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Title:
Interview with Mebane Boyd, April 10, 2008
Date:
April 10, 2008
Description:
Interview with Mebane Boyd in which she discusses her local volunteering experience, including her work with the Children's Museum and the Domestic Violence Shelter.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Boyd, Mebane Interviewer: Jones, Carroll Date of Interview: 4/10/2008 Series: SENC Volunteers Length 60 minutes

Jones: Today is Tuesday, April 10, 2008. I'm Carroll Jones with Chris Malpass for the Randall Library Oral History project. And we are taping in the special collections department. Our interview guest today is Mebane Boyd, a Wilmington native active in community activities as, both, a volunteer and paid professional. Mainly in the area of [inaudible] history and museums. She is a wife and a mother, and we're going to let her talk about that. Good afternoon, Mebane.

Boyd: Hi, Carroll.

Jones: Thanks for coming.

Boyd: Thanks for having me.

Jones: All right. Why don't we just start off with your telling a little bit about Mebane in Wilmington growing up here. You were born here, and your name, your first name.

Boyd: Okay. Well, my first name, given name, is Roxanna, which is the same name as my mother. So I was called by my middle name, Mebane. And my maiden name was Atwood. And I'm now married to Alan Boyd, so my last name is Boyd. I was born at Cape Fear Memorial Hospital.

Jones: Is that a wonder?

Boyd: And my parents, at the time, were living in Wallace, uhm.. North Carolina. My dad was the Presbyterian Minister at Wallace Presbyterian Church. And we came down here, because my grandfather was at Cape Fear Memorial. He was one of the founders of the hospital.

Jones: He was, indeed.

Boyd: So, I guess, I had to be born there.

Jones: Was he alive for a long period after you were born?

Boyd: He died when I was ten. But I didn't really grow up in Wilmington. This was my parents' home base, really. And when I was almost four, we moved to Japan and they were missionaries. And we would come back to Wilmington. This was our home base, and this was the America that I knew. But I didn't come back to the United States for, I think, four or five years. That was the first time we got to come back. I think, missionaries, now, get to come back every summer or once a year or something. But it didn't happen as often back then.

Jones: Do you have any recollections of it?

Boyd: Of coming back, I do.

Jones: No, of Japan.

Boyd: Oh, Japan. Sure. I was 13 when we left. So...

Jones: Where in Japan did you live?

Boyd: Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo.

Jones: The three prettiest places.

Boyd: Three nice places. I went to public elementary school there. So all my elementary education was in Japanese and all my friends were Japanese. So my American culture, actually, when we moved back to Wilmington when I was in the seventh grade, briefly, we came back here. I looked American, but I acted very Japanese. All my culturalization was Japanese and customs and that sort of thing.

Jones: How did you make this transition, particularly, in seventh grade? That's a difficult age.

Boyd: It was a hard time. And, you know, you're going through all your identity issues at that point. You know, who are you and puberty, all the hard stuff. And I did struggle with that. You know, I didn't really belong there, because I didn't fit in. And people, you know, were always calling me gaijin, which means foreigner. And people on trains would stare at me, you know. But then, I thought, well, when I go back to America, you know, I'll fit in. But then, I came back and I didn't fit in, because I hadn't grown up in this culture. So it was a really difficult time.

Jones: What do you think was the most difficult part of that transition back to...

Boyd: Well, I think, just thinking, well, I'll never fit in. You know, I'm never going to be normal. I'm never going to be part of the mainstream. Sort of, those kinds of thoughts. And can I tell a funny story?

Jones: Please do.

Boyd: Okay. When we moved back from Japan, we lived on Harbor Island, and I was bused in from Harbor Island to William Hooper School, which was downtown, between fifth and sixth. It's now a public housing building, in a pretty run down section of town. But I was bused in there. And the first morning, I was waiting at the bus stop. And these kids said, "Where are you from, girl?" And I said, "Japan. We moved from Japan." And they said, "Oh, do you know 'kah-raw-tee'?" And I had never heard the word 'kah-raw-tee'. It's called Karate, you know, so I don't know what that word was. And I said, "No. I don't know what that is." And they said, "You ain't from no Japan." And so, you know, nobody believed me. I didn't fit in. It was a tough time. But...

Jones: Do you have brothers and sisters?

Boyd: I have a younger brother.

Jones: Did he have as tough a time, as a boy?

Boyd: Uh-huh. His English was so poor that my parents sent him to American school for a few months before we moved back. So he had a little bit of, you know, indoctrination into American culture before we came back. But, you know, he, too, it was so foreign. I remember him coming home and saying-- this is at the American school in Japan. He goes, "They do some funny things at that school, Mom." And she said, "What do they do?" And he said, "Well, they stand up, and they put their hands on their heart. And they talk to the flag." He'd never seen a pledge to the allegiance, you know. So anyway, we were foreign kids coming back to America. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Jones: No. I guess, I had somewhat similar type thing, but not quite as in depth as you did. And it does, I don't know, [inaudible] you some how, once you get over [inaudible].

Boyd: Uh-huh. It's a gift. I mean, it's a rich experience...

Jones: The one question I have about your parents, did they not realize this would be typical [inaudible] didn't think about it?

Boyd: I don't think they went because they felt the need to go and spread the Word of God, you know. And I think it has been-- what they'll say, too, is that they learned more from the Japanese people than they ever taught the Japanese people about the Christian faith. But I do think they realized how hard it was. And I think they still-- my mother still asks me, "We shouldn't have done that." You know, but you don't know.

Jones: [inaudible] at the time.

Boyd: Everybody always does the best...

Jones: Well, they were young and probably very fervent about what they were doing. That was the...

Boyd: Sure.

Jones: Interesting.

Boyd: But I really admire my parents for the strength that they had. It wasn't easy on them, either.

Jones: No, I imagine not.

Boyd: And they gave us a really warm and supportive home environment so that there was always, for us, even in Japan and even when we came back here, our family was really strong and supportive. So we always had-- even if the outside world was tough, you know, the family was really strong.

Jones: Which is what you're supposed to have, actually.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: Do you maintain any contacts with Japanese people or families?

Boyd: I do.

Jones: How about speaking the language?

Boyd: I still speak it and write it.

Jones: Well, that's amazing. You ought to be working for something, but not in Wilmington.

Boyd: Not a lot of Japanese activities in Wilmington.

Jones: Maybe, Hispanic in the coming days, but unh-unh. Well, that's very, very interesting. Did you go New Hanover High School?

Boyd: No.

Jones: You did not?

Boyd: Unh-unh. We were here briefly. My dad was interim pastor at Winter Park Presbyterian and then, at St. Andrews Presbyterian. And then, we moved to right outside Washington DC, where he got a permanent call up there.

Jones: Where did you live there?

Boyd: In Springfield, Virginia.

Jones: Do you ever see that place?

Boyd: They're still there. My parents are in the same house they moved into in '75.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: It is.

Jones: It used to be a dairy farm. Yeah, all along [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah.

Jones: Amazing. Well, that's terrific. You know, you're one of these that got out of town and came back. So your horizons have broadened considerably.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: Tell me about raising your own children. I don't know much about your husband. I know he's a surfer.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: He teaches high school.

Boyd: He's an art teacher. And he's been a teacher, now, for over 30 years. Got out of teaching and went into administration in the school systems, and absolutely hated that. Missed the kids. He loves teaching, and he's really good at it. So he's back in the classroom and really likes what he does.

Jones: He just likes it.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: So we went as far as you moved to Springfield with your family.

Boyd: Right. With my parents and my brother, when I was 13. And then, I went to high school in northern Virginia. And then, I went to Davidson for college. And I majored in history. And after I finished at Davidson, I had one job offer, which came, like, the day before graduation. Which was to teach history and Japanese language at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, which is a private school on the Big Island of Hawaii. So the summer after I graduated from college, my dad and I drove cross-country and put my car on a transport ship. And I flew over there. So that was exciting.

Jones: How long were you there?

Boyd: I was in Hawaii for...

Jones: What grade did you teach?

Boyd: I taught high school.

Jones: You taught high school?

Boyd: Uh-huh. Okay. Ninth through twelfth grade. Mostly, World History, and I started teaching Japanese. And the Japanese program grew, and so I ended up, when I finished there, I was just teaching Japanese. But I met my husband over there. I'd been there a couple of years, and he was teaching at the same school. And so then, we got married, and had two children. They were both born in Hawaii.

Jones: On the Big Island?

Boyd: Uh-huh. Ray was born in Kealakekua and Roxanna was born in Hilo.

Jones: So what brought you back to Wilmington?

Boyd: Well, I told you my husband got into administration. He got into administration at this private school. He was the head of the middle school. And in order to do that he no longer was teaching art, so somebody filled his art position. And he hated it and wanted to get out of it, but he couldn't go back to his old position of teaching art. And my family was on the east coast, and we had two young children at that point. And I wanted to have more of a part of my extended family in their lives. So we moved back. We came to Wilmington in '92. And we didn't have jobs. You know, we just...

Jones: Vagabonds.

Boyd: ...did it. You know, we had a house that we sold in Hawaii, so that gave us a little bit of security, a little cushion. But my husband found a job right away, and I was able to stay home for a year, after we got here, with the kids. And that was a special time.

Jones: Where is he from originally?

Boyd: San Diego.

Jones: So he could surf in Hawaii, and he could surf up above on the coast there north of San Diego, probably.

Boyd: Well, he surfed when he was in college and high school. But he didn't surf when we lived in Hawaii, amazingly.

Jones: He didn't?

Boyd: Unh-unh. He did a lot of back packing and hiking, but didn't really do the surfing thing, then. But he's doing it now, big time.

Jones: He probably knows a number of people we do. And it's amazing to me, men particularly, in their 50's and 60's, Jim Hunter being one.

Boyd: I've heard that name. Yeah, there's a whole crew.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah, y'all need to talk to them. I mean, do a whole story on them.

Jones: Yeah, it is amazing. And you have no interest in it. Have you tried it?

Boyd: I've tried it. I'm scared of it.

Jones: How about your kids?

Boyd: They've both tried it, too. We do surf some.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah, but actually it's nice. For him, it's solitude and...

Jones: He gets away.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: That's good.

Boyd: It's a good place.

Jones: So you're back in Wilmington. Your husband has a job and you spent a year at home?

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: And then, what?

Boyd: And then, I went to work at the domestic violence shelter, as the Development Director.

Jones: When was this?

Boyd: That would've been '93, summer of '93.

Jones: And this was almost in its fledgling years, wasn't it?

Boyd: Well, it's been around for 25 years now, so what would that have been? I think, it started in the mid '80s. So it had been around a while.

Jones: Yeah, I'm on the Board now.

Boyd: Oh, you are?

Jones: Yeah.

Boyd: Okay. Mary Ann was one of my favorite mentors. She taught me so much about non-profits...

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Uh-huh. How to run non-profits and how to be fair in supervising employees. She's an incredible person, too.

Jones: I don't know if she's involved anymore. But anyway, yeah, I'm very impressed with it. They have really got their act together.

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: What they're doing is incredible. Anyway, were you on the Board or were you...

Boyd: No.

Jones: ...the Director [inaudible]?

Boyd: I was the Director of Development, Head of Fundraising.

Jones: You were Director of Development. Okay. Gee whiz.

Boyd: And I got into development, actually, as a volunteer when we lived in Hawaii. I had done some fundraising for a playground for the community and, sort of, learned about how to make personal calls to ask for money and special events and that sort of thing. So...

Jones: How long were you traveling there as Director of Development?

Boyd: Until '99, so six years.

Jones: So you probably were responsible, at least, under your tutelage as Director, a number of changes that took place.

Boyd: Yeah, probably, the biggest thing I did was getting the fashion show to be a bigger event.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah, so that was fun to do. And I helped start the plan giving program there. But I learned a lot more than I gave there.

Jones: [inaudible]. So you were there until 1999?

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: And moved on to do what for who?

Boyd: I moved on to be the Executive Director at the Children's Museum.

Jones: Now, this is when, in '99, the Children's Museum were not at St. John's, yet.

Boyd: No. They had been open for less than two years. They opened in October of '97. So I went and...

Jones: And where were they located then?

Boyd: The place on Market Street, 1020 Market.

Jones: Is that right?

Boyd: Uh-huh. But they were open for about 12 hours a week, at that point, three days a week. It was founded by the Junior League. So it was when the Junior League volunteers could come and work it that the museum's hours were open.

Jones: They were only open a short time each week. So did you have much in the way of traffic? How did you attract people to bring their children or what do you think you gave to the children at that particular time?

Boyd: Well, one of the very first things we did was to expand our hours. Because one of the things I learned is that you have to be available for the families when they're ready to come. Instead of the families setting their schedules around what you planned for them. So we were, you know, saying we're going to have this special event on Saturday at 10:00 or 11:00 or something. Well, that's naptime for this family and soccer game time for this family. So we had to make it fun all the time, so that when the family was ready to come it would be a great time to come to the Children's Museum. So we hired a full time Science Director and a full time Art Director, who each had a room that they would have activities going on in all day long. So that if the family could come at 4:00, there would be something fun to do in the art room or something fun to do in the science room. Or if it was at 3:00 or 2:00, there would always be something fun.

Jones: How were you funded?

Boyd: By every place we could go for money. Admissions were, when I first went, like, $1.50 for adults and $3.00 for children. I can't quite remember what it was, but it was really low. But admissions do add up and that's a nice...

Jones: As you expand [inaudible].

Boyd: Uh-huh. As you get more-- and especially, the summer months, we had lots of tourists and that added to the income a lot. But we, also, had, while I was there, we were brought into the grassroots science museums collaborative that provided annual funding from the North Carolina. It's out of the DEANR budget, Department of Environment And Natural Resources, something like that.

Jones: Yeah, still do.

Boyd: So we were able to get that for the museum. And we wrote grants. We went to the City.

Jones: Everything [inaudible]...

Boyd: Anything we could do. Uh-huh.

Jones: A typical kind of...

Boyd: Begging. Right.

Jones: High class begging.

Boyd: Got really good at doing that.

Jones: Well, are you still good at doing that [inaudible]?

Boyd: Well, you know, I'm done fundraising, at this point in my life. Somebody asked me to be on a volunteer committee to fundraise, and I could really, easily say no. I think I've just reached a point I want people to see me coming and go, "Oh, there's Mebane," instead of "What does she want now?"

Jones: [inaudible]. I know. But, you know, it seems to me, at least, that there are so many good, good, worthwhile committees organizations, and they all need money. And so you just can't do them all.

Boyd: Right.

Jones: Well, are you working now [inaudible] volunteer work?

Boyd: No. Well, after the Children's Museum, I worked at the Cameron Art Museum for about a year and a half. I helped lead their endowment campaign. I know. And then, in September of '07, I enrolled as a full time student, here at UNCW. And I'm working on getting my Masters of Social Work degree. So that's what I'm doing now. I'm not working, except for my field placement for school.

Jones: How did you decide to go for a Masters in Social Work?

Boyd: Well, I do feel like I have a richness of experience that maybe some other people in my class don't have, yet. And it's nice to bring that to the table. I love being in school. It's so great. I wish everybody could do this, once they've been out in the work world. Because then, you appreciate so much about what you're learning, and applying it to, both, what you've been through, and you know you can apply it as you go forward. I picked Social Work versus the other program here, in terms of, Public Administration, which I looked at both. But I really felt like I've had my time in the administration, and I feel like I know how to do that. And I, also, feel like I want it to be more hands on direct service. Because I think that's a little bit more rewarding, in terms of the feedback.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Right. And we're working on that right now in our classes about how to take care of yourself and...

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: So I've had one of those weeks. So it's interesting that we're talking about that right now.

Jones: Is there any particular area that you're hoping to put your talents or work for or work with?

Boyd: Well, definitely clinical counseling, one on one or one on two family and, maybe, small groups. But that's my direction is to help people one at a time, I think. I've done the top down kind of thing, and I'd like to be more individually focused.

Jones: Well, these would be repeat people, too, so you could, sort of, judge your progress.

Boyd: Right.

Jones: That's always a good thing.

Boyd: And I've learned so much through this program about it's almost, in a way, a selfish program. Because before you can help other people...

Jones: You have to help yourself.

Boyd: You have to know how you see the world and your lenses, you know, the way you see other people. So there's a lot of self-exploration and self-discovery that happens in this program. And it's interesting.

Jones: Are you required to go through some sort of counseling yourself to see if you are mentally equipped to do this job?

Boyd: We don't have it, per se. But there's a lot of that kind of work that you do in class and through self-reflection papers. I know, I've gotten that out of it. It might as well have been many, many sessions of therapy.

Jones: You can see yourself, in other words?

Boyd: Right. And it's interesting to take some time, first of all, to do that. I think, not all of us, you know, have an opportunity to really study ourselves. It's really interesting.

Jones: Do you find yourself studying your family?

Boyd: Yes. The family's not happy about that.

Jones: Well, tell me a little bit about your family. I know that your husband is teaching Art at [inaudible]. You said you've seen the exhibit out there now...

Boyd: I have, now. But he has seen it, at least, twice. He really liked it.

Jones: I'm sure he was on the list when they had the opening year.

Boyd: He came to that.

Jones: Good. Because Peter Fritzler had mentioned once about a number of names, and his was one of them.

Boyd: Okay.

Jones: And I think it's an interesting exhibit.

Boyd: It's a whole culture.

Jones: [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah.

Jones: I never realized that. I've known people for a number of years when I was working up here almost full time. He would come up to do various things. And he'd always have a Hawaiian shirt on. I'd say, "Where are you surfing today?"

Boyd: Right. "How was it today?"

Jones: But the two of you together now, you've got a daughter, still. She's going off to school. [inaudible] is down in South Carolina. And you're, kind of, diverse. What do you have in common together? What do you do together?

Boyd: That's a good question. Well, we went for a walk together last night. And we are very alike in our political beliefs and opinions. And we follow the news and talk bad at different politicians together and enjoy that.

Jones: That is a plus, because I have seen some families and couples where they're so opposite.

Boyd: That would be very difficult for me.

Jones: I think so if you're passionate about it. Tell me something, Mebane. You were born here, you left, and you came back. Do you have a sense of, because your grandfather was here, your father grew up here...

Boyd: My mother.

Jones: Your mother. What was her maiden name, Atwood?

Boyd: Mebane.

Jones: No, Mebane. Her maiden name was Mebane. Okay. So she was Dr. Mebane's daughter, your granddaughter. Get that straight. We've done a lot of work on him, because there was a grant given. And several people worked on a huge project having to do with medicine in New Hanover County, going back to the first hospitals and so forth. But my question was going to be, did you have a sense of belonging here because of your family's tradition and so forth?

Boyd: Yes, I did. And that was nice for me. And when we moved back, my grandmother was still living. So my children got to know their great grandmother quite well. We saw her about once a week, at least, and, you know, her stories. And she was really a character.

Jones: Really? Good for her.

Boyd: And I was her favorite. So she gave us lots of attention, and I think I was her favorite, anyway.

Jones: I'm sure you must've been.

Boyd: She was just a great lady.

Jones: That's wonderful.

Boyd: Yeah.

Jones: And how long did she live?

Boyd: She was 91, I think, when she died. She died in '99.

Jones: Oh, [inaudible].

Boyd: Yeah, she had a great life.

Jones: What changes do you see in living here, as opposed to even coming back in 1992?

Boyd: Because this whole project is really predicated on the tremendous influx of people into this area. And because of it, the infrastructure's changed, everything has changed. Some, as far as historic preservation, has been good. Other things have caused other problems. So from your point of view, and since you've traveled, and you weren't close or here in Wilmington all your life, you are probably a good person to give your opinions on what you've seen.

Boyd: Well, I think, one of the things I've seen recently, or maybe it's been highlighted to me, is that I think the influx of people from different areas has brought with it some tolerance and acceptance of people who are different. And, whereas, I think, in my mother's generation, it was a very closed society. I think, today, even though there are some of those groups that still remain very closed and, you know, nobody's allowed in unless, you know, you've been here for so many generations. I think that's rare. And I think, Wilmington, now, has a lot of groups that people can belong to. And I think, also, the people who've been here for generations upon generations, also, are learning, maybe, how to be more tolerant and more accepting of different people. And I think it's softened. I think it's a better place because of the different people that have moved in.

Jones: Can you give me, both, pros and cons from your point of view?

Boyd: Pros and cons of being more tolerant?

Jones: No. Of the changes that have taken place. Tolerance is a word that I have not heard anybody use, yet, but that's a very good word.

Boyd: It might be my social work class I had this morning, too.

Jones: Oh, okay.

Boyd: A negative I saw last week is I think, we have mistreated our natural resources. I saw trees being cut down that were perfectly good trees on College Road last weekend. And they just happened to be on the corner where my mother grew up. My mother grew up on the corner of Wrightsville and College, where the Go Gas is. That was where her house was. And they cut down these two beautiful pine trees, and it looks horrible, now. And I've seen trees cut down on market that didn't have to go, you know, if they could just...

Jones: [inaudible] touch any of those trees...

Boyd: Well...

Jones: ...as you get down toward town [inaudible].

Boyd: I know, but they do. And they go one at a time, and pretty soon, they'll be gone. And I think, we-- I'm including myself in this-- I haven't raised enough of a fuss about cutting down trees. You can always repave something, but you can't regrow a 200, 300 year old oak tree. You know, and it makes me sad. I hate to see that happen. And then, of course, water quality with, you know, poisons that are from golf courses, mainly, that go into our streams and creeks that go into the ocean. Those are thing that bother me. I don't know if that would've happened if we didn't grow. But...

Jones: Let me ask you this. This is not necessarily my opinion. These are questions that have been asked me, which I've heard brought up in various interviews. There are many members of, both, City Council and County Commissioners who've been in office for term after term after term. I've heard several people recently talk about term limits, because they have become entrenched. And this is their opinion, they seem to feel that way. And I think, taking into consideration some of these things you just spoke of, including the humongous mess over that sewer thing, maybe, they've gotten complacent. Do you feel that perhaps, even though they might have to be new people, [inaudible] five, six, ten years that it is reasonable to have changes every so often so that there's fresh...

Boyd: Absolutely. I think change is great. And change is hard, you know, because you have to adapt. But it makes you stronger, and it makes you see things a new way. And sometimes, you see things a new way, and it's better. It's not always a bad thing to change. So I do think it would be good to have some sort of term limit.

Jones: I talked to a man not terribly long ago who's from New York State. He was an educator and many other things, very interesting man. And when he came down here, he and his wife, both, volunteered immediately for something and then, other things, as it happens, you can get so caught up. And I asked him, "How did you happen to do this?" There are a lot of people that come down and they play. They play golf all the time. They play bridge all the time. Whatever. They don't really do anything. I said, "I have found that on the committees who are in place to preserve downtown Wilmington. As a matter of fact, most of them are from somewhere else." And he said that he and his wife looked around. They found this place and said this was going to be home. And so they decided they were going to be a part of it right away. And then, I thanked him. And he said, "Somebody has to do it."

Boyd: Yeah.

Jones: And the reason I bring this up is I, also, sat across the dinner table one night from a woman whose family had been here for a long, long time. She is a widow, but very well off. And they were talking about new people, as opposed to the old families. And I said, "Do you have any pet projects that you're involved in?" She said, "No." I said, "Does it bother you that all these northerners or other people involved are the ones that are working?" She said, "Yes." I said, "Well, but they're doing the work that you wish would happen." She said, "My dear, I write a check once a year. They can work their hearts out." And I've not heard that since. She's the only one, but that made me sit up straight.

Boyd: Yeah.

Jones: But here you are from a long line, and you're [inaudible]. What would you like to see happen over the next five years? And I say, "five years," because taking a look at what the last census determined, in listening to Bonnie Williams with the Board of Elections, who because of that job as a field, how many people are registering, but lots of don't, can't register under the age of 18. They go to this place and there's good and bad [inaudible]. But everyone's talking about five years down the road, if you have close to 200,000 people in the county, it's going to happen faster [inaudible].

Boyd: Wow.

Jones: And what would you like to see happen over the next five years?

Boyd: Wow. Well, I wish there were more green space. And I think we just lost one of those this week.

Jones: [inaudible]?

Boyd: Uh-huh. So prime example of, you know, what could've been done that wasn't done by the county. That they make a great decision with Airlie...

Jones: They bought the property?

Boyd: The County did buy it?

Jones: Well, are we talking about the same place, Battery [ph?] Park?

Boyd: Yes.

Jones: They bought that originally. Now, they want to sell it?

Boyd: Right. So, you know, I would like to see them buy more property. I think people are willing to pay for that and it's such a wise investment, because you can't ever go back. And I think there's so good a forethought. You know, it's, like, the immediate budget crisis of this year, if we sell this property, it will help the county's error in...

Jones: And it was their fault.

Boyd: Right. But we're going to give up a park for future generations for one year's budget shortfall? It just doesn't seem to have any forethought. So I would like to see more green space. I'd like to see the county find a way, like other locations do, to help fund non-profits. I think, the non-profits here struggle more than others, because there's not a-- for example, Fayetteville and the Charlotte area have a tax for the arts. Where, either, rental cars, so it's not the local people who are being taxed, or hotel taxes that go towards funding the arts. And that would be, you know, a broad description of the arts.

Jones: You're including musicians, theatre [inaudible]...

Boyd: Music, theatre...

Jones: Paintwork, et cetera?

Boyd: Right. Museums. You know, those are places where people, you know, intellectually broaden themselves. And that would, I think, also, free up some city/county money to help more social service agencies that are also struggling. I haven't been in non-profits in other cities, so I don't have a comparison. But my perception is that Wilmington is not a generous city or government, municipal wise. Like, it's not a generous place to help out non-profits that are doing the work that the cities would have to do if the non-profits weren't there.

Jones: Yeah, I agree with you. That's a very interesting thought. Do you find the situation with the new convention center-- which they say will be funded eventually with room tax, food tax, et cetera. People are complaining about that. On the other hand, again, it's people who would be coming here, for the most part that would be doing the funding. Are you for or against the convention center?

Boyd: I don't really have strong opinions one way or the other on that. I feel like it can bring a lot of business here, and it'll be nice to have another big place to have events and things. But I see the other side, too. I don't have strong opinions on that.

Jones: All right. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us that you feel strongly about or even mildly strongly about? Of course, you know all about the history of this area. Are you, also, involved with Presbyterian Church work?

Boyd: Uh-huh. Well, I'm a member, and I've been on various committees, but I'm not on a committee, right now.

Jones: And which church is that?

Boyd: I go to the Little Chapel on the Boardwalk.

Jones: Oh, you do?

Boyd: Uh-huh.

Jones: That's a charming place.

Boyd: It's a great church.

Jones: It really is. We've been down there for a dinner.

Boyd: Okay.

Jones: And my husband spoke to a group.

Boyd: Oh, that was recent?

Jones: Yes.

Boyd: Yeah, I didn't go to that night.

Jones: Yes. A lot of people have changed and gone [inaudible]. My husband goes to St. Andrews Covenant, because the marker out in front has his father's name on it. [inaudible]...

Boyd: Oh, he has to go there.

Jones: He has to go there. Well, Mebane, this has been interesting. And what a background you've had, and you can bring this experience here. You know, I'm going to be waiting to hear from you, as to where, after you get your Masters, you're going to be. You need to meet Jerry Parnell, who's actually head of Special Collections and Archives. His wife did pretty much the same thing, when their son was in college and their daughter-- actually, she had to go to East Carolina [inaudible].

Boyd: Uh-huh. Because this is a new program here. Yeah, we're the third class.

Jones: And she's always wanted to [inaudible]...

Boyd: Good for her.

Jones: Well, thanks for coming.

Boyd: Thank you. This was fun.

Jones: Good.

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