NO OLF gives thanks for land, homes

Published 1:10 pm Thursday, November 22, 2007

By Staff
Group pledges support for northeastern counties
Staff Writer
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, North Carolinians Opposed to the Outlying Landing field gathered Tuesday to commemorate a seven-year struggle they have led from the fields and forests of Beaufort and Washington counties and which, heretofore, has kept the Navy at bay.
Many of those “troops’’ gathered Tuesday night at the Beasley Farm Shop on the Washington-Beaufort county line to give thanks that the area in which they live and farm has not become a hive for Navy Super Hornet jets.
Shortly before 6 p.m., the farmers from the fields and women and children from their homes began arriving at the big metal building where the group holds many of meetings, covered dishes in hand.
Shortly thereafter, the group set down to a potluck dinner of fried chicken, corn, potatoes and other fruits of the farmers own labors.
Ange presented a new slideshow of compiled photographs chronicling the people of Site C’s struggle against the Navy building a pilot-practice field on their land.
The film opens with wide shots of lush farmland in Washington and Beaufort counties, set to “Born Country” by the Band Alabama.
As the soundtrack shifted to James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind,” the photos became more personal, spotlighting nearly every member of NO OLF that contributed time and effort to the group’s cause, travels to Washington D.C. to lobby representatives and numerous rallies.
The film was dedicated to two “dedicated OLFers” who have died since the Navy’s record of decision targeted Site C for an OLF in 2003, said Christy Ange. Ange and her twin sister Jennifer coordinated the film. Photographs of the two - Conrad Cox and W.C. Alligood - concluded the film.
As the lights came up, a standing ovation was given, followed by tearful hugs.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Christy Ange gave thanks for the group having avoided the proposed OLF for so long.
Having begun her own fight against the Navy in September, when northeastern North Carolina was announced to be the location of four new proposed sites, Gates County resident Laura Dickerson applauded the grassroots effort put forth by Washington and Beaufort county residents.
Myra Beasley, in whose shop the meeting was held, read aloud from a resolution passed by the group Sept. 25 pledging “support to the communities and people of northeastern North Carolina.”