The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News.
Counting blessings the secret to longevity
Last week, I went up to Williamstown, Ky., for a second visit to the “Ark Encounter.” While it was a truly remarkable experience, confirming the truthfulness of all of God’s Word, the Bible, it was not the only highlight of the trip. I also was privileged to visit with a truly remarkable man. Julian was born in January 1920. At 99 years, 197 days on the day of our visit, he said he is counting the days until his 100th birthday. Julian sees well without glasses, hears without hearing aids, and walks without a cane and is very articulate. He could easily pass for 79. The day I called him to ask for permission to park at his house, he was parked at Wal-Mart, waiting for a homeless person he had picked up and given $40 to go in and buy what he (the homeless person, not Julian) needed.
Every day, Julian wakes up and thanks God for another day, and looks for someone who needs his help. Julian lost his wife of 67 years in a car accident a few years ago. Shortly after that, he began dating an 86-year-old widow (who looks 66). He has been going steady with her since she lost her husband. He wanted us to meet “my gal,” so he took my brother and me out, along with a half dozen other friends of his, to a restaurant in the next town. Julian drove, and paid for everyone’s meal. He attends church, and participates in a weekly Bible study. I met him three years ago, when I was looking for a place to park my car. He had a large sign out in his yard that said, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father except through me.” So I went up to the front door and asked him about the sign. He spent the next few hours telling me his life story, including his service in the military during WWII. He was deployed, with heavy artillery, in Pearl Harbor, right after the Japanese attack, to defend against any more attacks, which they were terrified might occur. A lifelong registered Democrat, today he is an avid Trump supporter. When asked why, he says he is thankful for a man who stands up for ordinary Americans (like himself, whom I would label anything but ordinary).
I asked him if he believes health care is a right. Julian, a great storyteller, answered, “No!” And then he launched into a story about healthcare in 1904, involving some of his relatives, a newlywed couple. The wife rode into town on a horse, looking for the doctor, who was out of town. She found someone who was filling in for him, and told him her husband was lying on the floor dying, and to come quickly. He did, and took one look at the young man curled up in fetal position, unable to straighten himself, and said she had gotten the diagnosis right. It was appendicitis. They would have to operate even though he didn’t have any equipment or chloroform with him, because he would die if it burst before they could get it out. He asked if she had any whiskey, which she did, so they each took a big swig. He said they would have to get some of it down the man’s throat so he would relax. They did, and he did. He then asked if she had some kerosene and a large bowl and a knife. He said he couldn’t operate on the floor; they would have to carry him to the kitchen table. They got him on there, and by now he was more relaxed, so they got some more whiskey in him, splashed some kerosene on his belly, and operated. Fortunately, the appendix hadn’t burst. He took it out, poured some kerosene in his opened incision, and stitched him up. He lived to be 89 after that emergency surgery, so it worked out all right.
I asked Julian what he thought was the secret to him living such a long, healthy life. He said he loved his dairy products. But I sensed that his longevity had much more to do with his outlook. He is always counting his blessings, and trying to help those in need. His granddaughter and her two teenage sons live with him. What a role model he must be for them
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
Media prints only what they want you to know
When did our local newspapers become a platform for someone arrested on drug offenses to proclaim their innocence by smearing their ex-wife. You have three children in an apartment with two pounds of marijuana and you want to blame it on your ex-wife. Just another person who doesn’t accept responsibility for their actions by blaming others. I thought a mother’s job was to protect her children. What happened to the law enforcement mantra “if you see something, say something”? Does that not apply if you’re in the good ole boys network? Your article was long on innuendos and short on facts. Where was the reporting on past felony drug convictions of James Sheridan Ledford, Jr. in Prineville, Ore., which he has worked hard to have expunged? Where was the reporting on him being arrested a couple of months ago for failure to pay child support? Your article if you can call it that was completely one-sided. You helped him to use his family for his own selfish agenda and opened his ex-wife and children up to uncalled for criticism and ridicule. If he is going to launch a write-in campaign for town council, don’t you as a news organization have a responsibility to let the people of Franklin know the facts of what type of person they would be voting for? This man is not a victim. Too often these days the media prints only what they want you to know in order to influence readers to their way of thinking. If you were going to print this article at all, you should have been unbiased. You have done a disservice to your readers and owe some apologies. Especially to Mrs. Ledford and children.
Anita Martin – Franklin, N.C.
Replace Dems/GOP with the American Party
After reading the latest edition (Aug 15, 2019) of The Macon County News, I suggest the editors/owners think about changing the name of the paper to either the Macon County Democrat or even better the WNC Democrat since your paper prints so many Democrat “Letters to the Editor” from WNC residents outside of Macon County. Do these people not have a local or county newspaper they should be writing to concerning their viewpoints? I think so, so why do these people continually get their letters printed in “OUR” paper?
With that said, I am neither a Democrat or Republican and have not been for a couple of decades. The reason why – they both let us the people of America and North Carolina down and truly do not represent us. Most are self-serving narcissists who have made promises they knew they would not/could not keep and expected us to buy their line of cock and bull. There are a small few on both sides who do truly represent their constituents, but they are in the extreme minority.
I grew up in the “Deep South” in the ’60s and ’70s as a Democrat and believed they truly cared for “We The People!” I was a die-hard George Wallace fan, for those that can remember him – even though I did not live in Alabama, but had relatives who did. My “awakening” from that party came after I joined the U.S. military after high school and we had a new president named Jimmy Carter. Jimmy was my former governor who had served fairly well as a governor; but he and the Democrat Congress of the time treated the military (post Vietnam) like third class citizens. They both approved those serving in the military a whopping 2-3% pay raise for each of those four years while inflation (again for those who really knew inflation) was raging in the 8-12%-plus range. They did approve all federal employees a raise of what the inflation rate was that year, so 8-12%-plus depending on the year. So, in actuality, the military got a severe pay decrease as our pay did not keep even remotely close to inflation or that of our federal civilian counterparts. Carter was also one of the worst Commanders-in-Chief in the last century – maybe even beating out Barack H. Obama. Ronald Reagan became president and brought massive relief to the military and our country after so many fiascos by the Carter/Democrat Administration/ Congress. At that point I switched my allegiance to the GOP Party and remained until George Bush (#1) made his points about the New World Order and that ended my Republican Party affiliation.
I have been an Independent ever since – trying to vote for the “best” person I understood for the job – from mayor, councils, to president, and Congress. So, I have seen both sides and am in favor of neither one and wish we could abolish all parties except the American Party that everyone would campaign under. Get rid of PACs, lobbyists, etc. that cater to big business and millionaires and billionaires who try to sway votes their way by providing funding. Let each person wishing to be a politician run on their merits, not some straight party ticket that puts bad people in office simply because they are DEM or GOP and people refuse to do their homework on who is the best candidate. We also need to end all the slander, defamation, and flat out false commercials to make their opponent look bad. Tell us what you are going to do for us – the people – and may the best person win.
How do I know many of the letters are written by Democrats? Pretty easy one there – they simply are regurgitating what they hear on CNN, MSNBC, Alphabet News, Politico, SNOPES, etc., as facts and truth. FYI – I do not listen to FOX News so keep that out of the conversation. I do watch ABC News (WLOS out of Asheville) for the most part since they are the only station in WNC. I listen to their news and can easily identify their obvious bias, especially in national news, along with the commentators, verbal and non-verbals, which shows their bias to many things as well; especially when it comes to our president. Also a good 90% of letters state that the USA is a democracy. Not sure what American history class you failed or did not attend, listen in – but the USA has never ever been a democracy. Even Democrats for POTUS 2020 like billionaire Tom Steyer calls the U.S. a democracy – so maybe that is where some of that comes from. The U.S. since its very inception as a country has been a Constitutional Republic and there are huge differences between it and a democracy. Want to know why I did not vote for Hillary Clinton or most Democrats running from local to federal – they want to kill off the middle class by providing free everything and who will pay for most of it – the middle class. They also want to end the Constitution as it is written by taking away our 2nd Amendment rights to owning firearms, curb our 1st Amendment rights to Free Speech / Religion unless it fits their narrow views of toleration and anti-Christianity, and so much more. End the Constitution and you end America as it is now – which also seems to be their focus as well. I served 20 years in the military to protect and defend the Constitution – not the Democrat / Republican parties – and even in retirement I and 95%-plus of the military, veterans will not hesitate to do just that.
I do not like everything President Trump says or does, like most sensible people – which includes all of us conservative white supremacists / nationalists /racists / bigots (per the Democrats) who do support him as president. We had eight long years under #44 and since Trump, America has rebounded in employment and many other factors that benefits every ethnicity and Americans including Democrats. Most of what I read in the Macon County “Democrat” Letters to the Editor is very biased and a good 90% incorrect. Yet, you are entitled to your opinion, but in the future – make sure it is true and fact based, not some commentary from a talking head on one of your favorite party based “fake” media news outlets (not even real journalists). America is not perfect, if you think your party will make it that way – you’re pretty delusional; but we are the best thing going. Why else would so many come here both legally and “illegally” to be a part of it? Think it is not and your views want to make it something different – then please find another country that you think is the best thing since sliced bread and move there. Many Americans have done just that and live a good life elsewhere – so please do us that favor and follow them. By the way, not one of the current 20-plus candidates in the Dem Party has a chance in winning outside of meddling in the votes like the Russians supposedly did in 2016 and got Trump into office or making all “illegals” able to vote and hoping they vote Democrat. Otherwise, you are helping to make Trump a shoe-in in 2020 as more and more middle of the road Democrats “Walk Away” from the crazies trying to out do each other in the Giveaway/Take Away Game.
Terry Swift – Franklin, N.C.
Meditation while meandering
Several years ago, I took our two pomeranians for their morning walk. Even though fairly early in the day, June mornings can be quite warm in Florida. When we had walked about a mile and a half, and were approaching the “home stretch” of our two-mile jaunt, both dogs and my 75-year-old self were beginning to feel discomfort from the heat and fatigue. We passed a place where three or four lots were undeveloped. Uncared-for property with trees, bushes, undergrowth and weeds, and with the scattering of debris alongside the roadside make such places unattractive.
Then something caught my eye. There was a little cluster of flowers just off the pavement. With my sunglasses on they looked a pale beige color. I took off my sunglasses and saw some wild white Morning Glories. In the middle of each bloom was a purple center. I can see why such flowers are called Morning Glories. In the midst of such unattractive surroundings, here was a display of God’s artistic creative genius that gave a splash of beauty and glory to an otherwise dismal scene. Seeing them brought a sense of renewal and refreshment to me.
I thought of how this is so like what Christians are to be in the world. The Morning Glories with their purple center and white blossoms brought to my mind a people whose sins have been washed away by the royal blood of the King of the Universe. They, washed clean of their sins by that blood are a display of the glory of God in the midst of a world that is threatening and often very unattractive. With the One who shed that blood at the heart and center of their lives, their presence on this earth is to bring new hope and purpose to a weary and sin-battered world. Has not our Lord said that we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world?
Walking a few yards further, the dogs and I made a 90-degree turn and walked along the side of the same undeveloped property. Not far down that road you begin to hear the gentle babble of a tiny brook. Looking through the underbrush you can see a small cascade which emits the soothing music of a flowing stream. I had stopped and looked at this stream before. Our dogs sometimes tug at the leash here, like they would like to be free to scramble down the bank and get into the brook just before it goes into the culvert that flows beneath the road. As I think of that brook, passages like “as the heart pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you, Oh God,” (Ps. 43:1); and “but the fountain of wisdom is a babbling brook,” (Prov. 18:4b) come to mind.
I concluded my walk thanking God for the little things like wild flowers and tiny streams.
Assoc. Minister Franklin Christian Church
No traffic light will be deciding who goes first
Oh, you know what I am talking about, and you know what else? It is coming. It is coming. Traffic circles, oh yeah, the other subject is “givers and takers.” Franklin better have a high percentage of givers and you know why? No traffic light will be deciding who goes first. Tailgaters. Franklin has more than their share. Let’s wait and see how fast they can use their brakes when you have to give way at the circle. Keep your head-rest set. I’m just saying.
William H. Bahruth – Franklin, N.C.