Monthly Archives: June 2015

Spread the Word!

In April 2014, DIGGING DEEPER began our work with about 200 names on the email distribution list.  Today, we send our articles at least twice a moth to almost 1,000.

The response to our efforts has been encouraging!

Here are two comments that arrived in the past few days

“Another important piece of the puzzle revealed. Thanks for all you do to coordinate these additions to Gaston County’s collective consciousness.”                                                          Earl Mathers, Gaston County Manager

“Good stuff, Seabrook, keep, e’m coming.”   Tom Watson, Watson Insurance

If you are a reader of Digging Deeper articles and like them,  why don’t you tell a friend or associate to become a reader. It’s free!  Just send me the name and e-mail address.

Thank you

Bill Seabrook,, 704-879-4223


Charlotte: Blessing or Curse?

Some months ago, I wrote an article about Gastonia being great again. I suggested we work more closely with Charlotte and its leaders because our future was tied to that of Charlotte.

Since then, I have studied the matter more and have somewhat changed my opinion. It is true that Gastonia benefits from the amenities of Charlotte – the airport, sports teams, arts and all of the benefits of a large city without the cost of inconvenience. I have found, however, that Charlotte competes vigorously for all new opportunities that eye the Metrolina area. Any new business, any new housing project, any new commercial venture is sucked up by Charlotte. Further, it has a large competitive advantage since much of the state’s incentive money has been directed to Mecklenburg County.

If Gastonia is lucky, we may gather a few crumbs that Charlotte pushes aside. Would there be more growth if Gastonia were not close to Charlotte? Look at Greenville, SC or even Hickory and Asheville. Since we cannot relocate, we will never know the answer.

Maintaining contacts with Charlotte is still important. When those crumbs fall off the table, we can make sure we get our share or more, instead of Monroe, Rock Hill or Concord. Also we can make Gastonia the place to live for those who work in Charlotte but don’t want to fight the traffic gridlock that pervades Charlotte and the Lake Norman/Lake Wylie corridor.

This goes back to my previous article wherein we must improve our image, our regulatory climate and our schools to make Gastonia the desirable place to do business and the place to live a quiet and less-hectic life. It can be done and then Charlotte will be a blessing instead of a curse.

Charlie Gray
Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr and Smith


In preparing to write on this topic, it was not surprising to find that a vast amount of research exists on families. Research included interviews with the real experts, trusted friends and colleagues who, in my opinion, are exceptional parents with wonderful children.

Family is defined in The International Webster’s Concise Dictionary of the English Language (2000 Edition) as: a group of persons consisting of parents and their children; a group of persons forming a household; a succession of persons connected by blood, name, etc.; any class of like or related things, as a group of languages; and, of, belonging to, or suitable for a family.

When asked to define family, many of the parents interviewed defined it similarly, noting particularly the importance of the sense of belonging. We all have a need to belong, to be in relationship with others as family can provide. The kind or quality of association between family members is the result of many factors and, as research has proven, begins to develop in children prior to birth.

Family is expected to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. However, sometimes even under the best of circumstances and intentions, this is difficult to accomplish. In his book titled The Other Wes Moore, author Wes Moore shares his story about two kids with the same name living in the same city where one becomes very successful and the other is serving a life sentence in prison. Although living under similar circumstances (difficult childhoods, fatherless, trouble with police, etc.), their lives turned out very differently. You are encouraged to read his story and learn how both families, especially their parents, became major determinants in shaping their respective values and ultimately, their choices.

Parents do indeed play a very important role in shaping their children’s values for life. Many of the values shared by the parents interviewed were the same. The top ten (10) are noted below (not listed by priority):
• Love
• Respect
• Responsible
• Honest
• Generous
• Dependable
• Education
• Spirituality
• Commitment/Always do your best
• Accepting/Failure is part of learning & growing

What happens when children are not taught key values by their parents? That is when we all become responsible for modeling these and other positive values in our behaviors that reflect who we are as a member of our largest family, humanity. You do not need to be reminded that we all have a tremendous stake in its outcome.
Take action by treating family as a sacred gift and be responsible for its care and nurture, both individually and collectively.

Michael E. Linker
Executive Director
Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties