Pag# 2, West Craven Highlights, May 2l, 1982
By JONATHAN PHILLIPS
Alex sat across the table with a sort of wierd, sly,
“You, know, up in Jersey,” he began softly, pausing
to spritz a rather disgusting brown stream of tobacco
juice into a paper cup, “they call sloppy joes
barbecue. You’ll love it.”
Alex should know. He was from New Jersey until
he migrated south and began chewing up our
favorite crop. But what do you ask for up north if you
want chopped pork with vinegar-based sauce oh it?
“You asked for chopped pork with vinegar-based
sauce on it,” Alex said, as the wierd, sly, sidelong grin
again crept across his face, then parted again to
make way for another slimy brown gusher.
“But you won’t get it.”
Funny guy, that Alex.
Sometimes-most of the time, even-I still can’t
believe that come September, I will be a resident of
New^ Jersey. Of all the places I once thought I might
end up, there were some pretty bad choices.
But never once did I think it would be as bad as
I mean, when you think of crime, pollution, urban
sprawl, traffic jams, and funny accents, you think of
New Jersey. When you think of tacky towns, sleazy
beaches, and barbarians who call sloppy joes
barbecue, you think of New Jersey.
All that is the kind of thing I’ve fought and avoided
all my life. But some think that life in general is like
the story of the Tar Baby-you become what you fight
against, sticking in its mire like the Tar Baby.
New Jersey is my Tar Baby. Fate conspired to
make a sojourn to Jersey an offer I couldn’t refuse,
and I was stuck to the Tar Baby.
Funny creature, that Tar Baby.
About a year ago, when Magnolia Blossom was
preparing to leave Vanceboro to move up north, I
thought it was real funny to make jokes about how
cold and nasty life is above the Mason-Dixon Line.
The sneaker, needless to say, is on the other foot.
And these Craven County girls won’t leave me
Cookie knows I hate snow. I hated snow in the
mountains of Virginia. I’ve hated what little snow
we’ve gotten in Eastern North Carolina. There is
every reason to believe I’ll hate New Jersey snow
For the past two weeks Cookie has discussed snow
with more regularity than the Fairbanks Dog
Her eyes showed compassion as I patiently
explained that I am nervous enough about living on
the outskirts of New York as it is, without her
harping on it.
“There, there,”'she said, stroking my head much as
one would a sad-eyed puppy, “you can fly back here at
Christmas.” She paused before adding: “If you don’t
get snowed in.”
Funny gal, that Cookie.
The bright side
“You’ll love it here,” said Jersey Jim, who grew up^
in Greenville and provided the only encouraging
words I’d heard New Jersey-wise. “There are a lot of
good people here. You’ll learn to like it.”
There are other advantages. Tough as it will be to
get real barbecue in Jersey, it won’t be much tougher
than it is to get decent pastrami down here. And I
hear the New York area offers numerous cultural
opportunities for those who can avoid being
feloniously assaulted long enough to take advantage
The lifestyle will be much different from that of
Craven County, to be sure. I was wondering how the
ideological collision between myself and the Garden
State would turn out.
“It’ll be alright,” said Alex. “There are some nice
spots in New Jersey, like the Pine Barrens.”
What he didn’t mention is that the Pine Barrens,
considered a scenic mecca in Jersey, would be just so
much routine country-side in North Carolina.
On Sunday, May 23, the Vanceboro United
Methodist Church received its newest potential
member. Charity Hughes was christened by Rev.
Claude Wilson at the morning service.
Have You Ever Wanted To
Have you ever gotten angry about an action taken
by Congress or the President? Have you ever
wanted to “sound off” to your elected officials or
civil servants? Chances are you didn’t. Although it’s
, everybody’s right and responsibility to get involved
in the governmental process, most don’t. We do our
complaining around the dinner table, or to the
neighbors, and far too many of us don’t even bother to
vote. In the ’80 presidential race, only 53.9 per-cent of
the eligible voters showed up at the polls.
What most people don’t seem to realize is that
making your voice heard in Washington is both
effective and easy to do. Elected officials are very
sensitive to the views of their constituents-especially
to those who are thoughtful and articulate. In short, it
pays to be a loudmouth, albeit a polite one.
RALEIGH-Total unemployment declined
significantly in April to a rate of 8.2 percent,
according to figures announced today by Glenn R.
Jernigan, Chairman of the North Carolina
Employment Security Commission (ESC). The rate
represents 239,200 jobless state residents. In March,
the unemployment rate was 9.7 percent. For April
1981, the rate was 6.1 percent.
Jernigan pointed out that the state has once again
fallen below the national unadjusted rate of
unemployment which stood at 9.2 percent in April.
Jernigan says, “Declining unemployment is due to
increased seasonal employment activities in
agriculture and some increase among
nonagricultural wage and salary workers.
Indications are that some 20,000 people also left the
labor force between March and April.”
Manufacturing jobs overall showed a net gain of
some 2,600 (+0.3 percent) largely due to employment
gains in textiles where employment advanced by
4,800 (+2.1 percent) over the month and in furniture
and fixtures which showed an increase of 1,000 (+1.2
percent). These gains were partially offset by the loss
of some 1,500 (-2.9 percent) in electrical machinery.
Four nonmanufacturing industry divisions
showed healthy employment Increases. Services and
construction showed seasonal gains of 3,900 (+1.1
percent) and 1,400 (+1.3 percent) respectively.
The average hourly earnings of production
workers in manufacturing in North Carolina were
$6.28 in mid-April, up 3P from the previous month
and up 49P from April 1981.
The average weekly hours worked by North
Carolina’s manufacturing production workers were
37.0 in mid-April, down 0.4 hours from the mid-
March average, and down 2.0 hours from the average
in April 1981. ESC suggests that decreasing hours
may result from employers’ attempts to maintain
operations and staff even at reduced levels during the
Notice.. . We appreciate letters to the editor;
however, we cannot print those without a signature
or a representative body.
Maybe Sparky said it best.
“Hey,” he drawled, crushing out a Camel Light,
“they’re just gonna have to adjust.”
Funny guy, that Sparky. Hope he’s right.
Preserving N. C.’^
RALEIGH-In an effort to further reduce costs,
protect North Carolina’s existing highway system
from deterioration, and improve operating
efficiency, the license/theft/weight enforcement
section of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in
the North Carolina Department of Transportation
(NCDOT) has been reorganized. Commissioner of
DMV R. W. Wilkins, Jr. explained that, “This
reorganization should benefit both the public and
private sectors,” and that it “ties in with Governor
Jim Hunt’s cost reduction and efficiency programs in
Effective June 1 some license/theft/weight
enforcement personnel will be reassigned to
accomplish the efficiency objective. No personnel^^
will be added, rather some personnel may be shifted^F
to other specifically designated areas. For example,
weight enforcement districts (and district
supervisors) will be reduced from eight to four. These
four district supervisors will oversee the individual
inspectors and coordinate weight enforcement
activities between the uniformed personnel and the
The weigh stations in Apex and Salisbury will be
closed because they are older and lack modern
equipment. These two facilities, over time, have been
bypassed with the rerouting and building of new
roads and highways.
The enhancement of the roving crew concept is a
new educational approach to prevent further
highway deterioration and preserve North
Carolina’s existing highway system for its residents
as well as visitors. Because the approach is new.
Commissioner Wilkins has suggested that any
trucking organization or individual trucker contact
in advance the lieutenant at a nearby weigh station
and request information as to legal weight limits and
on how to load trucks correctly and how to achieve an
even distribution of weight to meet requirements.
Commissioner Wilkins added that “By educating
private enterprise to correct loading procedures, we
help the truckers comply with the laws and thereby
avoid penalties and protect the public’s highways
from preventable damage.”
Because of the increase in activity in the
Wilmington port, the traffic flow of truckers
entering and exiting Wilmington has steadily
increased. Therefore, a portable weight crew will be
assigned to the area to assist the growing numbers of
For more information, representatives of the
trucking industry may contact local weigh
enforcement stations or 919-733- 7872.
Craven County’s Family Weekly Newspaper
R.L. Cannon, Jr.
P.O. Box 404, Main Street, Across from the Post Office
Vanceboro, North Carolina 28586
Phoney (919) 244-0780, (919) 244-0508
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