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Bravo for the Community Orchestra

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo for the Bedford Community Orchestra and its May 15 spring concert.

     Saturday was the first time we’ve attended one of the orchestra’s concerts, and we discovered how remiss we’ve been. We’re going to correct that in the future.

    The concert was marvelous—music from a Harry Potter movie, Copeland’s Rodeo, Abreu’s Tico-Tico, Ravel’s Bolero, and Celtic music from Lord of the Dance.

    The dedication and commitment of the musicians were evident as they played their hearts out under the lights on the hot, unair-conditioned stage. Conductor Scott Walter held nothing back and must have lost five, maybe ten pounds. What energy! What entertainment! What an evening!

    During the Celtic music, the audience joined in by clapping, with Walter turning to direct the audience as well as the orchestra. The audience showed its enthusiastic appreciation with two standing ovations, one after the final selection and another after a rousing encore.

    The auditorium of the Bedford Middle School—the former Bedford High School—provides more than just an intimate venue for the concerts. It is a historic setting, with probably the original wooden seats used by Bedford High School students as far back as the 1930s, including the 19 former students who died during World War II and whose names are displayed on a bronze plaque on a stone in the yard in front of the auditorium.

    After the concert, we went to Liberty Station for coffee and dessert. Evenings don’t get much better than that.


Jim and Edie Morrison


There are Good Samaritan’s still out there

    On Saturday, May 8, I came to the Bedford Newspaper parking lot to participate in selling a few items at the semi-annual flea market.

    Upon entering the parking lot from E. Main Street, I experienced my left rear tire going flat. I proceeded to park my vehicle as quickly as possible. I unloaded my merchandise, wondering how to locate someone to check and fix my tire. Being Saturday … no phone in my possession … this presented a problem.   

    Mr. Johnson pulled into a space next to my selling space. When he heard of my tire problem, he not only checked my tire, he made two trips over to the Advance Store, picked up supplies and proceeded to place plugs and air into my tire, making it possible for me to get home in the afternoon.

    He fixed my tire and refused any compensation for his time and expense. I want to thank Mr. Johnson again for his unselfish help. His only remark was, “This is a Mother’s Day Gift, Happy Mother’s Day.”

Irene Skinnell


Helping our kids

    If you can read this from wherever you are, and if you and your family would like to have a burger or hot dog for dinner next Saturday, and if after dinner you would like to just sit back and enjoy a few hours of great music, and if the cost is simply a heart-felt contribution to help our local kids---read on.

    With an indoor cook-out beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a music fest at 6 p.m.—all on Saturday, May 22—Staunton Baptist Church is hosting the fundraising event to benefit elementary age children of the Smith Mountain Lake Good Neighbors’ program. The music fest will feature gifted vocalists and musicians from area churches performing a variety of contemporary, gospel and traditional solos, duets and group songs, with “Kid Care” provided.

    SML Good Neighbors provides two programs during the summer. During summer school sessions at three Bedford County schools, sack lunches are provided.  And, a weekend backpack filled with food for six meals and a new book are given to each child.

    At three schools in Franklin County, the weekend backpacks are provided during summer sessions. This summer session serves over 200 children.  The summer Day Camp Program is a bigger effort and serves up to 100 children..  A four week camp is provided in Bedford County followed by a four week camp in Franklin County.  These camps provide enrichment activities as well as breakfast, lunch, snacks and a daily reading activity with a Reading Buddy. These volunteer programs rely on donations.

    So, first enjoy the food and then the music, hosted by Staunton Baptist Church, “the little white church just down the road from the State Park” at Smith Mountain Lake.  Everyone is invited; there is no admission fee. Donations are welcome.

Jeanne Wagoner


Confederate History Month


    April is Confederate History month in Virginia, and rightly so to be celebrated as all Virginian, and Southerners.

    The true history of Virginia and the South is no longer taught to school children, which is replaced by modern day movements that have taken place in the last 40-50 years. Many states (AL, FL, GA, MS, TX) officially observe April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day. The Southern Armies that took the field were the greatest army that ever took the field, and the last of the Cavaliers. The services of three Bedford companies were the first in the State tendered and accepted by Governor Letcher after the call for troops to protect Virginia from an “invading foe,” and nine companies were in the field before the close of May, 1861. Complete generations of people were wiped from the face of the earth from a war that killed more Americans than all other American wars combined.

     Just as many  opinions, lifestyles  and  principles have been “accepted”  into today’s society, one important note concerning the historical significance of the War for Southern Independence was that The War was not fought over slavery. It was fought by the Northern Federal  Government  to destroy the original intent of the Constitution and to establish a much more powerful central government in violation of the Founders wishes. It was also fought over economic concerns which if you study for instance the Morrill Tarriff you will see that  the North was supported by the South with the high tax that was placed on goods.

    For example, a part for the newly developed Cotton Gin (that replaced Slave labor that  was needed to do this task)  costs $8 if bought from Great Britain, while the Northern factories charged $40 for the same part. Which one would you buy? The Northern businesses wanted to force the South to buy their parts, and goods.

    Remember, the victors always write the history books, and this is a big reason for anything Southern being looked upon as being evil or bad today. I challenge anyone to produce a Northern  recruitment poster from the beginning of the war that states  that men are needed to free the slaves in the southern states versus saving the Union. My great- grandfathers of whom both served in the Confederate army, which I am very proud  of among numerous other ancestors, never owned a slave. They were all poor farmers from Bedford and Franklin County, Va., who went to war as most southerners did  to protect their homes from an invasion of  75,000 troops Lincoln called up to “invade” Virginia.

    My great-grandfather  left his log cabin in Bedford County, mustered in at Stewartsville, and went to Richmond where he was placed in the 28th Va. Infantry. He was wounded in the battle of Williamsburg, taken to Ft. Monroe, then shackled in a wet damp boat and taken to Washington D.C. where he finally received medical care of his leg being amputated, where he died one month later.

     Remember, he didn’t own any slaves, so why would you think he left his wife and children to go and face the chance of being killed and leaving his family without a father and supporter in order to keep slavery? Now he rests in Arlington Cemetery, which was a slap in the face to Robert E Lee when the Federal Government starting burying Union Dead there. The Confederate interments began in 1864. Was Slavery “the” cause of the war? Did the South start the war?

     In his State of the Union addresses as president, Abraham Lincoln twice called for the deportation of blacks. In 1865, in the last days of his life, Lincoln said of blacks, “I believe it would be better to export them all to some fertile country with a good climate, which they could have to themselves.” The fact of the matter is that only one out of 15 Southern Whites ever owned a slave. There were a total of 350,000 slave owners in the South. But there were some 600,000 soldiers in the Confederate army.

    And of the 350,000 they were not mostly soldiers.  Robert E. Lee stated that over time, “the mild and melting influence of Christianity rather than war would have solved the slavery issue without one drop of bloodshed. Concerning slavery, you will not find any record of any southern ship bringing slaves to the south, rather you will see that it was Dutch and Portugese ships and practically every one of them were owned and operated by Northerners and flying the United States flag, not  flying a Confederate flag which has also been abused and degraded. These are facts.

    Did the South start the war? Abraham Lincoln said the following statement: Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

      The South fired the first shot, right? Yes it did. But it was baited to do so by Lincoln under the pretext that he was sending “provisions” to Fort Sumter, which at the same time was being supplied by South Carolina with meat, groceries, supplies. Lincoln assembled a fleet of war vessels carrying guns and ammunition. There was no doubt that the cry of “The South has fired on the flag” would fire the heart of the North, Lincoln’s Secretary of War Gideon Wells wrote that “ It was very important that the Rebels strike the first blow in the conflict.”

    Lincoln assembled the squadron of warships as recommended by Capt. Gustavus Fox and sent the fleet to Charleston,  Gustavus Fox outlined this as “I simply propose three tugs convoyed by light draft men of war… The first tug to lead in empty, to ‘open their fire.’”

     Before this could happen, the southerners bombarded and capture the fort. Did the failure distress Lincoln? Not at all. On May 1, 1861, he wrote Capt. Fox, and said : “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail, and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result.” There  you have it. I would like to present more in future columns, but space and time prevents so.

    So,  Why celebrate Confederate History Month? Because it is  part of your heritage. And with the Sesquicentennial starting soon, enjoy the rich history that you are blessed with and that is the blessing of being Southern and a Virginian.


David Hubbard


Helping those who need it

    Did you know there are a number of people in the Central Virginia area who are homeless or hungry due to loss of jobs, illness, or life’s turn of events?

    The Helping Hands Crisis Ministry is a non-profit faith-based organization that assists individuals or families experiencing financial hardship and other crisis. Our mission is to Help the Needy and Feed the Hungry.

    As a native of Goode, Bedford County, I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Lynchburg College, Lynchburg. I attended Howard University and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where I enrolled in their MBA program and received my System Engineer certification. While attending Lynchburg College I was president of the Junior Achievement and taught Information Systems at Phillips Business College. With over 20 years of professional experience, I am currently serving as Assistant Dean of Technology at the Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. I am a member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Goode, and University Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.

    There are so many people in the Central Virginia area who are not looking for a hand out, but a hand up. Luke 12:48 teaches us “to whom much is given much is required.” Giving and assisting others have always been my passion. Now it has become my vision.

    The Helping Hands Crisis Ministry is a non-denominational organization that primarily helps low income people who have been displace from their homes, suffering from financial hardship and other crisis. We will also provide financial and spiritual counseling. There will be seminars and forums on various topics (e.g. Debt, Purchasing a Home, Investing, Jobs, Resume Writing, Interview Skills, Wellness & Fitness, etc.). In the near future we will provide computer training and other services. The Ministry will also work with national and local organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Feed the Children, Habitat for Humanity, and Christmas in Action to name a few. There will be monthly meetings, fundraisers, food banks, holiday events and programs for seniors and youths.

    The ministry will have a “kick-off” fundraising drive on Sunday, June 6, at the Peaks of Otter Association, 1815 Shiloh Church Road, Bedford. Our goal is to raise $3,000 with the help of individuals, businesses and organizations. We cannot do this without your support! Send to: Helping Hands Crisis Ministry, P.O. Box 812, Bedford, VA 24523. All donations are tax deductible. Tax ID#: 27-2474925.

    If you need additional information, call (704) 969-6301 or contact HHCMinistry@aol.com.

    You can help make a difference to so many lives in the area. Thank you so much for your support!

Rick D. Jones

Founder and President