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Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt .Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt .Editor
Lynn S. Carlson Managing Editor
Susan Usher ..News Editor
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Eric Carlaon ..Stqff Writer
Mary Potts & Peggy Earwood Office Managers
Carolyn H. Sweatt Advertising Director
Timbrriey nuwus. CecdU Gere
<uni uiiua Curib Awciumi^ nepicacniuuvcs
Dorothy Brennan and Brenda Clemmons Moore ..Graphic Artists
William Manning J*ressman
Lo i Li tie apt uiiuc jwwOi'ii r*c?>iiiuft
PAGE 4 -A, THURSDAY, MAY 19, 1994
Help 'Coastal DWI7
Save Hassle, Lives
Everyone thinks it's only the other guy who's unfit to drive
after consuming a couple of beers over a seafood platter. Case in
point: Last summer, a New Jersey municipal prosecutor who had
worked to have his state's iegai intoxication ievei changed from
,i() to .(Ms percent bioou alcohol was chargcd with drunken dri
ving at Sunset Beach. If he'd known about Sunset Beach Police
Department's reputation for zero-tolerance, he'd probably have
steered clear of the place. He was convicted in Brunswick
County District Court and is appealing the verdict.
Beginning this month, the State Highway Patrol will conduct
a summer-long driving-while-impaired enforcement program
with Brunswick and sever, other coastal counties. "Coastal DWI
'94." to run between Memorial Day and Labor Day, is funded by
a $75,(X)0 grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program.
'I lie grant allows the Highway Patrol to allocate more troopers to
work with local police and sheriff's departments, concentrating
enforcement on DWI violations.
Highway Patrol Commander Col. Robert A. Barefoot says
people tend to be a little more relaxed when they vacation at the
beach, and aren't as careful about drinking and driving as they
are at home. If we're honest with ourselves, we locals know it's
true. Vacationers do all kinds of things here that they're too smart
to do back in Gastonia or Lumberton ? like crossing a busy street
without looking both ways, walking barefoot through a fire ant
mound, swimming in a thunderstorm, or driving to the store for
ice alter they've already had a few too many.
Folks in these parts who rely on tourism for their living tend
to cringe at law enforcement projects or government sanctions
which might subject visitors to unexpected hassle. And getting a
DWI would unquestionably qualify as one.
"Coastal DWI '94" is going to happen, and South Brunswick
Islanders who serve and rely on visitors can make the best of it
by lending a hand. If rental agents, waiters and waitresses, store
clerks and other service workers take the time to mention the
DWI crackdown to their customers, two purposes can be served.
A word of warning to a tourist may spare him or her from an ex
pensive, humiliating experience with long-term repercussions. Or
it could save the precious life of a visitor or resident.
Too Little , Too Lote
Thanks for the information, but it's too little, too late. You're going to
have a hard sell ahead.
That's what one member of the public told a frustrated Brunswick County
Board of Education at a recent, hasti
ly-called public hearing on the
He was right The hearing was at
tended mainly by school system em
ployees and their spouses, and a hand
ful of parents who didn't also work
for the schools. That's because the
hearing was called only after some
candidates for the school board talked
up the idea at primary time, and after
county weeklies were published. Too bad, because taking a budget directly
to the public can be a very effective way to win taxpayers' support for im
provements and to defend legitimate past expenditures.
The hearing was a beginning, and may set the precedeni for future boards
cf In Hn more exnlainino and more wllino if vr?n will nf
? l ? ? i- a ? luuj L. . -i ? n..? v j w* :? _i_ e ,L .
M.I1UUI IKU1& OIIU .tuniui UUUKU Ibuutau. put I UUUU1 ll UIU I IIUL1I |UI use
current board's efforts to sell its 1994-95 budget.
Those who attended received a summary of the budget and saw overhead
transparencies that summed up needs in various areas But most had had no
chance to actually study the budget, not enough to have many questions
about it. They still didn't get that chance after the hearing, when the board
insisted that attendees return their copies of the budgets because they had
not been adopted by the board. They were told that a copy was available for
public inspection at the Board of Education office in Southport. as required
Never mind that, adopted or not, they were public documents, that the
money had already been spent to prepare and distribute beaucoup copies of
them, and that these were people who had taken the trouble to come to a
hearing and were interested in trying to understand a very complex, but im
The speaker who called the school board on its timing was right about
something else too: the board of education needn't be afraid of the public,
but should consider us as people who share their concerns about education
and make efforts to keep us informed about what they're doing and why.
Too bad they didn't hear what he said.
? > a .
Ibe La wson's i.c ii&L IkJ sui(M
after-Hits C(ffimM.3l&K! Don? ao away'*
!t 5 Lovelier The ^omnrl T i mn Ar/M inrl
11 W fc-N/T VMWI; ? I IW WWWI IVI I II I IV #^%l V/U I ivJ
"You know,"* said my mom's
fnCuu Luitu, WiKjm, Scfiac of ituinor
is as dry as a rice cake but as re
freshing as a beverage you'd wash
one down with, "This is a whole lot
nicer than having two or three hun
dred people you don't really care
"Yep," I replied. "As long as you
don't need the gifts."
We were sitting on a veranda at
Asheville's Grove Park Inn Country
Club enjoying the elegant cham
pagne brunch at my sister's wedding
last Sunday. It was a small group ?
just 30 or so family members and
best friends. The ceremony was
brief and intimate, and there wasn't
a dry eye in the house.
The brunch was delicious ? a
roast turkey, home -baked breads,
fresh fruits and an array of nibbles
like bite-size salmon quiche, tiny
mushroom tarts and mini-croissants
stuffed with cheese. There was no
wedding cake; Brenda and Dave
upteu for bread pudding and cheese
In most cases, second (or should I
*wi V u/??<WiniK an? a
* ~0"" ? - ?
lot more fun than first ones. The
bride and groom have generally
been around the block a few times
and are more interested in creating a
warm atmosphere than in putting on
Brides and grooms are generally
given more social latitude the sec
ond time around. And those of us
old enough to have attended dozens
(hundreds?) of virtually identical
wedding receptions (nuts, mints,
punch, four-tiered cake with that
icky sugar-and-Crisco frosting...) are
glad of it.
The hotel took care of everything,
so my sister and 1 were able to spend
some time together before the wed
ding, pretty much just hanging
out ? which, beiicve me. beats the
heck out of hanging bows.
They said they didn't want gifts,
2=d icsss of us ignored then;. Sui
instead of toasters and Crock Pots,
the presents were meaningful and
fun ? a beautiful blanket with thou
sands of Mama's loving stitches in
They're Still Rolling,
It 's only rock 'n ' roll
Bui I like it.
? Jagger & Richards
? ? ?
Guess who just got tickets to see
the "Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band
in the World?"
That's right. This fall, Lynn and I
will celebrate her 40th birthday with
The Rolling Stones, a group whose
founding members recently reached
the ripe young age of 50 and gave
new inspiration In n? crav-hairrH
! ackers try ins hard to not fade sway.
We likewise commemorated her
35th birthday when the group last
toured America in 1989. It was her
first Stones concert and my fifth.
In general, my musical tastes
have mellowed over the years. I still
enjoy some of the more artistic rock
ers ? like rhe Clash, Elvis Costello,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Red Hot Chili
Peppers ? but nowadays I'm more
likely to put on a Mozart concerto or
some '50s jazz than the latest radio
But the Rolling Stones arc anoth
er matter. I've been a lifetime sub
scriber since I first heard "Get Off
My Cloud" in 1965. I can still re
member each Stones concert as if it
When they came to America in
1969, Madison Square Garden sold
out two shows in a matter of lw?~
while ! wan muck in nigj school
Then word got out that a local "head
shop" had 50 pairs of tickets to sell
beginning at noon one Sunday.
A friend and 1 stayed up all night
and parked my mom's 1962 Chevy
outside the shop door at 2 a.m.
About three hours later, we were
awakened by some very bad har
monica playing just outside the car.
We raised our heads to see a dozen
sleepy faces already in line ahead of
By 8 o'clock, there was a major
"happening" on the street, with a
crowd of more than 100 long-haired
hippie-type people lining the side
walk, listening to Stones tapes and
doing ail those kooky things folks
did in the '60s.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Maybe Sunset Islanders Should Secede
To I he editor:
I recently read a copy of a letter from Mason
DaiUCl. llldyUI Ul Svii? m 1 tO 'mC tU(! UHlC
residents of the community regarding the Sunset
Beach Taxpayers Association and the proposed
sewer system. Barber's letter is the latest attack
in a long line of attacks on the SBTA by town of
ficials. and is in reality a veiled attack on the resi
dents and homeowners of the island since the ma
jority of SBTA members arc full-time or part-time
island resident:;. It is a disgrace that a mayor and
town council repeatedly attack the property own
ers' association, which represents the majority of
the community's taxpayers.
Barber has said that the sewer referendum
passed by "an overwhelming majority." Let's
look at what this really means. The referendum
passed by 184 to 76 votes. Should we 2,000- plus
island property owners quietly accede to less than
200 residents, many of whom have tics to local
uCVCiOpCis? I taaaiak mil, Wv iiavC IUU IIIUCII di
It is unfortunate that the majority of property
owners and taxpayers may have to resort to legal
steps to have any say on decisions affecting their
lives and property. However, it is crystal clear that
the Sunset Beach Town Council has no intention
of allowing the island residents and property
owners to have any voice in decisions concerning
the town, even though the island provides the li
on's share of financing to support the community
This has been confirmed by the appointment of
a third mainland member to the Water and Sewer
Authority, leaving the island with no voice on the
I read in the Beacon that the Easter SBTA
meeting brought forth the usual joke of seceding
from the town, the state and the USA. What
>11 u*_*. iik w<n iiiai UICIC dp)?c<ticu. u?l inc first
time, to he a serious discussion of this possibility
(from the town, of course, not the state and coun
I believe Sunset Beach may be the only island
in North Carolina which includes a mainland
portion. Perhaps it is not possible to have one
government for two distinctly different and physi
cally separated places. I think the time has come
to look into the possibility of establishing the is
land of Sunset Beach as a separate town.
The writer identifies herself as a Sunset Beach
(More Letters, Following Page)
it, a cozy two-person hammock, a
dozen perfect long-stemmed red ros
es and, from me, a freezer full of
butterbeans and homemade veg
etable soup. (If you gave someone
frozen produce as a gift for a first
wedding, they'd have you institu
But the best gift of all went to the
guests on the bride's side ? being
with our sweet, wonderful Brenda
on the happiest day of her life.
Every now an$S then, there's noth
ing like a nice long road trip by
yourself. I got one by employing the
excuse that I needed to go up to
Asheville a couple of days early to
provide prenuptial moral support.
I left Thursday and made it a
point not to drive on one inch of in
terstate highway. I renewed my ac
quaintance with every Main Street
along Highway 9 from Loris to
Spartanburg, including Cheraw, my
hometown, where everything looks
the same as last time I was there five
or six years ago.
? ,,v,v ** scmcthisj comfort in**
about leisurely travel on a familiv
route, remembering when those old
gas stations were still gas stations,
when the drugstore with the Butter.
On i nanksgiving night we nn
our family feasts anH toov a
bus to Manhattan for my first big
rock concert, which also featured
blues master B.B. Kina and a ?m*m
known back then as The Ike and
Tina Turner Revue."
Tina Turner had just begun the
"rough" side of her trademark
Proud Mary" rendition when an
other woman danced onto the stage
with her back to the audience and
her head concealed by a huge rabbit
h=?. A? "wylJia' on , ~v:r"
cnorus beean. sue whioned oft the
hat grabbed a spare microphone and
wailed a gravel -throated harmony
t"?i could only urine from one per
son ? Janis Jopiin!
?aP* Stones themselves were mag
nificent, from the opening chords of
Jumpin' Jack Flash" through Mick
Jagger's demonic "Midnight
Rambler" to the final echoes of
"Street Fighting Man."
That night I discovered something
interesting: Although one person
can't balance for more than a few
seconds uti the back of 5 fukiiag aJu
minum chair, a row of 20 people can
stay perched on a row of seat
for an hour if they hold on to each
other and dance in unison.
Movie footage taken during the
show was later used in the film
"Gimme Shelter." (A sharp-eyed
viewer can find little teen-aged me
in the 12th row jumping up and
down under Mick Jagger's ann.)
Three years later, the Stones were
back. And so was I. This time on the
Fourth of July at Philadelphia's JFK
Stadium. Opening the show was a
rising star named Stevie Wonder,
who finished nis set wisn Jagger
singing harmony on a new hit single
Keith Richards was his usual in
temperate self, kicking off the holi
day celebration by chugging a half
bottle of Jack Daniels and proclaim
ing. "I drink to your independence'"
before leading the band through a
rollicking set from their newest (and
arguably best) album. "Exile on
I somehow missed the 1975 tour,
but managed fo score tickets to the
next ont in 1978. That was the be
ginning of the Stones' "Big Stage"
cup ice cream sign out front really
sold Buttercup ice cream.
When you're driving alone, it's
okay to sing real loud, not stop for
lunch and explore every factory out
let store along the way.
It may not sound like much to
you, but it's the closest thing I've
had to a vacation in a blue moon...
? ? ?
Climb up from Tryon to Hen
dersonville on Highway 176, then
down through Teny's Gap into
Biltmore Village, and there's no
denying that this is a special kind of
spring in the high country. Even the
most jaded mountaineers will tell
you they've never seen it prettier.
Rhododendrons are blooming in
the lower elevations, the roadsides
are exploding with wildflowers and
the foliage is as brilliant and rich
and thick as you can imagine.
Surrounded by all that extraordi
nary beauty, it's no wonder that
folks are.. .complaining bitterly. Ev
erywhere you go you hear constant
sniffling and sneezing, as western
North Carolina's allergy index soars
?v ??v r? uviyno.
But for this tired tourist, it was a
welcome change of scenery and
greenery ? even taking it in through
itchy, watering eyes.
performances, when the floor of
Madison Square Garden was trans
formed into a giant lotus flower with
huge petals folded high into the air.
Th? ?|?au/ h?oan nuiotlu ?*?
**" --0? ~
blackness, with 300 steel drummers
playing from 300 different locations
in the audience. Then thousands of
tiny lights began flashing in bizarre
patterns along the walls and ceiling.
As the light show reached a dis
orienting frenzy, the steel drummers
started marching down the aisles to
A ? .? - ?
???v iuiim a lunwi. UIC UlttC
they rnrhnl the ?ti?. their him
had changed to "Sympathy for the
Kichards' guitar picked up the
rhythm from inside the flower.
There was a nimble of Bill Wymar.
bass, a few smacks of Charlie Watts'
snare drum and suddenly Jagger's
face came leering down from one of
the flower petals. The lotus unfolded
to the familiar refrain "Please allow
me to introduce myself..."
1 saw the Stones again ? on
Keith's 39th birthday ? at a !98!
Hampton, Vt, concert that was
filmed for a cable-TV special. It had
sold out before I got tickets. But fate
came to the rescue a few days before
the show, when a guy who had extra
seats approached me in a Nags Head
He had noticed the Rolling Stones
trademark ? a big red mouth with
the tongue sticking cut painted on
the back of my van and figured I
was someone who deserved tickets
I wholeheartedly agreed and bought
all he had.
It was eight years later, after a
band break-up and reconciliation,
before the Rolling Stones toured the
U.S. again. Lynn and I drove to
Birmingham, Alabama, where a
friend had organized a very large
party and chartered a bus to cany
the celebrants to the show.
From their latest hits to their old
est favorites, the Stones performed
better than I'd seen them in 25
years. Now they're coming back for
what will likely be the final tour by
the most enduring (and still the best)
band in the brief history of rock and
I wouldn't miss it for the world.