Archived Story

Write Again … Yes, I do take pride in this

Published 10:45pm Monday, December 31, 2012

So as not to waste your time, right here at the beginning of this scribbling session, let me admit flat-out that I take pride in that about which I am going to write. (Now, wasn’t that an awkward construction of a sentiment to disavow a false modesty?)
Trusting that what I’ve just written hasn’t induced you to seek other, more interesting, items in our daily gazette, let me now explicate
Here ‘tis.
I take at least a modicum of pride regarding some slogans, sayings, that emanated from yours truly.
The first one, perhaps the most meaningful to me, is “Pride in the Past — Faith in the Future.” That’s mine, baby.
You see, it was selected, back in the early 1970s, through a contest to come up with a slogan and a logo to be used during Washington’s bicentennial celebration in 1976. I take pride in this.
Then, at a talk at a Washington Pam Pack football banquet some years ago, I used, thematically, the phrase “the Long Blue Line.”
That line is now a part of the football culture for the school. I take pride in this.
More recently, when my church was on the cusp of seeing its new addition put in use, I recommended, made presentations about, campaigned
for, naming the large multi-
use space “Wesley Hall.” For any who knew the history of the Methodist Church,
this seemed, to me, a real “no brainer.” And my recommendation to name the facility’s nice meeting  room the “Asbury Conference Room” sailed through unimpeded. I take pride in this. Both names.
Perhaps my most memorable saying, which I’m told is still part of my “legacy” from Manteo High School coaching days, is that which I would tell my teams — basketball,
track and field, and cross-country — which was “It’s not whether we win or lose. It’s where we eat after the game (or meet).”
Tongue-in-cheek though this may have been, the kids loved it, and it was a good recruiting tool, as well.
Let me also tell you of one of my “failures.” Of a sort. You see, I campaigned to get rid of the name “Pee Dee” for the ECU athletic teams mascot. It’s stupid. Means nothing. The Pee Dee is a river in South Carolina, for heaven’s sake.
I even suggested a name. A much better name. They should call the mascot “Leo,” I argued. Who did any more for the school than president, then chancellor, Leo Jenkins? No one. Besides, Dr. Jenkins would have loved it.
They, quite predictably,
ignored my entreaties.
Then, although I recognized at the outset that any opinions by anyone anywhere
would be ignored, I felt — as did many — that putting all of the medical entities from Greenville and radiating out over many eastern counties under the name “Vidant” was completely inappropriate, and indefensibly stupid. “Vidant”
has absolutely no connection
or relativity to our region. None.
So. That’s it. Or, as they say in parts of Jersey, “Enough already.”
Thanks, friends and kind readers, for hanging with me on this pat-myself-on-the-back, then rant-a-bit, piece.
See you next week, Lord willing.
And … may we all have a good New Year.

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