Ad Spot

DG MARTIN COLUMN: Don’t give, please take something

What do you give an aging man on his birthday during this time of deadly pandemic?

As an important birthday milestone approaches for me, my children and grandchildren may be wondering what in the world they are going to give me.

D.G. Martin

I want to tell them I already have more things than I need. I have a stash of precious stuff I have been collecting over all my years.

The pandemic’s certain danger has been a vivid reminder that folks my age are not going to be around much longer. Now looking around at all these wonderful things, I wonder, what will happen to my precious stuff when it is my time to depart this world?

The answer is pretty clear. When I am gone, most of these things will wind up in the thrift store or, more likely, the junk pile.

Here is the deal for my family: “For your birthday present to me, you take one of my precious things and agree to keep it a little while as a reminder of how much you mean to me.”

Here is my plan.

For my son Grier: my family’s precious Sherman’s Cup. Sherman’s troops marching through Georgia and South Carolina stopped at my great-great-grandparents’ farm and ransacked everything in the house. But this sturdy mug survived, losing only its handle. It is a sad and fading reminder of the tragedy of war.

For Grier’s wife Louise: a wood carving from Oberammergau, Germany. My mother, also named Louise, acquired this lovely figure of Mary, Joseph and the babe 60 years ago. She had led a group of college students to Europe and to Oberammergau’s Passion Play, first put on in 1634 to fulfill a promise made to God should the village be spared from the bubonic plague. On the bottom of the carved figure written in my mother’s hand is “Mrs. D. Grier Martin,” another name my mom and Louise share.

Grier’s daughter, Sara, is, like my mom, a talented actress. I want her to take a ventriloquist dummy named Jerry who has been my friend for years. Jerry aspires to a life in the theater, and I hope Sara will someday take him on stage with her.

For my daughter May: a teaspoon engraved with my birth date and hour. It was a gift to my mother almost 80 years ago. Somehow, we have kept it all these years. I hope May will store it with her regular tableware and remember how much I love her whenever she uses it.

For May’s husband Cotton: my treasured Eskimo-hunting figure, crafted by an Inuit. It is a reminder of a few winter weeks in the Army training with the Eskimo National Guard along the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, Alaska. Cotton has led his family on many great adventures in other wildernesses. I hope the little Eskimo will remind him how much I appreciate his leadership.

For my oldest grandchild, Maggie: a DG gnome. My favorite souvenir from my political campaign — a small statue of me, crafted by the famous artist Tom Clark, who was my Old Testament Bible teacher at Davidson and a great friend.
For grandson Jake: my coin collection, which I last touched when I was his age.

He, like me, is a collector, but he is also an entrepreneur, and if he can turn the coins into real money, he has my blessings.

For my youngest grandchild, David, who is already a far better player than I was at Davidson: an old Davidson basketball signed by players from many generations.

If all of them agree to celebrate by taking rather than giving, it will make a very happy birthday for me.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch.” at 11 a.m. Sunday and 5 p.m. Tuesday on UNC-TV. The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel at 8 p.m. Tuesday and other times.

News

SCS, Gray Stone respond to social media posts

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Taxes

Columns

THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT COLUMN: Same library, new features

News

Protest in memory of Floyd to be Saturday in Albemarle

News

People unite at Oakboro church to talk, pray, show solidarity for Floyd

News

Stanly school board passes calendars, tech education plan, says goodbye to James

News

10 Stanly residents receive Wingate degrees

News

SALUTE TO SERVICE — ‘This is so new, I feel like a first-year teacher all over again’: Teachers adjust to remote learning

News

Farmers, ranchers can apply for assistance through USDA coronavirus program

News

Panel airs concerns, seeks solutions for community

News

Locust Police refute social media posts of intended violence

News

Newly reopened hair salons and barbershops busy meeting customer demands

News

COVID-19 impacts meat industry in Stanly

News

Railroad company invests in freight rail infrastructure to serve Charlotte Pipe

News

Peaceful protest in Albemarle draws attention to killings of black Americans

News

Stanly proposed budget maintains tax rate at 67 cents

News

Stanly receives more than $950,000 in funds

News

STATE: NCDHHS issues RFQ to expand testing, contact tracing for COVID-19

News

South Stanly teacher, tennis coach set to retire

Columns

DG MARTIN COLUMN: The wife of Jesus: The North Carolina connection

Columns

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COLUMN: County opening for business

News

Albemarle police make third arrest in Crump homicide case

News

Pee Dee awards scholarships

News

3 men sentenced for federal firearms, drug offenses