Letters to the editor

July 28, 2004

The races, as friends

To the editor:

I write this in response to the upcoming Ku Klux Klan rally in the Sharpsburg/ Hagerstown area in August. I grew up in the South in the '70s and recall in my days as a youngster, the mention of the KKK and how they where organized in small pockets in the rural areas of Wilmington, N.C.

We were warned to stay away from certain areas of greater Wilmington because tensions following integration were high in regard to race-related issues. I listened to that advice. But, you see, I was fortunate to grow up in an integrated public school system, one that was more forgiving and evolving into a more tolerant part of America. I never truly experienced the KKK in the South, though I certainly believed and heard stories of their existence.

My first-ever best friend in public schools was a guy named Allen West. He was Caucasian. He was very smart. I remember on several occasions he would share his lunch with me. Our family didn't have much as a kid and sometimes I would go to school hungry. I remember his mother well. She would pick him up from school daily. She drove this fast green car, and boy she was really pretty.


I didn't care that she was white. She was just plain beautiful. I think I had a crush on her at 7. I didn't tell Allen that. Allen and I formed a bond that was like Super Glue. We, though of different races, didn't care about what our ancestors fought about in the days of the past.

All we knew was that we were friends and nothing could tear that apart. At the end of the first grade, Allen moved and that hurt me real bad. I never had so great a friend as I did in Allen. We both cried. I never saw Allen again after that day in the first grade, though I read about him in the newspaper. He became a high school football star and honor-roll student. I would only read about him and today know in my heart he was and will always be a friend. A white boy and a black boy friends, how can that be?

I'll tell you how, people of Hagerstown, people of Maryland, people of the United States. We get past the hurts and prejudice of our ancestors. We learn how not to repeat history. Whether it is me, understanding a largely white-dominated sport like NASCAR (which I do), or if it is you listening to the black media mogul P-Diddy (which I don't).

You get my point. Rallying together for friendship and understanding is what I would love to see in this region as I rapidly approach the midlife-crisis age of 40. Here, I believe what holds this region in bondage are the ghosts of past hate. They haunt the hearts and minds of men most miserable and drive them to madness. I have the antidote. It is spelled, K.L.A.N. (Kindness, Love And ... Niceness).

Reginald Pugh

City leaders are a disgrace

To the editor:

For the past year, I've been following the supposed leadership of our city and its officials. Mayor Breichner, I find it offensive to me that you, Linn Hendershot and Kristin Aleshire would stoop so low and to criticize our state leadership.

I personally know LeRoy Myers Jr. and find him to be a man of God. He prays daily, reads his Bible each morning and I believe seeks God's guidance each day to make the right decisions on behalf of the people whom he represents, you and I. You see, God has a way of changing the hearts of men.

Please let me continue.

Who gave you the authority to spend almost $300,000 to fight for something of your own making? I find the citizens of Hagerstown and the surrounding area would like to see a new hospital built. Don't blame Del. Chris Shank. Pride is hard to swallow.

I commend the actions of the Hgerstown-Washington County Community Healthcare Coalition for the involvement in the community and soon hope to be a part of it. I've never met any of them, but soon will. From what I've heard and read, these are the kind of people who should lead our city.

I can see why the mayor, etc. weren't invited to any of the coalition meetings.

You guys are not approachable. Look how you acted when the hospital officials wanted to meet with you. You made a big scene. I can't blame them for not including you. Who wants to be around people like that? And that's only the beginning.

Hendershot claims "cooked" numbers. Can't you do better than that? Breichner, in regard to zoning, isn't it odd you bring that up? Jim Hamill, thank you for acting intelligently and maturely through all the criticism.

David R. Showe

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