From an editorial in the Fayetteville Observer on Wednesday:
One of the proudest, loudest traditions in the Cape Fear region is going out and, lamentably, without a shout.
Say it ain’t so: The National Hollerin’ Contest in Spivey’s Corner is no more, brought down by changes in how we communicate – who needs to holler across the fields when we all have cellphones? – and the demands of running the event that put the Sampson County farming crossroads on the national map.
First, give the spirited folks of Spivey’s Corner credit. Starting with founder Ermon Godwin’s brainchild, and made possible by thousands of volunteer hours over the past 47 years, they raised money for their fire department and drew thousands to their community. They beamed with pride as their contest winners made Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”
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They had a lot of fun along the way, too, even promoting tiny Spivey’s Corner as potential Super Bowl and Olympic sites.
Every summer, they celebrated the rural hollering custom. But the contest was no longer a money-maker, despite efforts to adapt to the times, and sometimes you just have to close the books.
Here’s one last shout-out to Spivey’s Corner. Thanks for the memories.