Fences Sometimes Necessary for our Protection and Safety
A question that often came up when we were kids was,"Why do they build fences around graveyards?" Of course there is no correct answer as to why and the one who ask usually answered their own question by saying,"Because, people are dying to get in." One recently ask Obamma what ere his thoughts about "defense" and quickly answered his own question with a laugh at the answer he had conjured,"Well, I think "defense" might could use a coat of new paint.
As I thought about writing this article a memory came to mind about the fences and walls surrounding the North Carolina State Penitentiary. Some years ago our son who is visually impaired was scheduled by his resource for the blind representative to spend a week at the Governor Moorehead School in Raleigh. He would undergo testing and evaluations to help him better cope with his disability. It would be a full week of testing but there would also be plenty of other group activities. What is normally a two week ordeal would be packed into just one week. Gary was still in high school but the testing would be done during the summer break. We made plans for his extended stay in Raleigh and packed his bags with enough clothing and snacks for the entire week. His meals and lodging were provided free by the state. Gary had never spent one night away from our home and was a little nervous about the upcoming week.
The drive to Raleigh is about five hours from our home near Hendersonville along I-40 and the traffic was horrible on the Sunday we drove down. There was road construction and what would have been a simple trip turned into backed up traffic along the way. We arrived at Governor Moorehead School late in the afternoon and got out of our car to stretch our legs before unpacking Gary's luggage. We had no more than exited our car when we heard sirens blasting and the voices of men cursing. I have never been in a riot but I knew the sounds we were now hearing couldn't be good.
We were expected so someone from the school greeted us. Seeing the looks on our faces of disbelief and anxiety about what was going on nearby he smiled as he informed us the North Carolina State Prison was located just across the street and they were having a lock down due to insurrection of some of the prison population. The problem would soon be resolved and we should not be too concerned. The whole situation made me uncomfortable but I knew we had to leave Gary and return home. We said our goodbyes and told Gary we would call everyday to check on him and he could call us anytime he felt he needed to talk.
Driving back home that evening was hard and for a long time the only sounds in our car were the occasional sobs of my wife. Inside I was crying to but I knew what had been planned for Gary was in his best interest. About an hour up the road, I looked over at my wife and said," We can go back and get him if you want." We decided we would put it in the Lord's hands to take care of Gary but still we felt uneasy.
At work the next day I just couldn't get my mind off Gary. Our middle son away from home with strangers. I tried to pray but my heart seemed too heavy. At my first break I called home to see if Gary had called. My wife told me he had called and had already made a new friend who was also visually impaired. She said he seemed very happy and had even shared some of his stash of goodies we had packed for him with his new friend. The week went by slow for us but each night Gary would call and give us a report of his daily activities. On Saturday we drove down to pick him up. Gary had a great week at the school but we did not learn anything that would be of any great value to Gary as he transitioned from high school.
Pasture and Landscape Fences
The fences we see most often are the ones surrounding pastures of farms in our pristine area of Western North Carolina. My grandfather had fences made of barbed wire in which he kept his cattle and mule. It seems we were always having to repair that old fence which was three strands and over the years rust had taken a toll. The cows would sometimes brush up against an old post and it would break off leaving a gap where they could get out. The broken fence line was easy enough to fix by simply replacing the post but sometimes the cows would wander off into the woods or onto someone else's property and even get into crops of neighbors. The milk cows wore bells so they were generally easy enough to find. In recent years electric fencing has gained popularity and one shock is usually enough to convince the most honery cow to stay put.
Other fences are ornamental adding not only a valuable addition to the property but an ascetic one as well. These are made of wood and occasionally are a work of art. In our area, many who own horses have fences like these.