Letters to the Editor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 21, 2003

Now and then there is a spate of mail dashed off by local citizens, or News-Herald readers living just below the border. Now and then they cross a different line, bordering on being insulting, they make their point but could have done so in a more polite manner. Apparently the editor accepts most letters if they are somewhat in good taste. Most of the time the citizenry is silent, so when I saw a letter by T.C. Williams I perked up. He generally hits the nail smack on the head. His recent chewing of the School Board tail for doubling its own pay is a classic reminder that volunteering of one’s time and talent for public service can lose its appeal over time. When this happens there is a tendency to expect to be compensated.

So we can legitimately think that perhaps the &uot;volunteers&uot; do so for the money. After all, don’t they just have to attend a meeting now and then? There are many boards, com-missions, and committees that provide service for nothing, those individuals content with sharing their ideas. Public recognition serves as their compensation, that and the good feeling they get inside. But perhaps the School Board requires an inordinate amount of time and personal expense; some compensation is warranted and should be provided. But T.C. Williams, and I’m sure many others, questioned doubling the amount at one stroke. Perhaps a board member will explain how tough that job really is.

I’m sure I mentioned that the Nansemond Indian tribe Council met and generously made me an honorary member of the tribe. It’s only because I write favorably about their effort to construct Mattanock Town somewhere in Lone Star Lake complex; the village will eventually become fact when cool heads prevail. I was a bit disappointed when I wasn’t given a proper Indian name. Up in Michigan, where there are many tribes, I was referred to as &uot;Chishadosh&uot; which means &uot;Big Feet,&uot; at least that’s what they told me. But appar-ently there has been some discussion, somewhere, and a suitable Nansemond name was selected for me. I suspect it came from the mind of either our esteemed city manager, or the hustling Director of Tourism. I haven’t been told the Indian spelling but the English pronunciation was &uot;Running Mouth.&uot; My wife, &uot;squaw,&uot; was consulted and she sug-gested &uot;Running Bull,&uot; which was too quickly accepted by the &uot;committee.&uot; However, in light of my repaired broken hip, and being scheduled for knee replacements, I would accept a more fitting title and should be called &uot;Limping Bull.&uot;


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We dropped in Saturday morning at the 16th annual Pow-Wow and were impressed from the start when sheriff deputies organized the parking. I was directed to a handicap slot and darned if they didn’t have a golf cart at the ready to ferry us to the entry tent. Dot Dalton and Chief Barry Bass who shook my hand – his is the size of a banjo – welcomed me. Of course I was flattered; he was in full regalia as were dozens of others preparing for the dances. No matter how many of these events I attend I still thrill to the sound of the drums and the authentically costumed descendents of Native Americans. Even the weather cooperated and it was a fun afternoon. Mother nature moved in on Sunday.

I looked around for the usual collection of politicians but found none. I can only speak about Saturday, but I saw only Calvin Jones, one council member with an open mind toward placing Mattanock Town on the very spot where the dancers trod. Perhaps others were there, incognito behind deer hide and feathers, dancing up a storm, getting a feeling for the tourist draw it would be. Was that Mayor Dickens in brown face, wearing spectacles and carrying a tomahawk aloft? In the main tent was a map of Lone Star and I noticed red lines drawn around alternate sections of it. It gave rise to a bad feeling that King Herbert remains adamant about retaining that point of the Lakes for his resume building; perhaps he intends to construct

a castle with moat and keep. That should hold those redskins at bay.

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