You can meet the nicest people in Marshville

Mar. 13, 2013 @ 05:22 AM

One of the delightful perks of reporting local news is meeting interesting people.  At the Museum’s Black History program, I met Beverly Hamilton, a retired nurse and Museum docent. We only had time for a brief chat before the Museum closed, so we adjourned to Wendy’s and continued. We discussed a number of topics during the next two and a half hours including our faith, some challenges we had faced at different times in our lives, and people who had encouraged us.  Beverly attended Forest Hills and remembered three teachers who had been instrumental in her success in high school and, of course, in college: Myrtle Kiker, English; Carolyn Lowder, algebra; and Ellen Turner, advisor.  She could not praise them enough.  Ironically Myrtle and Carolyn are good friends of mine.  Unfortunately I did not know Ellen Turner, but her sister and I were good friends.  What an amazingly small world we live in and peopled by interesting and good people!  Life is good!

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When Tom Childers became principal of Marshville Elementary, he developed the Marshville Maxims as his challenge to students to perform their best each day and develop a character they could be proud of.  As the students repeat these each morning, they are hopefully becoming a way of thinking and living for happiness and success.

I learn more from my mistakes than from my successes. The difference between my success and failure is my determination. Winning is a habit.  Unfortunately so is losing. I will not settle for anything less than my best.  I will be amazed at what I can accomplish. Reading and writing and the ability to solve problems are keys to my future. The focal point in the school lobby is a ceiling-mounted digital display of candid  student snapshots.  Mrs. Bobbie Raye, the bookkeeper, keeps it updated.  Nice work, Mrs. Raye!  How proud the students and their parents must be of their school as they watch this delightful slide show.

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Seeing the appealing ad in Sunday’s paper, I decided to take a tour of the Olive Branch Family Care Home.  Being very familiar with Autumn Care, I was curious about the “other” facility in town.  The family home care designation is applied by the state to a facility housing six or less residents.  Olive Branch actually opened February 1, 2012 with two residents and has been full since August.  It is owned and operated as a private pay, flat-fee facility by Mandy Mask, an RN, and her husband, Wayne, the cook.  Three CNAs licensed to administer medicines complete the staff.  Flat fee means no add-ons; each resident is entitled to receive any and all services the facility offers for the one fee.

Mandy is eager to involve her clients in life of the community as much as possible.  On April 18th she will sponsor a Senior Olympics for Marshville, the town’s first.  It is not affiliated with Union County’s; it will feature games more friendly to her residents’ capabilities.  Another community offering is bingo for all seniors who will join her and her residents at Bojangles the third Wednesday of the month at 2 PM. 17 seniors played last month.  Interested?  Come join in the fun.

Marshville Presbyterian and Girls on the Run, a group of 3-5th graders from Marshville Elementary, work closely with the residents.  A Red Hat Club has been formed.  A plot in the back yard affords interested residents a chance to garden. The vegetables they grow find their way to the kitchen and on to their dinner plates.  This week’s posted menus offers a nice variety of food for all three meals.  Everyone eats well and enjoys Wayne’s cooking so I learned!

Archie Morgan of WIXE radio toured the facility recently and dubbed it “a bed and breakfast for seniors.”  It is indeed a delightful and colorful home away from home.  Since Mandy and Wayne were unable to find a suitable house in town, their second facility slated to open May 1 will be four miles outside of town.

Incidentally Olive Branch has a keyboard but no one to play it.  Anyone willing to help with the music will be welcomed and much appreciated!

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In preparing my first column, I telephoned Regina Leigh (not Lee, excuse me.) at her home in Mt. Juliet, a suburb of Nashville.  She expressed amazement at how her life has turned out.  It was not what she had expected, but she is totally happy being a wife, mother and part-time entertainer.  She works full time at the local elementary school chiefly in the office.  Her 7th grade daughter Savana is a total delight. Her proud mother reports that she is involved in competitive cheer leading.  Wouldn’t you have guessed that?  Husband Tony King, also a Tar Heel, is from Whiteville.  He and Regina, of course, met in Nashville.  For a number of years he toured with Brooks and Dunn as part of their band, but when the group disbanded, he found himself off the road.  He, too, enjoys his family time. Both he and Regina are very active in Gladeville Baptist Church.  Regina sings, of course, and Tony is in charge of the video and sound system.  Professionally Regina still sings two nights a week in Nashville as backup for an Elvis impersonator.  His show has been running for 13 years! The Museum has a copy of her first recording, a 45 rpm, some photos and a biographical sketch.  Go and check it out and all the other interesting displays there.  The Museum is an amazing treasure trove!  I will be spending lots of time in it learning more about my town and its history.  I’d love to meet you there.  Incidentally Sunday is an extremely quiet day there.

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Monday night I attended my first Town Hall meeting. Did I ever wade into some unknown waters? (Many thanks to Tonya  Johnson, Town Clerk, for filling in the many gaps in my understanding.) During the Public Comment segment, Mark Traywick, chairman of the Small Town Main Street Committee, announced his monthly committee meetings the third Thursday of each month at 6PM at the library.  Because of a scheduling conflict, this month’s meeting will be at Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public. His committee is seeking designation as a Small Town Main Street, which would provide some funding for the revitalizing of downtown.  John Edmondson, editor of Home News and local business man, also spoke thanking the Council for their efforts toward transparency and openness in government known as the Sunshine Week initiative.

Jana McMakin of the Planning Board presented amendments to the existing Sign Ordinance with some final edits. Until the Land Use Planning process is completed and work begun on the entire Land Use Ordinance, these amendments will need further clarifications and changes until the entire rewrite of ordinance is completed.

Under the Consent Agenda, the budget for January was adopted.  The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.  Mayor Deese proclaimed March 10-16 as Sunshine Week.  It is a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information.  The resolution in support of the Monroe Connector-Bypass and the request to expedite project construction was approved.

Nonprofit funding policy and procedures were discussed.  The consensus was that all agencies would be treated equally.  Each would have to file the necessary paperwork and funding would be based on availability.

In the matter of conducting criminal background investigations in the recruitment and hiring of Marshville town employees, Mayor Deese was adamant that the two questions pertaining to criminal activity be removed from the application.  A positive response on these would immediately exclude anyone with any criminal background from an interview much less serious consideration for a position regardless of the candidate’s qualifications he maintained.  It was decided that these two questions should be eliminated, but there would be certification on the application for full disclosure of any criminal activity and related charges.

Title V Senior community service employment program which would provide for a counselor to be located in the community center to help seniors 55 years and older locate employment was discussed.  The consensus was such a program was needed and the program was approved.

The annual budget retreat was announced for Monday March ll in Wadesboro.  Council members were encouraged to attend.

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If you are 60 or older and decide one day, you would like a hot, nutritious meal without cooking (tired-to death of fast food, too), simply saunter, stroll, dash or drive over to Hope House on Church St.  You will find festive seasonal decorations on the outside, courtesy the warm, welcoming site manager, Julie Haulk.  Inside you will see more decorations and Julie will introduce you to other seniors- many are regulars.  At the designated meal time, you will be offered a meal and tea or coffee for a modest price.  Who wants to eat alone every day or even cook for one?  BIG TIP:  It has been proven that loneliness contribute to Alzheimer’s.  Another good reason to choose lunch at Hope House with Julie and her group!  There are three other sites in the Union County Senior Nutrition program – Indian Trail, Monroe and Mineral Springs.  They all welcome seniors for lunch five days a week.  If you have a friend, relative or just know someone who is incapable of preparing his or her own food, Senior Nutrition may be able to get meal delivered to that person for a nominal fee.  Contact Senior Nutrition at 704.283.3500.