This Week in the Archives: Sorority Bus, Founder’s Day, Hang Gliding | Community

Editor’s Note: This article features news and photos from previous editions of the Watauga Democrat.

September 10, 1981

“School officials will apparently take a closer look at who is borrowing their vehicles and for what purpose in the future following an accident that occurred last week,” reads an article from the September 10, 1981, edition of the Democrat Watauga.

According to the article, an Appalachian State University sorority borrowed an activity bus — owned by the Watauga County Board of Education and used at Watauga High School — only to get involved in a “fender-bender” in the parking lot of a Blowing Rock Establishment called 1849.

“The activity bus damaged another car in the parking lot approximately $100, according to the Blowing Rock Police report. The bus suffered no damage. No charges have been filed,” the article said.

According to the article, then-WHS athletic director Jack Groce said this was the first time he could recall an ASU sorority borrowing a vehicle. He added that there was an informal agreement with ASU for the use of vehicles, and that there was “nothing in writing”.

“Groce added that the bus driver is one who has driven the bus on other occasions, such as field trips. Groce said he did not know at the time who would be responsible for the damage to the other vehicle. He added that he had not seen the accident report and that the owner of the damaged vehicle had not gone to high school to inquire about restitution,” the article read.

Then-superintendent Lester J. Propst Jr. said in the article that there was no policy regarding the loan of school vehicles, but that the school board will take a closer look at who it loans them to. ready.

“I was unaware of this being done,” Propst said in the article.

September 6, 1991

“The United States should be proud of its young people, as well as its technology, after their performance in Operation Desert Storm. This is the message retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly told students and faculty during a graduation ceremony at Appalachian State University,” read an article in a September 6, 1991 edition. from Democrat Watauga.

Kelly’s speech was titled “Pride: America is Back” and was given as part of the school’s annual Founders’ Day, which in 1991 celebrated ASU’s 92nd anniversary.

“The general, who served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, told the audience that America had much to be proud of after the country’s performance in the Desert War. Persian Gulf,” the article reads.

“They feel good that we have shown the world that we are the best. In 1991, America is a strong country,” Kelly said in the article.

According to the article, Kelly told the students that they were “the most defamed” group in the United States, but should be proud of their generation’s exploits as warriors during the war. He added that the youths were part of the “best trained, best equipped” army in the country’s history.

“While Operation Desert Storm was necessary and the United States had much to be proud of, war itself is not good,” he said in the article.

“War is evil. Going out and killing people is wrong. It can only be the lesser of two evils,” Kelly said in the article. “But, if you’re going to fight one, fight to win.”

According to the article, Kelly praised then-US President George Bush’s decision to “stop the war when he did, adding that he did not know of any other military officer who was not agreement with this decision. The article added that the president had been criticized for stopping the war “too soon” and not “ridding the world of Saddam Hussein”, but Kelly dismissed the latter.

“Saddam Hussein is a toothless viper,” Kelly said in the article.

The article and another in the same issue noted that Kelly’s appearance and time on the podium were the subject of protest inside and outside the event. According to the article covering the protests, issues were raised with Kelly’s message of pride in “military conquest” and some felt that the place should have gone to someone in academia.

September 10, 2001

“On Friday morning, an entourage of mostly four-wheel-drive vehicles with roof racks carrying colorful hang gliders meandered down the entrance road to Grandfather Mountain for the first time in 15 years,” read one post. of September 10, 2001. , edition of Democrat Watauga.

According to the article, a three-day hang gliding event brought together 40 hang gliders, including four Masters champions, “the pioneers of the sport of hang gliding”.

“The three-day event was sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites of Nags Head, whose owner John Harris was the first person to take off from the cliffs of the majestic mile-high mountain when he piloted a hang gliding from the summit in 1974,” the article read.

According to the article, the growth of hang gliding in the early 70s finally found its way to the High Country, and Grandfather Mountain was chosen as the host site for the United States Hang Gliding Association National Championships.

“In 1976, Hugh Morton (President of Grandfather Mountain) trained hang gliding teams, organized and supported several events, created the Raven and Eagle awards and launched the Masters of Delta Gliding. The Masters was the most elite hang gliding competition in the world. world,” Harris said in the article.

According to the article, the Masters was held annually at Grandpa until 1986 and ended when 1984 United States champion Steward Smith de Boone died landing in the competition.

“Steward’s name came up often over the weekend. He held the North Carolina hang-gliding distance record of 112 miles, which he set by flying from Grandfather to southern Virginia. Smith’s wife, Kathy Meier, and daughter, Kristin, attended the fly-in and were honored with a standing ovation at an awards ceremony Saturday night,” the article read.

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