Stirring the pot in 2017

By Stephen Harris - For The Tribune
Stephen Harris Back In The Hometown -

Did Santa bring you an Elkinopoly board game for Christmas?

No? Me neither. Last January on this page I called on them to make a Monopoly game with an Elkin theme for here in the hometown. The Chatham mill would substitute for Boardwalk, Chatham Hospital would be St. Charles Place and such. I waited all year and even asked Santa, and my plea turned up zilch.

It’s been that kind of year. In this space last February I delivered a eulogy for the old Chatham mill as its main section along East Main Street in Elkin began coming down.

“The Chatham mill was the hometown’s Parthenon, our U.S. Capitol sitting high and mighty on a hill. It was the heart of Elkin,” I wrote. Demolition continues.

I might qualify as a preacher after delivering a similar eulogy in October for Bank Corner in Elkin. Wells Fargo’s surprising closing of its downtown branch ended a century-long run – with a brief vacancy during The Great Depression – of the area’s most prominent banks residing at the corner of Bridge and Main streets.

“All good things must come to an end,” I wrote. “But who knows? Something magnificent may come from Bank Corner.” We’re still waiting for magnificent.

Then came the demise of the Revolutionary War-era Tory Oak at the Wilkesboro courthouse square. A tornado-laden storm in October blew down the tree that had served as the Tri-Counties’ longest-standing historical memorial.

“I think that I shall never see – Our story as lovely stated as with that tree,” I eulogized. I await the governor naming me North Carolina poet laureate.

Let’s see if I can qualify as a prophet as well as a preacher.

I have one strike against me. After the Elkin Valley Trails Association announced that it would hold its pre-Halloween fund-raiser in the newly renovated Reeves Theater, I lapsed into prophetic rhapsody as I proclaimed the reopening of the beloved old movie house.

“This will not be your father’s Reeves Theater,” I prophesied. “You’ll like it.”

Almost immediately afterwards, they sheepishly admitted that the renovation was not yet complete. They did finally reopen the Reeves last Saturday. And as best as I could tell, you did like it.

Two strikes. I guessed wrong and drove to Charleston, S.C., in August to see a total eclipse of the sun, only to have storm clouds blow in off the ocean. I missed the celestial show. Should’ve gone west, as “The Tribune” editor did.

I did not just come out and predict a couple of weeks ago that the Carolina Hurricanes will be sold and moved to Quebec and the Carolina Panthers will be sold and moved to London. So I’ll give you my prediction now: The ‘Canes will leave, but they’ll find a way to keep the Panthers here.

I predicted in June that a new Lowe’s super suit with carbon-fiber rods in back will be in stores sooner than later and will make us feel like Superman. We remain Clark Kent.

Accounts of bear attacks elsewhere last summer did not materialize here, and after a trip to Yadkin Valley Local Television in July I’m still awaiting their promise to resume internet streaming of their TV shows. They had told me to give it a few weeks.

The town of Marion still hasn’t found Bigfoot since I told you in October how diligently they’re searching, the Silent Sam statue protests in Chapel Hill in September did fizzle despite vows to the contrary, and in July a flying hammock in the country of Georgia in west Asia previewed for us flying cars.

We await plans for an Elkin dog park promised also in July and for a humans’ park at Carter Falls on Big Elkin Creek, where there’s a little cave that I described in November.

The year held many promises, hit us with some disappointments and served up some progress, and you and I look forward to what 2018 will bring. Will you join me here each week and see what else we can get stirred up?

Stephen Harris returned home to live in State Road.

Stephen Harris Back In The Hometown Harris Back In The Hometown

By Stephen Harris

For The Tribune