Reader letters, Nov. 15

Nov 15, 2013

Wiley Smith was an inspiration

To the editor:

On Veteran’s Day I read the front page with more attention than usual.  The Korean War veteran, Wiley Smith, who was featured in your tribute to our veterans, was one of my teachers in middle school.

Mr. Smith was our eighth grade English and social studies teacher.  He was the teacher who had the most influence on me and many of his other students over his teaching career.  I succeeded in my high school and college English courses because of the foundation I received from Mr. Smith.  Whenever classmates speak of our time with Mr. Smith, we recall his weekly vocabulary lists that were the envy of college professors and his teaching us Greek and Latin root words that have stuck with us to this day.

Meeting Mr. Smith meant having to be measured by his high standards.  For the first time, if I wanted to do well in class I had to do more than just stay out of trouble and halfway pay attention; I had to actually work and study.  My classmates did, too.

More than those specifics, Mr. Smith communicated an appreciation of the subjects he was teaching.  I still remember how his eyes would light up about a short story or a history topic or a piece of his art work that he brought to class.  Wiley Smith was such an influential teacher that I hope The Mountaineer can do a feature on Wiley Smith’s teaching career.

Steve Ellis



Protect health with lifestyle changes

To the editor:

While the media and our legislators focus on the viability of a new health care law, we citizens can do our part without their help.  Our independent, patriotic, responsible behavior in the form of consistent exercise and smart nutrition can dramatically bear fruit(s).

The insurance premium costs in this mode are motivation and discipline, the follow through virtues needed to achieve well-being and maybe a longer life.  Our lifestyles contribute to over one-half of that well-being, the quality of life.

The annual Healthy Haywood Fitness Challenge is over.  The food temptations of the season are around the corner.  This information and visual age period seems to keep us sitting and watching, sitting and working, sitting and driving, sitting and reading.  Sitting is dangerous to our health.

Now is the time to come to the aid of the body.  Eat smart, move more!

Damian Bud Dirscherl