North Carolina Newspapers

    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
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
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
A. ■
5 He.
NEW BERN, N. C., FRIDAY, JULY 19, 1963
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?

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