Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 4: ‘Police – Fire Department – Town Hall’

by Ann Hertzer

Dub was the only man that did every job in Kure Beach except the office work. Dub worked for a construction company until a replacement was needed at Kure Beach. When Dub first went to work, there were 2 others –Ed Smith and a man named Fisher who had been a policeman. One day a week trash was collected on a flat bed truck from residents and the few businesses that were here. Summertime pickup was 4 or 5 times a week for restaurants who paid extra. All trash went to the private trash landfill near the end of H St.. They kept that flatbed truck until the latter part of the ’60s when they hauled trash to the landfill on the other side of Wilmington.

Dub joined the fire department to help fight fires when he first went to work for the town. They already had the fire truck – old, but it was a fire truck. A lieutenant from the Wilmington fire department came about every year to hold up-date classes on how to fight fires and how to take care of the equipment. They still do that. The fire department was in the community building on third street – the kitchen was the town hall; the big area was the fire department where the truck was housed, and the police department was behind it all.

After a while KB got 2 trucks. If a fire was happening, they’d blow the siren and use telephones. They didn‟t have radios. Most of the volunteers worked or lived on the beach – a lot of them worked and couldn’t come. They wanted as many as they could get that lived at Kure Beach to back it up.

Dub has been chief of police in Kure Beach 5 times! All the town was required to do was have a Chief of Police- no training required. Dub’s longest stint was 6 months. Every time a policeman quit or was fired, they’d swear Dub in until one was hired. The only thing furnished Dub was the little police station back of the fire truck in the Community Building. For a serious crime Dub would have called the County Sheriff’s Department for qualified people.

As police chief, Dub let people know that he had the authority and he didn’t have any trouble – mostly drinking problems. One person with a lot of problems had been a prisoner of the Korean War. The government declared him dead; they didn’t know he was a prisoner. His wife had remarried. His mind collapsed. He’d get drunk and want to start trouble. All Dub did was take him off to Wilmington.
In the courtroom, the judge (his guardian) would say, I‟m going to have to keep you overnight until you sober up. Dub would get him the next day.

Dub had trouble with the Hermit too. They made a big issue of the hermit. His sisters, nurses at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, used to come and stay in a rental property. They‟d try to get the Hermit to go back with them. He was a typesetter, originally, for a newspaper in Gastonia .

He wasn’t dumb. But instead of his taking a shower in their rental apartment, he went to the ocean to bath in the salt water. He found out how to work both ends against the middle. A lot of people went down there and gave him money. He lived a life like he wanted to live.

One time, he gathered a pickup truck load of stuff and had it on the corner at the stoplight at Big Daddy’s. Dub told him, I’m going home. If I come back here in the morning and find this stuff here, I’m going
to arrest you and take you to Wilmington . The ‘stuff’ was gone the next day.