Letters: Mill Hill a great place to grow up

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 4, 2009

Mill Hill a great place to grow up
I really enjoyed the article on Cone Mill Hill (in Sunday’s Post). I lived there on Hill Street from 1944 until I went into the Army in 1965. The Mill Hill was a great place to grow up. We always had someone to play with, as the Mill Hill was full of children of all ages. During the summer, we would gather at what we called “the Club House,” a facility managed by the Recreation Department, where we could play ping pong, horseshoes, checkers and many other games. There was always a Recreation Department person there to keep things in order.
At night, we would gather on street corners and play hide and seek, tag, capture the flag or kick the can. Or just sit and talk with our friends.
And there were Pony League baseball games at what is now the Sports Complex. Then, there was only one ball field that was shared by both baseball and fast-pitch softball teams. Everyone knew everyone, and we all enjoyed a simple lifestyle.
There were other mill hills in Salisbury, such as Cannon and Cartex Mill Hills. I’m sure folks from those neighborhoods can relate to the article with similar memories and stories.
Yes, the Mill Hill was a great place to grow up. We didn’t have to lock our doors at night or worry about playing in other people’s yards. I wouldn’t trade my childhood there for anything!
ó Bruce Owen
Fleming dedicated
W.O.T. Fleming was a gentleman with wisdom of the heart, with understanding and knowledge that served his fellow man all his life. When I joined the staff of the Salisbury Housing Authority in 1986 as executive director, Mr. Fleming suggested he show me the housing development sites. It was immediately apparent that Mr. Fleming was highly dedicated to the cause of service. We discussed the need for day care, education, keeping families together, renovation of dwellings and additional housing for low-income elderly.
It was my honor and pleasure to meet with Mr. Fleming in his home monthly to review the agenda of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Mrs. Fleming always greeted me with a smile. During those meetings, Mr. Fleming shared with me his family work ethic as a child and adolescent that emphased a moral duty and obligation to the community.
Under the leadership and encouragement of Mr. Fleming and other commissioners like Sonny Carpenter and Henry Waiters, we were able to renovate the three oldest developments build in 1956, establish a child day-care center at Pine Hill, build the Wiley Lash child day-care center on South Boundary Street (now M.L.K. Boulevard) and establish a resident counsel.
After retiring in 1997, I had the honor of serving with Mr. Fleming and Layton Woodcock on the Salisbury Housing Foundation in development of Fleming Heights Apartments for senior citizens. This again resulted in Mr. Fleming’s encouragement and leadership.
During my 42 year career in public housing and urban redevelopment, I had many commissioners and chairmen but must say that Mr. Fleming was the very best. He brought out the very best in people. His accolades are well founded. He was truly a great asset to this community and will be sorely missed.
ó James R. Taylor
Mentor a child
I just finished reading the Post article about the summit held last Friday that was aimed at reducing gang violence in Salisbury. Governor Perdue challenged the audience to make available to every child in our community an adult who would be actively involved in their life. No matter their age, race or economic status, all children crave the attention that most of us were fortunate enough to have as youngsters. Sadly, more and more young people are lacking a positive adult role model in their lives.
After I retired, I began volunteering with Communities in Schools, a local United Way agency, as a mentor to an elementary student. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. For a small investment of time, I really do feel like I’m helping an at-risk child feel cared for and to see a life without gangs.
I’d love for you to consider accepting Governor Perdue’s challenge by becoming a mentor with Communities In Schools of Rowan County. Thirty minutes to an hour a week commitment on your part could have great returns for our city. You can visit our website, www.CISRowan.org or contact me at 704-797-0210 or cisvolunteer@aol.com to become involved.
ó Doris Yost
Yost is the volunteer coordinator for Communities in Schools.