More Things That Make Our Fair Town So Great
It’s time for another “why I love Southern Pines” column, again thumbed into my iPhone as I sit on a bench near North West Broad Street.
I mean, what’s not to love? For example, have you checked out those cool, tasteful, understated new street signs downtown? What an improvement!
Or take last Friday evening, when a crowd of good-hearted people turned out for the first Dog Speed Dating pet adoption function inside The Country Bookshop.
I got there late because I had to work. But when I arrived, the dating was speeding along at a good clip — with my wife, Brenda, among those helping keep the rotation humming along to maximize facetime between potential adopters and adoptee-hopefuls.
What a wonderful place The Country Bookshop is to have right here in the middle of your town — though I might be a bit biased, since The Pilot owns it. And what a wonderfully mellow shindig it was going on there.
You know you’ve been living in a town for a while (going on 15 years in our case) when you know about half the people you run into at a gathering like this. We kept “having” to stop and greet and hug and inquire after the welfare of human children elsewhere, when the real purpose of those on hand was to get better acquainted with a variety of cuddleable canines.
They ranged from a huge St. Bernard mix to a pocket-size Chihuahua with enormous ears. If we didn’t already have an aged black dog at home and two black foster dogs making temporary (I keep telling myself) use of our backyard at the moment, I wouldn’t have been able to resist latching on to one of those nice pooches. I especially had my eye on Spike, a scruffy but gentle-spirited brindle mixed-breed whose looks only a mother could love.
Five of the eight dogs on display found new homes. The most delightful part of the whole evening was that Spike ended up going home with our beloved friend Jean Webster. Now, that’s what you call a lucky dog — though the word is that he is having to undergo a name change and will be known henceforth as Tramp. It seems a small price to pay.
The thing was sponsored by the Pet Placement Project, based at the Animal Center of Moore County, and organized by Pam Partis. It appeared to be a roaring, barking success. And, according to bookstore manager Kimberly Daniels, those well-mannered, furry guests of honor left no visible sign behind on the floor to betoken their having been there.
The next morning, it was off to Longleaf to take part in another animal-friendly event: the Bark Bark Open, a disc golf tournament to benefit the Moore Humane Society’s “Pooch Park in the Pines.”
Though I had somehow ended up as honorary chairman of the thing, that didn’t involve anything more onerous than spending a glorious morning playing 14 holes on an improvised course temporarily set up around the edges of the golf links. All the heavy organization lifting had been done by Linda Hubbard, who spends more time volunteering for more good causes than just about anyone else I know around here.
I became a fan and promoter of the fast-grown counterculture sport of disc (Frisbee) golf after my sons, Jacob and Ben, introduced me to it. Jacob drove down from Greensboro to play as my partner in the Bark Bark.
We ended up as part of a foursome including Linda herself and my friendly neighbor Tom Fioretti — neither of whom had ever played the game but picked it up fast. Tom, indeed, ended up scoring second-highest in our group, only a few strokes behind veteran disc-flinger Jake. And it was all for a good cause.
The weekend just sort of kept on keeping on after that, with more pleasant interactions with more amiable Southern Pines folks. Yep — nice weekend, nice people, nice town.
Steve Bouser is opinion editor of The Pilot. Contact him at (910) 693-2470 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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