Quick trip to North Carolina

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Made a quick tirp to North Carolina on Thursday

My dad received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina at a meeting of the board of Randolph Community College.

It was a great event. State lawmakers Arthur Willaims, Harold Brubaker, Arlie Culp and Jerry Tillman spoke. Kathi Keys did a nice story.

The award typically honors a career of public service to the people or North Carolina and is bestowed by the governor. Other recipients include Dr. Billy Graham, Maya Angelou, Charles Kuralt and William Friday. It's quite an honor.

The proclamation from the governor says the member of the "Order of the Long Leaf Pine" may make this toast anywhere in the "free world."

Here's to the land of the long leaf pine,

The summer land where the sun doth shine,

Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,

Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!

That's the first verse of what is known as the "state toast." Here's the whole poem by Leonora Martin and Mary Burke Kerr.


Here's to the land of the long leaf pine,

The summer land where the sun doth shine,

Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,

Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!

Here's to the land of the cotton bloom white,
Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,
Where the soft southern moss and jessamine mate,
'Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State!
Here's to the land where the galax grows,
Where the rhododendron's rosette glows,
Where soars Mount Mitchell's summit great,
In the "Land of the Sky," in the Old North State!
Here's to the land where maidens are fair,
Where friends are true and cold hearts rare,
The near land, the dear land, whatever fate,
The blest land, the best land, the Old North State!

Here it read by Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall

Update: Short video of the presentation.