Of Mustangs, county fairs and money

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The opportunity to comment on a few recent issues now rather than later just presented itself. Without further ado:

I was genuinely sorry the Southampton/Sussex Mustang All-Stars were twice defeated last Friday in their tournament games against Swansea, Mass., and Chesterfield. Both of those teams had previously been beaten by the Mustangs, which gave the local boys the opportunity to rise as far as they did.

Alas, they got their revenge on the Mustangs that night, and eliminated any chance this year of their going to the World Pony Series in Texas starting Thursday.

There was never an opportunity for me to attend and cover a game, but Christie Kizer and Stephanie Bailey each filled me in. From our email and phone correspondence, I clearly sensed how proud they were of the Mustangs, both the boys and the coaches.

To the young gentlemen in particular, I sincerely say “Well done.”

That your team made it so far speaks not to failure or shortcomings, but to quality coaching, attentive practice, teamwork and parental support.

Rest assured, there will be other games to play and other victories to savor.

No less deserving of a shout-out is the Southampton-Sussex Mustang All-Star B team. Recently, the boys and coaches made the third place in the Virginia State Mustang Tournament in Wakefield. The team obviously played well, and merited recognition for their effort.


Sources at the top for this year’s Franklin-Southampton County Fair assure me the event will happen (Aug. 14-17). This came when I told them about a strange phone call that Managing Editor Cain Madden received Tuesday.

He was told that if The Tidewater News gets any information that’s wrong about the fair, don’t print it.

Cain assured the anonymous caller that the newspaper strives to post the most accurate information possible.

The man on the other line offered no specific examples of what we have done wrong so far.

I checked with a couple of people on the committee and they assure that so far what the newspaper has done has been fine, and they’re appreciative.

Anyway, I look forward to attending the fair this year and hope to see many familiar faces, as well as meeting new ones.


Oh, la la! If you ever get a message from your bank about possible abuse of your account, please don’t hesitate to call. While getting ready for work on Monday, I got an automated message telling me of suspicious activity on my debit card. After checking to ensure it was actually still in my wallet, I soon went to the branch near where I live in Suffolk. The teller was unable to assist only because it was information out of her purview.

Remaining in the lobby, on my cell phone I dialed (old habits die hard) the provided number. After going through identity confirmation, Alejandro informed me that my card had been used that very day to buy something costing $35.36…in Paris, France.

Mon Dieu!

My eyes had nearly popped out of my head. Naturally, I asked him to repeat that figure and location. Still wide-eyed, I assured Alejandro I was in Suffolk, Va., not the City of Lights.

So, the account has been closed and I await a new card and another day to call for compensation. I’m thankful the damage wasn’t worse, and that the bank was so quick to spot the discrepancy.

Admittedly, in this case I can afford to be philosophical and think, “C’est la vie.” That’s life.

Any procrastination on my part might have had me saying, “Quel dommage.” What a drag.

Stephen H. Cowles is the staff writer at The Tidewater News. He suggests you regularly check your bank accounts. He can be contacted at either 562-3187 or playback58@gmail.com.