Back to the grindstone

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

After a seven-day break – to which I must admit, without coming across sounding too self-centered, was well-deserved, it’s back to work for this old newspaperman.

As is tradition, Deborah and I always take our vacation the week in which our daughter, Danielle, celebrates her birthday. Last week was that time as Dani turned 24 last Tuesday. As a side note, it’s hard to believe that my little girl has grown into a young woman.

Our vacation was a lazy one…just spending time together at home. With my typical seven-day work week, what free time I have with Deborah and Danielle is very limited. There’s no way to catch-up in one week, but I did treasure that time.

Without having any type of set schedule, we did what we wanted when we wanted…sleep in ‘til 9 or 10…eat a late breakfast…and, my favorite, just piddle around. The only pre-planned event of the entire week was grilling steaks to celebrate Danielle’s birthday.

Being a newshound, I did try to keep up with any events unfolding during the week. Judging by the news in the Herald, it appeared to be a typical slow week in late July.

I did see where Seaton Fairless passed away. I got to know him when I covered the Bertie Board of Education where he served for 16 years.

He was a man with two passions in life. While farming and education are worlds apart as far as jobs are concerned, they overlapped in the case of Seaton Poe Fairless. He used his God-given abilities to till the soil on a tractor as well as cultivate young minds in the classroom and in the boardroom.

It’s unfortunate that Mr. Fairless died prior to Bertie Public Schools gaining unitary status…an old issue dating back to the days of integration. He stood at the forefront of helping guide Bertie Schools through that drawn-out process. The paperwork was just recently signed and is currently awaiting approval from the US Department of Justice, but Mr. Fairless didn’t live to see the day when that happened.

My condolences go out to his wife, his daughters and the entire Fairless family. Our area has lost a great man whose shoes will never be filled.

On the national scene, I saw where President Obama is still pushing for a new healthcare plan for all Americans. As I’ve stated earlier, I’m opposed to our government, whether it’s under the control of the Democrats or the Republicans, getting into the healthcare business. For proof of a governmental goof along these same lines, look no further than Medicaid.

As a defender of our American system of free enterprise, I shudder to think of what a government operated health system would do to private insurance companies. The government says those companies have had it too good for too long and need the competition. I say those companies don’t stand a chance against an entity that prints money like there’s no tomorrow.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.