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Looking Back On Davie’s 2013

Others may quibble about assigning judgment on 2013, but for Davie County the year was definitely positive. Home sales have rebounded, though not to the go-go years of yore. Two hospitals — ahem — “medical centers” opened their doors with plans for even more growth to come.

Novant opened its facility in Clemmons on Harper Road in April. Wake Forest Baptist followed in the fall with its own facility in Bermuda Run. Combined, the medical centers give a delightful and rare option in health care.

Ashley Furniture began shipping out of its new facility on Baltimore Road, and Davie County proved to be a magnet for companies looking to expand. Industrial recruiter Terry Bralley proved his worth in gold during the year, landing a Gildan manufacturing facility, Pro Refrigeration and others.

He has courageously battled the recession and double-digit unemployment, landing an impressive series of coveted industries.

The year will be one to remember for a variety of reasons.

We sat in traffic for much of the summer weekends. Work on the I-40 bridges over the Yadkin River caused traffic to be diverted to U.S. 158 through Bermuda Run and Clemmons. Traffic sometimes backed up for miles for the construction that extended over six weekends.

We said good-bye to the colorful and ambitious Don Angell, who brought Bermuda Run to a new era of incorporation and growth, entertained us with the old Crosby celebrity golf tournament, and changed the face of Davie and Forsyth counties with hotels and senior retirement homes. He was a mover and shaker of the old order.

In the weather department, wind toppled the old “Wedding Tree” at Tanglewood Park, the scene of many outdoor weddings over the decades. The tree was estimated at 400 years old. It was an unusually wet summer. Corn grew tall. The most common complaint among farmers was that it was often too muddy to get into the fields.

Gardeners had a different problem. It seemed too wet for tomatoes.

It was a wet July. Late in the month a slow moving weather system dumped about 4 inches of rain on the county. This was not a year of drought.

Mocksville continued its slow-and-steady improvement of downtown. New planters were erected. More Christmas lights were strung. The county fixed the long-broken courthouse clock.

The Enterprise-Record’s Sara Campbell retired after 67 years. I still have trouble with her not being at the front desk on Wednesday.

In Farmington, there was a bad word in the grass that made news. An artistic man with a lawnmower sculpted a bad word that was only visible to the gliders that fly overhead. It was something of a wonder.

People do odd things.

In my neighborhood, a groundhog climbed a tree. A neighbor’s hound chased the critter until it took refuge up a tree. Who knew they could climb?

And like so many years over the past decade, Davie County continued to squabble about its high school. Some things never change. The school board wanted a referendum this year on a new school. The county commissioners refused, scheduling it for May 2014.

The battle has been planned. Ammunition stored. Embattlements erected. For the third time, voters will be asked to settle this delicate dilemma. Build new or fix the old? That has been the unanswered question of the decade.

Meanwhile, Davie High students turned in another impressive SAT performance, ranking among the top systems in the state.

If 2013 was a year of building and promise, the New Year 2014 will include some fireworks. Happy New Year.

— Dwight Sparks