Greetings Members and readers,
Happily, we decided a few weeks ago to seek and find America as we remembered it.
We jumped into the car and drove a few hundred miles or so to visit what is called the Piedmont of North Carolina, generally the central third of the state.
In the center of N.C. are concentrations of the “land of the woke”, places like Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Winston Salem, etc.. Not surprisingly, they are places where colleges and universities taint our youth and where government covertly or not, influences that tainting.
If you live or visit any of these places you might think America is on it’s last leg, run down neighborhoods and town areas, inflation equal death by deficit spending, unpaid student loans, gangs, the suffering of a lethargic seeking of equity where gender and skin color are always at issue. Any topics that can segregate us are constantly stirred in the pot of cultural reform where the lost, spoiled and soft struggle to find purpose, self determination and validity. This validity is accomplished by enforced inclusion, sort of like affirmative action on steroids, acts of placing unqualified people in positions of responsibility where the result is sub par job performance that shows itself in poor customer service, poor company policies, and pitiful company execution. One can feel it or worse, experience it at any brick and mortar location. Ask Budweiser, Nike, Target, Cracker Barrel, etc. about that.
In these places, one finds few smiles, over-stressed citizens and disinterested employees that consider customers a bother rather than the life blood of their businesses. There are many good people there, of course but the toxicity spilling from the universities and corporate woke cocktails is ruining the whole enchilada.
By the way, if you are traveling on the major streets and highways, you will be even find yourself intimidated there as well.
It feels like the entire area is in an incredible hurry to arrive somewhere to do little. If you chose to do the speed limit, you will be punished for all others are traveling at 85 mph and will let you know that you are only doing 65. There is not a cop in sight.
But, as you travel east by southeast onto the coastal plain, things begin to change.
The larger cities change to smaller cities and towns that are instantly more polite, people more relaxed and happier to see you at their gas pumps and there are those who are even courteous at a 4 way stop or round about.
Most of these towns are old, some reaching back to the early 1700s. To mention a few are Wilson, Tarboro, Greenville, Washington, all positioned within areas of really small towns or villages like Hamilton, Bath, Edenton and a hundred more.
In these places, the quality of life seemed much higher where most are not in nearly as big of a rush and still do twice the work of most in a day’s time. They have time to say hello, how are you and all are ready to give directions, name a nearby eatery that is good that is owned by a next door neighbor’s best friend’s cousin or assist you with a break down or a flat.
In our quest to find America, we hit the jackpot.
Every town has beautiful historic homes, not five but for some, hundreds. Tarboro has 6 city blocks dedicated to the citizens. It is a gathering place downtown, called the “Commons” where all can cool off under giant Oaks, walk their dog, picnic or just enjoy sitting with a snow cone and a conversation. There are often concerts free to the public, plus many other seasonal activities. It is a place where the country folks used to “park” their horse or mule or carriage while they filled their lists of supplies needed on the farm for the coming weeks, months or seasons. Most of the 300 historic homes surround the Commons and were built by the planters as a “town home”. No, not townhouse, Town Home. Big. Ornate. Grand. 10 inch crown mold. Yep, you got it now. Porches, verandas and portico’s.
These towns of 60,000 to 10,000 are surrounded and connected by vast spaces of farmland. Thousands of acres under cultivation. Tobacco, Soy Bean, Cotton, Corn, and Sweet Potatoes are prevalent. Once, a product of pine tar was harvested in a big way to supply caulking for the many wooden work boats built there and elsewhere. Thus, the name, Tarboro.
These fields are crisp, organized, well cared for and profitable to the tune of many billion dollars per year. They are often separated by a river, creek, stream or a wooded area and are dotted with shaded family burial plots, lakes and ponds.
As you travel these “country roads” you will see miles of cultivation interrupted by an oak grove where a beautifully renovated farm house is found nestled in the shade of the trees. Alluring driveways to the house invite you to enter, visit and perhaps enjoy a mint julep, a cold Pepsi or anything else except for a Bud Light. Pepsi was born in New Bern, N.C..
Thousands are employed in this manner and hundreds of support businesses offering farm services are found in all of these towns. Fertilizers, equipment sales and repair, etc.
These grand homes and fertile acres connect the dots back to the time of the British to our present day. This land was producing these crops then as they are now, some 300 years later, having fed millions. The methods are different now, the volume of production is different now, the grand homes shelter different people, the tools are very different but the challenge and urgency is the same.
Woke don’t float here. These are risk takers that roll the dice against nature and market prices to profit through hard work, skill, dedication, focused as lean business machines with another splash of more hard work. There is no credence given to social silliness that distracts one from established goals governed by the urgency of natural timelines.
No one cares of your skin color, your creed, your sexual persuasion, and you will not get to drive the tractor or harvester unless you have such a skill. Inclusion is about what you know or will come to know and equity is earned. At the same time, you will not see discrimination either. If you can help get the tobacco to the barn or the cotton to the gin or the corn to the silo, you will get paid and no one cares the color of your skin.
There are barns, equipment, storage buildings, fences, small private aircraft landing areas, and quaffed creeks that aide in irrigation with large mobile sprinkling systems present almost everywhere.
It is refreshing to see and feel such enterprise.
Largely, these are not corporate farms, these are family held properties that have been owned, divided and operated by those families for decades and in some cases, centuries. It will most definitely give one pause when visiting a family burial ground surrounded by a fresh crop of soybean that displays grave stones dated 1680, 1742 ,1783, 1812 or 1863. It reminded me that we are all temporary visitors on this earth and that we should not waste time sweating the small stuff worrying oneself over which bathroom to use. Just pick one or find a bush and be quick about it.
We are all mightily spoiled these days and no one then would want any one of us now, residing in one of their apple barrels. One bad apple —–.
In all these little towns, each one only 25 miles or so from one another, there are neat, clean dwellings, in town or out of town, found where hardworking, successful families pay their taxes, mortgages, raise a family, worship, have a car and a truck and probably a boat somewhere in the yard. These folks are the salt of the earth where for most, Sunday is a day of worship and everyone has time for a quick chat. Work is often interrupted for a few days when deer, dove or duck season click in, for sure.
You can bet that there are freezers chock full of venison, duck, quail, dove, goose and seafood and that somewhere in that giant field of corn, there is a vegetable garden that does provide the fixin’s for a great dinner. Canning veggies is still an active pursuit for families as well to add some summer tastes to a winter time menu.
An interesting contribution is made to most of these towns with an influx of transplant retirees that have sought and found a higher quality of life and at the same time bring more economy (dollars) into all of these areas and as one might expect, there are more of them settling nearer the water than elsewhere in places like Edenton and Washington, N.C.. The results are large subdivisions hidden within the seeming piney forests with golf clubs, tennis clubs, fishing clubs and hunting clubs.
Given a 700 residential housing development, sold out, with an average family retirement income of 35k. That is around a 28,000,000.00 cash injection annually for any one of these small towns. That is a lot of tax money, cash for residential services, gasoline, groceries, Honey Buns and a Pepsi, etc. for local businesses that would otherwise be absent. The figure of 35k is a very low guesstimate. We are talking about discretionary dollars for most of these retirees have no long term debt. These figures above represent the contribution of only ONE of these subdivisions and there are hundreds from Raleigh to the shore.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that in all of these areas, one will find a church or chapel within a stones throw. They are everywhere. They are not grand, they do not have velvet pew cushions or even paved parking, but they are full on Sundays and during the week there is always something going on.
These are the lands that connect the Piedmont to the ocean. There are opportunities for all that would partake, rewarded with a true lift in life quality and economy.
For us, our trip through the coastal plain of North Carolina was a refreshing and enlightening experience. We did miss the numerous Mom and Pop eateries disappeared by COVID and were concerned with some of the downtown businesses that are struggling or have given up the struggle but there is full recovery as seen in Edenton, Wilson, Washington and certainly Greenville, home of the Pirates.
There are abandoned farmhouses and barns to be seen in all of these areas, but with little effort one can find the new generation’s improved homestead pleasantly plopped somewhere near Great Grand Pa’s house that just was not worth the effort of repair thus, it is sentimentally allowed to die it’s own death. In that vine ridden pile of falling down lumber resides many fond memories for those situated just next door. To them, it is just another type of memorial. They are naturally returning to the earth just as Great Grand Dad was returned to the earth.
Our trip was a rejuvenating experience of a rediscovered Americana that still exists and is flourishing in spite of the woke and pitifully negative attacks offered us daily by all forms of our government and the infected media.
These discoveries are where the rubber meets the road that shows the invincibility of purpose, family, focus, community, worship, and capitalism, no matter the resistance.
The people and places that we visited on the coastal plain of North Carolina are not perfect and the problems of life are ever present but there is positivity, participation, pride, urgency, strength and light. There are some, in other places, that call all this — toxicity but there it is called success.
Not all participate but the feeling of energy and possibilities has become contagious. Folks don’t spend time re-inventing the wheel, they know that a wheel is round, has spokes and an axle hub and whether on a trailer, a cart, or a harvester, they just need grease to go round and round.
From the high water mark of the north eastern reaches of the Pamlico and the Albemarle sounds and from the ocean inland some 125 miles are great industries of fishing, seafood, boating, tourism, retiree services and farming where race is not a consideration but where participation is required. This scenario persists in other towns like New Bern, Morehead City, Beaufort and points west toward Wilmington.
These seeming gentle enterprises are in fact a fragile and tenacious balancing act requiring focus, care and management that can yield a sustained comfortable lifestyle interrupted only by natural challenges or relaxed days of fishing, hunting or idling by the fireside in January. Once again, it would seem that hunting and fishing is just a day of recreation and maybe it is but there is simultaneously, food stored for family, friends and the unfortunate.
The southern influence in these areas mentioned gives a genteel fluff to difficult back breaking effort. Wonderfully, life in these areas is a more personal experience where the word neighbor has real meaning and community is about people and not land area.
We feel confident that these truths are to be found in all parts of our country and the result of our exploration is a newly found comfort that can easily get lost in government and media if we allow that to happen.
Our discovery does give credence to the song, “Try that in a small town” because the folks there are engaged in growing, protecting and preserving that which provides them sustenance and a sense of self: Work, property, family and worship. It has been stated over the decades that people who plant things into the earth — do not run and will stand firmly when threatened.
Most wimps these days do not really want to try and define what that song means but here it is. ” If you come to our town to burn and pillage and injure or kill, to ruin the tools that we use for our sustenance or damage the property of others who are striving to earn their living rather than take a living, you will be met with a serious resistance and it ain’t going to be pretty.” This mindset has nothing to do with race, it has to do with protecting life and property as described in our U.S constitution and is only about protecting the people, tools and property that enhance work efforts to improve and sustain a better life. That is called: “Protecting earned equity”.
There is not much nonsense experienced in these areas. There probably has not been much Budweiser Beer sold there in recent times. This area is not about successful enclaves, it is about all the people. Some are more monied but all can be engaged and successful.
Want to talk about a self sustained life style? Consider a farm that has been producing food for 300, 100, or 50 years or a restaurant that has been providing shore dinners to thousands of people for 90 years, all owned and operated by families and their descendants for those long periods of time.
Please note that fifty percent of the population in Eastern North Carolina is black and they feel the same way about their lives, their investments, homes, farms, jobs and their quality as does every one else there and they won’t run either.
Remember, these are the lands of the revolutionary Tar heel. They don’t run.
We are not lost yet — please show up at the polls and let us vote out completely this irrational trend to homogenize and dilute all that is fresh, unique and whole so we can wait for a hand out. Until then, get LOUD.
Be Aware ————- AMERICA LIVES!
Below: Founding dates in coastal NC – note there is confusion where some cities were founded under one name and that name was later changed. I used the latter date and the present day name. These cities are in order of age but there are purposeful omissions for some cities were founded earlier in the state and are not listed because the scope of this article is about the coastal plain. Coastal plain cities are denoted with a star.
Bath 1705 British *
New Bern 1710 British *
Edenton 1712 British *
Beaufort 1713 British *
Brunswick 1725 British * Near Wilmington
Wilmington 1739 British *
Hillsboro 1754 British Piedmont/coastal plain shelf – arguably not coastal plain
Tarboro 1760 British *
Greenville 1771 British * Greenville was founded earlier known as Martinsborough
Washington 1776 USA *
Wilson 1849 USA *
Morehead City 1861 CSA *
Rocky Mt 1907 USA *
See link to map of Mountain, Piedmont, and Coastal plain:
copy and paste http://www.thomaslegion.net/northcarolinamapshomepage.html