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INSIDE THIS SECTION:
Meet The VISTAS, 4
Births Announced, 7
under the sun B:
An Outspoken, Csvic-Minded Dynamo
Ina Mae Minlz
I Serving 1 3th Year
' As Bolivia's Mayor
BY DOUG HOTTER
V f Vi T WWT
think it's a wonderful place to live if you like a quiet
place where you don't have to worry about too much
This is Bolivia, in the words of Ina Mae Mintz. She
knows the community as well as anyone. She's lived
there for more than SO years and has served as mayor of
the sleepy Brunswick County town for the past 13.
It's a town where about 85 percent of the 300 resi
dents, including Mintz, are senior citizens and where a
once-thriving business district has all but evaporated in
Still, it's home to Mintz, now in her seventh term as
mayor, and she loves it In Mintz, Bolivia has an outspo
ken and civic-minded leader. A dynamo. A woman who
describes herself as "aggressive."
The oldest of five daughters, Mintz grew up helping
her sisters and has never stopped helping others.
"I don't ever remember being a person that sat
around, even as a teenager," she said in a recent inter
view. "I was born that way. I've always been a volun
teer. I've always been active in anything community
That includes town politics, women's organizations
and the Bolivia Lions Club, which recently elected
Mintz as its first female president.
"I think the reason I got the job was nobody else
wanted it," she said modestly. "They always say, 'Let
Ina Mae do it,' so I got it."
Mintz, who joined the club a few years ago when
Lions International opened its organization to women,
describes Bolivia Lions as a "real active" group
Its ongoing projects include making fruit baskets for
home-bound people. "We don't win too many awards
but we do a lot of things," Mintz said.
Mintz is also one of the leaders of the Brunswick
County Council on the Status of Women, part of a na
tionwide organization tiiat primarily provides training
for underprivileged women.
The local group collects food three times per year and
gives it to the Brunswick County \folunteer and Infor
mation Center for distribution to needy families.
"One group has collected as much as 20 barrels of
food at Wilson's in Southport in one day," Mintz says
proudly. "It's one of the things that 1 really enjoy doing
because it feeds hungry people."
Despite her work with the women's organization,
Mintz insists that she is not a feminist.
"i respect ine authority of men, and I think they
should be the heads of households. I don't like belliger
ent women," said Mintz, who raised three children and
has six grandchildren.
Born in Wilmington, she moved to Brunswick County
as a child and later to Bolivia "as a young bride" of
Foster Mintz. She and her husband, who died 12 years
ago, ran a car dealership in Bolivia for over SO years.
Mintz said Bolivia's town board has been busy re
cently. For the last 18 months, officials have been work
ing with the Cape Fear Council of Governments to up
date ordinances and zoning regulations.
The town recently established zoning authority in an
extraterritorial area, which takes in property within a
mile of the town limits.
"We are upgrading this place. Wc have already up
graded this place a whole lot with zoning laws," she
said. "I think we've made a lot of progress."
Bolivia has one full-time employee, manager Ina
King. "Miss King is wonderful. I don't want to brag on
her too much or someone will hire her away from us,"
When Mintz isn't involved with town affairs or civic
work, she likes to spend her time crocheting, doing
crossword purrles and traveling.
The mayor also stays busy taking care of the veg
etable gardens behind the Danford Road residence she's
called home for the last 31 years.
**I get out there and dig. That's my therapy. Instead of
tc the I cut there ?r.d iu uiv y oiu, ahc
"I could go to the spa for two hours and have nothing
to show for it but wet clothes. Or I can go out in the gar
den and dig for two hours and I'll have wet clothes and
the prospect of nice vegetables."
Mintz says Bolivia wasn't always the slumberous
town it is today. It once had a significant business dis
"We had seven grocery stores here at one time, two
car dealerships, one time we had a doctor here," Mintz
said. "It was certainly larger than it is now. We had a
saw mill, just a lot of things when I came here to live."
So what happened?
"The majority of the young people that go away for
an education don't come back. The old people die and
there's nobody to carry on the business. That's basically
what I think happened. The ones that could carry on the
business just moved away. There's not many young peo
ple that live here."
Bolivia hasn't had a grocery store in years, but Mintz
said she thinks the townspeople and folks around
Bolivia could support one.
"We need a grocery store very bad. This territory is
big when it comes to the outlying communities. I'm
convinced a grocery store would pay off here," she said.
Realistically, however, Mintz says she doesn't expect
things in Bolivia to change anytime soon.
"The availability of property right here in the town is
very slim. That's one of the problems. There's no prop
erty for sale. That's a hindrance," she said. "I think if we
had a lot of property for sale around here you'd see a big
change. I really do. The few people that have extra prop
erty don't want to part with it."
Bolivia's voters must be pleased with the job their
mayor has done.
Since defeating incumbent alderman Berkley B.
Mercer in the 1981 mayor's race, 33 to 23, Mintz has
not faced a challenger in the past six elections.
In the Oct 29, 1981, issue of the Beacon, mayoral
candidate Mintz was quoted as saying, "I want Bolivia
to continue to be a good place to live. I am concerned
about my community."
Over the years, her philosophy hasn't changed.
The first Ume I went in a sat down with four men
looking at me I felt pretty silly," Mintz said of her first
town meeting as mayor.
Eventually, the makeup of the town beard changed.
Mintz now heads up a group that includes three women
and one man.
"I don't know whether I'll file next time or not.
There's right much involved," she sighs. "I thought
about not running last time, but our town manager was
new and she was used to me. I'm playing it by ear."
BLACK SKIMMERS art familiar birds aiong tke skoreHmes of our benches, inlets and marshes.
Skimmers Are Specialists
BY BILL PAYER
Many birds are unique specialists when it comes to
finding their food. One of the moat remarkable and
~ highly specialized birds is the
Black Skimmer, a tern-like bird
16 to 20 indies long with a
wingspan of 40 to 50 inches.
Skimmers use their strong wings
and peculiar bill to skim just
above the water in search of their
When Samuel de Cham plain
explored the North American
coast, be recorded in "Voyages"
these words about the skimmers:
We saw also a seabird with a Mack beak, ike upper
part slightly aquiline, four inches long and in the form
of a lance!, namely the lower part representing the
handle and die upper part the blade which is thin,
sharp on both sides, and shorter by a third than the
other, whtck circumstance is a matter of astonishment
to many persons, who cannot comprehend how it is
possible for the bird to eat with such a beak
It is extremely difficult for the bird to pick up
qb lend, ??(! Hk head and bill must be
turned sideways to accomplish that feat. But the bill is
well designed for use in skimming the water, and
when the lower mandible is under the surface, small
fish and shrimp are quickly seized when the bill
Sometimes the bird may make a "cut" or "line" in
the water and then return to pick up the curious min
nows who have come to investigate. Young buds,
which must be able to feed on land, have bills about
the same size and only develop longer lower
mandibles when they begin to feed in flight.
Black Skimmers nest on dredge spoil areas where
the birds form shallow scrapes in the sand. Four or
five pale bluish to buff eggs with heavy markings of
brown are laid, and the female docs most of the incu
bating. Skimmers range from Massachusetts and Long
Island southward, and the birds winter in North
Carolina and the Gulf Coast to the south. They prefer
to feed in coastal bays, inlets, mouths of riven and
marsh channels, and may be seen in early morning
and late evening skimming along the beach.
Champlain was astonished at this fascinating bird
and its unique feeding habits Those of us who take
the time to watch Black Skimmers can become just as
fascinated at their behavior and their methods of
skimming for food.
Hoiden Beach Turtle Watch
Ready To Adopt Out Nests
Holden Beach Turtle Watch is looking for a few good
foster parents ? enough to assist turtle hatchlings from at
least 30 nests make their way safely to the ocean.
A meeting for all groups or individuals interested in
adopting a next will be held Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m.
at Holden Beach Town Hall.
"Anyone who wants to adopt a nest really needs to
come to this meeting," said Judy Bryan, program coor
dinator at Holden Beach. There are new forms to fill
out for the state and they need to be tokl how to do it"
Last year sea turtles laid 4,863 eggs in 42 nests along
the strand at Holden Beach, with a 90 percent hatch rate,
Bryan said. Volunteers escorted 4382 babies to the wa
IVo nests were inundated by the ocean and most of
their eggs lost During a storm last Oct 30, she said,
waves destroyed a dune that housed one of the nests.
"The baby turtles had begun hatching after having
been overdue for 23 days," said Bryan. "They saved 10
babies but there had been nearly ISO eggs."
Volunteers who "adopt" a nest agree to have someone
stand guard at the assigned nest several hours each
night, starting with the 55th night after the eggs were
laid, to watch for signs of hatching.
They are also expected to shape a foot-high mound
around the nest to prevent the hatchlings ? each no larg
er than a silver dollar ? from turning toward house or
road lights instead of toward the ocean. The mound con
nects to a trench dug by other Turtle Watch volunteers.
The trench leads from the nest directly to the ocean and
must be swept dean daily by the "foster parents" for that
"We usually try to team vacationers with residents to
ensure continuity in case the nest doesn't hatch while the
vacationers are here," said Bryan.
For more information about the Hoi den Beach pro
gram, call her at 842-7242.
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