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RAGE 4 -A. THURSDAY. JUNE 2. 1994
Purchase May Serve
Calabash Majority, But
Leaves Many Questions
It remains to be seen what will happen to the South Bruns
wick Water and Sewer Authority, and to downtown Calabash, in
light of the Calabash commissioners' decision to buy the
Carolina Blythe sewer plant. But the situation doesn't appear
rosy for either.
Rarely has an issue divided property owners as deeply as the
question of whether any more or all of Brunswick County's wa
iwi fi CP.t communities should be served by ccstrsl sewe* systems.
And while it's certainly no mystery why most Carolina Shores
residents would favor the town buying the utility which already
serves them, the move is sure to re ignite the ever-smoldering ill
will between the merchants and restaurateurs of "old Calabash"
and the retirees who inhabit Carolina Shores.
There are legitimate reasons to question the commissioners'
methods in making the decision. Not the least of these is that the
committee recommending the purchase was comprised solely of
Carolina Blythe customers. Or that the opportunity was seized to
vote when sewer proponent Ed Schaack was out of town, forcing
the mayor to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Then there's the puzzling matter of the board agreeing to pay
the full $4.5 million asking price for the Carolina Blythe without
no attempt at further negotiation. One commissioner fended off a
challenge to that proposition by saying, "We've jerked this guy
(Carolina Blythe owner Billy Burnett) around for so long..." One
would be hard-pressed to come up with a more lame justification
for parting with $45 million in taxpayers' money.
All that having been said, it nonetheless remains the right of
the board of commissioners to buy the utility. And if the commis
sioners didn't feel a great deal of pressure fiiom a majority of vot
ers, they probably wouldn't have voted to do so.
Perhaps in the long run the majority of Calabash residents
will have had their best interests served by this purchase. But the
commissioners' actions left little doubt tfut they'll be in no hurry
to try to accommodate the critical wastewater dispo&l deeds of
the downtown merchants. And don't expect them to fell all over
themselves trying to get involved in seeking a regional solution
to the regional problem of estuarine water quality. That's too bad.
Rain On My Parade
Give me just a little bit more.
Rain, that is.
Out of the office and on the road more than usual these past few
week* I've been lintwino in rii?
radio, checking out the region's
new station mix. Maybe it's just
"rain on the brain" but it seems
like they're giving a lot of play to
the song, "Listen To The Rhythm
of the Falling Rain." One station
plays Ricky Nelson's original
tune, another plays a Nashville
inspired version. Switch stations
and I get more water music, with
a classical twist Switch again and sadly, it's "A Rainy Night In
Oh, it may not be an official drought, but at our house the lack of rain
is beginning to assume overlarge proportions. Judging from conversa
tions with others, it's the same thing all over. Rain? or rather, the lack of
rain ? is on all our minds whether we realize it or not It may even be in
fluencing our selection of music.
"Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day."
Did my sisters and I ever hang a quilt over upturned chairs on the
front porch, curl up under it and peek out as a slow early summer drizzle
fell on the front lawn? Seems like a long time ago.
If we were kids right now, Jean, Carol and I would be out oo the front
lawn, doing our version of a Cherokee rain dance, possibly under a water
hose draped over a oak tree limb and set on misL
Meanwhile Don and I wake up to the swish of a neighbor's overhead
sprinkler, an early reminder of our own watering chores ahead, and retire
discussing the next day's watering strategy. This routine is so familiar we
could do it in our sleep, and sometimes do. Don's been known to move
water hoaes from one spot in the yard to another in his dreams (or is that
nightmares?); he's almost to that point again.
"Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven."
At least we have hoses to move, an abundant supply of water and a
yard wH mmwmIi nor piddling efforts can make a difference, a small
voice notes. Friends who have large gardens or who farm without irriga
tion are iu ?? warn e wipe, sad the ir family's food supply, perhaps liveli
hood, is threatened.
Right now every bone in my body, like every flower in my yard,
craves rain. It's dry.
"Just singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.
What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again."
The other night I dreamed about a summer walk along Franklin Sfceet
in Chapel Hill, it was June i974, a National Scientx Foundation summer
school program. Three couples had been to see the tnovie "Z." On ocr
way back to Speacef uwunMjr, waste ibe giris were saying, it starred 10
rain. Not a hard summer afternoon thunderstorm or a squall that chills to
the bone, but one of those soft, caressing rains. Cool, refreshing, even ro
mantic. Without a care in the world we jutf strolled along, arm in arm,
singing our favorite James Ifcylor tunes.
Everything's In The Perspective
I was at !*>?! 17 yram old before !
heard our most recent national holi
day referred to as anything other
than "Yankee Memorial Bay." Every
May 30, only one store in my home
town would done, as best I remem
ber. Everyone else did business as
The Memorial Day I knew took
place every May 10. Several things
about it were predictable. The girts
would wear white dresses for the
walk to Ofe! St David's Episcopal
Church cemetery and the ceremony
beside the Monument for the Coo
federate Dead. The guys wore white
shifts, long pants, clip-on ties and
their Sunday shoes.
It would be summer already in
that unshaded part of the cemetery,
sometimes hot enough to make least
a couple of kids black out and get
sent home for the day. I did myself
once, and have a Yague memory of
being relieved to be sitting home
sipping sweet tea and watching "The
Secret Storm" instead of roasting,
bored to catatonia, in that oid bone
There would be a broad gap of
understanding between several hun
dred sweating and squirming gram
mar school kids and the reverent,
gracious, white-gloved United
Daughters of the Confederacy who
had assembled us there. Looking
back, the Daughters were staiwan in
the face of the inevitable ? that we
children of the '50b and *60i would
hundred years were gone. The times
they were a-changin'.
In the late '70s, Yankee Memorial
Day became just Memorial Day,
though I'm sure May 10 still holds a
place in the heart of Southern tradi
tionalists. Like most other holidays
Memorial Day was resituated to
Monday for the convenience of bu
reaucrats and schoolchildren, though
to this day many Southern school
systems ? including some in our
own region ? do not suspend classes
in observance ot it
I grew up much more familiar
with the Civil War than with the
World War which had ended less
than a decade before my birth. The
Civil War was all around, in the can
nonball scars on the trees in front of
our library and in the blood on the
stairway at St David's. It was in the
tlag that flew over the state capi
tal ? and still does, to the chagrin of
the banner of Southern tradition. A
many and the insistence of a few.
But from my little-girl worldview,
it was more alive in the beau* of
these proud Daughters of the Con
federacy than anywhere else.
I'd been trying to feel sorry for
myself all week, being torn between
my very sick nv-nonuicleosis-suffer
ing teenage son and my job.
His fever began more than three
-r.-L" ago, coming and goisj; his
fighting it and going to school any
way, until it set in with a vengeance.
No amount of medicine seemed to
budge the thermometer from 103;
his throat swelled and began looking
like...well, something you wouldn't
want to look at.
I shuttled my work back and forth
from the office to home, being sure I
was home as much as possible to
pour juice and dispense pi!!* As
luck would have it, my boy was
sickest last Tuesday, the one day of
the week when I have no choice but
to be in the office, the day when ine
paper goes to press.
We made it through somehow,
and by Friday he had turned the cor
ner. TTie fever broke, the throat start
ed clearing up, the appetite came
back. My guilt started to subside ?
those nauseous, sleep-depriving
torn-in-half feelings every working
mother knows and hates.
By Friday, 1 was tired to the core.
looking to a in
which I'd have to try to help my aon
ford s river of homewortc he'd been
too sick to start on earlier. It was
then that Alicia Bates Pottorff came
in the office door and made me want
to kick myself.
Alicia is the Supply woman
whose son 15- week -old son Logan
underwent a heart transplant March
24, the youngest patient ever to have
done so at UNC Children's Hospital.
Logan was supposed to have
come home to his daddy, Eddie
Pottorff. and sister. Heather Nicole,
a couple of weeks ago. Instead, he's
back in intensive care with compli
Alicia continues to bum up the
highway between here and Chapel
Hill, trying to be by Logan's side as
much as possible while fulfilling her
obligations to the family back home.
All this is intermingled with worry
ing about the staggering medical
bills to be faced by a family which
until February 17 was like so many
Olhcnr? ? tuw Wiu-pMu to fo?
Medicaid and not well-off enough to
afford $700 a month in health insur
Seeing Alicia snapped things into
perspective for me. If there's any
thing you can do to help with
Logan's bills, write a check to Chil
dren's Organ Transplant Association
and mail it or take it to Nations
Bank. 4920 Main St. Shallotte.
Were in fawbte noiv
Thety srael/ WooM!
Save Your Marks For The Real Beasts
Don't know the reason
I stayed here all season,
With nothing to show
But this brand new tattoo;
But it's a real beauty,
A Mexican cutey,
How it got here
1 haven't a dm.
? Jimmy Buffctt
I was reading in the Sunday paper
that New Hangover County is think
ing about pawing a law that would
require all vicious dogs to get a tat
too so they can be easily identified.
This is a great idea. It means that
the next time you are walking down
a Wilmington sidewalk and a
mouth-foaming pit-bull sinks his ca
nines into your leg, all you have to
do is roll up his sleeve.
If the animal has a bloody dagger
tattooed on his bicep, you will know
for sure that you have been bitten by
a genuine, certified Grade-A vicious
dog. This will leave no doubt in
your mind when you report the at
tack to police.
"So you say it was a vicious dog
that bit you?"
"That's right, officer. His hair was
cut in a Mohawk. He was wearing a
black leather jacket and steel-toed
engineer boots and he had a ten-pen
ny nail through his noae."
"Sorry sir, but we can't jump to
conclusions based strictly on appear
"Well, he also had this tattoo..."
"Hold it ri?ht there! I'll alert the
The newspaper story says veteri
narians will be able to tattoo all ani
mals that are determined to be 'Vi
cious, dangerous or potentially dan
gerous." I wonder if that means dif
ferent markings will be applied for
varying degrees of anti-social be
Perhaps the proven man-eaters,
the ones who eat letter carriers for
breakfast, would have really nasty
tattoos, like leering skulls with
blood dripping from their teeth, em
blazoned over the motto "Attack
'Em All? Let God Sort 'Em Out!"
The merely dangerous dogs could
get by with a Ralston- Purina check
erboard logo over the words "Live
lb Bite? Bite lb Live."
Trouble it, once word got around
that only the baddest junkyard dogs
could wear the hard-core insignias,
all sorts of wanna be mongrels
would be snapping at every human
in sight, just for the status of scoring
a cool tattoo.
No tough-guy hound in town
v ould want to be seen with a sissy
looking "Mom" valentine etched in
his bide. Dogs confined to animal
shelters would start using straight
pins ana India ink to give each otter
pound-house tattoos: with "Love"
on the knuckles of one paw and
"Hate" on the other.
This would surely lead to a major
fashion fad, especially among your
more respectable AKC -registered
types who want to emulate the "dan
gerous doggy" look. Before you
know it, you'd have prissy -looking
poodles prancing around with little
roses and unicorns showing through
their close-cropped fur.
In no time, there would be dog
tattoo parlors springing up. Next,
you'd have whole tenderloin dis
tricts filled with K-9 bus, petting
parlors and hoochie-koochie -poo
All along the waterfront, dogs
would be waking up with horren
dous hangovers and bandages on
their arms, wondering exactly when
during the previous night they ac
quired the colorful scab that looks
vaguely like a Samoyed in a bikini.
This sort of moral decline has oc
curred before. In fact, the seedier
side of dogdora was once captured
in a series of paintings that include
the world-renowned "Dogs Shooting
Pool" and the much beloved "Dogs
Playing Poker." Prints of these mas
terpieces are popular decorations for
basement recreation rooms and are
frequently available for sale at fine
thrift shops and yard sales
A close look at the cigar-smoking
bulldog who's lining up a bank shot
in one of the painting clearly reveals
ibc source uf ail this doggy debauch
ery ? a tattoo.
b this really what we want for our
puppy population? 1 don't think so.
But that's what we can look forward
to if this govenuncnt sanctioned
mutt mutilation is allowed to go for
I suggest that, before we apply
this primitive mean? of identifica
tion to helpless animals, we should
experiment first with a more deserv
ing species of guinea pig. (1 use the
Why not tattoo the forehead* of
violent criminals? Nowadays even
the most serious offenders only stay
behind bars long enough to learn
new ways of preying on the public.
So why not give us a way of identi
fying THEM instead of worrying
about a few stray dogs?
A woman living alone is not like
ly to be fooled by the phony deliv
ery man staring back at her through
a front-door peephole if he has
"RAPIST" emblazoned above his
Gun shop owners won't need to
bother with a background check on
a customer who wants to buy a shot
gun if the guy has "ARMED ROB
BER'' tattooed beneath the visor of
School officials will have suae
pretty serious explaining tn do if
they hire a man whose forehead has
"PEDOPHILE" written all over it
If, as is days past, we're going to
use scarlet letters to identify mm
aces to society, lets put them where
they will do the most good.
LETTERS TO THE EDfTOB rS
He Takes Exception To Holden Beach 'Goof
To the editor
Regarding Doug flutter's front
page artkic Rc-i Emms Office Too
Close lb Ocean," May 19:
Only some weeks ago you pub
lished a really inflammatory article
wherein Dwight Carroll alleged he
was elected, apparently in part, to
get Holden Beach rid of the town
manager. Gas Ulrich ? reportedly a
In the May 19 issue, you report a
real estate office building too cioae
to die oceantront and dearly in con
tradiction to the building codes Car
roll, who was the building inspector,
blithely staled, "It was a goof and
now it's in CAMA's hands Typ
ically, Dwight presents it as a goof,
rather than his error. Amazing.
Dwight's strongest talent seems to
be able to show error or blame any
where other than at hi* own
doorstep. I would. Kn mrynt,
Carroll with an amazing propensity
to be able to put both feet in hi*
mouth and at the same time still
loudly proclaim hit worth.
Charles EL Stokes Jr.
Mr Stokes notes that he is a Hotdem
Brack property owner.
(More Letters, FoMiwtag P?g?)