We rustle through our eastern Wake County newspaper archives each week to pull snippets of the news that made headlines 10, 25 and 50 years ago.
This week in 2003, an Alabama man passed by the eastern Wake County area on a one-man horseback crusade to take his religious beliefs to the president. In 1988, an area formerly known as “no man’s land” began receiving the service of Wendell firefighters for the first time. And in 1963, a list of “Zebulon Society Happenings” lets us know how folks chose spent the summertime 50 years ago.
Jerry Boswell wanted to get prayer back in the school and the White House so much that he packed some food and personal belongings on April 26, 10 years ago, left his Alabama home on horseback and headed for Washington, D.C.
Believe it or not, the 63-year-old was spotted on N.C. 39 recently near Emit galloping to the nation’s capital.
“God called me two years ago to get him back in the White House and into the schools,” Boswell said, adding “to get the Ten Commandments back in the schools and prayer.”
He said when students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they need to keep God – “one nation, under God” – in the lyrics.
Now as he travels north in this spiritual journey, he hopes the Lord reciprocates the love and dedication to him and his two horses.
So far, so good. The 6-year-old Red has actually gained weight even though he is used to carry horse feed, clothes, Boswell’s personal food and a tent. Boswell said his own mount, Chester, is a bit scared by transfer trucks.
He pulled out a petition from beneath the saddle to be signed by U.S. citizens allowing prayer in public schools. The recipient is President George W. Bush, U.S. Senate members and U.S. House of Representatives elected officials.
There were still a few rough spots to polish out, but the Wendell-Holmes Volunteer Fire Department’s station in the Bethany Church Road area became operational by July of this year.
With construction of the building’s outer hulling completed, Wendell firefighters moved a pumper and tanker into the substation Friday and officially opened for business.
“I said we would provide protection from the new station by July 1, and we did it,” Wendell Fire Chief Tom Vaughan said. “When you promise people something, you have to do it.
“We have people to man the station, the trucks are there, and we’re able to provide service out of the new station. When an alarm goes off, those trucks will roll.”
Little time passed before the station responded to its first call – a woods fire near just down the street that was reported July 2.
“Everything went fine,” Vaughan said of the first call. “It was a good kind of fire call because it gave the new firemen some training.”
The substation serves residents of an area that formerly was known as “no man’s land,” a term firefighters use to describe a region that is outside the service areas of any fire departments.
There were far too many Zebulon happenings to list all of those that ran in the July 11, 1963 Zebulon Record. But here’s a handful:
• “We’re having a ball,” writes Mrs. Elizabeth Ellett from Tokyo, Japan. The Wakelon School faculty member and former town commissioner is on the first leg of a ’round the world tour. From Tokyo she heads to Taipei and then on to Hong Kong. “Have had wonderful weather,” she wrote.
• Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Mitchell and sons are vacationing this week in the mountains of North Carolina.
• Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hilliard vacationed at Atlantic Beach during the weekend.
• Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Lowery, daughter Elisa, and Miss Anne Creech are vacationing by taking a cross country tour of the United States. “This is big, wide country,” Mrs. Lowery wrote from Monarch Pass in Colorado. After a visit to the west coast the group will head south to upper Mexico and then on to New Orleans.
• Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Tart and children, accompanied by Mrs. Tart’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Newton of Oxford, spent the Fourth at Kerr Lake.
• Mr. and Mrs. Norman Screws and daughter Norma Helen spent their two-week vacation by taking a trip to the southern part of the United States. The motored to San Antonio, Texas, for a visit with Norman’s aunt and uncle. They were also in the watermelon capital of the world, which is Dilly, Texas.