Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The state I live in- What you might not have known
North Carolina is one of the most populated (9,250,000) and geographically
longest, in the old South. From Manteo in the east to Murphy
in the west, North Carolina is 560 miles long, making it the longest
state east of the Mississippi . (Measured east-west.)
The Biltmore Estate has the largest privately owned home in the
United States . The main house, modeled after a French chateau, has
250 rooms and more than 33,000 square feet of living space. Built between
1885 and 1898 by the George Vanderbilt family.
Before Jamestown Va. (1607) or Plymouth Mass. (1620) was even thought of,
Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island became the first English colony (given the
impetus by Sir Walter Raleigh) in the new world in 1585. The first American
born in the New World of caucasian parentage and European heritage happened
here on Roanoke Island at Fort Raleigh , which was a little girl named
Dare County, in eastern NC was named in honor of her.
Pepsi Cola is ours, developed and first served in New Bern NC in
1898 and unless you've had one in a clear ten ounce glass bottle,
with a slight crust of ice on top, you have missed a real treat. Try
pouring about half a pack of salted peanuts into one sometime.
North Carolinians , native or adopted, say "ma'am and sir" and call
their mothers "mama" and their fathers 'daddy".They know that 'y'all'
is perfectly good English and never means just one person. 'Fixinto'
is perfectly acceptable, too. 'Didjaeat' is an invitation to lunch or dinner
(or supper as we like to call it and y'all can too...if 'yountoo').
And if y'all don't like the way we talk, you can just jump back into your car
and I-95, I-85, I-77, and I-40 will take you right back to where ever you
may be from.
We have a Long history of developing some of the world's greatest athletes.
We gave the world 'Sugar' Ray Leonard, Michael Jordan, David Thompson,
Lou Hudson, Bobby Jones, Bob McAdoo, Walt Bellamy, Jim 'Catfish' Hunter,
Gaylord Perry, Jim Beatty, Sonny Jurgenson, Roman Gabriel, Wray Carlton,
Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice, 'Meadow Lark' Lemon, Trot Nixon, Enos Slaughter
and Josh Hamiliton. If you don't know who these people are, you ought to find
out before you go to bed tonight. Just Google'em.
The Golfing Hall of Fame is located in Pinehurst NC and the greatest
and toughest golf courses in US golf are also found there.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is also newly located in Uptown (or downtown for non-native Charlotteans). The stock car Hall has some fantastic new digs for the recently State approved Sport of Stock Car Racing as North Carolina 's favorite Sport.
The first powered flight by the Wright brothers happened at Kitty Hawk , NC
on the outer banks.
Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States , at 480 feet high
just SW of Asheville high in the mountains.
On autumn Saturdays, every Fall, the Carolina blue faithful will
gather in Chapel Hill for another rendition of 'What it was, was
football' made famous by Andy Griffin while he was a student at UNC.
NC State fans gather in Raleigh to see and hear the Wolfpack howl,
while Duke and Wake Forest pull their devilous and demon like shenanigans
on the gridiron in Durham and Winston-Salem respectively. In the winter we
play and follow College basketball, where between the three of them, UNC,
NC State and Duke share 12 national NCAA Championships in the sport of
The Highest mountain tops east of the Mississippi are found in western
NC with Mt. Mitchell at 6,684' being the tallest among many more taller
than any other state east of the Mississippi and if all were flattened NC
would be larger than Texas .
Prior to prohibition NC was the nations largest wine producer and it
is now rebuilding a huge wine industry with wineries from the NC coastal
plain to the NC mountains. Here we come California !
Yes, we are better than California with which we share everything
geographically, except for Redwoods, deserts and fault lines. Thank
Charlotte with its more than a million and a half people (sometimes
called Metrolina) is the leading banking city in the South and
second only to New York in the entire US banking industry.
In 1864 Sherman burned parts of Raleigh and North Carolina on his
March to Richmond and Washington after waging his war of
attrition in his infamous march to the sea through the deep south.
We're called the " Tar Heel State " because our confederate troops
during the Civil War were said to stick in a fight better than other
southern troops by none other than Marse Robert E. Lee. The NC Rebel
troops were a proud lot that proclaimed they "were the first at Bethel , the
farthest north at Gettysburg and the last at Appomattox "! The last
Southern Port closed by the North's blockade of the South's Seaports
during the Civil War was Wilmington and Fort Fisher at the mouth of the
Cape Fear River in 1865. The Battle of Bentonville NC, fought March 19-21,
1865, was the last full-scale action of the Civil War in which a Confederate
army was able to mount a tactical offensive campaign against Gen.
Sherman on his way through the Carolinas towards Richmond , Va. .
We do produce the most tobacco and cigarettes, not to mention some of the
best peanuts, pecans, and poultry found in this country.
The High Point/Thomasville area is a US leader in the production of
famous furniture and it hosts the Annual US Furniture Merchandise Mart.
The best pork barbecue in the world comes from our Carolina pits. We
are also the leading pork producer in the US . Yes, God intended for iced tea
to be served "sweet." And yes, Grits are one of the major food groups.
Mustard, Collard and Turnip Greens are too.
Elvis wasn't ours, but other singer/musicians were, Randy Travis, Ben E. King,
George Hamilton IV, Crash Craddock, Ben E. KIng, Thelonius Monk, Ronnie Milsap,
Donna Fargo, Earl Scruggs, Don Gibson, Stonewall Jackson, Doc Watson
Daniels are and So is author Thomas Wolf, who wrote 'Look Homeward Angel'.
And I still miss Andy of Mayberry every day.
Born in Smithfield , Ava Gardner may have been North Carolina 's
prettiest and most famous movie star,
Every North Carolinian and citizen of the USA needs to visit Salem ,
the sister city of Winston to see how colonial Moravians put their
talent and work ethic to work building this early Carolina city into
the treasure it is today. This work ethic turned an entire generation
of Tar Heel people into the best employers and employee's in this
great land developing a great textile, tobacco, seafood and furniture
Because of our extensive coast line of over 300 miles, and even
more extensive shore line of over 1,000 miles, Sea Oats, Pelicans,
Shrimp boats, Shrimp and Oysters are held high in our thoughts
as peculiarly ours even though many states also share these same
attributes. In the seafood industry, a type of southern fried seafood
served in southern Restaurants, is called Calabash Style and is named
after the southeastern most NC village of Calabash .
Proud, decent, honest and unpretentious people are our heritage
that is reflected in our State Motto, Esse Quam Videri, which means
To be rather than to Seem.
And lastly, North Carolina ain't exactly heaven - but it will do until
we get there.