic event on a
major network during a commercial
break, two commercials were aired,
one right behind the other, extolling
their respective superior product or
preference, and they were both com
petitive beer companies, and there
was not even so much as a station
break between the two commercials.
My, oh my, how times do change.
Just one final thought in closing:
A short time ago in "letters to the
Editor" a writer was wondering if
our beautiful four-lane Highway 17
from Wilmington to the South
Carolina line would eventually be
come a theoretical version of Res
taurant Row or the Grand Strand or
something on that order. Never
mind, my good friends?so long as
our zoning people (or lack thereof)
for the county ot brunswick uo iiui
make it compulsive that junkyards,
salvage yards, flea markets and all
other unsightly establishments are
required to fence in their businesses
from Highway 17 traffic, you'll nev
er have to worry about that.
Travel most of the other 99 coun
ties in North Carolina, and you will
find that almost every other county
makes this a requirement.
Why Ask Why?
To the editor:
Why do those who cry about pro
tecting baby seals, prefer spotted
owls over timber-oriented jobs,
wring their hands over the snail
darter, scream about trapping bea
vers, demonstrate against capital
punishment for the most heinous
murderers, have no problem with
the murder of unborn children?
To the editor:
Fifteen 7th and 8th graders from
Shallottc Middle School recently
participated in the Science Olym
piad at Garner Senior High School
near Raleigh. Our school competed
against 25 other middle and junior
high schools from across the state.
Like these other schools, our stu
dents earned the right to compete at
the state level by finishing among
the top five schools in regional com
petition. We were very proud of
them for qualifying for state compe
tition, and we are now especially
proud that they finished in ninth
place against some of the brightest
students in the state.
Darrell Cheers and Harvey Rash,
8th grade science teachers at Shal
lottc Middle, devoted a lot of their
time working with the students. It's
such a blessing to have teachers who
really care for their students?who
encourage them and help them to do
their best, rather than drive them for
the sake of winning; who give them
the freedom to fail, and then bend
down to help them pick up the
pieces and start again. We thank
them for sharing their hearts and
well as their minds with their stu
We also thank the Shallottc PTA
for generously supporting the stu
dents in their trip to Garner, provid
ing motel rooms, three meals, T
shirts, event manuals and gas for the
activity bus. The PTA quickly step
ped in soon after the Brunswick
County schools administration indi
cated it had to limit its participation
to a providing a bus.
We hope that Shallottc Middle's
experience will not only attract the
county administration's interest in
Science Olympiads, but will also
serve to initiate an effort on the part
of the administration to encourage
all Brunswick County middle and
high schools to become involved in
this worthwhile and exciting event.
Special thanks go to Wayne
Hanson, director of Southeastern
Math and Science Alliance, who
provided $2(X) for the state competi
Parents of Science
(Dianne Cheers, Sliallolle; Judy B.
Holt, Hoi den Beach; Jean
Osborne, Ocean Isle Beach; Vickie
Powell, Ocean Isle Beach; Diane
Powell, South Brunswick; Donald
M. C 'ovil, Shallotte, Nancy Wemyss,
OIB Road; Donna Jackson,
Calabash; Sandra Hall, Shallotte;
Tony Hall, Shallotte.)
Yes To Noise Law
To the editor:
I am writing in response a letter
published in the March 10 Beacon
from Linda Cunningham of Ocean
Isle Beach, (headlined) "No Noise
Yes to the noise law!
I was also in court that day, and if
not for a technicality, (Ms Cunning
ham) would have paid fines for cita
She leads the public to believe the
noise was emanating from a private
residence and these were naturally
or occasionally occurring noises,
when in fact it was because of loud
music which emanates from her club
operating out of only a prefabricated
structure which only resonates the
Our community sits directly be
hind this establishment; therefore,
our privacy to peace and quiet with
in our own homes is disturbed on a
regularly scheduled basis to the ex
tent that my children are awakened
from sound sleep and after working
all day, even my husband and I have
difficulty getting to sleep.
Ocean Isle Beach
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Harbor Sq. Mall. Little River. SC (across from Hardees)
Historical, Or Just Hysterical?
It's not often that regular folks (or
even battle-scarred newshounds like
myself) have an opportunity to wit
ness a genuine landmark in human
Like iieing in fnc stands when
Babe Ruth hit his (>()th home run. Or
at Edwards Air Force Base when
Chuck Yeager first flew faster than
the speed of sound. Or at ringside in
Manila when Muhammad Ali
knocked out Joe Frazier.
An event of similar magnitude oc
curred weekend before last at
Holden Beach as the climax to the
annual "Day at the Docks" on-the
There, for the first time ever on
the face of the earth, a group of
clccted officials stood on top of a
65-foot bridge and dumped four
laundry baskets full of apples into
the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
It was billed as the "World's Only
Boppic Race" and i can icil you it
was quite a thing to watch.
As they plummeted from the sky
and splashed into the rushing tide,
the juicy red fruits were magically
transformed into "bopples," which
I'm told is short for "boat apples"
(not to be confused with "road ap
Hidden inside each bobble was a
bit of Popsicle (Or is it Bopsicle?)
stick bearing three numbers repre
senting the names of three bopple
betters who brought a buck to bet on
According to regulations hastily
prepared by the International Bopple
Federation in Paris, the first bopple
to bob beyond a buoy west of the
bridge would be declared the top
bopple, bringing its betters a bucket
of bucks (a hundred to be exact).
Below the bridge, the bank-side
boppic boosters bellowed as the
bevy of buoyant bopples blew by in
Watching fans rooting for their
own (and several hundred other)
bopples helped me understand how
Lynn feels on Super Bowl Sunday
with a living room full of lubricated
visitors yelling at little numbered
figures running back and forth on
the TV screen.
Bopple racing is just the kind of
ridiculous sport that could really
catch on in a country that invented
demolition derbies, bungec jumping,
tractor pulls and the American
Where else can you find such a
fascination with the act of throwing
things off high places, just to watch
Tossing televisions from hotel
windows has become something of a
cliche for alienated rock stars since
the Rolling Stones first popularized
the feat in their 1971 movie "Gim
David Lettcrman used to have a
regular segment on his I^ate Night
TV show where folks would call in
to suggest objects they wanted to see
dropped off a 30-story building. My
favorite was the watermelons, al
though that bushel of golf balls
looked quite impressive rebounding
off the pavement.
In college, we once pushed one of
those life-sized statues of the Big
Boy hamburger kid off the top of a
20-story dormitory. I had nothing
whatsoever to do with his abduction
(honest) but was enlisted to help ma
neuver him from the elevator to the
The boy did two fuli flips (with
out dropping the burger). Then he
landed right smack on his head and
broke into a zillion pieces. Pretty
Don't be surprised if you see a
long list of candidates running for
the llolden Beach town board from
now on. f olks might be a lot more
willing to sit through boring com
missioners' meetings if they got to
dump baskets of fruit off the bridge
every year. 1 know 1 would.
Moments after the historic first
bopple drop, I saw Mayor Wally
Ausley and Commissioner David
Sandifcr under the bridge and you
couldn't have wiped the smiles off
their faces with your mama's smelly
wet dish rag.
!n time, the h?pnle races could
become like the famous Henley
Regatta in England, where posh
lords and ladies dress up in tuxedos
and fancy dresses to watch spoiled
college kids race skinny little row
boats up and down the Thames
Or like the Carolina steeplechase
series, where rich people set up
elaborate Rolls Roycc tailgate par
ties and eat truffles and caviar on ta
bles set with Irish linen, silver can
delabra and crystal champagne
Saturday afternoon I saw two
guys watching the bopple race while
leaning against hunting-dog cages in
the back of a pickup, munching
cheese puffs and sucking down a
couple of cold brewskis. So we may
be well on our way.
Who knows? If bopple racing re
ally catches fire, you might see bop
ple wagering at I-as Vegas casinos.
Or the state could sanction OBB
(Off Bridge Betting) sites like the
OTB (Off Track Betting) outlets for
horse racing in New York.
To keep bopple-mania at a fever
pitch, we may need to have a few
spinoff events like bopple bobbing.
Competitors could dive off the
bridge and try to catch a bopple in
their mouth as they hit the water.
The town could even hold an an
nual Tournament of Bopples parade
featuring floats and bands and peo
ple dressed up like apples with pop
sicle sticks poking out of their
Fortunately, wc already have a
theme song for the event, written
and performed more than 30 years
ago by rockabilly legend Gene
Vincent. As 1 remember, it goes
something like this:
Be Bopple Oolah, she 's my baby
Be Bopple Oolah, I don 'l mean
Be Bopple Oolah, she 's my baby
AT BRICK LANDING
On Sale At
SEA MIST CAMPING RESORT
"Go number 52!" shouted one.
"Come on 116!" yelled another.
"Twelve! Twelve! Twelve!"
chanted a third.
Then a young boy asked an inno
"Hey, dad. All the hopples look
the same. How are we supposed to
know which one is winning?"
And therein lies the simple beauty
of bopple competition. Once those
babies plummet off the bridge, no
body on earth has a clue about
what's going on in the race until the
guy from Coast Guard Auxiliary
Flotilla 10-0X nets the lead bopple at
the finish line.
The House On
The Left Cost
Than The House
Chi The Right,
(Hint It's not the wallpaper.)
In fact, these houses are remarkably similar,
except for one important detail. The house
on the right was refinanced with a 15-year
Mortgage from NationsBank. When you refi
nance with a NationsBank 15-year Mortgage,
you could save tens of thousands of dollars
in interest while building equity faster than
ever before. And. right now. NationsBank is
offering low rates and low closing costs. So
call or drop by a NationsBank hanking center
Ami mavhevnu can save thousands of
dollars on your house, too.
15-YEAR REFINANCE MORTGAGE
A CnmparisnH -
Loan Amount *95.000 $95,000
Monthly Payment S74li.sT $924.40
Animal Percentage Kate 8.74".. 8.:i0"..
Equity After 10 Yean $10 444 $49.7:11
T^!.fe:st *173.875 $71.393
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