He’s a kid who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 and seems to be doing OK now. I also saw a sign praying for someone else, and the local newspaper office had an announcement about an event to benefit a sick seven-month-old.
That sense of community is one of the impressions that North Carolina made on me.
Another part of that North Carolina generosity is the hospitality shown by the owner of the historic and oh-so-elegant Elizabethtown Inn, a new B&B. Our group was split into three places — the vineyard’s cabins, the B&B and the Knights Inn in town. Most of us met for dinner downtown, which was walkable for those of us from the Knights Inn. Chris packed his Honda Fit and made a couple of trips. And of course it could be biked, with lights. But the inn’s owner, Chris Adams, graciously offered the use of his Cadillac to those staying there. And we are talking a new car, not some old beater.
As for the inn, it dates back to before the Civil War. During the war, southern officers recovered from their wounds on the second floor. The first floor was for the horses. And today, bicycles were allowed in:
This, by the way, is what one of the rooms looks like. My room at the Knights Inn didn’t compare.
Another impression of North Carolina is less positive — the poverty as seen through some of the houses. You’d see nice, modest homes next to run-down or even abandoned places. This is one of three in a row. I’d be wanting them torn down if they were next to me … but paid for by whom?
You definitely had a sense that parts of North Carolina have been left behind. The state’s poverty rate is 17.2%, well above the national rate, and in Bladen County, home to Elizabethtown, it’s 25.5%. So probably no surprise that I saw far more signs on Thursday for Donald Trump than for Hillary Clinton.