Serving Askin, Bridgeton, Caton, Clarks, Cove City, Dover, Epworth, Ernul, Ft. Barnwell, Japser, New Bern, Piney Neck, Spring Garden, Tuscarora, Vanceboro, Wilmar.
Volume 5, Number 25
Vanceboro, North Carolina
Thursday, June 24, 1982
SOPPY, SOGGY, AND SWAMPY-It was the
first clear day after four days in a row of rain and
Greg Williams of Wilmar finally had a chance to
drain away the water standing in his father’s, John
Williams, soy bean field by digging a series of water
Tobacco Crop Gone To Hail
WHITE RIBBON AFFAIR-Local officials and
bank employees look on as Vanceboro Mayor Jimmie
Morris cuts the symbolic ribbon to open the new
Wachovia Bank building at Main and New Streets.
Invocation was conducted by the Rev. Claude
Thomas Wilson of the Vanceboro United Methodist
Church as the town adlermen and 10 bank employees
looked on, including A.F. Whitley and James Pepper.
Seems like Mother Nature was out to get Frank
Watson last week.
Sending high winds and heavy rains all around
West Craven County, she decided to give Frank an
extra bonus - quarter sized hailstones right down on
top of his freshly topped field of tobacco.
Frank’s tobacco is located on land owned by
Spencer Dudley of River Road and Spencer
described what happened, “It was like a streak of hail
come across just my farm and none other and beat
that tobacco all to pieces.’’
“Frank may be able to salvage a little bit of it, but
what’s left sure is sick looking.”
Frank thinks the 17.33 acres of almost full grown
tobacco is at least 75% lost and hopes the Federal
adjustment man will allow him to turn it under
because Frank doesn’t want to go through what he
called, “The terrible process of cleaning up stalks and
suckerin’ and redoin’ it all and in the end just havin’
three or four leaves on a stalk.”
Frank said, “I can’t make nothin’ on three or four
leaves and it would cost me more than what I would
get rather than if I would just drop it now and take
Frank thinks his damaged tobacco would have
been a 20-leaf crop giving at least 2600 pounds to the
acre and was worth a total of about $60,000.
Frank described his situation, “I broke part of my
crop in the button stage in the morning and the hail
come and hit it in the afternoon. No more leaves will
grow on that part of the crop that has been topped
and only two or three leaves will grow on those that
hadn’t been topped.
“The broken leaves will just fall off at this early
stage of the game and dry up - nothin’ can be done
“I haven’t seen anybody in this area that was hit as
hard as me, only some slight damage further down
River Road, but not to the same extent.
“I wasn’t here when the hailstones hit, but my wife
was here and she said they was as big around as
The hail must have been localized because the little
bit of tobacco planted around Frank’s trailer which is
less than half-a-mile from the main crop is still in
Frank says what he does next will depend on the
Federal insurance adjustment man.
“I will determine myself what to do next according
to what they evaluate my crop at. It’s hard for me to
determine now how much I’ve invested in the 17.33
Frank Watson And His Damaged Crop
There are very few farmers in West Craven County
that don’t have some kind of crop damage insurance
As a full-time farmer, Frank Watson doesn’t have
a back-up job and he depends on each crop whether it
be tobacco, beans, or corn to carry its own weight.
Each crop h^s to do the best it can to cover itself.
Frank said, “Once the tobacco leaves are broken
and hanging, that’s it - no tobacco that’s been beatoff
and pulverized by hail and left layin’ in the mud is
worth the trouble.
“This tobacco is just a loss and there ain’t a whole
lot I can do about it.”
Frank Watson can only hope that his insurance
adjustments are taken care of within the next couple
“I would prefer to let the tobacco roll and put beans
down before the end of the month.
“If it takes any longer to get these adjustments
figured out I may have to cut the ground and let it lay
Even as Frank Watson sums up the destruction.
Mother Nature sends down a blinding rain from
thick rolling, angry gray clouds.
And Frank Watson feels it must be hailing
Question of the Week: Is there enough to do around here in the summer?
Melissa Ward of Vanceboro
“No. I’d like a job, maybe working
tobacco. I’ve just been playjn’ around
Fthe house. I wish I could go to the beach
but mother won’t take me anyplace.”
“Yes. I stay with Granny and
Grandad in Pitch Kettle. I feed the
|)igs and cows, swim with my uncle.
i‘ide my bicycle and motorcycle.”
Stacey Weatherington of V’boro
“No. We need some playgrounds and
campsites in this area. We also need
some softball teams for kids to play on
and a big swimming pool too."
Fitz Bryan of Vanceboro
“Yes. I’ve been playin’ pickup games
of baseball and working around the
house planting flowers. I go to watch
little league games in New Bern.”