Persistence, determination will carry us

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 06:20 PM.

Ah, but then the General Assembly stepped in. Sweepstakes businesses competed with the state’s own "Education Lottery." And gambling is immoral — at least gambling not supported by the state through the "Education Lottery." The state made sweepstakes businesses illegal. The sweepstakes flags came down.

This is where Calvin Coolidge and his quote about persistence come in. At the same time the state was debating the wisdom of making sweepstakes businesses illegal, a sign went up alongside the sweepstakes flags at this pretty little building announcing "thrift store." Next to the sweepstakes machines, shelves filled with used items for sale lined the interior of the pretty little building.

The business is just a few miles from Queens Creek and prime fishing grounds. About the same time sheriff’s deputies — in compliance with state law — were finally shutting down the sweepstakes business, part of this pretty little building’s occupants’ multi-faceted attempts to make a go at it, "bait for sale" signs went up. The "bait for sale" signs took the place of the now confiscated sweepstakes signs. As I drove by each day, I couldn’t help but appreciate and respect the persistence of the people who owned this business, trying to remain free of the state’s unemployment statistics just announced.

The other day I drove by, and yet another business has sprouted from these folks’ persistent attempts to survive in our poor economy and the state’s attempt to shut them down. U-Haul trailers now line the grounds of their kaleido-business just a few minutes from the back gate of Camp Lejeune and legions of young Marines who move themselves quite often.

President Calvin Coolidge would be proud of these people. I wouldn’t be surprised to drive by to see new businesses added — even franchise ownership someday.

To be sure, our state has a steep hill of economic challenges to climb. But if the pretty little building with the red metal roof in Onslow County is any indication, persistence, determination, and optimism will carry us up and over to better days.

Barry Fetzer is a columnist for the Havelock News. He can be reached at 

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