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Firefighters Are Than
feed For Saving
To the editor:
Our sincere thanks to all the many
volunteer fire departments who re
sponded and saved our house at 957
Ocean Boulevard West, Holdcn
Beach, that was in peril the moming
of Oct. 21.
How can we ever give enough
praise or monetary contributions to
these volunteers who are always
ready to serve the citizens of Bruns
Our hats arc off to them for the
fantastic job each of them did
Thanks a million.
John and Bonnie Miller
Good News, Bod News
To the editor:
1 have good news and bad news.
First of all 1 want to say that
throughout all of the organizations I
have joined in the Calabash area, I
have never met such talented, ener
getic and fun-loving retirees.
The bad news: I find most people
forgetting to put on their directional
signals when driving ? and I don't
mean three feet before turning. Not
only is this a safety factor, but it is
the law and courtesy of the road. If 1
only had written this a few weeks
ago as 1 intended, perhaps an acci
dent involving two teenagers, one of
whom was my grandson, may have
Think about it, folks. The life you
save may be your own or a loved
Also, yard sale signs bug me
when they are not taken down after
the sale ? that goes ditto with the po
We live in a lovely community;
let's keep it that way.
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legibly. Address letters to:
The Brunswick Beacon, P.O. Box 2558, Shallotte NC 28459.
Anonymous letters will not be published
To the editor:
Retired Union Elementary School
principal Clara Carter and now
member of the County Board of
Education is all eager to "walk the
walk" to respond to the electors who
"voted for change."
If It Really Happened...
"If it really happened."
That phrase from my friend
Karen ? who's worked in the crimi
nal justice system all the way from
county juvenile probation to federal
prison ? was the first time I consid
ered the possibility that Susan Smith
might be lying.
It was the night of Oct. 2V and I'd
just returned from the brain-jangling
but hilarious experience of pho
tographing the Festival By The Sea
Halloween costume contest. I started
telling Karen and Eric about the tiny
Elvis impersonator and the baby
who grabbed my hair with lollipop
covered fingers when I stopped to
ask the same thing everyone did for
those nine days upon walking into a
room with a television playing:
"Did they find them yet?"
"No. but when they do. they
won't be alive," Karen said in that
matter-of-fact way of people who've
worked around meanness long
enough to lose their awe of it.
I said I couldn't believe a carjack
ing ? much less one with a double
kidnapping? could take place in
Union, a town the size of Karen's
and my hometown
"If it really happened," she said
It was a night of turbulent, frag
mented dreams I'd spent a big part
of it surmunded by children and par
ents who loved them enough to
spend hours sewing their costumes,
who rushed home from work in time
for last-minute fittings and make-up
application, who carried them on
their hips to a deafening party in a
chilly fire house when it would have
been so much more peaceful to put
them to bed and relax with a drink
and a movie on the VC'R.
I dreamed of Jean Ixwise "Scout"
Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, run
ning through the autumn night in a
ham costume, pursued by bitter, evil
Ewell until Boo Radley comes to
her rescue and delivers her gently
back to her wise and cherishing fa
I dreamed of Nance Dude, who in
mountain lore, in Maurice Stanley's
book and in ghastly reality left her
granddaughter to die in a cold
mountain cave many years ago for
reasons no one will ever really un
I dreamed of K.im Harding, the
17-ycar-old who shot her dad in the
head as he napped on the couch after
subjecting her to a lifetime of sexual
brutality so horrific it couldn't be
fully described on tabloid television
I didn't dream of Alex and
Michael Smith ? not specifically.
Every mother is gtxxi at recogniz
ing crocodile tears, and I saw them
in Susan Smith on the news early
the next week "Don't judge her too
soon," people said to one another.
"What if she's just in shock? You
have no idea what she's going
through." No idea, indeed.
I took part in the nationwide gasp
when savvy Sheriff Wells tersely de
livered the news of her anest at
6:35, as millions of us wives and
mothers were stirring together their
familes' suppers and listening to the
I didn't spend too much time
wondering why. When you make
your living from news, and you have
friends in criminal justice, you learn
quickly that there's no comfort in
the reasons: Lots of people arc stu
pid. Lots of people are hateful. Lots
of people are ignorant.
Some people would dispose of
their children to keep from losing a
boyfriend who found them bother
Some people wouldn't think
twice about saying a black man did
it because lots of people would be
Some people wouldn't dream of
treating a yard dog as poorly as they
treat their own flesh and blood.
I don't want Susan Smith to die ?
not at the hands of a mob and not by
the decision of a jury. I want her to
live (o old age all alone in a small
cell Nothing will punish her worse
than her memory .
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She said her initial emphasis
would be to visit individual schools
to determine the effectiveness of ex
isting programs. If there is a more
cogent proof that electing school ad
ministrators to the Board of Educa
tion is a conflict of interest, I would
n't know what it is.
Who will visit the parents to ob
tain judgment about how effective
the educational programs are?
Besides, all the reports via the
media for years and the urgency of
Governor Hunt's creation of the
N.C. Standards and Accountability
Commission show that the programs
arc, academically at least, failures.
Why does Carter need such personal
extension of effort to discover the
And of course she repeats the po
litically correct item on the wish list
of school administrations to "in
volve parents in their children's edu
cation.*" Why not require teachers,
as I have suggested before, to sub
mit to parents prior to each school
year a synopsis of the courses of in
struction, together with the inten-^
tions thereof, so (hat parents will
know what is supposed to be going
on in the schools?
And cut down on teacher require
ments to submit reports to county
and state administration and use that
time to give comprehensive reports
And cut in some hot lines so par
ents can converse without formal
appointments with administrators
and board members?
The conscientious concern about
children without reaching out to par
ents in communication, and the vir
tual exclusion of parents from the
judgment of educational verity and
effectiveness, destroys the proper
role of public education in a free so
ciety and preps out children for
And parents elect administrators
to the board? I don't get it at all!
Karl E. Brandt
Don't Blame Hunt
To the editor:
In the interest of accuracy, and in
fairness to our esteemed governor, I
feel obliged to offer a correction of
one statement in your otherwise typ
ically pertinent item concerning the
Senior Tarheel Legislature in your
Oct. 27 issue. The tardiness of this
response is because I have recently
returned from a visit to Florida ?
contender for the title of Second
Best Haven State for Retirees (or
The item included the mis-state
, ment that "Ferlauto was appointed
by Gov. Jim Hunt to represent
Brunswick County in the Senior
Tarheel Legislature." Onus for se
lection of me as delegate for Bruns
wick County does not belong to the
As prescribed in the act which es
tablished the Senior Tarheel Legis
lature, selection of delegates was as
signed to the 18 State Areas on
Aging by the Department of Human
Relations, Division of Aging, in ac
cordance with procedures set forth
by that state department. Region O
Area (Cape Fear Council of Gov
ernments) had this responsibility for
Brunswick County, in addition to
Columbus, New Hanover and Pen
I pray that this information will
not result in too many headaches for
the responsible agencies. But, in any
case, our governor is absolved.
Is any apology to him called for?
Ocean Isle Beach
On Sale At
E-Z WAY GROCERY
NEW YORK DEU
WILSON S SUPERMARKET
Paid for by Jerry Jones
From the bottom of
our hearts, thanks for
vote of confidence!
My family and I are grateful to
all our friends and my
supporters for electing me
Sheriff of Brunswick County by
such a wide margin. I will
always treasure that endorse
ment and will do my best to
measure up to your expectations.
To so many who worked so
hard on my behalf during both
the primary and general
elections, I can never thank you
PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT RONALD E. HEWETT SHERIFF, ALBERT PARKER. TREASURER