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Edward M. Sweatt and Carolyn H. Sweatt Publishers
Edward M. Sweatt Editor
Lynn S. Carlson Managing Editor
Susan Usher News Editor
Doug Rutter Sports Editor
Marjorie Meglvern Associate Editor
Eric Carlson Staff Writer
Peggy Earwood Office Manager
Carolyn H. Sweatt .. Advertising Director
Tlinberley Adams. Cecelia Gore
and Linda Cheers Advertising Representatives
Dorothy Brcnnan and Brenda Cleinmons Moore ..Graphic Artists
William Manning Pressman
Lonnie Sprinkle Assistant Pressman
Phoebe Clemmons and Frances Sweatt Circulation
PAGE 4 -A, THURSDAY. JUNE 18, 1992
The Time Is Right
To Upgrade Libraries
There was a time not too many years ago when an allocation
of $1.5 million in the Brunswick County budget for libraries
would have seemed almost obscenely extravagant. Thank good
ness. times have changed.
The county commissioners are to be commended for seizing
the opportunity to make funds available for building new library
branches at Leland and Oak Island, computerizing filing systems
and buying $2(X),(XX) in new books ? without increasing taxes in
the process. Although there will undoubtedly be criticism from
some citizens and county employees who will point to other
pressing needs, the time is overdue in Brunswick County's devel
opment for an upgrade of its library system.
A county's libraries are among its most precious resources,
indicative of its commitment to literacy, education and the edifi
cation of its citizens. Governmental planning for libraries re
quires both foresight and fortitude. Libraries don't make money,
aren't big vote-getters and are never used by a great enough per
centage of the population. And as well-intentioned as they may
be, grassroots efforts to raise funds for libraries frequently fall
short of their goals, particularly in those communities with the
most desperate needs and the least wealth. A public-private part
nership, led by a strong and dedicated library board which accu
rately represents the citizens it serves, is the only viable means of
developing and fostering a system which works and works well.
It's too easy in rapidly growing resort communities like ours
for amenities such as libraries to get shoved aside. There are al
ways more pragmatic concerns, such as the never-quite-fulfilled
need to provide water and sewer service, police protection and
and garbage collection to a burgeoning population of vacationers
and newcomers. But this approach short-changes the rights and
needs of the permanent, full-time residents who are the primary
users of public libraries.
What better means could there be than libraries to let them
share in their community's prosperity?
The Fishing's Good;
Bring Your Own Pole
For a day or two there it was
hard to tell what was wrong; there
was just this sense of being some
how out of kilter.
It wasn't from lack of sleep, or
from not having plenty to do. *t
was something else, but 1 just
couldn't put my finger on it.
Sorting through the closet in
the morning was gelling to be a lit
tle irritating. But then, it's hard to
find a pair of shoes to wear when they're lined up by the back door, dry
ing. A slow process without sunshine.
And the hose. That drawer's getting a little more colorful these days.
You have to be careful in the half-light of morning to match nylons with
the correct footwear. Dye fade. Bad case.
And then there's the house. There's a pervasive musty kind of odor,
kind of like when you open a mayonnaise-jar terrarium for the first time
in months. And stuff is starting to grow in the joints of the wooden furni
ture. It looks a little like mushrooms. Where's Milton Coleman when
you need him?
Bath lime's kind of fun, too, these days. You never know what will
be staring out from the bathroom, or the shower itself. We're convinced
the insects are using the plumbing as a tramway. Tuesday must have
been a special fare day for spiders.
Then Wednesday, while pulling back the shower curtain, there was
movement just inside my peripheral vision. Suddenly a clammy feeling
ran up my back and a chill traveled up my arms in slow-motion. A
sticky-toed green tree frog was clinging light, almost as scared as you
know-who. Together we tiptoed to the back door, where the visitor was
dumped without ceremony.
While all that was going on, of course, the back door was open. Jusi
for a minute. But lhat was long enough for boili J.R. and Nosey to slip in
without getting caught. Nothing like the smell of wet fur, unless it's the
almost-invisible gray fur ball on Don's favorite chair- until he sat down.
Swcctpca, who is allowed in the house, doesn't even bother shaking
first anymore. She just runs inside anytime the door opens and then furi
ously begins to roll on the carpet, back and forth, up and down. She
hasn't been thoroughly dry, it seems, in several weeks. You can imagine.
Looking out the window it's easy to see why Sweetpea doesn't both
er shaking. It's Drowned Rat Syndrome, and there's plenty of it going
But Don and I, we're not about to let the weather get as down. We
believe in making the most of any opportunity. And they're out there;
you just have to be alert, ready.
As we listened to the steady splash of rain on the decks, Don and 1
realized why we'd been kind of ragged around the edges these last sun
less days. It It wasn't jungle brain rot or the rat syndrome, as we'd first
feared, but opportunity, knocking.
So we have been making big plans this last day or two. We're not
going to let any more water flow over the dam.
Tomorrow's the big day. "Don's Fishing Hole" will be open for busi
ness. We've got all the crickets anyone could want for bait, and now
we've got the water.
It's not loo hard a place to get too for fishing this good. You can rent
a john boat up at the store, cheap. Drop in soon.
The Beacon welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed
and include the writer's address. Under no circumstances will unsigned
letters be printed. Letters should be legible. The Beacon reserves the right
to edit libelous comments. Address letters lo The Brunswick Beacon, P. O.
Box 2558. Shallotte N. C. 2K459.
HOW TO GET ON THE MOTEL BLACK LIST
Vacation Tips You Really Need
When you're ready for that big,
wonderful two weeks of fun and
travel known as the summer vaca
tion, there is no end to the advicc
To begin with, commercial pro
motions arc on every corner, de
scribing the most appealing tourist
traps, the most amazing historic
sites, ctc. Also, your friends, family
and even strangers will say, when
they learn of your destination, "Oh,
we went there last year! Be sure to
cat at Joe's Bcancry and don't fail to
sec the turtle races and the pansy
gardens!" Stuff like that is easy
come by, suggestions as to how you
can spend your time and money on
those golden vacation days.
What nobody ever tells you is
what to do when it rains. Some of
the world's greatest depressions,
perhaps even violence, have resulted
from vacation plans that failed be
cause of the weather.
If you haven't experienced this
dismal scene, you can imagine it: a
family of six coopcd up in a bleak
motel room in West Omaha, hostage
to a persistent downpour that scales
down only to a drizzle for four
straight days. The four children, in
cluding an infant and two teen
agers, lose every redeeming quality
they ever had; Mom and Dad won
der what they ever saw in each oth
er, and tension hangs thick in the
siale motel air.
Don't despair. 1 have solutions.
As your basic humanitarian, I have
researched the problem of raincd-out
vacations and have come up with
suggestions for indoor group fun
thai will save your sanity, your mar
riage, perhaps your very life. None
of it involves a television set.
The next time you're stuck in a
S50 room, surrounded by a rain
storm, with no relief in sight, try the
following activities, in no particular
order. Let me know if you applaud
them as heartily as did our control
group (now recuperating at Betty
?Gather the family in a circle and
let cach person tell something they
like about every other person. (This
should provide a good hour of si
?Organize a hat-making competi
tion, using only discarded newspa
pers from the trip.
?Sing the corniest songs you
know, with a prize for anyone who
knows all the words to "On Top of
?Rig a hoop dangling from the
ceiling light fixture and improvise a
basketball game, using bars of soap
(or ihe baby, if you have one).
?Run up and clown your wing of
the motel, knocking on doors and
getting acquainted. Think of the new
friends you can make! (One of them
may be a police officer.)
?Find out who your real friends
are: Call collect everyone you know
and sec who accepts the chargcs.
?Turn the radio to a rock and roll
station and hold a dance contest.
The baby can be the judgc...who can
make her scream the loudest?
By the way, a baby is a valuable
commodity in these situations, be
cause it provides the perfect answer
to prizes for any of the above com
petitions. Losers change diapers for
the rest of the trip. A suggested teen
age penalty: take a family photo in
the midst of this fun and games and
show an enlarged print to all their
friends at school.
Enjoy your summer travel, re
gardless of the weather, and don't
call me if nothing works.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Cant Tolerate More Of Quayle
To the editor:
I'm not one to write a letter to the
editor every time 1 get aggravated
over this or that circumstance or
condition. However, I frankly can't
take it anymore!
Last night I watched with more
than disgust as the vice president of
our United States of America was
shown on the evening news going
after the "cultural elite" of our na
tion in a speech to the Southern
Baptist Convention. I sat quieUy by,
as others did, when he lambasted at
torneys in a speech before the
American Bar Association (1 am a
member of that sometimes derided
profession.) Who does Mr. Quayle
think he is? Mr. Quayle is an attor
ney and a member of the upper crust
in our society. How else could e
possibly occupy the exalted position
he now holds as our vice president?
Hopefully, others like me see Mr.
Quayle for what he really is and for
what he really stands. Hopefully, we
the people can sec our way clear to
voting him out of office in Nov
ember. I simply cannot tolerate an
other four years of this individual.
It appears that Mr. Quayle would
have us believe he has some type of
monopoly on moral values and he
would foist these values on our soci
ety. He comes out, in a major ad
dress, against the morals of the
"Murphy Brown" television show.
He would have us live ideal family
lives (I presume family lives which I
have only seen portrayed on televi
sion shows which arc now off the air
such as "Father Knows Best.").
Given, if everyone had the finan
cial resources and home life Mr.
Quayle grew up with, we probably
wouldn't have as much crime and
broken families. However, we all
know that this would be impossible,
and I frankly don't think that Mr.
Quayle would want this. As for Mr.
Quayle going on and on about the
importance of a father in the home,
if he really cared about his family he
would not have chosen a political
Why then docs Mr. Quayle go on
and on, putting down citizens in our
United States of America who don't
meet his moral requirements? I
would submit to you that, regardless
of his political party affiliation, Mr.
Quaylc is everyone's vice president
until and unless he is turned out of
office. He should act like everyone's
vice president. But he can't and
I would submit to you that Mr.
Quayle has been subUy playing up
on the racial and class biases in our
society. He is asking individuals
who oppose that racial segment or
class of our society who account for
the majority of unwed mothers to
give him and President Bush their
votes. He is asking that segment of
society who have had problems with
attorneys or other authorities (even
the government itself) to give him
and President Bush their votes.
I do not dislike politicians when
they have programs that arc well
thought through, even when I dis
agree with their programs. How
ever, I cannot tolerate politicians
who place themselves on a pedestal
and ask for votes because they are
opposed to some segment in our so
ciety. If our elected officials serving
in high office cannot serve proudly
all of the citizens of our United
States of America, we the people
ought to either vote them out of of
fice or never vote them in.
Mark A. Lewis
To the editor;
Relative to the Calabash Board of
Commissioners last meeting as re
ported in The Brunswick Beacon, a
number of our elected commission
ers were apparently distressed over a
certain beach towel hanging in the
window of the Wings establishment
in Calabash. One of the commis
sioners received a complaint regard
ing this beach towel depicting three
females wearing "thong" style
Next we will discover that our
commissioners have passed an ordi
nance requiring all visitors to pass a
T-shirt pictorial and inscription test
before entering our community.
Come on, guys. Gel real!
There must be many more impor
tant town issues to discuss. For ex
ample, holding firm on the 1992-93
town budget rather than raising tax
es to 13.5 cents per SI 00 as you
have proposed, to give yourselves
25 bucks for each meeting attended,
and hiring a 40-hour-a-week securi
(More Letters, Following Page)
My sister turned 35 last week, and
we both took it pretty hard, she be
cause it was one of those divisible
by-fivc birthdays and I, because it
was the first in several years that we
haven't spent together.
If I'd been around, she would
never have gotten away with turning
off her phone and going to bed,
missing my three progressively
more plaintive attempts to reach her.
I'd have made her favorite
meal-shrimp steamed in Old Bay,
with com on the cob and cole slaw.
We'd have eaten it off paper plates
on a newspaper tablecloth, with a
roll of paper towels for napkins so
we could throw everything away in
stead of washing dishes.
I would have gotten her a Barbie
birthday card, a silly between-us
joke that gets repeated each year.
We'd have made fun of our ex-hus
bands and laughed until we cried.
Sister and I have lived within 20
minutes of each other for the past
seven years until a few weeks ago
when I moved back to Holdcn
Beach. A lot happened during that
time. She gave me a shoulder to lean
on during a business failure and
some oiher tough limes, and I gave
her one during a chronic illness and
When 1 had a restaurant and wine
shop, she came there every Saturday
and ate lunch and bought stuff, even
when not enough other people did.
She did my taxes (she's a CPA),
kept my books and balanced my
checkbook. When she went out of
town, I fed her cat. She had a stand
ing invitation to supper at my house
every Sunday, or any other day for
that matter. She knew I'd cook
whatever she requested. I knew
she'd rave about it as if it were the
best meal she'd ever had.
It was time for me to come back
lo ihe coast and to the newspaper,
but it never would have been the
right time to leave Sister. Our wind
ing up in the same area for a lew
years had been something of a coin
cidence. Or it could have been prov
idence. At any rate, we both knew
all along that jobs or relationships or
other opportunities would cause one
or both of us to move on eventually.
And we knew all along that it would
leave a void in both our lives. In the
abstract, that didn't sound so diffi
cult. The reality is a bear, especially
spending birthdays apart.
Instead of a cake with candles, I'd
have made her a black bottom pic. If
you've never had it, black bottom
pie is a shamefully rich and elabo
rate-to-prepare three-tiered dessert
with a layers of vanilla, rum and
chocolate custard in a ginger snap
crust. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
wrote that, on her deathbed, she
would want to be propped up and
fed black bottom pic, knowing that
when she lasted it she would find
life just too good to relinquish.
You'd only make a black bottom
pic for someone you really love.