It all depends upon your point of view

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2003

Some say my criticism of restoring the CSX railroad station was uncalled for, unfair, a minority view, and added up to being negative. The problem is that I have an opinion, and often write to express the opinion of others not so gung-ho about spending over $600,000, regardless of where the money came from. Hundreds probably miss the fish market that was sacrificed and drew a lot more people. Not all are history buffs or railroaders and many think we were railroaded. It’s been said that they could have salvaged a few important parts and put them into a brand new building at less than half the price, and no one would have been the wiser. Like a Marlin fisherman who keeps only the bill yet the taxidermist can build him an eight-foot long wall trophy. But it is now water over the dam and time to wish the perpetrators good luck.

Others believe one smart thing our government does is tax some of our earnings so we won’t piddle our money away on frivolous items, then hands it back to organizations that do things like restoring history. Of course they don’t tax the little guy whose frivolous items are food and clothing. Maybe it is a good idea. Proof is that million$ will come back to a$$I$t in the re$toration of $uffolk High $chool. This project, put together by many local citizens, too many to name, has the potential to turn Suffolk around by serving as the catalyst for tying the &uot;downtown&uot; together. To the north Prentis Street, to the south the old business section. The school will be the nucleus, and the grassy area where band concerts pull people out of their homes and cars. Where cafes could sell lunch under umbrellas or a cold beer in the shade. It’s an easy walk to the stores, which we could explore if they purvey items we shoppers come to town for. And an outdoor amphitheater for gathering on the green.

The &uot;School&uot; will truly be a cultural arts center that will bring locals of varying interests to a place where they can express themselves on canvas, with clay, dancing, theatre, the art of the computer, and a dozen other means to improve ones talents. It will bring people together from all parts of our 430 square miles. But it is a daunting job. Andy Damiani did his &uot;Roundtable Talk&uot; show from the stage, a not so pretty spot after these years of neglect. But, sitting on that stage with Gail Pruden and cheerleader Betsy Brothers, one could imagine the seats filled with alumni, accumulating since 1922, or the members of their families. Peeling paint can be scraped off, those memories live on and surely they who spent many years in that building are eager to restore it. The High School &uot;planners&uot; will transform that relic into one in which we will all be proud. It will take millions but is worth every penny. Take a look in your purse or wallet and think about it.

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It seems that what’s bad for America is good for some Democrats and all liberals who act like they’d prefer to live in a different country. In my many years of watching the arenas of the politicians I have never witnessed such cowardly attacks on beleaguered heads of our nation. At a time when we should all be pulling together it appears that appeasement is dripping into cracks that could eventually cause us to slide us apart. There is no letup, and one day, soon, they will be isolated and despised, as they should be. I guess it could be tracked back to the days when Gore was gored by the electoral college. Or was it the mid-term elections when the Senate committee heads were again Republican? Sadamn loves it, dances a little jig and tells &uot;inspection&uot; teams to drop dead. He is empowered by those who parade with placards damning the nation and its leaders. Apparently some marchers would rather be susceptible to continual fear than take on the bullies. They’ve left it to braver people for decades.

If you have had enough of their weakness, get on your Web site and punch in &uot;Defend America.&uot; You’ll get a chance to encourage our military and our leaders; send the boys and girls in uniforms a message of faith in them. Or jump on the Web site, &uot;Brain Terminal.&uot; Here you get the truth and plenty of it. Both of these sites will make you feel better about this great country. I remember that back in 1943 the nation was with us, proud of us, and the only marchers were the workers parading into the factories to keep our mission in foreign countries well supplied. And our President was a Democrat. He’d be ashamed at what some in his party are doing on the streets, and on television, today.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular columnist for the News-Herald.