Playing catch-up

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

I’m back!

After a brief break in my weekly writings in this space, I’ve returned to my desk and feel relaxed and refreshed – ready to tackle the issues responsible for shaping our little corner of Mother Earth.

First, a word about vacation. If you are looking to unwind and not have a care in the world, do yourself a favor and head to Lake Gaston. This huge body of water, right here in our own backyard, is a sight to behold with its magnificent homes. By slowly drifting along on a pontoon boat, visitors are treated to the natural beauty of northeastern North Carolina and southside Virginia.

What’s so great about a trip to Lake Gaston is that there is nowhere else you need to go upon arriving. There are no theme parks, water slides or fancy restaurants that you feel obligated to visit. That means lazy days consisting of a late breakfast, strolling to the waterfront, finding a shady spot to relax and taking a refreshing dip whenever the need arises.

That was a vacation in which this stressed-out reporter definitely needed. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Ramona Swink, and her husband, Lee, who own a place on Pea Hill Creek on the Virginia side of the lake. They opened the doors on their brand new home and allowed my wife and I a chance to relax.

Another &uot;thank-you&uot; that I need to pass along goes to those who have had such kind words to say, either in-person or by a card, in the wake of my father’s death. It warmed my heart, as well as those within my family, to hear from so many of you. Your words – no matter if they were a simple &uot;I’m sorry,&uot; or sharing a story about my dad – helped us all through a very tough time.

A note on last month’s Primary Election – it was thrilling, despite the low turnout.

Locally, Howard Hunter III literally ran away from long-term Hertford County Commissioner Vernice Howard. That was one of the races I predicted a seat would change hands. Now let’s see what &uot;Little Howard&uot; can do – be his own man or become a political puppet. Let’s all hope it’s the former.

John Pierce and Brenda Greene squared-off in an interesting battle. Mrs. Greene – the incumbent, but running for the first time – was serving out the final two years on Robert Holloman’s term after he won election in 2002 to a seat in the North Carolina State Senate.

Interestingly, Pierce was the choice of the Hertford County Democratic Party to fill Holloman’s unexpired term. However, the Board of Commissioners went against that recommendation, instead choosing Mrs. Greene. That brings this to mind – it marks the second time in recent memory that the voters shot down a Commissioners selection. Greene lost to Pierce in the Primary, much like Rev. Richardson did a few years back when Johnnie Ray Farmer, who was considered to fill the seat of his father after Ray Farmer passed away. J. Farmer defeated Rev. Richardson in the next election.

There were few surprises on the statewide level. I did find it interesting that the North Carolina Democratic Party put out a press release shortly after the Primary, bragging that incumbent Republican Labor Commissioner Cherrie Berry had, quote, &uot;45 percent of North Carolina voters to vote against her in the Primary.&uot; What the Democrats failed to say in that release was that Mrs. Berry faced in opposition in the Primary, but won with 55 percent of the vote. That’s typical Democratic Party propaganda – basically saying we can’t do our own math.

While on vacation, I did get a chance to watch a few moments – a few brief moments – of the Democratic National Convention. My gut feeling at the end of this Bean Town comedy is if the John & John (Kerry and Edwards) Show wins election in November, we’re all in a heap of trouble.

Did you notice who the Democrats paraded to the forum – perhaps the worst President in our nation’s history (Jimmy Carter), the emotional son of a late president (Ronald Reagan Jr.), a natural born loser who loves his wife and invented the Internet (Al Gore), an Arkansas woman who magically won election in New York (Senator Hillary Clinton) and the biggest farce ever to occupy the White House (Bill Clinton).

Add John &uot;Don’t Forget That I Won Three Purple Hearts In Vietnam&uot; Kerry and John &uot;Don’t Forget That I Drove Up The Price Of Medical Insurance By Suing Doctors and Hospitals&uot; Edwards to the mix and you can easily see that if the Democrats gain control in Washington, it’s back to big-spend, big tax socialism.

Do yourself a favor come November – vote for the Three B’s – Bush, Ballentine (NC Governor) and Burr (U.S. Senate). You’ll be glad you did.