Mocksville’s Mayor Slate not on ballot

Published 10:41 am Thursday, October 29, 2015

Expect some confusion in the voting booths in Mocksville next week. When picking their mayor, voters for the first time in 18 years will search in vain for that familiar name: Dr. Francis Slate.

He is retiring as mayor at age 93.

One thing about Mocksville: When they find a mayor they like, they keep him. The late D.J. “Nick” Mando served even longer.

Both of them have evoked a rare quality: A politician voters can trust. Together, they have given politics a good name.

Dr. Slate was Davie County Hospital’s surgeon dating back to 1959. If someone needed surgery, he was the one for the job. When I was a lad of 10, he cut out my inflamed tonsils.

Folks must have figured if they could trust Dr. Slate to cut on them with a sharp knife while they were sedated, they could trust him to run the town, too.

Maybe that’s why neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is getting such a warm reception with Republicans during the GOP presidential campaign. He scores big in the trustworthy department even though he has never been elected to a political office.

Dr. Slate was a Mocksville commissioner for 10 years before he was mayor and a Davie County commissioner before that for 12 years.

Voters naturally and comfortably have checked his name.

But not next week.

His retirement is well earned. Running for office and serving are demanding tasks. He has performed the task with great distinction.

• • • •

What would you do with dozens of free doughnuts for the next year?

Jason Carter, who camped out for three nights in front of the new Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in Clemmons to be the first in line, isn’t going to eat them all. As his reward, Krispy Kreme will give him dozens and dozens of doughnuts for the next year.

“We have given away more than we have eaten,” he reported last week. “As part of our plan, my kids will pick a recipient of our doughnuts each month. We plan to spread the love. So far, recipients have been our son’s baseball teams, and the after school reading program at Clemmons Elementary. We have plans to love on the Clemmons Fire Department and the local EMS station.

“Thankfully, I have maintained my weight. No promises for the future.”

Carter keeps an eye out for new store openings. He was also first in line at the opening of Dairi-Os.

“We had a blast being part of the KK opening,” he wrote by email. “Keeping my eyes open for what’s next!”

• • • •

We got there too late for the main act. But it was still a pretty good show. Lots of the yellow leaves had fallen from the mile-long trail of maples on Conrad Road west of Lewisville during our Sunday drive. We ventured up to East Bend in a winding trail to see the leaves, staying off the main roads. We crossed the Shallowford bridge where the river was indeed shallow. We saw red leaves on the black gums and the dogwoods. Yellows on the maples and tulips. Browns and greens on the oaks.

– Dwight Sparks