July 17 reader letters
Thanks, Mayor Ray
To the editor:
I just wanted to thank Mayor Mike Ray and his wife, Sherry, for all they do for the town of Canton.
THe fireworks were specatacular and the other activities were so appreciated.
I understand the mayor paid for part of these activities himself. I only wish he had the support he deserves to help with the vision he has for Canton.
Election Day will be here before long and hopefully everyone in Canton will come out and vote. We have a wonderful mayor. Let’s see to it that he gets the help he needs to get the job done.
Also, our police department needs to be considered. These men do so much for us and we need to see that they are taken care of. I read in The Mountaineer the Waynesville Police Department officers are getting new patrol cars. They are going to be able to drive these cars home each night.
This seems like a good idea to spend $500,000. What I don’t understand is why our men don’t get that as well.
They also need a raise as most of them work a second job to help provide for their families.
With all my heart, I want the best for our town and to see it grow.
Vicki Smathers Scruggs
Memories of Granny D shared
To the editor:
This is a copy of a letter I sent to Barbara Bates after learning of her experience in Raleigh.
I found the article “Clyde Actress Jailed” of great interest to be my introduction to Barbara Bates Smith. I wonder where I have been while you entered into my world.
“Granny D” brought vivid memories to me. She and Ray, her husband, were horseback riding companions for several years in my past history.
Ray rode “Chief” a white horse ridden many years by Rev. Jim Fowler through the tails and roads of Lake Junaluska. I had known Ray before his marriage to Doris. After their marriage, Doris climbed on a horse and was one of us.
Doris was with Ray in his last visit with me. We both knew that I would not see Ray again, but Doris was his caregiver. I never heard of Doris again until my husband Dr. Frank Hammett and I moved to Givens. In the Resident Handbook was a resident Doris Haddock in the health center.
It was with great anticipations and excitement I scheduled a visit with Doris. I went with the nurse to her room. She was sitting looking nowhere. I introduced myself. Her eyes were the only sign that she knew someone had spoken to her. She never spoke, never recognized me, did not respond to the name of “Ray,” horse or Chief. We were part of an unrecoverable past.
I never knew of her identification as “Granny D,” the 90 year old woman who garnered national attention in 2000 for walking across the nation pushing for campaign finance reform. Who knows that I might have been a part of her campaign.
Thank you for including a Givens Estates performance, Thursday, Jan. 23. I shall get to see you and update my memories.
Thank you for entering my life via the story in The Mountaineer.
Doris Hammett, MD
Judge not lest ye be judged
To the editor:
I would like to respond to a letter in the July 10 issue I found insulting and narrow minded, that was aimed at disabled people like me.
First of all, I worked and paid my taxes since I was 16 to earn the required credits to be eligible for any Social Security benefits, like retirement or disability. This may be a surprise to some, but just like someone getting temporary unemployment benefits, unless the applicant worked before and long enough you cannot qualify for these “handouts.”
The average amount of a disability payment per month is less than $1,000. Temporary unemployment checks average half of your previous paycheck. Most of the jobs here pay around $8 hour — that is really going to pay the rent, power,etc. with food getting cheaper every day!
Not too many years ago, I shared many of the views expressed by this letter-writer. It has been quite a journey both financially and mentally to have your whole world turned upside down due to a disease with no cure. But I have had my eyes opened to many of my old prejudices about people, who like you, I thought there was nothing wrong with them.
I am sure if you saw me in public, you would just think my hat and sunglasses were for the sun. You would have no idea that I can only be outside for a limited time due to extreme light sensitivity. I can no longer drive at night or bear riding in a car even to go out to eat. At only 52, I would much rather be working and enjoy a social life again.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a joke. I miss fishing, hiking, traveling and many things I love to do. But there are some things I still try to enjoy and one of those is mowing my yard. I may get a bad headache, but it makes me feel independent.
I have always lived within my means so there is no car payment. The phone is no frills and I have few TV channels. I pinch every penny and eat two times a day, usually the same meal from leftovers from three days or so. I grow my garden so I can have food. My luxury list includes heat in winter.
So, I have no desire for you or anyone to pay my rent or grocery bill. I am no longer ashamed of my situation because I accept all the kindness and love given to me from family and friends. That is all the riches I need. I have learned many things but the most important one is “judge not, lest ye be judged.”