Village Times May 2023


Independence Village of Olde Raleigh Resident Newsletter

The Wild (and not so wild}     Animals of IVOR – by Pat Simpson

“I’ve had it!” said Billy Rabbit. “I’m going back in the forest where I belong!”

“You’ll never come back alive!” shouted Ruby Rabbit. “The catamount will find your footprints for sure. It doesn’t live on just leaves and fruits and insects you know. It lives on fast-flying birds and bats – all faster than you for sure!”

“Then let it eat bugs – I’m outta here!”

Billy Rabbit ran and he ran until he was so tired that he could run no more. So he stopped in the middle of a large green field where he decided to take a nap. “I can see in every direction,” he thought. “I’ll be safe here in the warm sunny breezes.”

A long time passed. The sun passed overhead and began to set just as a full moon began to rise in the east.

Meanwhile, Billy Rabbit dreamed… he dreamed of days gone by while he was still in the circus; he dreamed of his friend; a dog named Oliver. Oliver was able to walk a tightrope until that tragic day when he fell and broke his leg. Billy Rabbit dreamed of Oliver’s master, Fred, who shed real tears when he realized his circus career was over.

He remembered when Fred moved to IVOR. I don’t think Fred ever told the people at IVOR about his pet rabbit… namely me. So Fred tried to hide me the best he could. I got so lonely. I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

Why can’t I play like all the dogs do? They have so much fun! They live their lives out in the open and have lots of friends.  I’m tired of being lonely. I’ll take my chances out here in the forest. I’ll…I’ll… Still dreaming, Billy Rabbit began to kick his feet.


“Wake up, little friend. I swear…you must be having a nightmare.”

“What? Who?” Dazed, the still-groggy Billy Rabbit managed to open his eyes. He looked up, only to see the wrinkly face of an old hound dog staring down at him.

“Sorry to startle you, my friend. You seemed so frightened.”

“Not frightened, you big lummox – lonely. I’m so lonely that I had to run away from home. Maybe I can find some friends out here in the forest.”

“I was lonely once myself – as a border dog, but now I have lots of friends. may I introduce you to them? by the way, my name is Leonard.”

“Nice to meet you, Lenard,” said Billy Rabbit.

“Follow me, then. C’mon, it’s just this way.”

They trudged through the forest for nearly half an hour until they came to a cliff wall. Then Billy Rabbit heard voices — lots of voices.

“Hooray! Leonard brought us a friend. Look! It’s a rabbit!”

Billy Rabbit looked… packed into a crevice of the wall like sardines was a colony of rock badgers.

“Noooooo.” he screamed (if it’s possible for a rabbit to scream). “I’m not that lonely! I’m going back to    Ruby Rabbit at IVOR.” 

Billy Rabbit ran (and hopped) just as fast as he could – all the way home.

“Well, look who came back!”

It was Wyatt, the IVOR “watch dog”, whose job seemed to be similar to that his namesake of the Old West. “Looks like fate brought you back,” said Wyatt (the dog). “Fate is that which we run into and Destiny is that which we are drawn towards. Anyhow, say Hi to your friends, Billy Rabbit; we all welcome you back!”

Billy’s friends, all dogs, had come out to greet him.

“Hi Belle,” said Billy. “Hi Blondie! Hi Cutie-Pie! Hi Leo!  Hi Mimi!” “Hi yourself,” they said in unison.

And then…”Welcome back, stranger.” It was Ruby Rabbit. “I’m glad you came back alive!”

“So am I,” said Billy Rabbit, looking into Ruby’s tear-filled eyes. “So am I.”

Not long after that the two, now more than just friends, became a couple and – even though it was against the rules – moved back unto Fred’s apartment as non-paying, non-human residents, where they lived happily forever – or at least for a long time! (Psssst…don’t tell anyone.)


Caring For an Aging Pet – by Margie Lewin

  1. Activity – pets need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Diet and supplemental – don’t overfeed them or give them too many treats; omega-3 fats, vitamin D and probiotics.
  3. Brain games – vary up the walk routes, letting them off the leash when it’s safe; let them smell the leaves and post.
  4. Signs of change – as your pet ages pay attention to changes in their activity level, appetite, general attitude and continence.
  5. When is it time? Take the time to consider the quality of life and prognosis. In the end pets let us know when they are ready.
  6. Singing goodbye with intention – once you have made the decision that it’s time, don’t rush. Give yourself a day or two to prepare. Spoil them, brush them, do all the things they love. Mini organizations such as Lap of Love and Rainbow Bridge, offer support for pet-loss grief.
  7. Above all, find comfort in knowing that you gave your pet a good life and a loving home – and that the grief you feel is an echo of the joy they brought you.

It Remains Deep Within My Memory – Anonymous

Government Mandated Future Use of EV’sby Richard Smalto 

At first glance the government’s futuristic vision for government mandated electrical vehicles and all electric public transportation system looks like an ideal plan for preserving the future of the planet. However the public seems to be ignoring two key questions regarding electric transportation.

–Where does the electricity used to power electric vehicles come from?

–What energy sources are capable of meeting transportation in the future?

People tend to lose sight of the fact that most of our electricity comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels. The nation cannot produce sufficient electrical energy to replace gasoline. For the vision of the all-electrical transportation future to be realized the entire electricity generation must be replaced with solar and wind energy. This would require the construction of new solar and wind farms that we neither have the economic resources nor the land area to meet the capacity required.

The nation cannot distribute sufficient electricity without gasoline. Like most infrastructure the electrical grid is in need of modernization. What do proponents of electrical cars expect this aging grid to accomplish. Because of where the major hubs of the source of solar wind farms are located, a total shift to renewable resources would probably require a grid that is more than twice its current size. Even if sufficient renewable energy could replace fossil fuel plants the cost of upgrading the grid to accommodate the huge demand would be astronomical.

Fossil fuels, for the entire world, represents the primary source of affordable energy, e.g. when it comes to mobile machines oil has no rival. Take cargo ships, airplanes and heavy-duty transportation. There are no commercial alternatives available at any price. The vast majority of heavy-duty agricultural equipment is powered by oil as well. Oil is the greatest portable fuel the world has ever known. Before the 1850’s oil was not a resource. It was useless. It was a raw material however. What turned oil into a resource was human ingenuity. The history of oil is a history of resource creation. In the 20th century chemistry made oil not only into a fossil fuel but also into civilization’s most important raw material.

Fossil fuels power all democracies and free market economies. The industrialized world cannot function without affordable energy. The entire economic system of modern democracies would collapse without affordable energy.


Chevy Pick-up Tales – by Frank Howes

“He was too lazy to work up a sweat – He thought he was too good to sweat.”

My father imparted his morals and wisdom while we were riding in our red ’56 Chevy truck – the one I learned to drive in. My father told these tales when we were hunting or fishing, mostly while we were driving from place to place in that dependable, beat-up old pickup…

Lieutenant Lee: This was my father’s version of stop and smell the roses. “When I was in the army, we were on convoy one day and I was selected to drive Lieutenant Lee. Now Lieutenant Lee was a soldier’s soldier, always dressed like he was ready for parade inspection – a trim, squared-away figure. That day Lieutenant Lee’s assignment was to drive up to the head of the convoy to make sure everything was OK, then fall back and check all the vehicles in the convoy. Well, when Lieutenant Lee reached the head of the convoy, we’d stop at a country store and wait for the convoy to pass. We’d sit around talking, drinking a coke, and shooting the s… while the vehicles passed by. Then we’d drive to the front once more and do it all over again.

Lieutenant Lee said he liked my driving. ‘If I’m ever in combat again,’ said Lieutenant Lee, ‘I want you to be my driver.’ One time I was driving for him when the engine began to smoke. Lieutenant Lee said ‘Drive it! We’ll let the motor pool take care of it when we get back to base. Just drive it.’ This ran against my father’s impulse to maintain his equipment, but he followed Lieutenant Lee’s orders.

The bootlegger: My grandfather was a bootlegger. My father recounts, “The sheriff liked Daddy because Daddy helped him get elected by passing out liquor at the polling place. Well, when the revenuers planned a raid, the sheriff warned, ‘Barden, looks like snow tomorrow, better get your equipment in.’ Alerted, Daddy hid his liquor still.”

It’s funny what some people think is funny (Droning on): My father tells this tale of his father, “Daddy used to keep bees and rob them. He wasn’t afraid of them at all. In fact, when he was robbing them, he would pick up a drone and pop it into his mouth, then he would dare any one to do the same. Naive as I was, I tried it one day, but I didn’t recognize the drone. Needless to say, I got stung. Daddy laughed at me.”

It’s funny what some people think is funny (continued): Another stinging experience: My father tells another story of his father, “I was fishing with Daddy and my nephew, Woody, on the Little River. Daddy was maneuvering the boat. He was very good with a paddle, and he could quietly put a boat wherever he wanted to without ever lifting his paddle from the water. On this day I was at the front of the boat with my back to the creek bank. Daddy paddled me under an overhanging bush and into a wasp nest. He laughed so hard when the wasps stung me, he almost fell out of the boat.”


Owning a Dog – by Phyllis Woolley

Most of my adult life I have been the proud owner of a dog. I have had several breeds, my favorite was a black toy poodle named Molly. Molly was a joy to be around. She loved everyone!

Dogs require a lot of care, and training. Molly was a quick learner, and I spent a lot of time and money on vet visits, and special food and grooming. Molly always loved to go outside and I had a long retractable leash that allowed her to run and play to her heart’s content. There were times though, she would escape when she got an opportunity to run. She would run to an area where there was a small creek where she could pick up enough mud that she could get in the tub for a bath. It was easy to care for her then. I was younger and could walk her and chase after her.

Owning a dog is a tremendous responsibility, especially when you live where many others live. Not everyone is as enamored of your dog as you. That is difficult to accept, but true. In fact, there are indeed people who are dangerously allergic to your darling little fur baby. Owning a pet requires work. Your wonderful dog will be loved by everyone if you have done your job as an owner. Always be aware that a bigger dog can knock someone off their feet. Once again, the dog is not being a bad dog, he’s just behaving like a dog.

Not everyone thinks it’s cute that your dog jumps on them or licks their hands. I know of not one person who enjoys a barking dog during the night when they are trying to sleep. Have you ever stepped where a dog has done his business and the owner was too lazy and inconsiderate to pick up after their pet?

There are many laws regarding dogs. In most states there are leash laws. People are also required to keep their pets out of any public place where food is cooked or served. If you see a dog running loose, or in a public dining room, try to remember that the dog isn’t doing anything wrong. The dog is simply being a dog. Dogs love to run and play. Make sure your dog has living and play space proportionate to his size. Make sure he has fresh food and water and is healthy. Sometimes the dog is smarter than the person, but he can’t do something he hasn’t been trained to do. Never, ever, hit or kick your dog because you didn’t do your job.

So if you are the owner of a dog, please remember your pup wants to please you. He wants to be loved and to love you. Please don’t cause others to dislike your dog because of your lack of responsibility.


Life is Good – by A.J. Attar

All of a sudden, the sun covered itself with a hat made out of clouds, and just occasionally peeped out from behind the clouds to tell us “Yes, I am still here.”

“Life is good”, it thought as the sun took its sunglasses out of its bag, put on a healthy dose of suntan lotion, put a blanket down, and laid on its back.

To cool itself down, the sun summoned a strong wind to fan her.

Several trucks on Highway 40 turned upside down, releasing hundreds of pigs. The pigs kept on running and squealing “Give us Liberty but no death”, and “Don’t eat us, we’re not kosher”. But the experienced farm hands from Sampson County and Wallace were not impressed. They saved molasses for a great pig-picking, but their knowledge with the rules of kosher was limited. They could have used collard greens and lard.