Wineka column: Friday the 13th lucky for some

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2011

SALISBURY — Sandra lives dangerously. She resides in a cute little house on 13th Street.
She has lived here for 13 years.
There are 13 houses on 13th Street.
Now to top everything, it’s Friday the 13th.
Will she even get out of bed today?
“It’s pretty lucky living on 13th Street,” Sandra reports.
Believe it or not, millions of people have a fear of today, Friday the 13th.
Asheville’s Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute — now there’s a place you’d want to visit — estimated once that 17 million to 21 million people in the United States have a big fear of this day, to the point they avoid their normal routines.
They might lay out of work, avoid restaurants, reschedule trips and definitely not get married. Millions of dollars in business apparently are lost.
Theories abound on how the superstition got started. Its roots could reach to ancient times, though solid documentation of friggatriskaidekaphobia — fear of Friday the 13th — only goes back a century or so.
This year has one Friday the 13th — today. Next year has three.
Consider yourself warned.
But “13,” taken on its own, always has been considered an unlucky number. Other cities often skipped 13th Street when their grids were laid out, just as tall hotels and office buildings try to avoid a 13th floor when it comes to their numbering.
Sandra and others on her street live with “13” every day. Sandra, for one, has few complaints.
Her home has never experienced a break-in.
She doesn’t see any “druggies” hanging out on 13th, which extends from North Main to Maxwell streets.
Only once in awhile is someone playing loud music. While standing in her kitchen, she sometimes has felt her feet vibrate from the thump-thump of tunes blaring from a car.
But Sandra loves her house, which she has fixed up smartly, and the location is great, she says, for getting anywhere in Salisbury and to points north such as Spencer, Lexington and High Point.
Sandra has never won anything in her life and lives by Murphy’s Law, which says anything that can go wrong will go wrong. She’s not superstitious, but she’s also not going to walk under any ladders.
Who knows, a paint bucket might fall on her or she might trip.
“But I’m pretty lucky,” Sandra concludes, “because I’m upright in the morning.”
As luck would have it
There’s a flip side to living on 13th Street. You could live on Lucky Lane.
For almost five years, Chad and Ann Hamilton have resided on Lucky Lane, in the eastern part of Rowan County. The official name of their small cul de sac of nine homes is Shamrock Meadows, so Lucky Lane makes sense.
Ann Hamilton also says she’s not a superstitious person, but “I feel very fortunate and blessed to live on Lucky Lane.”
“We have great neighbors,” she adds.
One of the Hamiltons’ big blessings since living on Lucky Lane was the arrival three years ago of their daughter Hope, who joins their 12-year-old daughter, Jordan.
Darlene Lopez says her Lucky Lane home also has been a blessing. After a divorce, she had to short-sell another house, and she was able to work out a rent-to-own agreement on this place.
After looking everywhere, Lopez says, the 3-year-old Lucky Lane house was exactly what she wanted — an open floor plan, a nice front porch and convenient location to her nursing shifts at the VA Medical Center and CMC-NorthEast.
She also saw the street name — Lucky Lane — as an omen.
“I do believe in miracles, for us to get what we were wishing for,” she says. “… This was just a blessing. I believe in that.”
There’s one disadvantage to living on Lucky Lane.
“Someone stole our street sign,” Ann Hamilton says.
The best place
Back on 13th Street in Salisbury, Linda Faulk says she moved here about 14 months ago. “I’ve had no problem,” she says. “It’s the best place I’ve had in Salisbury. It’s been lucky for me. I thank God every day I’ve had a chance to be here.”
Bill McCranie moved here in 1994, and his house on 13th Street was the first he had ever owned. He had never given a thought to its being a bad-luck street.
“It’s been lucky in a number of ways,” he says. “I’ve had good experiences here.”
McCranie also became a dog owner for the first time on 13th Street, when he created a home for an abandoned pup from Spencer. He loves that dog.
Her name is Lucy — only one letter shy of Lucky.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka@