02/02/04 — Book panel discussion set

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Book panel discussion set

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on February 2, 2004 2:02 PM

"To Kill A Mockingbird" readers will flock together next Monday at Wayne Community College.

The next "Wayne County Reads" event will be a panel discussion of the novel. It will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, in Moffatt Auditorium, which is in the main building on the campus on Wayne Memorial Drive.

The panelists will be Bennis Blue, an assistant professor of English at Mount Olive College; WCC faculty member Liz Meador; and Goldsboro lawyer Geoff Hulse. The moderator will be WCC instructor Bill Brettmann.

Each of the panelists is expected to talk briefly about different aspects of the novel, including racism, gender issues, and the justice system. After some discussion, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions or make their own comments on the book.

The event is planned to be around an hour long of lively conversation. The panelists was picked for their thorough knowledge and enjoyment of the book.

Hulse's father, Herbert Hulse, was a lawyer here and "a real-life Atticus Finch," he said. "The general dinner-table topics of murder, rape and larceny made it a natural for myself and my brother to become attorneys ourselves."

Geoff Hulse has kept an original copy of the "To Kill A Mockingbird" movie poster in his office because he has felt this connection to the novel, he said.

Mrs. Meador has loved the novel since she first read it as a teenager, she said. "The town of Maycomb reminds me of lazy summer days in Edenton, N.C., where I visited my great-Aunt Maude when I was growing up."

Ms. Blue was born in Dunn and grew up in Raleigh during the Civil Rights era. She served the U.S. Army as a quartermaster officer for 16 years, during which time she was the first woman assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. She commanded a quartermaster company in Germany.

After leaving the Army, she has taught in Wake and Johnston county schools and at colleges in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. She earned her Ph.D. in English at The Ohio State University in March 2000. She joined the Mount Olive College faculty last August.

She belongs to several professional organizations and speaks at national and regional conferences on literary topics, but says her most prized accomplishment in life is being the mother of Marcus Townes, a senior at East Carolina.

Hulse, the son of Herbert and Rowena Hulse, graduated from Goldsboro High School. After receiving his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he graduated from the Campbell University School of Law. He has a criminal law practice with the law firm of Barnes, Braswell & Haithcock.

He is chairman of the Wayne County Board of Elections, past president of the United Way of Wayne County, and a board member of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, the Goldsboro Country Club, the vestry of St. Stephens Episcopal Church.

He and his wife, Lee, have two daughters, Hallie and Lura. Geoff and Lura Hulse will portray Atticus and Scout Finch in the March 11-14 production of "To Kill A Mockingbird" at Wayne Community College.

Liz Meador has lived in Goldsboro since 1972 when her husband Dave accepted a position as forestry instructor at Wayne Community College.

After earning a master's degree in English at East Carolina University in 1984, she also became a faculty member at WCC where she began work in 1980 as a teacher's aide. Her master's thesis was a study of the influence of works by James M. Barrie on Iris Murdoch, British philosopher and novelist, specifically on Murdoch's novel, "A World Child."

The Meadors have a daughter, Sara, who lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband, Scott, and 2-year-old son, Dalton.