Reader grateful for many things

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald;

There is so much for which I am thankful, and that includes the free press.

Our forefathers came to this country so that we may have certain rights, and I am so thankful for Thomas Jefferson and other founders who saw fit to guarantee freedoms in the constitution.

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I also believe that if more citizens were steeped in the biblical teachings , we would not need all the laws which have been and will be enacted.

Our legislators try hard to

understand the wants and needs of our citizens.

Some of our citizens

appear to be more concerned in &uot;what they can get &uot; out of government.

Some of them, if they would spend more time helping the unfortunate souls in their own neighborhoods, they would not

need to go out into other communities seeking to do good things.

I know that the Bible exhorts us to go into all the corners of the earth and teach/preach the gospel to all living human beings. And I believe that

if each neighborhood would do just that, that there would be an overlap of services, food, clothing, school supplies, etc. , enough to go around.

I am not advocating socialized medicine, or socialized housing, socialized schools, or any other

thing that would cause people to &uot;look to government for all their wants or needs.&uot;

I was born in West Virginia, and my grandparents owned a small farm.

My father worked in the woods, cutting trees to be sent to the mill for lumber.

Later, when President Roosevelt started programs to help poor counties

with jobs, via the Civilian Conservation Corp, my dad joined and was dressed like a soldier.

He was taught the blacksmith trade.

He had already learned woodworking with his father, and could build houses and furniture.

During World War II, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard needed blacksmiths to work on shipboard , i.e., making chains for anchors, etc. My dad was sent to Portsmouth and a year later he moved his family to the Whaleyville area of Nansemond County.

We were the poorest of poor when we moved to Virginia.

However, we had a good work ethic. My brother worked at the E.A. Brothers Store in Whaleyville.

I babysat William Jonas Jones’ (the principle of Whaleyville School) three boys and other times Dr. M.T. Plyler’s two children.

When we moved to Chuckatuck, I was in the seventh grade.

I baby sat W.G. Saunders’

children, and later I lied about my age (13) so that I could go to work at Leggett’s Dept. Store

during three months on weekends prior to Christmas.

I sold so many socks for

Christmas presents, that I earned the title of &uot;sock girl,&uot; and I received a substantial bonus.

After Christmas, I went to work for C. C. Johnson’s general merchandise store in Chuckatuck.

I worked there throughout the remaining high school years.

That is where I met my

late husband, Russell Land Garner.

Following high school graduation in June of 1951, I returned to work at Leggett’s Department Store.

That was a good experience for me, even though I paid $3 for my ride to work, and my parents $10 for room and board!

Seems absurd now, doesn’t it ? Because, now minimum wage is much more than I earned in a week. People who work

get much more than that amount

each day.

Anyway, I am thankful for

my background, my health, my family,

our leadership in Suffolk, and I look forward to easier days.

Not more tax and spend, but

fruitful spending that will make our golden years a blessing to others.

Grace Garner Atkins

Suffolk