Festival fever

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I’m so confused! There are so many festivals, barbecues, chicken and ham dinners around right now, I don’t know which to first attend.

As your reporter/editor, I think I have written about every festival and event from Chowan County to Suffolk and they all sound tempting and exciting.

Of course, the first that is a must is the Gates County &uot;SwampFest 2004.&uot; From the information I’ve received from the very helpful Colleen Turner, a member of the Fest committee who also serves as the county’s Director of Social Services, this year’s fest should be a good one.

They’ve got everything from helicopters flying in to new food vendors that are now serving sodas, a first for the festival. They will have plenty of games and contests or all sorts and craft lovers will be in paradise out at the Community Center.

Now, the SwampFest takes place on Saturday, Oct. 2, a day that has been lined up for me since last October. You see, I am the Mistress of Ceremonies for the 27th Annual Peanut Fest Parade for our nearby neighbors in Suffolk. Each year, for many years, I have served as the city’s &uot;mouthpiece,&uot; announcing parades and providing running commentary on other events. This year, the parade coincides with the SwampFest, so I won’t be able to make it to the Community Center until later in the day, but I won’t miss it!

I’ll be out at the SwampFest grounds, camera and tape recorder in hand, looking for those who will allow a photo and interview for our Index. Of course, your comments and a few photos will run in the Oct. 13th edition of the paper, so look for your kids, grandkids, neighbors and others in the Index.

Now, as the official Publicity Chairman for the 27th Annual Peanut Fest, I would certainly love to see all my Gates County neighbors visit the festival, which takes place at Suffolk Airport, just off Route 13. You know-just off your right hand side as you are going into Suffolk.

This year, I believe we have one of the greatest Peanut Fests ever staged thanks to more than 300 volunteers, sponsors who have given thousands of dollars worth of everything from ice to snacks and of course, tons of good ol’ goobers. For all the newcomers to Gates County; goobers are Gates County gold, peanuts, of course!

The 2004 Peanut Fest promises some top-flight entertainment this year, with a cast of musicians and singers out of Nashville and a couple of old-time Rock ‘n Rollers who have promised an explosive performance.

Anyone who’s ever attended a Peanut Fest, and isn’t that most of us in Gates County, can say that the event is always a lot of fun for people of all ages.

The important thing is, the festival is more family oriented than ever and there is always plenty of security to insure public safety. I hope to see many of you there!

Now, least we forget, there is also a Chowan County Fair to attend. This year, they have made some great plans and John Chilcoat, my Edenton contact, says they have a good family fair with everything from food to fun for all ages.

Let’s change gears a bit and discuss something of a more weighty issue; the morals of this county.

A close friend came home from work one afternoon this week and told me she was shocked to learn that someone she’d formerly respected and thought of as a Christian person made a comment that immediately changed her mind.

When my friend asked about how the woman felt on the issue of abortion, she replied that it wasn’t important enough to comment on.

Well now, my friend being deeply devoted to Jesus and His Word, was astonished to the point that she couldn’t say more than, &uot;Don’t you know that abortion is taking a life?&uot;

I talked with my friend and gave her a couple pieces of scripture to look up, including the one where Jesus tells us that he knew us in the womb. Now, it would seem to me that if our Lord knows us before we are born, doesn’t that make us pre-birth humans? Are we, as the glitterati of this world would have us believe, just a &uot;fetus,&uot; just a piece of flesh?

As I told my friend, people go to colleges and universities to get an education and in some instances, they become brain washed about the moral issues and ethics of this world. They are taught that babies are fetuses, and that deviant sexual behavior is an alternative lifestyle. Now, I am not beating up on the instructors because they have a job to do; to teach what they themselves have been taught. However, I will say this; no child of God, I don’t care how old you are, has to swallow every bit of claptrap that’s shoveled before them.

That’s where going to church, studying, and I mean diligently studying, the Word of God, and prayer can be the saving of a soul that might otherwise be lost in this jungle of overly educated humanity. Give me a good old church goin’, Bible thumpin’ Christian any day as opposed to those who believe in that garbage about the &uot;Big Bang&uot; theory. I will never forget the day my 13-year old son, he’s now grown, came home from school one day with a drawing he’d been asked to do as an assignment. It was an exploding earth, cracked open like a broken egg, with people, animals, everything on earth, crashing forth into the clouds. That’s what his teacher had taught the class about the theory of evolution. Well, pardon me, but my forefathers did not slime their way up some muddy ditch bank of primordial ooze to become a human being. My forefathers were, just like you and me, created in the image of God.

In this world today, we are inundated by conflicting voices that cause us to consider sins like cheating on your income tax, or your spouse, spending your family’s grocery money on lottery tickets, or worse yet, drugs.

Now, I know you won’t go to hell for such things because you will, if you are a believer in God, ask Him to forgive you. And, in His infinite mercy, He will. But, still, I am so tired of preachers being too intimidated to speak out on subjects like immorality because it is no longer politically correct to call a sin what it is; a sin.

Someone once said that conscience is condensed character. Well, we certainly cannot deny that the character of this nation has drastically changed over the past couple of generations.

Just look at the laws and public policy of this nation today. Right now, this country murders 4,000 unborn babies every day. We think more of the rights of murderers than we do the rights of the victims, the unborn pre-birth humans, and we accept the junk we see on television as entertainment.

I was working in my office at home the other night and the Miss America pageant came on. I hadn’t looked at one in years and because Miss North Carolina was a finalist I thought I’d see how she came out in the contest. Well, as my dear departed grandma used to say, &uot;Lawsey, mercy!&uot; That girl didn’t come out as the winner but she, like every woman in the pageant, just about came out of everything she was wearing.

I know I’ve lived past my time, now, because I saw those women in less than &uot;we&uot; used to wear on the beach. They were poppin’ out the top and hangin’ out the bottom! No wonder there are so many rape victims today. Oh, I know… your say that even though they dress, or undress, like that, no one has the right to rape a woman. That is a fact, but still, when the apple was so luscious on that tree, even Eve couldn’t resist.