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Editor’s note: Dan Plattus, former Bedford Main Street Inc. director, issued this statement concerning the embezzlement charge that was dismissed last week by General District Court Judge Harold Black.
What a long, strange road it’s been.
Over the course of my life I plan to experience as many things as I can squeeze in to the short time that God allows me on this earth. That said, I realize that without the “less than enjoyable” experiences, how could we ever really appreciate the good ones. From the simplest pleasures to the greatest heartaches. I will admit that I could have done without a fewof them, but I accept that I cannot pick and choose.
The last few years, working with Bedford Main Street, have been a great experience for me. From the festivals, to the farmers’ market, to finding new businesses for Bedford, and even starting a handful of them myself, I have met some really great people along the way. I could thank each of them individually, but they know who they are. I would like to say thank you to the city council, and to my board of directors for the opportunity to help further the goals of the Virginia Main Street program. It is a great program with a bunch of really great people supporting it. I can only hope that I have made a difference in that endeavor.
It is almost funny (not the ha-ha funny), if I look back at the amount of effort I put forth trying to raise awareness for Bedford and all that it has to offer. A tiny article in the local newspaper, a mention on a radio spot in a nearby city, a banner hanging on a billboard somewhere, or the Bedford Main Street T-shirts that I frequently wore around town. I never felt that the advertising really worked.
Who knew that all it would take to successfully launch a media campaign and reach every single media outlet in the area would be to be accused of something that I didn’t do. I hesitate to say that had I thought of that, I may have tried it myself. I would like to point out that with my earlier reference to “the area,” I am cautiously, at best, referring to every town in Virginia from Floyd to Richmond. A friend of mine referred to me as “Bedford’s newest celebrity.”
I have found that being tried in the “public” court is almost worse than the same process in the legal one. So much time seems to be spent gossiping about others, I suppose in an effort to lift our own spirits, or whatever the reason may be. Imagine how much and how many great things we could accomplish if we channeled that same energy toward bettering ourselves, rather than just gossiping about others.
One of my amazing children (the tall one) and I found a great quote the other day. It read, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Spot On, to whomever came up with that!
I do regret that during this time of economic hardship in this small city I call home, that has barely enough money to educate our children, that time and resources had to be spent on a personal vendetta such as this one. I am not going to waste my time, or yours, blaming the players, as I harbor no ill will toward anyone, but I will gladly admit that I surely don’t like the game.
There seems to be no censure on what is used to get our attention in the media these days. We can all understand, and support sensationalism, but does it have to be at someone else’s expense. I humbly ask that y’all, please, start a campaign of your own to report the news responsibly.
Finally, and most importantly, I do also regret that there were those that felt the need to involve my children in the “drama.” I have searched long and hard for the right words to express that thought, and I was not surprised that I couldn’t find them. OK. I did find them, but I knew the newspaper wouldn’t print them.
This experience ? Check… and done!
— Daniel A. Plattus