- Monday, 16 September 2019
- Written by Bill Bowman
Will Fayetteville get a new North Carolina state-operated North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center? That’s a good question. Basic logic would dictate it’s a no-brainer for a community like ours that is working hard to attract business and industry to Cumberland County. As the General Assembly readies itself to approve $46 million for the Civil War Center, the appropriation hinges on Cumberland County and the city of Fayetteville both supporting the project with financial commitments of $7.5 million each. At this moment, both have tentatively committed their support. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin is waffling, though, stating that more public input is needed and suggesting there may be more pressing needs to address as Fayetteville rallies to shake its Tier 1 status.
Education and awareness are essential for peace and tranquility. The proposed Civil War Education Center offers both. For those in the city who think the $7.5 million in tax dollars could be spent on more pressing needs, we ask: What can be more important than education and awareness to future generations? Where is the vision? More importantly, where is the logic?
This is an $80 million-plus state-funded project for which the city and county would both invest $7.5 million. That’s a 0.094% buy-in after the museum foundation has raised over $10 million in donations and $15 million in pledges. Using community support and donations to evaluate and monitor this mandate, I’d say the Fayetteville community is pretty much in favor of the project. So why the hesitation on the part of the city at this late date? Personal political maneuvering? Mind games? Who knows? However, if it’s a game, it’s a gamble with stakes so high that a loss here would be so devastating that the consequences to the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community would be felt for decades.
Need proof? Look east of Fayetteville about 5 miles, where millions of vehicles travel both north and south along Interstate 95 each day, avoiding our community. The interstate was predicted to be an economic boom for Cumberland County in the late 70s and early 80s, promising decades of growth and prosperity. Nearly four decades later, only one of the 11 Cumberland County exits have been developed — exit 49. A bad decision made in the 70s has stifled, and continues to stifle, the progress and development of this community. Why? Because of political self-interest and a lack of vision. We can convene all the public hearings we want. The location of Interstate 95 was the topic of several such public hearings. Public hearings do not substitute for intelligence, logic or leadership. And, in the case of championing the History Center here is a project that would pay big dividends to the Fayetteville community indefinitely.
By the numbers: 1. The Museum is a state-funded operation. In other words, once it’s built, the state maintains it. There is no cost to local residents.
2. The Museum will create hundreds of new jobs.
3. It will have a $20 million annual economic impact on the community.
4. It will attract 100,000+ visitors annually to our community.
5. It will make Fayetteville a statewide destination point.
In closing, I know both our Fayetteville city councilmen and women and our Board of County Commissioners have a sincere and heartfelt passion for doing what is in the best interest of local residents. Escaping the grasp of our Tier 1 designation can only be obtained with honest, objective leadership and vision. We don’t need another Interstate 95 fiasco that has netted us zero over the past four decades. We need to partner with the state of North Carolina, this time, in building a highway to prosperity that leads directly to Fayetteville and Cumberland County. The N.C. Civil War & Reconstruction History Center is that master plan.
Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.
A History Center will bring millions of dollars to our community and create hundreds of new jobs.
- Monday, 09 September 2019
- Written by Margaret Dickson
World’s funniest Wilmingtonian, syndicated columnist Celia Rivenbark, recently published a column on — of all things — thank you notes. She is all for them. Celia says, “Point is, this is still the South the last time I looked and if you receive a gift, you need to say thank you with some pretty stationery and a stamp that has flowers on it.”
The gold standard of thank you notes is exactly what Celia says — nice stationery or note cards, with an engraved monogram if you are really fancy and schooled into traditional propriety. Notes should be handwritten with lovely and highly legible penmanship unless the writer is manually disabled and should touch all bases — how kind of the giver to remember the occasion and how much you appreciate the thought and look forward to using the special gift. Those are the basics, and beyond that formula, a creative thank you note writer will wax on eloquently, drawing connections among kith and kin, describing the gift as nothing short of the Mona Lisa itself, and the bond between giver and recipient is eternally forged.
Having written and received a zillion thank you notes myself, I do know that things have changed over time. I still have monogrammed — though not engraved — note cards, and use them for thank you notes, condolences and sometimes just howdy dos. Times have changed with technology, though, and I am not above a thank you email or even a text, especially to a younger person who might find a handwritten note card arriving by snail mail akin to a missive from Mars.
But there are definite limits to what passes as an acceptable thank you, and I have had a few of those myself.
Most notably was a preprinted fill-in-the blank card that read something like this. The filler-in-the-blanks was a recent bride. The card arrived in a computer-addressed envelope with meter bulk mail postage, no doubt from the meter in her parents’ office.
Thank you for the lovely____________. Aloysius and I will enjoy using it/them for many years and will think of you every time. We are grateful for your thinking of us at this special time in our lives.
This thank you note was wrong in oh-so-many ways. I can only imagine Anastasia filling out cards as she watched “Orange is the New Black,” so no wonder she lost track of what she was doing.
She thanked me for lovely napkins, when we had given the happy couple embroidered pillowcases. And Anastasia did not love me for a single second, as I am a friend of her mother’s and have not laid eyes on her since she was a baby. There was nothing personal or sincere about this assembly line thank you. The bride was merely checking the boxes of what she thought she should do, perhaps even knocking them all out during one great binge-watching session.
Times have certainly changed, and all of us are busy, busy, busy but not so much that a canned thank you note or group email or text mentioning only a “lovely gift” pass for genuine gratitude. The point here is not that the giver receives an acknowledgment of effort made and money spent but that the recipient expresses sincere gratitude that someone, even an old lady, long ago friend of her mother’s wished her and her husband well as they began their lives together.
Contrast Anastasia’s note with one I received from a young cousin to whom we gave a toy on an early birthday. The boy, about six or seven, wrote a note on lined paper with what could only have been a # 2 pencil. It read, “Thank you for the truck. It made me happy.” I know his mother made him sit down and write, but his note was simple and sincere, and those qualities will stand him in good stead all his life.
Celia put it this way, “It’s not about being thanked. It is about thanking. It’s about being grateful enough to spend a few minutes to reflect on someone’s generosity. That’s never a bad thing.”