The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


December 26, 2012

A plea to keep Santa alive for some kids ...

TARBORO — Sometime tonight, long after the sun has dropped behind the horizon, Santa Claus will make his way from the North Pole in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer.

Children will battle that increasing drowsiness with all their might as they do all they can to get a glimpse of the jolly old fellow.

How does he do it?

How are all of those toys and games and pieces of clothing packed into that one sleigh? How can those eight reindeer pull it across the sky at speeds so fast it disappears before it is seen?

As a child growing up in an old farmhouse with space heaters, my concern was always how Santa could get inside ... allowing that we had no fireplace.

Mom — as moms always do — had the answer. In my letter to Santa Claus,she had included a note to let him know where a key to the back door would be hidden so that he might gain entry.

And the next morning ... voila!

•     •     •

To me, the story of a child’s Christmas is truly wonderful ... to hear that giggle and laughter ... to see the twinkle in their eyes ... the ripping and crumbling of wrapping paper.

For some children, though, the possibility exists there won’t be any giggles ... very little laughter and no paper to rip or crumble.

Those are the kids who deal with the reality that either mom or dad — or both — are out of work. What money they can pull together goes for food and to keep their home warm.

The Lord only knows what they’d do if someone got sick and there’s no way in the world there’s money for a Christmas tree.

To these kids, Christmas is a day they’ve dreaded while school was in session because all their little friends talked about what they were going to get.

They know they’re loved, but because of one thing or the other, these children won’t jump up on Christmas morning to run and see what Santa brought ... they aren’t even sure he knows where they live.

To me, the story of that child’s Christmas is like a punch in the stomach.

•     •     •

Time is running out to make a difference, but there is still time. I know many of you have already dug deep to try and help give a youngster a brighter Christmas.

I can’t imagine our grandsons, Dominick or Alex, without Christmas and even though we “cut back” this year, Stephanie made the comment Wednesday morning that “The boys made out like bandits!”

Could you please find it in your heart to reach in your pocket one more time? The Salvation Army will man its kettles at Wal-Mart from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. today, so the means is there to get gifts to those in need.

No child should be without at Christmas and we should do everything we can to keep that from happening.

You know, that’s the part of the Santa Claus mystery that no one seems to have a handle on ... the part where a child is not really sure whether Santa knows where they are or not.

That’s something we need to work on as a society, because EVERY child should know that Santa Claus exists and knows where they are and hasn’t forgotten them.

•     •     •

Today’s edition of your Daily Southerner is a bit different in that we’re sharing stories of special Christmases from members of the community.

Also, we offer you the letter of little Virginia O’Hanlon, written some 115 years ago when her belief in Santa Claus was shaken by her friends.

A veteran newspaperman by the name of Francis Pharcellus Church penned the unsigned editorial in the New York Sun that answered her question.

Church’s editorial has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

We hope you enjoy ... and from the staff of The Daily Southerner and the Walker household, we wish you all of the joys of the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas, and God bless..

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner. He can be reached at 823-3106.)

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    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
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    March 31, 2014


    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


    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


    To the Editor:
    Having just recently read the front page article in The Daily Southerner regarding Councilman Shepheard’s issues with the Tarboro town manager, I was left with more questions than answers.
    The article states that  Mr. Shepheard’s reasons for not voting in favor of extending the town manager’s contract had to do with “deplorable conditions of three town facilities, Thornton’s hiring practices and giving the council what he said was false information.” That’s it.  That’s all the information we were given.

    September 2, 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


    To the Editor:
    I am writing out of concern about disc golf. We as a town need to consider projects that have been given to (parks and recreation director) Cheryl Gay before this disc golf came along — like a walking trail at Clark Park, repairing the bathrooms, making sure the playground equipment is up-to-date and finding out what happen to the lights on the baseball field before we find money for disc golf. The town needs to consider what we been discussing in these last couple of meetings about recreation. I would love to see the Clark Park baseball field turned into a kickball field, which is a sport that everybody knows how to play, before you consider disc golf.
    Greg Higgs,

    August 15, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Monday night at the Town Council meeting (Aug. 12, 2013), I witnessed some the most disruptive,vitriolic and asinine behavior that I’ve ever seen, in the person of (Ward 8) councilman Garland Shepheard.  For several months, his behavior has grown progressively worse and it seems to embolden him to waste my time, the time of the other council members and the time of other citizens who care enough about Tarboro to attend council meetings.

    August 15, 2013