Editorial: Centennial celebration in Norlina

Sep. 12, 2013 @ 04:07 PM

We’ve got a soft spot for Norlina this weekend.

The Warren County community is holding a big celebration Saturday marking 100 years of incorporation. Centennials only come around once, and big or small celebration, remembering history and keeping it with us is important.

With that in mind, we believe Norlina is already well into a most successful event.

According to its city website, the reason for the actual naming of the community isn’t quite known. There’s speculation of course. But what happened after is certainly more defining.

Like scores of communities nationwide, the railroad was the driver in its creation. More than 75 years earlier, Ridgeway Junction was the stop for refueling and supplies. By 1900, the Seaboard Air Line Railway was in place.

And 100 years ago, the people marked off a mile in each direction from the depot, petitioned the state and were awarded a charter.

Small town life has a pace we appreciate. Through the years, there’s been a safety element that was slow to change. When the older generations talk about days gone by, they speak of leaving their homes or vehicles and not locking up. We smile and think of small communities that were the last to let go of such a wonderful time.

We like the thought of a light atop a utility pole being the command center for children at play after supper but before bedtime, rather than the light of a screen — whether it be a computer, television or even a cellphone.

We like the thought of walking into stores or churches, and knowing everybody by name. And knowing when we were children, all those adults knew our name, too, and had an eye out for us if we were away from our mamas and daddies.

We like small community life, and we like the fact in so many ways, Norlina still brings that irresistible charm everyday. Sure, the locks are on, and not everybody’s child is known by name. There’s not as much activity under the street lights at dark on a warm summer’s evening.

But there’s also nothing to stop that from returning.

Norlina is celebrating 100 years. Here’s to another wonderful 100!