The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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Life Today

By Gaye Hoots

Today medical issues and health concerns take up a lot of time. I drove from Oriental to Winston Salem Monday to keep medical appointments I had made and to spend time with family and friends in Advance. The leaves were colorful, and I enjoyed the scenery for the last two hours of the drive. I stopped at the Breast Center in Winston because I had been unable to schedule an appointment by phone or on the computer, possibly due to an operator error. Usually, the office was packed, and three receptionists were busy. Monday, only a couple of patients were there, and they did my scan immediately. I am unsure what has changed other than scheduling being difficult.

Tuesday, I met three of the girls from our writers’ group; yes, I still think of us as girls. Two of our group visited Linda Burnett after the death of her husband John and shared that she is adjusting to living on her own. We discussed the pros and cons of our present education system and told old war stories about jury duty experiences. Several restaurants in Mocksville are closed on Tuesdays, but we enjoyed a delicious meal at The Factory, and I had to leave for my medical appointment.

I saw Dr. Shugart at Davie Medical Center and highly recommend her. I had labs after my appointment, and I was due for a bone scan which she got staff do for me. When I got the lab results, most of it was good news, but I am going to have to repeat the mammogram and will probably have to go there to get the appointment,

Following the doctor’s appointment, I visited Gail Frye, who has significant pain from a damaged facial nerve. That has not kept her from baking, and I left with a delicious cake I shared with my family. Visits with Gail always lift my spirits.

Tuesday evening, I heard from a friend of Bill Evans, who is looking after Bill’s cats while Bill is in rehab recovering from a stroke. Bill has previously overcome several major health problems, and his friends are praying he will soon be back in his home.

Wednesday, I had plans to visit Judy Howard, who is now residing at Cadence Assisted Living in Clemmons. There was a delay because Faye fainted and struck her head on the hardwood floor. Initially, I thought she would be okay, but Nick took her to Wake ER in Advance when she became nauseous. They did scans and sent her to Wake in Winston, where she was admitted to ICU. Nick is with her, and we are unsure what treatment it may require.

I did get to see Judy and had serious concerns about how she was adjusting to losing her husband of sixty-one years and moving to a new residence in two weeks’ time. I had heard it had been difficult for her. The facility is a lovely new building with the best staff-to-patient ratio I have seen anywhere. In addition to their staff, Judy has a personal caregiver for two shifts a day. She was with a bible study group listening to hymns by Alan Jackson and showing scenes of peaceful landscapes on the TV screen. This seemed to have a soothing effect. She hugged me and introduced me to her caregiver, telling her we had been friends since elementary school. Judy had a good rapport with the staff, and we visited in her private room. Judy told me it was a nice room and that her kids had brought her clothes which she showed me, and that she had snacks and everything she needed but that she still wanted to go home. I told her the kids were checking on her home but that after the shock of losing Sam a rest and a medical evaluation was a good idea. When they announced lunch, I walked her to the cafeteria and went with her to retrieve her purse, which she remembered leaving in the dayroom. There was a purse in her room, and when I asked if that was what she was looking for Judy said, “No, Kim bought me that, but that is not the one.” We found it where she remembered leaving it. We hugged goodbye, and I promised to visit again.

This afternoon I visited Bob and Betty Potts. Bob had fallen again and was sore but otherwise, all right. Betty does a great job as a caregiver, so he looks good and enjoys his food. I don’t know how she manages to do this alone, but she does.

I want to get another COVID booster shot but will wait to see if I am needed at the hospital tomorrow if Faye stays another day. I have tentative plans to visit a friend in Hickory who is ninety years old and living alone in his own home. Prayers for all.


By Julie Terry Cartner

She’d seen the way he’d looked at her older sister. She’d seen her haunted look, the fear, and the tears. After two years of abuse, her sister, Janie, had escaped, and now he was looking at her the way he’d once leered at her sister. But I’m older, smarter, and better prepared, she thought. She’d crept into her sister’s room many nights after he’d left, dried her tears, and listened to her talk. “He hurt me, and he’ll hurt you,” her sister had cried. Promise me, promise me, you won’t let that happen. Don’t bother telling Mom; she won’t believe you any more than she believed me. All she sees is that Austin is respected in town and brings home a nice paycheck. I wish Dad were still alive,” she’d sobbed.

Now Janie was gone, leaving behind only the two words, “I’m sorry,” and she and her little sister were left to fend for themselves. She knew it wouldn’t be long before he came through her door. Thankfully, she and her sister shared a room. Maybe that would keep her safe.

But when she returned from her after-school job the next afternoon, her mother met her with a smile. “Look what your father has done for you,” she gushed.

“He’s not my father,” she’d angrily denied. “My father is dead.”

“That’s no way to act after what he’s done for you,” her mother answered, pulling her down the hallway to Janie’s former bedroom. Gone were Jamie’s lavender curtains and bedspread, replaced by the fall colors that she favored. Rust red curtains hung at the window, and autumn leaves cascaded across a deep blue comforter, spread out across a new queen bed. Mother looked at her expectantly.

Obligingly, she responded, “It’s beautiful.” Then with a ghost of hope, she added, “And big enough for Rose and me.” But inwardly, she acknowledged what this new room signified.

“Oh no,” was Mother’s reply; “look at this.” Then she opened Rosie’s door to show Rose’s freshly painted walls and a pink flowered comforter.

“Look,” her eleven-year-old sister exclaimed, “isn’t it pretty?” But was there a shadow of fear in Rosie’s eyes?

Smiling, she agreed, even as her horrified brain recoiled. He’s not wasting any time, she thought. What could she do? Suddenly inspiration struck, and she turned to her mother and said, “Mom, I left my math book at work. I’ve got to go back and get it. I’ll hurry.” Almost running, she grabbed her bookbag, left the house, and rushed up the two blocks to the hardware store.

“Hi Mr. Jones,” she said. My stepfather asked me to pick up a few things when I was at work, and I forgot, so I’m getting them now. Then smiling, she added, “Don’t worry; I think I can find them myself.”

With an amused response from her boss, “I’d like to think so,” she headed to the correct section. After careful scrutiny, she picked up dead bolts and chains, checked out, and rushed home. Arriving before her stepfather, she attached the new locks to the inside of both girls’ doors, being careful to place her sister’s low enough that she could reach them. Then she unscrewed the screens from the windows, allowing for a quick exit. Rapidly cleaning up, she talked to Rose. I want you to secure these every night when you go to bed. Then,” she hesitated, “if there’s an, um, intruder in the house, you’ll be locked in and safe.”

With eyes older than her years, Rosie whispered, “an intruder, or Austin?”

Seeing that her sister knew more than an eleven-year-old should, she nodded. “And, I’ve removed the screws from the screens, so, if you need to get out quickly, you can open the window, push out the screen, and jump. You understand?” Rosie nodded again, clearly indicating she knew far more than her sister was saying.

“1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse… [and] … 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.” [“Child Sexual Abuse Statistics.” National Center for Victims of Crime.]

Midterm Elections, 1922

By Marie Craig

     One hundred years ago, in October 1922, the local newspapers were full of news and ads for the November election.  Notice that the word newspapers in the previous sentence was plural.

     From 1922 to 1956, there were two newspapers in Davie County.  The Mocksville Enterprise (1922-1957) was for Democrats, and the Davie Record (1899-1956) was for Republicans.  Reading these old papers is so entertaining and educational.  They are online at our library’s Website under the tab Martin-Wall History Room.  The two newspapers merged in 1957.

     For example, on October 5, 1922, page 4, Mocksville Enterprise had this paragraph.

     “Most of the people of Davie County believe in fair play, believe that the majority should rule and that no man has a right to vote more than once.  The old Ring in the Republican primaries proved beyond a show of a doubt that their views were just the opposite.”

     To balance that opinion, here’s an ad that was composed like an article in the October 4, 1922, Davie Record, page 2.

     “A Sad Death.  Died at Mocksville Sept.23rd, 1922 3 o’clock p.m., the good old Democratic party.  She had been in declining health for several decades; a hasty consultation had been called on Thursday night prior to the death.  It was thought that transfusion of new blood would revive her, so a lot of disgruntled Republican office seekers was called in and the operation was performed under the direction of a Socialist Specialist.  However, she continued to sink until she drew her last breath on the above date and hour.  Biannually for several years she had been indisposed, but yet her wonderful vitality would predominate, and she would so far revive that she could lead a reasonable invalid life; she died from a complication of diseases diagnosed by the aforesaid specialist as political dry rot, whistle-belly, vengeance and Diabetes of the differentials.  The body was embalmed and will be buried Nov. 7th, 1922.  Every voter is invited to come and lay a wreath upon the grave of the departed.  Respectfully, THOMAS THORNHILL.  Political Advertisement.”

     Women had won the right to vote only two years before this.  Also, in 1920, Warren G. Harding had been elected President of the United States with Calvin Coolidge as vice president.  In addition to this Republican leadership, the U.S. House and Senate were dominated by Republicans.  Previously, Democrats had been the leaders.

     Some things never change.  Politics is politics.