Letters to the editor

August 02, 2003

A great man for the ages

To the editor:

I recently finished a biography about a man whose life was filled with heartaches and failures. At 18, he married, and they had many children, all of whom he loved dearly, in addition to his wife, the light of his life.

His first venture as a shopkeeper was a dismal failure. His second venture as a tobacco farmer also ended in financial ruin.

His wife had a nervous and physical breakdown and died when he was only 40. He mourned her absence with a deep and abiding intensity, causing his friends and family to remark that he then became an old man before his time, marking the beginning of his declining health.


He later participated in a May-December marriage, marrying a 17-year-old who had set her sights on him when she was only 12. It was a good marriage and they had many more children together.

His one-time friend became his bitter rival, calling him uneducated, self-serving, and a poor public speaker.

He lived to see many of his beloved children die at an early age, adding to his melancholy and fragile health. His health failing, he died in his 50s, from cancer, but, throughout his life, he sustained a deep and abiding faith in the Providence of God and his own personal duty to serve others.

The name of his rival and one-time friend was Thomas Jefferson.

The man was Patrick Henry, who God raised up to be one of our Founding Fathers. In a time when all of us yearn for and seek after righteous leadership to help us understand our purpose in life, we need more exemplars such as Patrick Henry to show us how liberty, justice, and personal peace of mind always is begotten from personal accountability, responsibility, and service to others.

Therein lies one of the secrets of life.

Larry D. Kump
Falling Waters, W.Va.

Suns camp was excellent

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to share with your readers what a fantastic job the Hagerstown Suns coaches, players and staff did in conducting this year's youth baseball camp at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown.

The camp was July 28-30 from 9 a.m. to noon. The children were 7 to 12 years of age. The players and coaches were professional and courteous to the campers, while all the time sharing expert tips on batting, catching and pitching.

As a professional registered nurse, the most important point was made on the last day of camp when a Suns player strongly discouraged the children from ever using chewing tobacco "snuff."

A photograph depicting the horrible effects (tooth and gum disease, cancer) of chewing tobacco on one's mouth was shown to the children to drive the point home. I commend the Hagerstown Suns players and coaches for setting a healthy example for our children and for educating them as well. Thank you!

Mary V. Shindle

Touching song about family

To the editor:

There is a song recently put out by Luther Vandross "To Dance With My Father Again." It is a such a beautiful, tear-jerking song that makes one think and relate to family and days gone by.

I personally think family is important and as we grow older and get out of the nest we lose touch with some of our family members and it's a shame. I know my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins who have passed and who are still living have taught me so much.

I think once anyone listens to this song it makes one appreciate and recall memories they have had of their family members who have since passed and rejoice with memories they still have with one who is living.

If anyone out there is like me, who although I have left the nest I still like, appreciate and embrace my roots. Before it's too late, let a family member know how much you appreciate and care for them. I bet some of us would like to be able to turn back time and get one wish.

Family members, especially our older generation, teach us so much about how life was back then and its important not to lose touch with them.

Even though they are not our first slice of pie they are a slice of our pie and should never be forgotten. For anyone who has not yet listened to this song, I hope the next time it plays on the radio they will take the time to not only hear the music, but hear and feel the lyrics to it as well.

Luther Vandross is one of my favorite singers. I was sorry to hear recently he had suffered a stroke. I hope he is doing well and happy to hear him still releasing his music because in this day and age of primarily not music it's refreshing to hear someone who can actually carry a tune and put some feeling back into music.

Helen Willis

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