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Elizabeth "B" Holroyd

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Here, I present portions of published articles I have written that are not on the web (originals available on request).

Urban Hiker

Skid & Twister
Elizabeth "B" Holroyd's dog-eat-horse world
(September 2001)

We put my horse Twister in the back yard on the first of the month, and I've been worried about how to integrate him and Skid, my "little" dog (50 pounds at last vet visit). I was going to carefully orchestrate their initial off-leash meeting, and I will always maintain that mine was a good plan which would have worked -- if fate hadn't taken the lead.

Twister and Skid are not strangers. Beginning when he was new to the household (at 7 pounds and 4.5 months), Skid went with me to the boarding stable to get to know Twister while I cleaned and groomed and so forth. At first, Skid was fearful of the horse, but that slowly changed until he was rushing at Twister and snapping at his feet every chance he got. Yelling at the dog and jerking the leash did absolutely nothing to deter this behavior. Twister, of course, was a bit annoyed but certainly not afraid of Skid. Once, when Skid was being particularly obnoxious, the norse snorted, shook his head, and did the both-front-feet stomp that means, "I'll squash you like a bug!" Unfortunately, Skid did not speak horse; I finally stopped taking him to the stable.

Skid is a spunky little survivor who, when I met him, may have spent a full third of his short life scrapping for a living in the backwoods of Chatham County, probably with a dwindling number of litter mates who'd all been dumped shortly after weaning. ...


Saddle Up!
(by "B" Holroyd; photos by JustinWilliams)

Regardless of the presence of the high-tech Research Triangle Park, North Carolina has been and still is an agricultural state. Even in the Triangle, none of the counties is complete urban; dairy cows graze placidly in pastures bordered by brand-new housing developments, and it isn't unusual to see people riding horses beside busy highways.

Horses, in fact, are a growing business in North Carolina -- popular enough to justify a 1996 Equine Survey by the State Department of Agriculture. According to the survey, North Carolina has roughly 132,000 head of horses with an estimated worth of approximately $533 million.

The number of people who own pleasure horses in the wealthy Triangle is growing, too. Wake County, along with nearby Johnston and Guilford counties, rank among the top 11 horse counties in the state, with guilford at the top of the list and Wake County coming in fourth.

Businesses that capitalize on the equine popularity include tack shops, many of which sell clothing as well as tack. Boarding, riding, and training stables dot the countryside. Lots of folks attend horse events throughout the year, such as the many shows at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh -- including two spring steeplechases. ...

The Herald-Dispatch

Failure to report substances rooted in unfamiliarity with law
(Business front page - December 27, 1987)

Perhaps one percent of the businesses in the Huntington area affected by a federal act passed last year has done what the law requires: submitted to three agencies a list of hazardous substances produced, stored or used in their businesses. 

And yes, that list does include common substances such as Freon, used inrefrigerants and aerosol spray cans; paint thinner; chlorine for swimming pools; bleach; ammonia; oil; and other chemicals used or stored by companies such as dry cleaners, automobile body shops, photographic developers, printers, trucking companies, funeral homes, flower shops, milk processors, hospitals, grocery stores and telephone companies.

Required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986, the list is to go to the business' local fire department, the Cabell Wayne Emergency Planning Council, and the state Emergency Response Commission.

But officials of several companies in the Huntington area said they were not aware of the requirement, and some didn't know chemicals they store and use are on the Environmental Protection Agency's list. ...

The Herald-Dispatch

His bamboo jail a cramped way to honor MIAs
(Local section front page, September 19, 1987)

"What are they doing?" a young boy asked the woman accompanying him down Huntington Center Plaza.

"It's about the people still missing in action," she replied, not breaking stride.

And the man dressed in olive drab watched the children through the bamboo bars of his cage, a cage too short to stretch out in, too squat to stand up in.

The children were one of the reasons he spent 12 cramped hours on plaza bricks yesterday, said Scott King, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1064. King wanted to "make sure the public is still aware we do have American citizens still missing." ...

The Herald-Dispatch

Spring Hill paraplegic teacher wins international arts award
(February 25, 1988)

A wheelchair-bound art teacher at Spring Hill Elementary School in Huntington has been chosen the Very Special Arts Educator of 1988 by an international organization which works with disabled children.

Thursday morning, Pamela Spurlock Boggess is flying to Washington for the third Very Special Arts Annual National Conference.

Anita Unger, a River Cities Arts Council official, said Ms. Boggess was nominated by the founder of Very Special Arts, Joan Kennedy Smith, sister of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Ms. Unger said she met the art teacher when Ms. Boggess helped lead arts activities for the Very Special Arts festival at Connonsburg, Ky., in April.

Several months later, an exhibit for disabled artists -- "Call to Rise" -- was announced, and Ms. Boggess entered the competition. She was the only West Virginia artist chosen to compete, Ms. Unger said. ...

The Herald-Dispatch

Russians still can't change, native sighs
(December 8, 1987)

"You can't support your own government in your heart if you spend three hours in line to get butter," Russian native Benjamin Bennov said Monday.

Soviet citizens, he said, are told to work for the future -- but "you can't work for the future with an empty refrigerator."

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev needs to build his reputation as a leader in peace, Bennov said. He's created an image for himself "as a leader and person who wants peace. In Europe, he's a popular person right now."

Bennov, a naturalized U.S. citizen and Russian-educated pathologist, is in his third year of a five-year residency program with the Marshall University School of Medicine. He said he's been watching summit developments lately. ...

The Herald-Dispatch

Child-support code 'takes away fights'
(March 6, 1988)

Until October, the amount of child support owed by a divorced West Virginian depended on the judge's whim.

Now there's a formula that "takes away one of the big, big fights," said Susan Perry, the law master in Wayne, Boone and Lincoln counties.

"Who gets custody is usually obvious," but people tend to use support amounts as leverage. "They want to know, 'what can I get in return for child support,'" she said.

Cabell County Law Master Robert K. "Kelly" Means said the formula "doesn't address the realities of life" because it doesn't consider the child's age or sex or any unusual medical or school expenses.

Penny Crandall, the state Supreme Court assistant director in charge of the family law master system, said the new guidelines represent a general increase in support.

The support formula, drawn by the Department of Human Services, figures basic support, allows the child to benefit from the higher living standards of a parent, and sets both parents' total monthly support obligations. ...

The Herald-Dispatch

Pitt Bulls
They have an elusive definition ...and a bloodthirsty reputation
(Focus section front page lead, August 2, 1987)

Councils and legislatures across the country are naming pit bulls as examples in new vicious dog laws, or banning them completely. Those actions, say pit bull fanciers, are based on media attention to atrocities committed by dogs with irresponsible owners. The laws and ordinances wouldn't be necessary if existing leash laws were enforced, they say.

And, they add, the general public can't pick a pit bull out of a lineup.

Who are these dogs, the infamous animals accused of being more than just vicious, of wantonly maiming or killing pets, children and adults?

Remember Pete, the white dog on the popular children's series Our Gang? He was a pit bull. So is the dog hearing "his master's voice" on RCA's famous Victrola trademark. "Spuds" McKensie, the beer dog, also is a pit bull -- but then a pit bull is more a type of dog than a breed. ...

The Lincoln Journal

"B" Line column
(April 23, 1986)

What do you think about last week's events? Do you feel we have adequately expressed our determination to not allow some two-bit Islamic fundamentalist to get away with supporting and encouraging the murder of U.S. citizens?

Did we accomplish our goals? What were our goals?

Well, our commander-in-chief and his staff have told us, we wanted to tell Kadaffy to cut out this terrorism business. We gave the Middle East cauldron a little stir, hoping it would slop over the sides and spill the Libyian leader into the fire.

The military maneuver was a success, no doubt about it. We got our F-111s and Navy jets in there, hit the intended targets, and took off--losing only one bomber with its two crew members in the process.

It worked much better than the last few times we tried to poke a polecat, but has it done what our government wanted it to do? ...

The Lincoln Journal

"B" Line column
(November 13, 1985)

How much is your vote worth?

Two Huntingtonians told the Cabell County Circuit Court a few weeks ago they accepted $2 each for their votes. That's four cans of pop or two Sunday newspapers or a half pound of cheese.

Not much, especially when considering what those two people sold.

They sold their right to vote for the man they saw most fit to hold an office. They prostituted themselves and their heritage. The cheated their children, if they have any, by not considering the future under someone crooked enough or inept enough to have to buy votes.

They cheated me. ...

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