World Famous Suffolk Virginia

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 2004


Suffolk Virginia is on the International Map. Yes sir, Suffolk is getting its 15 minutes of fame promised to us by Andy Warhol. This week world news brought Suffolk to me here in Naples. Yes sir, my co-workers are just constantly saying; &uot;Isn’t that the place where you are from Dave?&uot;

OK I admit it — I miss Suffolk. I miss going to Wal-Mart at night when I had nothing to do. I enjoyed going to the Peanut Festival and visiting the tents, getting a hand full of peanuts from the Star Motors man. The peanuts never taste better than as you struggle to shell them as you stroll past the food, beer, and drink stands.


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Plus you get to just drop the empty shells on the ground.

No one complains about littering. Its &uot;organic.&uot;

I love registering for the free car giveaway. I love fireworks, the rodeos, the demolition derby, etc etc. I enjoy the smell of the &uot;Planters&uot; peanut factory on a cool evening in the fall.

I actually love the smell of the dirt being churned as we slowly ran the combine across Ritchie and Frank Jordan’s peanut field behind the Holiday Inn. I love the mental image of holding my daughter’s hands and watching the Christmas parade from the End of Chestnut street along Washington street. I loved being Santa in the parade and in the little house on the corner of Main and Washington back in the 90s. I loved being a Jaycee and selling Christmas trees by fire barrel at the shopping center that used to be home to Murphy’s Mart and Montgomery Ward. These are all great memories that will be mine to treasure forever.

These are all the things that I would love to have my current Italian friends, co-workers and others here in Naples know and feel about Suffolk.

Unfortunately that isn’t what they know about Suffolk! None of these things will ever register in their consciousness.

What they know about Suffolk is what they are told by CNN, the Italian news agencies, and other foreign press sources this past week. Suffolk is the place where little kids are allowed to handle guns. Where children too small for elementary school can pick up a hand gun. Where the neighbor films the kiddie next door toting his fire arm to mommy and daddy in the backyard firing range. The neighbor gets his fame and fortune thanks to the morning edition of some American TV show.

Gee thanks so much to all involved. When you come from a place like that, how can you be normal?

Sure I guess I can enjoy the fear in their eyes and their minds run wild about me. I used to just be an American from that violent country. Now I am elevated to a guy from that crazy town where everyone has a gun, even the little kids.

I accept that we are all raised differently. I accept that we all have varying values and morals. I accept that Americans are merciless in their defense of their right to bear arms. Heck I have always been one of those people.

Over here you can’t own a fire arm without the approval of virtually everyone within 2 miles of your home. Then if you actually can get approval to own a firearm, they tell me you can’t transport it anywhere without prior approval of the local police. You must state the times, locations, means of transport, and when it will return to its storage location.

This may be overkill and the reason my firearms remain in the safekeeping of relatives in Suffolk but it seems the home of my fond old emories is at the opposite end of the spectrum from my current home.

World famous Suffolk – have your toddler carry your firearm.

David Forsythe is a former Suffolk resident.