Within a week of moving here, my older boy auditioned and got the part of Grandpa Joe in the North Carolina Children’s Theatre production of “Willy Wonka.” Allen immediately started making friends.
Coincidentally enough, the younger boy who plays Charlie in the play is my younger son’s best friend. I have to thank Michael and Deborah Jaenicke of the N.C. Children’s Theatre for making my family feel welcomed here in Lumberton. As I write this I am looking forward to watching my son and the rest of the cast up on stage at the Carolina Civic Center on Friday and Saturday of this past week.
Also, within a few weeks of working at the Robeson County Public Library, I was asked by Jeff Neelon to be a judge at the Bud Light Chili Cook Off event that happened during the Rumba on the Lumber on March 7. How exciting!
I was immediately welcomed by Jef Lambdin when I showed up for duty. City Councilman Don Metzger also welcomed me as a fellow judge. All I can say is that I am so glad that they didn’t tell me what was in the chili dishes before I tasted them. Some were very hot and several were very good, but my favorite was so good that I asked Jef if he could tell me which team is responsible for No. 38 so that I could go to that booth for more.
As I was eating another sample at the booth, I heard the lady shout out: “Get your alligator chili here!” I turned around with spoon in my hand and inquired. As I finished the last bite of my alligator chili, I told the lady that it was very good indeed. I had never eaten alligator before and probably wouldn’t have if I had known. But I have to say that it was very good. This chili won the best-tasting category in the competition. Congratulations to Blackwater Grille’s Canadian Chili Masters.
Thank you also to Neelon for asking me to be a judge. It was a lot of fun and I truly enjoyed my first Rumba on the Lumber.
On Monday, Bob Fisher had a retirement reception. It was quite lovely. So many wonderful people showed up for this great occasion. Gail McLean took me around and introduced me to some very warm and friendly people of the community. I can’t name all of them because my column isn’t long enough, but a few of the people I met have been so friendly and helpful, including Dick and Lenoir Taylor, who are trying to help me find sports teams for my children to belong to. Linda Metzger invited me to dinner with a group of her friends and Carol Mozingo invited me to lunch one day. And most everyone there told me to call on them if I should need anything. Thank you all for your hospitality.
This week the Robeson County Public Library has a display from the local Garden Club. Mary Laura Dorman made a wonderful display of Venus flytraps with information on how this species can help the soil. Also this week, Mark Kearney, a police officer and author from Waynesboro, Va., will have an author talk on his debut suspense thriller “Twisted Obsession” on Thursday at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there!
Tina Stepp, director of the Robeson County Public Library, can be reached by calling (910) 738-4859 or at email@example.com.