I write to dispel a rampant rumor that Lake Powhatan is teeming with alligators. Just not so. It is similarly untrue that the giant Burmese pythons now cluttering swamps and highways further south are driving alligators to higher ground.
And to set the whole record straight, it never was alligators (plural) but rather alligator, the one shown above, that was said to have taken up residence in the waters of Western North Carolina. All this was based on an innocuous Facebook comment by the alligator to a photo of Lake Powhatan, to wit: “It looks quite nice. And might there be turtles?” This is how things get started; yet another unfortunate instance of social media run amuk.
Everything’s become public; you share something with one person and suddenly you’re sharing it with the world. And if one person in that world misunderstands, misinformation moves at warp speed through the entire universe. Sadly, we engage in all this chitchat to the detriment of action; and it is action that makes the world go round. It’s what led to the larger than life swagger that marks our proud national history.
When George Washington yearned for a little attention, he didn’t write someone a note, he went out and chopped down a cherry tree. When he wanted to stand out in a crowd, he didn’t get all clever with words, he deftly drew a silver dollar from his waistcoat pocket and winged it across the Potomac.
Pure mythology you say? Perhaps. But if you dig just a little deeper into our revolutionary past, you’ll come to Paul Revere, and there’s certainly no argument about what he did. So the question is: how famous would Paul Revere be today had he just gone to his Twitter account and posted a 1 or a 2 ? Not very, is my bet.