Oh my, August 15 and we can already hear the school bells ringing. Walkers, bikers and bus riders will be filling our streets and we urge all drivers to obey our speed limits with hands on the steering wheel and electronic devices put aside.
Today Around Davidson has notes about Crosswalk Safety. In addition we celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary with Martha and Jack Packard, have an update on Philmont with members of Boy Scout Troop 58, welcome news from the Wacker Family, and finally include a Noteworthy Note about State Fairs.
RAISE ‘EM HIGH
Yes, we are referring to those bright orange flags stored in buckets at six intersections in town. You are asked to pick one up and hold it high as you cross the street making you more visible to motorists. We applaud the town’s initial efforts at pedestrian safety but urge the Board of Commissioners to include the crosswalks ASAP at Concord Road and St. Alban’s Way as well as the one crossing Pine Road as it intersects with Concord Road.
It is not “rocket science” to know that motorists traveling 35 miles per hour are less likely to slow and stop for pedestrians at these two intersections. There are also flags at Robert Walker and Davidson-Concord Road where the speed limit is 45 mph. Good luck bringing cars to a halt there, but we are hoping the flags help. The bottom line is to be vigilant. Pick up a flag at the crosswalk where they are available and hold it high. Let’s do our best to promote safety for pedestrians.
FIFTY YEARS OF MATRIMONY FOR THE PACKARDS
Congratulations to Martha and Jack Packard who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this Sunday, August 18. On this date in 1963 they were married in the Ridgeview Congregational Church in White Plains, NY. Jack, from Shelby, NC, was a cadet at Kings Point Military Academy when invited to a home cooked meal at Martha’s home thanks to a Shelby cousin who urged Martha’s family to “look after him.” After marrying, the Packards lived most of their lives in Charlotte and raised two daughters, Debbie and Beth.
Martha and Jack now live just north of Davidson wanting to be closer to daughter, Debbie who is married to Grey Shutt and has two children, Allison (who turns 20 on August 18) and Carson, a junior at CSD where Debbie is the Elementary Music Specialist. Allison is a junior at Furman, majoring in Music Education – and the Packards first grandchild and only granddaughter. She also was born on the Packard’s 30th wedding anniversary. Quite a present! Their other daughter, Beth Packard Arnold, and her family live in Kentucky where Beth is a Professor of Voice at the University of Kentucky. (There is a strong “music gene” in this family!)
Martha and Jack are both active in the Davidson United Methodist Church and volunteer regularly at the Habitat Restores. As an early celebration of their five decades of married life, the Packards with children and grandchildren took a family trip to the Outer Banks in July. More recently Martha and Jack completed a tour of New York, including Kings Point, White Plains and the church where they were married and their daughters baptized. Best wishes to all the family.
PHILMONT: MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME
Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico. Ask anyone who has been and they will tell you it was life changing. Davidson resident Martin Kerr traveled there in 1974 and recently wrote “I count my trip to Philmont as the absolute best thing I did in scouting and probably as a youth. If someone told me I had a choice of keeping either my Philmont badge or my Eagle badge, I’d probably choose the Philmont badge.”
Now ask the 20 young people and the four adults (Jay Harris, John Bragg, Christopher and Laura Willingham) who accompanied them to Philmont and the answers will range from tough hiking, blisters, rain, hail, repetitive meals, challenging map reading, sweaty clothes and weary feet. But put all the little complaints behind them and given a chance to think about their experiences during the 80-100 miles of backcountry backpacking, the boys will echo Christopher Willingham’s comment: “Of all the challenges you will face at Philmont, one of the most difficult will be to explain the experience to those who have never been.” (Read more from Christopher’s Philmont notes here)
The Davidson group flew to New Mexico on July 9 and returned to North Carolina on July 23. They were divided into two crews with Frank Bragg leading one and Andrew Nielsen the other. (A former fellow scout in Troop 58, John Wacker, was able to join Andrew’s crew from his family’s new home in Austin, TX.) Following check-in and a chance to acclimate to Philmont for a day, the crews set off with a Back Country Ranger hiking with them for the first two days. During this time they were instructed in trail etiquette, meal preparation and clean-up, cleanliness and bear bags (where everything from chapstick to sunscreen had to be “launched” high up in a tree overnight). Then the crews were on their own and did not gather again as a group of 24 until the final night at Tooth Ridge camp. The last morning they arose at 4:30am for a sunrise hike to the Tooth of Time, a famous geological landmark located on Philmont property.
A final four hour hike brought the crews back to Philmont Base Camp to sort gear, shower, eat (salad, pizza and ice cream!), receive their Philmont 75th Anniversary patches and spend one last night in the “Homebound Tent” area before flying home to Charlotte. Upon arrival in North Carolina, one of their pilots greeted the scouts congratulating them on their Philmont patches and commenting that he was there to receive a 50th Anniversary patch! Quite an adventure! Quite an accomplishment! We are proud of Troop 58 Crews! (for more information on Philmont, go to www.philmontscoutranch.org)
CHECKING IN WITH THE WACKER FAMILY
Steve and Rachel Wacker, former Davidson residents, have adjusted to life in Austin but still miss Davidson. Good news that their daughter, Annie, is now going to be a lot closer to Davidson since she begins college this month at the University of South Carolina as a McNair Scholar, one of the most prestigious awards at USC. Annie was granted this scholarship based on her strong academic record and leadership in her high school and community. Congratulations to you, Annie, and all the family.
A GREAT YEAR FOR STATE FAIRS
Advance tickets went on sale two weeks ago for our North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Dates for 2013 are October 17-27. If you have not been, these ten days are a wonderful treat of agricultural products, show rings full of animals, marvelous “eats,” educational displays and the ever present lure of the late night games and rides on the Midway.
State Fairs have been making the news this week with a rodeo clown in an Obama mask in Missouri to a malicious dousing with red paint on the traditional butter cow in Iowa. Let’s hope for good weather, well behaved crowds and wonderful exhibits at our own NC Fair in October. Plan now to attend.
SEND US YOUR NEWS
Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at email@example.com.