Generally speaking, today’s
youngsters are just as loud as any
of the brats who came along in
earlier generations. Maybe even
Only on the Fourth of, July do
they fail to measure up to the
noise making that kids and parents
too indulged in around New Bern
in the long ago.
Nowadays, the Fourth is as
quiet as a cat tip toeing on a plush
carpet, thanks to State laws that
all but put an end to firecrackers,
blank pistols, and other explosives
that juveniles once enjoyed with
From the bust of dawn until far
into the night, things were really
popping. Leon Cohen, even in the
days when a nickle was a small
fortune, sold hundreds of dollars
worth of the stuff, while Charlie
McSorley, on the other side of
Mliddle street, did a whale of a
We hope we’re not being cranky
in saying that the abolishing of
fireworks, except for professionally
supervieed demonstrations, was
just about the smartest thing that
North Carolina ever did.
A fool with any sort of explosive
in his hand is a menace to himself
and to everyone else in fairly close
proximity. We discovered that at
a rather tender age when one of
the kids we were whooping it up
with blew two of his fingers off.
Later, The Mirror’s editor had a
painful but less disastrous mishap
of his' o\vn when a Roman candle
discharged its load in the palm of
His hand, instead of heading high
into the sky as the brilliantly
lighted fireballs were supposed to
Sparklers were less violent, of
course, but such items were for
little girls, we figured, or a sissy
who wore lace on his under pants.
No boy with any pride would in
vest his money in a harmless wand
of nothingness like that.
As a matter of fact. Independ
ence Day for all ages has degen
erated into mildness and boredom
here in New Bern, and elsewhere.
Gone are those never to be for
gotten dances that were staged an
nually in the Pagoda at Atlantic
Beach, and in the ballroom of the
Atlantic Hotel at Morehead City.
America’s top maestro, Paul
Whiteman, brought his band to the
Pagoda or more than one occasion,
and we can still recall Ben Bernie’s
appearance in Morehead’s rambling
rendezvous for the young and the
young in heart.
Cab Calloway was a coastal at
traction too, at his hollering best.
There were plenty of other name
bands on hand, down through the
years. Now it’s a juke box at the
beach. As for the Atlantic Hotel,
that historic frame structure burn
ed to ashes, carrying with it a mil
Today, when the Fourth arrives,
thousands of New Bernians prefer
to stay at home. Intimidated by
dangerous traffic conditions,
brought about by visitors from
other sections of the State, and
anxious to avoid crowded condi
tions at the seashore, they stick
close by and; fret.
To tell the truth, few of us ever
learn ’ to make the most of our
leisure time, if any. Parents parti
cularly are aware of this, since
they have to listen to their off
springs yap because there is
“nothing to do.’’ Restlessness is a
national plague, now as never be
There’s a lot about the good old
days that can best be forgotten.
Yet, it seems to us that kids used
to know how to dnun up a little ex-
citment when things got dull. In
stead of milling around aimlessly,
wishing for something to happen,
they made it happen and were
happier for it.
Maybe it’s just as well that we
don’t have any firecrackers left
The N£W BERN
IN THE HEART OF
5^ Per Copy
NEW BERN, N. C., FRIDAY, JULY 4, 1958
READY AND WATTING—ffistoric New
Bern—Jthe State’s first Capital, was already
a seasoned, 66-year-old community when
freedom rang out in Philadelphia’s Inde
As a matter of fact, it was incorporated
in 1723, before a good many of those who
signed the Declaration of Independence
were born. And in all those years before
that initial Fourth of July celebration. New
Bernians yearned for liberty.
What happened in Philadelphia was a
• stirring climax to earlier demonstrations,
not the least of which was the unrest here.
Royal Governor Josiah Martin got a good
taste of that rebellion against British rule,
when indignant citizens chased him out of
town, back in May, 1775.
The history books tell us that the first
two provincial conventions held here at
Tryon’s. Palace were in defiance of Royal
orders. This town wanted no part of tyrants.
and its citizens had the gumption to do some
thing about it.
North Carolina’s three signers of the
Declaration of Independence weren’t New
Bernians, nor, as a matter of fact, native
Tar Heels. But they exemplified in emphatic
fashion the sentiments of all North Caro
Today as then. New Bern and its neigh
boring Carolina cities from the Great Smok
ies to the broad Atlantic cherish freedom.
They may abuse it, on occasion, but they
know its worth.
Times have changed since the Liberty
Bell proclaimed its message, arid New Bern
has changed. Gone are the powdered wigs
and fancy pants, the horse-drawn rigs
rattling along dirt streets.
But man’s hope for lasting freedom will
never change, and with that hope.are his
dreams of peace and good will, for Ameri
ca and the world.
Lebanese Trouble Close
To Many New Bern Hearts
Beirut is more than a strange
name dominating grim headlines to
a considerable number of New Bern
citizens who remember Lebanon
as the place of their birth.
Loyal to the America that gave
them freedom and opportunity,
they are nonetheless concerned ov
er the bitterness and strife that is
gripping their home land today.
Their worry is passed along to
their many American-bom des
cendants here. They too share the
anxiety of their parents and grand-
over from the ones Leon Cohen
sold us. Law or no law, we’d prob
ably light them up and take one
last fling at the Fourths we used
parents. It takes more than miles
and years to sever the ties that
bind you to the place of your birth,
and elderly sons and daughters of
Lebanon in our midst are well
aware of that.
Not all of the natives of Lebanon
living here are oldsters. Joe Salem,
our City Electrical Engineer, is in
his forties. He moved to America
with other members of his family
following World War One.
Joe knew np En^ish at all when
he enrolled at Central School as a
grammar grade pupil. Yet, unbe
lievable though it may seem, he
quickly became an outstanding stu
He graduated from New Bern
High and continued to make an ex
ceptional record for himself when
he attended State College. Few New
Bernians are as well read.
Lebanon’s current violence—a
menacing international problem,
came as no surprise to Joe. “I felt
all along that bloodshed was bound
to come,’’ he says.
New Bern isn’t the only North
Carolina town with a comparatively
large number of Lebanon natives.
There are thousands of these erst
while imigrants in the Old North
State, and in almost every instance
they became fine Americans.
HEART RESEARCH GAINS
New York — A partnership of
scientists and the public has result
ed in the most productive decade
so far in the fight to overcome
heart diseases, the American
Heart Assocation has announced
in its annual report.
Advances in the heart surgery,
abiiity to prevent most recurrences
of rheumatic fever and greatly
improved treatment of high blood
Promotion for Sgt. Clark Teague
of the State Highway Patrol is go
ing to be a distinct loss for New
Teague is being transferred^ to
Troop D at Salisbury, and elevated
to the rank of lieutenant.
He and his family regard our
town as their home, and despite
the well deserved promotion will
move with misgivings.
Efficient, conscientious, and
highly intelligent, he was a diligent
worker for greater highway safety,
and played an important part in
bringing two National Awards to
Characteristic of Teague is the
cooperation he has always given
newspapers and other news media
in presenting information to the
public. Never has he sought to
Speaking of cooperation, Sgt.
Teague tells The Mirror that he
would like to pass along a few
compliments too. “I am grateful,’’
he says, “for the cooperation
shown me as a member of the
Highway Patrol during my stay
in New Bern. Aside from the
friendships made in my personal
life, I can say with all sincerity
that the public has rendered real
assistance in our efforts to reduce
accidents and promote safety on
the State’s highways.”
pressures were cited as among
the outstanding gains.
A man begins to live the momenil
he learns to live and leara.