05/03/04 — Number one in Litter

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Number one in Litter

By Gene Price
Published in News on May 3, 2004 1:55 PM

Number one in litter

Mount Olive Tribune columnist William Holloman can be almost poetic in his expressions of love for the out-of-doors. Especially for the beauty and solitude one can enjoy drifting down the Neuse River, or lounging amid the wild flowers and bird songs on its banks.

On a recent day, I had a cell phone call from William. He was at the Wildlife Boating Access Area just off Bill Lane Boulevard at the Sam Casey Bridge.

And William Holloman was anything but "poetic." He was livid.

The scene before him was not simply one of litter. It was one that had been appallingly trashed. Under the bridge were abandoned stoves and refrigerators, a mattress, bags and bottles and beer cans and other household garbage and trash.

In a subsequent column, Holloman theorized that the trashers were emboldened by the fact they could dump things under bridge without being seen from the highway. And he raised the question of when was the last time anyone was punished for littering in Wayne County.

Many of us who have occasion to travel the state have been impressed by the fact that Wayne County must rank among the worst in roadside litter.

What does this tell visitors about us -- especially those who might be looking for a place to locate a business or industry, or to retire?

We need more people like the late Caroline Parker. She was not only the original, energetic head of Keep Wayne County Beautiful, she was the unabashed, uninhibited, self-appointed chief litter patrol officer.

A case in point: One day she found herself behind a big truck from which paper and bags and other litter periodically flew into he air and onto the roadside.

Caroline overtook the truck, motioned for the operator to pull onto the shoulder and stop.

She then marched to the truck and gave its burley driver a stern lecture on her favorite subject -- how to Keep Wayne County Beautiful!