We didn’t know, until our good friend Itnllda Barbour mention ed It to us the other day, that she and Astronaut Gordon Cooper hall from the same town-Shawnee, Oklahoma. Sightless since birth, she has been a case worker for the North Carolina State Commis sion For the Blind for the past 18 years. During that length of time she has served in six counties. Since 1948 she has been in New Bern, and her duties embrace three countles- Craven, Carteret and Pamlico. Happily married to Cliff Bar bour, she is a shining example of the way a person can adjust to the challenge that confronts them. Even If we felt so In clined, Imllda wouldn’t like' It at all If we tried to write a sob story about, her,. There Isn’t much point in trying to boost a gal’s morale, when It needs no boosting. In stead, we’ll try to boost yours (and ours) as we plod along complaining over things that Imllda Is much too big to worry about. The tonic you need Is a liberal dose ofher optimism and serenity. Don’t get us wrong, she Isn’t the sort who pretends that the bad things don’t exist. Offhand, we can’t recall meeting a more realistic mortal In all our bbrn days than this transplanted Ok lahoman. It’s just that she ac cepts the facts of life without bitterness or frustration. “The greatest problem I have, she says, “In reaching a blind person Is getting them to admit without bitterness that they have a handicap they must live with. I don’t paint too op timistic a picture. Well, you’ve got this situation I tell them, what are we going to do with It?’’ Obviously, It’s the right ap proach. Imllda will probably want to wring our neck for dubbing her an Inspiration, but that’s what she Is. She con vinces those she visits that they too can learn to read Braille and write It, that they are capable of doing many things they don’t, at the moment, con sider possible. You might ask, as we did, how a blind girl from Oklahoma ended up In North Carolina as an Instructor for those who share her handicap. The answer shows how much vlsion-and we’re not trying to make a pun-the Old North State has on occasion. Suppose we start at the be ginning. Imllda received her Elementary and High school education at the Oklahoma School For the Blind. After that. In the midst of The Great Depression, she attended Okla homa Baptist University on the proverbial shoestring, and graduated with an A. B. degree. Here In North Carolina, au thorities In a position to know had reached the conclusion that no one was better qualified to aid the blind than college grad uates who were blind them selves. Imllda was Invited to take a year’s postgraduate work In social studies at the Uni versity of Nortn Carolina, with the understanding that she would become a State employee. Neither she nor the North Carolina Commission For the Blind has had reason to regret the arrangement. Although Imllda would say we are being corny In making such a state- (Contlnued on page 5) New Ssm Public library The NEW BERN r PUBLISHED WEEKLY ▼HE HEART OF A. ■ 5 He. NORTH J VOLUME 6 NEW BERN, N. C., FRIDAY, JULY 19, 1963 NUMBER 16 SURF AND SAND—From May through October, rest- taste are on narrow off-shore islands or “banks” linked dents of our city can pick a seashore that’s lively or to the mainland by bridges, causeways and free automo- lonely, according to their preferences, along North bile ferries. For fun in the sun, the Atlantic is calling, Carolina’s varied coast. Seaside resorts to suit your a few miles from your home. CLOSE AT HAND—New Bernians don’t have to travel central North Carolina during the Civil War. Confed- far to see historic Fort Macon. A brick pentagon sur- erate forces held it from April 1861, until its surrender rounded by a moat separating the inner structure from to Yankee attackers a year later after severe bombard- the outer defenses, it guarded Beaufort Inlet on the ment. How do you like this remarkable aerial photo?