The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Letters to the Editor

May 16, 2012

Remembering Betty Perrin NeSmith



Betty Perrin NeSmith was a force of nature. I hate the past tense, but it's the grammar we use when someone dies‚ Im just not sure it's the grammar Betty would use when thinking about death. She is moving on, with things to do. She was looking for a higher plane even while grounded on this earth, and I'm happy to think of her still searching out there in the other worlds. Tarboro friend Jonathan Mlyniec said Betty was trying to make Tarboro a place she might be happy to live in. Maybe she succeeded; maybe she didn't, but, as Jonathan made clear, she succeeded in making it a place he wanted to live in. And many others agree. Now, how to keep it a place to thrive in without her? Use her example of indefatigable belief in the power of positive action in the face of resistance to change? Yes. Why not? I would meet Betty in the coffee shop on various mornings. We'd talk of her various projects for reimagining

   Tarboro as a town known for joy, pleasure, tolerance, care‚ all things she believed in passionately‚ and I'd walk away willing to believe it was all possible. Other days, though, we'd talk about the personal costs of imagining change. It's not easy to swim against the current, and at times Betty felt caught in a riptide of resistance. She was never one to believe that‚ you can't fight city hall, but she was also wise enough to know there were often consequences. Still, she'd never let the struggle permanently darken her day, and soon new ideas and a renewed willingness to trust in the better selves of our collective endeavor would return.

   The Unusual Shoppe, Second Saturdays, Karaoke Nights that were far more fun than any karaoke night deserved to be, these were all Betty's doing. And they gave Tarboro an undercurrent of uncommon energy and possibility. She was a one-woman cultural ambassador for an open community engagement that excluded no one.

   I left Tarboro a year ago, and was unable to participate in Betty's final struggle. I know she was surrounded by great friends and family that understood her unique needs and beliefs. My heart goes out to all her friends and family. The loss to the town of Tarboro is great, but the personal loss is immeasurable, maybe even unknowable until we live through it. And the realm of the unknowable is also Betty's special place. We'll all have to be comfortable living there, with and without her, from now on.


Greensboro , NC

Text Only
Letters to the Editor

    Greeting Ward 3 and Tarboro Citizens:
    I want to take this time to introduce myself to some and present myself to others. My name is Leshaun Jenkins, a candidate for Tarboro Town Council Ward 3.

    October 23, 2013

  • Letter to the Editor:

    It was brought to my attention today that Mayor Priscilla Oates has planted seeds of doubt about my character and that concerns me deeply.

    October 4, 2013


    On July 28, 911 was called because my husband had a bad headache. I was transferred to communications in Edgecombe County, where I spoke to a female operator. I informed her I needed Rescue because my husband had a bad headache and gave her our address and telephone number.

    September 26, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Sheriff Knight’s “guys” may have worked hard on the case concerning Melvin Ray Fox, but did they really? Probably not for the sheriff, but for someone else behind the scenes. Not condoning Mr. Fox for his crime, because he should be punished, but not necessarily in the manner of leaving behind his wife as well as his 3-, 5- 7- and 13-year-old children.

    September 10, 2013


    To The Editor:
    Yes, I voted “no” to extending the town manager’s contract as stated in the news article and “yes,” town manager Alan Thornton was correct when he said I did not get the answers I wanted to some of the questions. Some of the questions and answers are as follows:

    September 8, 2013


    Concerning the Tarboro High 2013 Vikings football team: They have heart and desire. That was shown Friday night versus Washington. Just like last year’s state championship game, we got behind against a very good team. The Vikings didn’t quit even though they had several injuries throughout the game.  Right up to the last minute we had a chance  but, things didn’t go our way.

    September 5, 2013


    To the Editor:
    It appears Mr. (Garland) Shepheard is shaking up things in our fair city according to a recent Daily Southerner article. Hurrah for him. This citizen, for one, believes the status quo needs a little shake up.
    I don’t know if Mr. Shepheard is disrespectful with his words and/or
    actions at council meetings or not. I don’t attend them any longer. It isn’t that I don’t care that some residents may suggest.

    September 4, 2013

  • Response to “So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.?”

    August 29, 2013


    To the Editor:
    So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.? I have never heard of you. I have tried to find your voter registration on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and I can't find it.
    Somebody said that you have an impressive resume. I say and ?
    But what I find interesting is the following. Mr. Dennie the current Sheriff is the following: "The sheriff of any county should be a person who has a personal interest in the citizens that work live and visit their county,"

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am glad that opinions are being expressed regarding my actions at the Town Council meetings,  both by Mr. Walker and Mr. Wooten.
    It is my intention to expose the concerns expressed to me by the taxpayers of Tarboro, and when I find something that causes Tarboro not to be the Town we can all be proud of, I will speak up. I was told by people in Ward 8 when I ran for this office not to be like the rest of the Council and I expressed that to the members. The problems that exist in Tarboro should not have to be aired in public or at the Town Council Meetings and there should not be any discord.

    August 18, 2013