Letter to the editor: Depot Street rezoning would change Mocksville forever

Published 1:33 pm Monday, August 9, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

To the editor:

Mocksville may appear small as a town, but we must be an eye of beauty to WXII TV 12 and corporate contractors referencing Wayne Farms.

Recapping the transition of J.P. Green Milling Co. to Wayne Farms and the rezoning for the use of this property has gotten the attention of locals and the surrounding area.During the town board meeting on Aug. 3, the concern and public turnout to speak against the rezoning at East Depot and Williams streets was obvious, and this subject caught the eye of local media.

This very location has everything to do with my family.  My sisters and brothers being raised, taught respect, morals and what it meant to be a black business owner. From the top of Depot Street all the way to the bottom on either side were our recognized first black business owners, and Gaither’s Grocery, which provided groceries and meals for many families, was one of those businesses. Gaither’s was a retail grocery in the front with a butcher’s market in the back. All kids knew their area of work. No questions were asked. My childhood years were spent on Depot Street, so it is real to me. One of the largest businesses was J.P. Green Milling and on a daily basis, it did not go unnoticed.

I can remember the dedication of families who worked for this company, the difference in their early morning walks to work. Some of the family members of those who were employed are still in the area. I can tell you that keeping Gaither’s Grocery clean and up to standards was an all-day job. J.P. Green Milling proved to be good for some, but not for everyone.

My point is that the operations of Wayne Farms is not limited to just one way of processing for the poultry industry; however, the area purchased here to rezone states, approximately 1.009 acres from town center to special purpose. This facility will once again produce poultry grain. The running of oversized trucks throughout the town and community, air quality disturbed … what will the long-term effect really cost?

Is Mocksville absolutely ready to secure this decision? What is the outcome on down the road, and is it worth the goodness of mankind?

It’s a fact that the vendors and businesses, households and families, on Depot Street, once again within yards, maybe blocks of this proposed zoning, should have to question their day-to-day operations here once again. This request … directly or indirectly … will forever change Mocksville.

I would like to thank my mom and dad, among the first black business owners on Depot Street. You both taught me  when to take a stand to make sure that it is secure and just to stand the place for others for a cause and a purpose and a hope. If you find your place of standing leaves you all alone, know that sometimes alone is the perfect place to be. Collect your thoughts and prayers to prepare for what lies ahead.

I can hear your echo of wisdom, mom and dad. Before you can know and realize who is for you, you must first know and realize who is against you. Now in my greater years, I reference back to the word of God which you both instilled within our family.

Thank you to the town board and to others for the best interest for everyone in the community.

Thomasine Gaither