-A A +A

Remembering the Community Cannery and New London Academy

After reading your articles on the Community Cannery, it brought back a lot of memories about the Cannery and New London Academy.

I helped Mr. Crocket (NLA principal at that time) do much of the preliminary start-up work on the cannery the year it went into operation and worked at the cannery during the summers, thru the summer of 1946. My main responsibility was to fire up the old sawmill boiler early in the morning and have the steam up by opening time, around 7:30 or 8 a.m. and keep it fired up until closing time. When not attending to the boiler, I helped inside the cannery, capping cans, loading the cookers and anything else that needed to be done.

The boiler which we used was donated by Mr. Tibbs who ran sawmills in that area. He and his men maintained the boiler and did necessary repairs when needed. Mr. Tibbs was a big supporter of NLA.

I started working at New London Academy shortly after Mr. & Mrs Bowman came to run the cafeteria. I worked in the cafeteria before school and also started the fires in the coal burning stoves in Lowry Hall. A furnace was later installed in Lowry Hall for heat. After school I helped Mr. Inge clean up the class rooms.

In 1944, Mr. Inge retired as care taker of New London Academy and my dad, Earl Wilson, took on that job and we moved into Evans Hall. I continued to help my Dad do the daily cleanup after school hours, do some minor maintenance, keep the furnaces going in the winter, if he was sick, and other chores as needed. During the summer, I continued to work at the cannery. All this time I was attending school at NLA during regular school hours.

One memorable Christmas, while school was out for the holidays, was helping Mr. Granville Leftwich and his brother rebuild the flue in the chimney of the high school building, from ground up.

I graduated from New London Academy in 1947 and that was the end of my employment there.

When I go back to NLA, I don't see the New London Academy as I once knew it. Lowry Hall is gone. I always thought that was a stately looking building. Evans Hall, where I lived for five years, is gone. The building that was our garage and storage shed has been restored and is now the Museum. The cannery has been relocated and is in a building of its own. The old sawmill boiler, with its tall smoke stack, is no longer there. The high school building, with the initials NLA across the front of the building, has long been demolished. The agricultural building where I took shop under Mr. Watson and learned carpentry, welding and other useful trades, has been demolished. The building where I learned about electricity, printing and photography under Mr. P.L. Johnson was saved, restored and is now Alumni Hall. The building that housed the cafeteria, the principal's living quarters and where some of the teachers lived on the second level is gone also. Adams Auditorium is still there. I realize that all of those buildings were very old and probably needed to come down in order to make room for the newer and more modern buildings that have since been built to replace them. That's progress.

I hope that the boys and girls who have attended NLA since the existing buildings have been built and those who are now attending and those who will attend in the future will be able to look back with good memories of NLA.

I don't know if those were the "good old days." I do know this, I have a lot of good memories from working at the Community Cannery, New London Academy and graduating from there.

Prentiss Wilson

Mobile, Ala.

Re-elect Goode

We know that our great Congressman Virgil Goode has been targeted by the Democrats for defeat. They have tried this before, and have thrown all manner and means of opponents at him to no avail. It matters not whether he be a Republican, Democrat or Independent, he is still a Virginia conservative, embracing all of our conservative principles.

I think most Fifth District voters know what Virgil stands for, and that he has vigorously espoused his point of view. Virgil knows that illegal immigrants take jobs from our citizens. He is working to stop illegal immigration and secure our borders. He believes that we must keep America strong and free by supporting the war on terrorism. While our Armed Forces are successful in fighting those who would destroy America, Virgil knows that our borders are porous and open not only to illegal immigrants, but terrorists and drug dealers.

He believes that reasonable energy costs are crucial to a viable economy. We must drill for oil in Alaska and develop sources of energy in this country. He believes that we must continue efforts to promote alternatives to foreign oil. He believes that we must preserve jobs in America for Americans, with more job training and opportunities. He believes that we must continue to fight against trade legislation and agreements that shift manufacturing jobs to third world countries.

He believes that Social Security and Medicare must be preserved for senior citizens and the disabled. These are lifesavers for millions of Americans. Virgil also continues to support a prescription drug benefit for seniors and the disabled. Finally, Virgil strongly supports America's fighting men and women, and will continue to support meaningful legislation to care for our Veterans.

It should be pointed out that these are not campaign promises. Virgil has always supported these programs and will continue to do so.

The Democrats have found a liberal opponent for their latest try to unseat Virgil. I think his name is Perriello, or something like that. I did read something in the paper about him running around "tithing" his time, whatever that means. But this fellow grew up in Charlottesville. He graduated from St. Annes-Belfield, so I am told, and then left Virginia to attend college and law school. From there it appears that for the last seven years he has traveled the world.

He now has decided to return to Charlottesville to run for Congress. He is being funded by wealthy out-of-state liberal donors, such as George Soros (who thinks his wealth makes him a player on the world stage) mostly from California and New York. He was recently given a fundraising event in Manhattan, where attendees forked over $2,300 per person. He is also supported by the ultra liberal MoveOn.org.

Obviously he is a part of the Obama-jority movement or the "let's turn Virginia blue" crowd. If these people are successful, look out for partial birth abortion, higher taxes, more illegal aliens to siphon off your health and education dollars, and providing a glide path for them to U.S. citizenship. Be prepared for liberal judges on the Supreme Court, and gay marriages. Be glad, Virginians of the 5th District, that Virgil Goode does not support the Obama agenda. Let us re-elect this fine man.

Sandy Cranston


Supports Perriello

I am writing on behalf of Tom Perriello, candidate for the US Congress. He is amazingly energetic, committed and articulate. He has proven his commitment to working for the "common person" -- by helping to quell violence in Africa, by helping build housing for the poor, by starting faith-based organizations here providing services for the poor.

He is for diplomacy and negotiation first and warfare as a distant second. He is for greater investment in education, teacher recruitment and support. He is for extended health care so that ALL may have access to a doctor of their choice. He is for fair wages -- and many other issues directly affecting our lives.

While telling someone about Tom recently, the response was, "I've been supporting Virgil Goode and his father all my life and I can't change now." My thoughts were, "Why not? If you were once a Democrat and changed your mind along with Virgil, why can't you return to the party of the people? Bush has shown just how ineffective cronyism can be.

If you really want to support more terms of Bush's economic policies, a hawkish war ideology, curtailing democratic rights, resistance to fair wages and health care for all -- then by all means, vote for Virgil Goode! As for me, I'm ready for change and for Tom Perriello.

Mary Boenke


Thankful for people who choose bicycles

As a native of Bedford, I grew up in the country riding bicycles down hilly terrain and at times had to push my bike back up the hills.

I left Bedford and received a bachelor's degree and have worked at various parks in this state and in Maryland. It was in Maryland where I fell in love with bicycling again. In that state, there are extensive networks of shoulders along major roadways for bicyclists.

In Virginia, it is very rare to have a shoulder for a bicyclists. One would have to live in a major city such as Virginia Beach and even Roanoke to find one. In Maryland, I lived in a town smaller than Bedford. Here there is not even a shoulder for bicyclists to ride to Falling Creek Park where mountain biking is the big attraction.

This summer, I decided to continue biking as an alternative means to travel, but this time within my hometown of Bedford. Unfortunately, this municipality does not even have a sign to remind drivers to watch for bicyclists. Most drivers are respectful, some do not pay attention, some even seem surprised to see a bicyclist riding at speeds extremely close to the speed limit. Yet others get angry and even honk the horn.

What a shame though, for people still hooked on their oversized SUV's and trucks they should be thankful that I'm not decreasing the supply of oil. Therefore, my choice to ride my bicycle everywhere I go instead of my car, which by the way gets up to 47 mpg, helps decrease the cost of gas.

So, for those who feel inconvenienced by getting behind a bicyclist on a roadway: Remember, that person is decreasing this country's addiction to oil, keeping money in this great nation instead of others, reducing greenhouse gases, curbing global warming along with its consequences and reducing your price at the pump by decreasing demand.

Chris Wood


Freudian slip?

Did John Barnhart make a Freudian slip, have a brain burp or just say what he believes in his 7/30/08 column? From the column, ?. . . the belief that the Bible is inerrant is an indefensible belief for Christians.? Now I think that is one small step for me and one giant leap for Christiandom. That is my point exactly, and I have to confess I never thought I?d agree with him. I apologize.

And now a special note to my two young critics, Israel Stevenson and Madison Fitzgerald?while I doubt they would expect me to agree with their response (7/23/08), I certainly do want to commend them for having the courage to get into the public arena, express their views, and sign their name. I hope they continue to do so. You would be surprised at the number of adults who are not willing to do the same. I do have a thought for them. Why don?t they save my letter and in five years, after they've finished earth science, biology (including evolutionary science) and maybe chemistry and physics, dig out the letters and send me an update on their perspective. I would be delighted to have an exchange of correspondence in which we could discuss our positions in more definitive terms. Good luck on their future writings.

John Barnhart, the Bulletin?s right-wing columnist and Blake Wright (7/23/08) also believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and all of my critics quote freely from it. For them and for others who believe similarly, I?ve written the following to think about: (Ref: Oxford RSV).

God says when your children get out of line beat them with a rod?Proverbs 13:24, 20:30 and 23:13-14. If they talk or hit back, kill them?Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, Matthew 15:4-7. The Bible also says we must stone people to death for heresy, adultery, and homosexuality. Some Bible scribes must have thought God didn?t know what he was doing when he told Moses, ?Thou shalt not kill.?

Even though the entire civilized world now agrees that slavery is an abomination, Leviticus 25:44-46 says, ?. . . you may buy male and female slaves. . . .? But there are special admonitions to a man who sells his daughter as a slave. Exodus 21:7-11, Ephesians 6:5, and 1 Timothy 6:1-4 direct slaves to be obedient to their masters. The most pious Christian section of our nation spread slavery at the point of a bayonet and we fought a war to free the slaves as other countries have, but does the Bible guidance get changed?

I love this one. ?. . . let wives be subject in everything to their husbands. . .??Ephesians 5:24. I usually reference God as a she, but I?ve been wrong. He has to be a white male. No one else could reason like this.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 says that if a man finds his wife isn?t a virgin on her wedding night, he must stone her to death on her father?s doorstep.

Many Biblical teachings are so self contradictory that for five centuries Christians happily burned heretics alive for their innocent ?transgressions.? St. Augustine supported torturing heretics and St. Aquinas believed they should be killed.

The Bible certainly has some profound messages of love, charity, and forgiveness and the golden rule is a wonderful moral concept. But, Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius, Epictetus and others, long before Jesus, articulated these thoughts as well or better than the Bible.

For those who will want to argue with me on the above points, that?s fine. But, please do so in the context of the inerrancy of the Bible or even as divinely inspired writing. My point, of course, is not to deride Christianity because the same can be said of other religions? scriptural writings, but rather to demonstrate the fallibility of quoting selected passages as if they don?t need to be interpreted in today?s world. Would a God give us a mind and not expect us to use it rationally?

The next time you want to uphold the inerrancy of the Bible and quote its passages to support your arguments, why don?t you tell us the last time you stoned someone to death, beat your child with a rod, sold your daughter into slavery, or killed a child for talking back. Don?t just pick out the parts of the inerrant Bible that you like. Remember, all of it is ?holy scripture.?

David McLoughlin