Remember The Monarchs, Reader Urges

Published 9:17 am Thursday, June 22, 2017

What do you want: Happy cows or fluttering butterflies? Good Methodist and butterfly lover Mary Billingsley of Clemmons chastised me after I confessed to killing milkweed in a hay field on the farm.

“I was quite upset when I read two or three weeks ago that you were trying to eradicate milkweed from your property.  Milkweed is essential for the life cycle of the monarch butterfly … Please reconsider killing off this particular ‘weed’,” she wrote.

I like butterflies too, but milkweed gives cows and horses indigestion. The weed had infested the field, and it has taken five years to put a serious dent in it. I have hoed, pulled and sprayed, and still the weed reappears. Milkweed grows in colonies linked by a strange underground rope-like root system. I’ve even pulled up the roots.

Butterflies may like the milkweed, but cows and horses don’t.

• • • • •

Back to the mail ….

To have been in this business 40 years, I sure make a lot of mistakes with the language and spelling.

Alert reader Greg Russell, one of our faithful football contest participants, was amused when reading my account of the flooding at the old Lasater Mill in Clemmons a month ago.

“I apologize in advance, but I could not resist writing you.  (Well, I did resist until now, but clearly I broke down.) In your article about the Lasater Mill, you mentioned that it seemed remarkably “unphased.”  While that may be true, I am going to guess that you really meant “unfazed.” (I, too, have been burned by the spell-checker not picking up on similar errors of mine.) I appreciate the unintentional chuckle,” he wrote.

My miscue happened a week before we published the obituary of that ultimate copy editor, Dick Creed, the old watchdog for the Winston-Salem Journal who also contributed columns to The Clemmons Courier.

During the good times, newspapers could afford copy editors to scrub the stories of misplaced modifiers and improper syntax. These days, we do the best that we can in a rush, but I’m going to be more careful about my fazes and phases.

• • • • •

Everybody seems to have a chip on their shoulder these days, but it still came as a shock that in this confused, gender-fluid society that some guy objected to a girls-only showing of the new movie “Wonder Woman.” Why not put on a dress and go with the girls? These days, if a confused boy feels like a girl … he is, and he can compete against the girls and be declared a high school state girls champion. Up is down. In is out.

Don’t get me started on that.

The new action movie is … outstanding.

I took Elizabeth and sat with an audience of old folks who qualified for the senior discount. Many applauded when the credits rolled.

Some Arabs hate it because an Israeli beauty, Gal Gadot, is Wonder Woman. Some people just can’t let go of their list of hatreds even for 90 minutes.

I didn’t expect to like it, but was I wrong.

Set in World War I, the movie combines lots of historical references with a girl that can toss a tank across the battlefield.

Forget Superman, Wonder Woman is the new ultimate super hero.

— Dwight Sparks