Now, don#8217;t get your pants in a bunch

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2006

Don’t get your pants in a bunch. That’s what Donny Slater says in his weather reports when he notes stormy weather is headed our way. It means don’t get too excited, there’s not that much to worry about.

But it seems a lot of folks got excited when the mayor said no to a proclamation that he thought might be too sensitive. The problem is, he perhaps caused more ill feelings than if he had signed the annual &uot;think about it paper.&uot;

It didn’t help the tourist industry over the weekend, especially those vendors who might have come with swords, flags, etc. A few retail stalwarts did risk it and added color to the event. The weather cooperated even if the mayor did not.


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There is, after all these many years, reason to remember and honor those who picked up arms against the invaders from the north. I’d like to think that the millions of us who went off to war in the ‘40s would still be honored even if we had lost. There are not ceremonies for the Confederates equivalent to Memorial Day, and the generational survivors must settle for Veterans Day. I would have signed the proclamation had the decision been mine.

I am also of the opinion there has been too much breast-beating, and &uot;pants in a bunch.&uot; I guess though, the boys got some satisfaction, exacting revenge by not showing up.

Hopefully it will be different next year, and subsequent years … we will ultimately have a black museum and I suspect there will not be much fuss made over that. I’m still waiting for a white museum and the rising of the Phoenix on East Washington might just precipitate that.

I would like a count of just how many Suffolkians have read, as I have, The Siege Of Suffolk, The Forgotten Campaign April 11 – May 4, 1863, by Steven A. Cromier.

Suffolk, as a county, was of little importance, and Suffolk, as a town, was of little importance. What made it &uot;strategic&uot; was it’s location, with railroads running though it east and west. And it was believed at the time that being at the headwaters of the Nansemond River made it vital to hold Suffolk if we were to keep the Yankees out of Norfolk and points east.

More interesting is how generals of the time only slowly realized Suffolk’s place utility and failed to act quickly enough. One must wonder how the Yankees took Suffolk so easily in the first place. The town just sat there waiting for lights to go on in the heads of officers on both sides. And most Southerners today do not realize how important to both armies were our cows, chickens, pigs, and grown crops of all kinds. Feeding troops was critical.

Read the book. You will learn a lot about the importance and bravery of General James Longstreet, who could rightfully be considered &uot;heroic&uot; for reasons other than finally occupying Suffolk.

A good time to vote

April is for fools, showers, flowers, and campaign speeches. Council incumbents have a distinct advantage and a whole month to convince us they should remain in positions of such importance. You can easily see the difference, because last year brave members pushed only a 5-cent reduction in the property tax rate and weakened for two. This year it is 15, even so daring as 20 cents; but the reduction that will finally come is a dime. Incumbents are campaigning hard via the bully pulpit.

Andy Damiani and Andy Prutsok, publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald, did their best to unmask new candidates with the Roundtable Talk Show, in two parts. Each candidate said what he or she would do if elected. Voters should listen to them, carefully, and at the same time think about just why they are running for such a punishing position. What’s in it for them? More importantly, what’s in it for their backers? It’s a good time to vote in Suffolk.

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