North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
A Small, Goofy I
World, After All |
The rumor made the rounds at
least once a year. Someone knew
someone whose uncle had been talk
ing to someone from Disney. They
were looking at buying up a bunch
of land out at East Lake for a theme
East Lake is on the Dare County
nssinlasd, bttwecn th? Last 0??nr??
Texaco and the Manns Harbor
bridge. It ain't the middle of no
where, but you can see it from there.
The area is home to a military
bombing range ? spawning lots of
folklore about hovering green lumi
nescent UFOs spotted by late-night
travelers ? some hunting camps, the
Dare County landfill and, most re
cently, a project to reintroduce red
wolves to that part of the world. It's
a desolate, swampy place, alive in
the dark with the songs of bullfrogs
and bugs, and hours from the nearest
Wc newspaper people never
could do anything to develop the
street talk into a story with any
backbone. The Disney folks always
acted as if they thought we were
calling from the capital of Dogpatch.
i nc rumor-mongers couniercd wiui,
"Well, whadja think they were go
ing to say? When you're wanting to
buy something this big, you gotta
keep it quiet to keep the price
It was fun to reintroduce the story
every time it resurfaced, if for no
better reason than to needle the resi
dents of ritzy Southern Shores,
many of whom had fled the
Commonwealth sniffing in disgust
when Busch Gardens came to
In light of many proud Vir
ginians' outrage at the possibility of
a 3,000-acre, $650 million theme
park being developed next door to
the Manassas battlefield, some are
suggesting that Disney take a seri
ous look at North Carolina ? the
state many have referred to for
decades as "a valley of humility be
tween two mountains of conceit."
State economic development offi
cials have let Disney know that if
they can't tolerate Virginia's snub,
they're welcome to look south, par
ticularly in the economically dis
tressed corridor east of Interstate 95.
Specifically being mentioned are
sites within a couple of hours of
Brunswick ? one that includes parts
of Johnston, Wayne and Sampson
counties and another containing part
1/1 UUIUJCIII uupiui.
The noted historian C. Vann
Woodward, writing in the New
Republic, puts forth the "sacred soil"
argument against the proposed
"Disney America," which opponents
say would provoke land develop
ment and destroy the Civil War bat
tlefields at Bull Run and Manassas.
"This part of northern Virginia
has soaked up more of the blood,
sweat and tears of American history
than any other area of the country,"
he writes. "It has bred more found
ing fathers, inspired more hopes and
ideals and witnessed more triumphs
and lost causes than any other p lace
in the country. If such a past can
render a soil 'sacred,' this sliver is
the perfect venue."
Woodward and about 35 histori
ans and writers ? including such no
tables as Shelby Foote, William
Styron. Arthur Schlcsingcr Jr. and
eastern North Carolina's own Tom
Wicker ? have formed Protect His
toric America to fight the proposal
and have been scalded in opinion
picces appearing in both the Rich
mond Times-Dispatch and the New
The Times-Dispatch accuscd the
committee of elitism and "aristocrat
ic paternalism," charging that the
"iiiiugs inicSicciuais tviniuci taw
dry, appalling and vulgar" are the
very things that "provide happiness
to lots of 'jes plain folks."
William Safire, writing in the
New York Times, though himself au
thor of a critically praised novel
about the Civil War, calls the com
mittee a "pretentious amalgam of
self-appointed arbiters of culture"
and their actions "intellectually arro
Historian Woodward argues that
it's not the prospect of "misinterpre
tation of the past" that worries him
and his peers ? "with Disney it is
pretty much taken for granted" ? it's
the desecration of the region.
"We agree that 'historians don't
own history,'" he writes, "but it isn't
Disney's America, cither. Not is it
Virginia's. Every state in the coun
try sent sons to fight here for what
they believed ? right or wrong. They
helped make it a national heritage,
not a theme park."
Both sides have compelling
points. And isn't it fun to watch
smart, articulate, polite people peo
ple argue in the press for a change?
Will Disney's America end up at
the juncture of 1-66 aad U.S. 29,
which runs southwest past the War
renton, Brandy Station, Cedar
Mountain and Culpeper battlefields
ticello, Madison's Moatpelier and
Monroe's Ash Lawn?
Or it is possible that the sprawling
theme park ? including at least hou
sing units and 1,300 hotel rooms, at
tracting S million tourists a year, in
vesting $1 billion and creating
19,000 jobs ? could end up on land
now planted in tobacco, the most en
dangered and controversial crop on
the American landscape?
Stay tuned. And don't forget the
dark horse site. East Lake's been sit
ting at the gate for years.
SAvF . SAVE S SAVE: S SAVE S SAVL SA V L S SAVE S SAVE S
Check Out Our Everyday Low PrtcesI
20% to 60%
Off Retail Everyday
Choose From Hundreds
of Pieces of Bedroom
" Living Room. Dining
In Stock Ready To Do live*
Hwy. 90 Nixon's Crossroads won -s* sao-s pm
SA\*E S SAVE S SAVf S SAVL S SAVE: S SAVE ?, ytAVE ,AVE V
NOW YOUR AD CAN REACH
$6 each additional word
* * 1
OVER 120 NEWSPAPERS
(For more information, call this newspaper or...)
SIMPLY FILL OUT THIS FORM
AND SEND WITH YOUR CHECK.
(No Phone Orders. Larger order forms are available from
25 Words ? $6 each additional word over 25.
Word count: Telephone numbers (including area code) equal one
word. Post office box numbers as two words, box numbers and route
| numbers as two words. The name of the city, state and zip code each
count as one word. Other customary words count as one.
SEND TO: ~
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING DEPT.
P.O. BOX 2558, SHALLOTTE, NC 28459