Some more wandering thoughts

By Mac McPhail - Contributing columnist
Mac McPhail -

A few more wandering thoughts from a wondering mind…

According to an article in this newspaper earlier this week, the projected completion of the NC Hwy 24 road improvement has been backed up once again until the end of January 2019. That’s right, it will only be 433 days later than the original November 2017 completion date. But most of us who travel on Sunset Avenue here in Clinton on a regular basis surely notice the seemingly lack of urgency during the road construction. There seems to be many days when there is little or no work being done.

So, sad to say, I feel the January 2019 completion date is probably too optimistic. But I do have it from a reliable source that the project is to be completed by Christmas. They’re just not sure which Christmas.

By the way, as a frequent traveler on Sunset Avenue, I want to compliment most of my fellow drivers who also have to negotiate the work zone. Thanks for stopping and waving a car in that is trying to get on to the highway when traffic is backed up. It seems like most everyone has been courteous to their fellow driver during this seemingly endless period of construction. (Well, except for a certain individual in a jacked-up, loud muffler pickup truck.) Hang in there, remember, it’ll be completed by Christmas.

Another article, this past Tuesday, highlighted the latest lawsuit verdict against the hog industry. The whopping $473.5 million judgment against a Pender County hog operation was the third such loss for the hog industry in the past few months. According to the article, this is the third of 26 lawsuits against Smithfield Foods, so the court cases will continue. There has been much concern about how these lawsuits will affect the hog industry and hog farming in this area.

According to the article, “North Carolina has roughly 2,200 hog operations. It is an $11 billion business for the state, with about 46,000 jobs.” And the majority of them are right here in this area. Eventually, problems in the hog industry will negatively affect other businesses.

Well, except for one. It’s the yard sign business. It seems like just about every other house or business you go by has a small yard sign supporting hog farmers. There may end up being more yard signs this year supporting hog farmers than supporting political candidates. I just hope those signs of support for livestock farmers don’t turn into political signs. There is too much at stake for the future of this area for this issue to be used by politicians or political groups on either side just for their own political gain.

Speaking of small yard signs, occasionally I see a small road sign that troubles me. It’s stuck in the ground beside the highway. It says, “Slow death in family.” I wonder, “How long is it going to be before the person dies?” And, “Why would they stick a sign beside the highway telling everyone?” I’ve also noticed that, after traveling down the road a little further, that there will be another small sign on the other side of the road telling drivers going the other way the same thing.

I saw another similar sign beside the road the other day. It stated, “Slow children at play.” I suppose it means I need to be careful driving there because those kids are not going to be quick enough to get out of the way in time.

Last month, it took five hours and 75 votes to elect a new chairperson for the Clinton City School Board of Education. That’s right, 75 votes! That raises a couple of obvious questions. First, why would you have a board with an even number of members anyway? An odd number of members (I didn’t say odd members.) would avoid such an occurrence. Second, couldn’t you have just drawn straws? How about rock, paper, scissors? But 75 votes to elect a chairperson? Really?

Finally, there’s a line I often use after a frustrating day on the golf course. (And I’ve used it many times.) It’s simply, “Well, I could be complaining about hospital food.”

Mac McPhail McPhail

By Mac McPhail

Contributing columnist

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at [email protected]

Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at [email protected]