05/12/04 — Briefly

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By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 12, 2004 2:04 PM

Morbid birthday

When Wayne County Manager Lee Smith saw the tombstone in his parking space Tuesday, it was apparent that some people knew it was his 40th birthday.

Smith braced himself and walked in to find black balloons in the courthouse atrium, a 5-foot-tall "4" and an "0" outside his office door, an oxygen tank by his desk and a bed pan in his chair.

Gag gifts arrived throughout the day, topped by a surprise arrival of a Shumate-Faulk hearse. The funeral home employees asked Smith to lie down on a stretcher, laid flowers on his legs, loaded him aboard and circled the block a few times.

"That was the first time that I ever rode in the back of a hearse. I hope that's only one of two times that I ever have to do that," Smith said.

Smith took the whole day in good humor. He has recently been on a diet and has reached his target weight.

"I feel better at 40 than I did at 30," he said.

He appreciates the efforts of Cindy Furcron, Marcia Wilson and other employees. "It was a great day, something I'll never forget," Smith said.

Gateway holiday schedule

The Goldsboro Wayne Transportation Authority will be operating on a holiday schedule on Memorial Day, May 31.

The bus service will run from 9:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and the van service will operate on its normal schedule. Passengers requesting van service must call and schedule transportation on Friday, May 28, no later than 2:30 p.m.

Prose and poetry

The public is invited to a reading of prose and poetry at 7 p.m. on May 18 in the main branch of the Duplin County Library in Kenansville.

The reading will feature excerpts from Jo Cameron Jones' newspaper column, "Reflections," and Denise Sutton's inspirational book of poems, "My Words and Me."

Ms. Jones is a retired English teacher in Duplin County and writes for the Warsaw Faison News, and Ms. Sutton is a nurse at Cherry Hospital. Ms. Sutton will also discuss the steps she took to self-publish and talk about her hopes of starting a writing and poetry club in Duplin and Wayne counties.

The reading is sponsored by the Duplin County Friends of the Library.