• 91°

Help the police; old buildings and old bodies

Lock your cars at night, folks.

And be aware of the goings on in your own neighborhood.

Last week, several areas of Davie County and Mocksville were hit by thieves. A few vehicles were stolen. Dozens of others were broken into; usually, the haul was a bit of change or some personal items.

Don’t just lock your vehicles, but don’t leave anything inside that might be of value, or that might let the thief steal your identity.

Sheriff’s and police detectives are on the cases, but it never hurts to help them out. There’s a video on Mocksville police’s Facebook page, and several on private Facebook pages. Look at them and call in any information you might have.

All of the time, it’s a good idea just to know what’s going on in your neighborhood. If you see a strange vehicle at an odd hour – when no one is likely to be outside – take notice. Don’t track them down. Don’t confront them, it could be as simple as a newspaper delivery guy. But take note of the time, the type of vehicle, the people inside the vehicle. Then, if something happens, you’ll have information that could help the police.

Our men and women in blue do the best they can, but every crime can’t be solved overnight. If we all pitch in and help, we can prevent such things.

•••

Another Davie County institution bit the dust last week. Demolition crews began tearing down the old Davie County Hospital – a building that was the hub of the health community here since the mid-1950s.

I was born in Davie County Hospital in 1957 – I think the fourth baby born there, but not sure. My father first went there when he had a stroke – although the doctors had trouble with the diagnosis. My mother worked there for many years. Now she could have told you some stories, not all of them pleasant. I’ll leave it at that. No need to bring up past misdoings here.

The hospital served its purpose. Davie did it’s best to try to save it, and the new facility in Bermuda Run ended up being the answer. It was the right answer. Counties and municipalities can’t compete in the hospital business. Like farming, it’s been taken over by the big guys.

And whether we like it or not, buildings built in the 1950s weren’t meant for modern use. Most can’t even be remodeled for modern use at a cost lower than building new.

Good-bye Davie County Hospital. You served your purpose well.

•••

The hospitals demolition came just a few years after other institutional buildings went down – also built in the 1950s – Davie County High School. Folks who grew up around here all have either a story about Davie County High School – or about some of the people who inhabitated its halls.

It’s strange the outcry that came when leaders suggested the campus be moved. The increased property tax rate was easy to oppose, but many protested because of the memories. A War Eagle crying, give me a break.

I would argue that the building didn’t create those memories – the people inside of it did. The same arguments will probably be used 50 years from now – or whenever we decide the current high school campus isn’t big enough, isn’t modern enough, isn’t close enough to the students or isn’t something parents think they need.

Thank you, old Davie County High School. You served your purpose well.

•••

Where does that leave me? I was born at Davie County Hospital. It outlived its usefulness. I graduated from the old Davie High. It outlived its usefullness.

If only I could demolish this body (Believe me, I’ve done enough over the years for people to think I’ve done just that); then build a new one, all modern and full of life, in a hip location with all of the action.

Nah. I’m fine with being a has been.

– Mike Barnhardt