Letters to the editor - 1/1/03

January 02, 2003

Dogs and owners deserve a chance on Santa's lap

To the editor:

This is in response to Nora Roberts' letter to the editor, dated Dec. 28. I am so very sorry that you chose not to have your granddaughter's photo taken with Santa when you visited the Valley Mall.

I would like to point out that Roberts, her son and daughter-in-law were the ones that mistakenly brought the child at the incorrect time. The pet owners were the ones who obviously read the advertisements on the back of The Herald-Mail, which clearly stated the times and dates of the pet photos with Santa Claus.

Roberts stated that her granddaughter was "entitled to see and speak with Santa" and that "they were unwilling to stand in line." It sounds to me as if Roberts and her family expected preferential treatment and were unwilling to wait their turn. The Valley Mall did not deny them the opportunity for a photograph.


I take offense at Roberts' condescending tone toward pet owners. I personally have facilitated pet photos with Santa on many occasions and can attest to the joy it brings to the pet owner. Roberts has missed the point - these photos are not for the pets, but for the owners who love and care for them.

A 4-month-old infant is just as aware or unaware of a "man in a red suit" as any canine. The parents are the ones who delight in this experience, just as pet owners do.

Roberts cannot dismiss the emotional bond between pet and owner. The affection they have for each other is genuine and real. In conclusion, you and your family were not "denied the experience of this first visit with Santa," you made the conscious decision not to get the photograph. You need to take responsibility for appearing at the time you chose.

Santa was available for most of the month of December at the Valley Mall and numerous locations throughout the area. I don't feel that two evenings set aside for pet lovers to partake of the Christmas spirit is too much to ask. I suggest the next time that you do a little more research and appear at a time and place that will not offend you, or wait your turn like the rest of us.

Leslie Sills


Flights to city cost too much

To the editor:

I read your articles in the Dec. 30 issue about the lack of use of the Hagerstown Airport. I live in Hagerstown and have had to go to Baltimore for medical treatments several times.

I would have liked to have flown but the $140 round trip comes out to $1/mile plus transportation into and around the city. I can drive my car (paid for) for about 25 cents per mile for a savings of 75 percent and drive directly to my destination. I think that's the real reason the service isn't being used more, since businessmen - who are reimbursed by their companies - are the only ones who can afford it.

Charles R. Gaush


Spelling Christmas

To the editor:

I grew up in a family where, at Christmas, we would celebrate the birth of Jesus. The image of Santa was taught to be the image of human kindness, giving and love, and gifts were given and exchanged with family and friends in response and in celebration of God's greatest gift to us.

As for the letters of the word "Santa" being arranged to spell "Satan," ... I guess it all has to do with which arrangement one chooses to follow. You can spell DOG backwards as well, but that does not mean I worship my Yorkie.

In Christian love...

Rev. Mark C. Mooney


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