Every day we receive a number of “missing person” reports from the state. Today we are depositing one of our own.
Mr. McBogle is missing.
Anyone who has been employed by The Laurinburg Exchange since the late 1800s knows Mr. McBogle. He was neither a reporter, nor a composer, nor a press man. He was neither an advertising salesman, nor a secretary, nor an editor.
Over the years, Mr. McBogle has been responsible for all of the weird crackles and mysterious sounds in the walls and ceilings of the old Exchange building in downtown Laurinburg – usually evident late at night when a reporter was coming home from a meeting, or early in the morning, when the first employee walked in to start coffee.
When the newspaper staff finally abandoned the old downtown apartment building and moved to The Oaks business building, closed off by Atkinson and South Main streets, Mr McBogle came with them. After all, by then he had become something of an icon. Family, in a way.
But now he’s gone.
I must mention that none of us actually know his name. I don’t know when he was first called Mr. McBogle, but it stuck – the reason is that “Bogle” is the Scottish word for ghost. And let’s face it, Mr. McBogle must be that… a ghost.
We got to know Mr. McBogle as a friendly ghost, much like Casper. He has never, to our knowledge, done anything to scare anyone. Most of his antics have been subtle. Besides the little noises here and there, it may move something slightly just to annoy someone or find a way to keep the air conditioning on a little longer than necessary.
But in our minds, at least, he did these things with a smile on his face.
And now that smile is gone.
There have been many theories about his sudden disappearance, which took place last Friday. It’s possible that his ghostly time has finally come to an end. Or maybe he decided to reside in another building.
But my own theory is this: with the Scottish County Highland Games looming the next day – something that could not have happened the year before due to a pandemic – I think Mr. McBogle decided to take the opportunity to go find someone, possibly his parents.
And with so many people there – something like a 5,000 record – he got lost and couldn’t find who he was looking for or find his way back.
He is therefore missing.
Mr. McBogle is over there. Somewhere. Surely still in the county of Scotland, but where exactly? We do not know.
Is he walking through the John Blue House? May be.
Take a walk in the old prison of Wagram? May be.
Take a tour of the Stewart Malloy house? Why not?
Out at the Richmond Temperance and Literary Society Hall? Could be.
Could it be that he is looking for his ancestors in his childhood home or elsewhere? Hard to say.
But just like law enforcement, which works so well, we are asking for the public’s help in locating Mr. McBogle. He’s described as light as the wind and white as a… well, a ghost. There have been reports of sightings in the city and even a handful of photos are circulating on social media, but it has long since left each of those places.
Please be on the lookout. And starting Wednesday, there will be clues as to where you might find Mr. McBogles. There will be a new clue for six consecutive print editions – but the day before, each new clue will also be found in specific companies that help us with the research. You will also see where they are soon.
Use those clues and your imagination to solve the case, and when you find Mr. McBogle, please take him back to The Exchange office. You will be well rewarded (this price will be unveiled on Wednesday).
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]