More memories of the mosquito man

Published 3:35 pm Monday, June 7, 2021

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I am grateful for the tremendous response I received about last week’s column regarding the Mosquito Man.  I not only heard from Beaufort County residents, but also from people who live in other states who shared knowledge of the Mosquito Man who helped with controlling the mosquito population where they lived.  The most surprising accounts came from readers who had grown up or lived in rural towns outside of major cities in New York and New Jersey who had a mosquito man in their towns too.


I also was happy to learn of the name of our Mosquito Man who served the city of Washington.  Mr. James Carter drove a tractor that pulled the mosquito machine behind it.  Since I was hiding in the house when I heard the roar of the machine coming, I didn’t get to see what it looked like. I thought it was on the back of a pick-up truck.


Mr. Carter and his wife Sarah attended Spring Garden Baptist Church according to a dear friend who knew them well.  I also attended that church as a youth. I probably had seen Mr. Carter but never knew he was the Mosquito Man.  If he were still living today, I would nominate him as the town hero.  It was the mysterious mosquito machine I dreaded, not Mr. Carter.   It was that mosquito spraying machine that earned him the title of the Mosquito Man.  Mr. Carter was legendary and a lot of people loved him for the work he did, Last week’s column brought back a lot of wonderful memories for many who grew up that time and chased the Mosquito Man.’


Seems no matter where you lived in Washington, where you went to school, or the economics of the community you lived in, we all enjoyed so many things in common as children.  Seems the mosquito man was one of those things. And not just here locally, but people in so many other places enjoyed reading about him and the mosquito machine as it brought back wonderful memories of their childhood.


We are all more alike than we realize and one common denominator is the things we enjoyed as kids that bonds us together.  Maybe it wasn’t the mosquito man for you, but maybe it was late summer evenings playing outside with friends, playing marbles, jacks and jump rope games.  Maybe it was the hours spent playing Old Maid card games with the kids in the neighborhood or putting a stick in the rim of your bike tires to made a sound that announced to your friends that your bike was going faster than theirs as you rode down the street.


I thank Mr. Carter for his service to Washington as the Mosquito man. He brought back some wonderful memories to so many people near and far. (Oh and I am still allergic to mosquito bites.)