Letters to the editor 12/29

December 30, 2002

Good people still exist

To the editor:

At about 9 p.m., on the evening of Dec. 3, I was driving along a dark and narrow country road just north of Waynesboro, Pa., when suddenly my right rear tire deflated. Not wanting to use the almost nonexistent shoulder, I was forced to drive with the flat for about a mile until I found a suitable place to pull off of the road.

Following normal procedures, I loosened the tire lugs and jacked up the wheel a bit. As I was beginning to raise the wheel in order to remove the flat, a vehicle pulled up behind me with its headlights outlining the rear of my pickup, and allowing me to better see what I was doing. The driver, Brian Johnson of Greencastle, Pa., got out and asked me if I needed help.

Never one to refuse help on dark and cold nights, I welcomed his assistance as by this time my fingers were complaining of the cold. While I fussed around the spare, Brian finished removing the tire lugs. It was just about this time that I asked him how in the devil one removed the spare. I have owned several trucks in the past, and had just purchased this one.


I was not aware that it was equipped with a lock that had to be removed before the spare could be lowered. I did not have the key to the lock. Brian said that as his pickup was almost identical to mine, perhaps his key would work. Well, it did not. I was 35 minutes from home, without a telephone or a viable spare, and my truck was perched precariously on a jack. Moreover, there was not an open tire store or filling station nearby.

My goose seemed cooked, or more correctly, frozen. What happened next was for me unbelievable. A total stranger five minutes before, Brian offered me the use of his spare. Was I dreaming? No, he offered it to me again when he saw the disbelief etched on my almost frozen face. In short, we put his spare on my truck, exchanged telephone numbers and away I drove to my home.

I returned his spare a few days later, after the ensuing snowstorm. What is so amazing is that in this modern world of ours, where so many of us are in such a hurry to reach our destinations that we cannot offer assistance when it is needed, there are people such as Brian Johnson of Greencastle, Pa. We live in a society where courtesy has almost completely disappeared, and where road rage has become more prevalent, yet I now see that there are people out there who care. Thank you, Brian. It is comforting to realize that there are people such as you out there in the dark of night.

Don Rivera


Prison machine offers no chance

To the editor:

Prison is designed to destroy body, mind and soul. Then when the inmate is released into the general population they are expected to just resume a new life emptied of health, mental alertness and without skills or training to produce wealth for food, clothing and shelter. Then the elite among us know they will come back into their expensively run Prison Industrial Complex Mills.

All the literature about prison life was written by those not in prison. Which proves it destroys the mind and comprehension. Justice is bought and sold in America and the poor can't afford it. Observe the difference in sentencing and you can guess what part of town the perpetrator lives in.

A congressman on a recent TV program was blaming a northern prison official for taking textile jobs from local unemployed townspeople. Textile industries have gone to China and many countries by way of trade agreements and cheap labor. Look at the manufacture source on all products and open your eyes instead of your mouth.

When folks are later cleared of a crime the state locks their jaws on like an alligator and even then won't back down due to stubborn pride. After doing their time, ex-offenders should have their records removed and be allowed to vote. The prison tentacles even destroy the family and the inmate's future.

The next time you sit in a comfortable chair, have a grease-free meal, talk on the phone to a friend, the doctor or your lawyer, travel without being in chains, hear and see people that are not caged, walk on a carpet, be warm, turn a light on or off, look out a window, open your own door, find a quiet place, look at a stream, shop, fish, camp and have family and friends visit, remember that this price is too high. All of these and many more should remind us as we look at the Ten Commandments that we are even more guilty than any of the folks in prison and our heavenly father forgave us and we are not behind prison walls.

Christmas says love and forgive. Revenge is not for us and vengeance (Romans 12: 19-20) belongs to God alone. If we won't forgive others God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15). We need programs for prisoners by people concerned with problem solving. Not empty talking heads who push services for a lot of profit for themselves.

Thank you, and I have had first-hand experience with all those in charge of handing out cruel and evil punishment to family.

Doris A. Reynard

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