Jan. 25 Letters to the Editor
Deck the Trees and participants raise more than $25,000
What a wonderful success for this year’s Deck the Trees event raising over $25,000!
We are so grateful to the Monte Vista Hotel for hosting this annual event and to all of the sponsors. We are so thankful to all the businesses, groups and organizations that decorated all the beautiful trees which raised funds supporting the heating assistance program at SVCM.
Without your participation and hard work, this event would not be possible, and we send a heartfelt thank you to the 2017 Deck the Trees participants - A Better View Family Eye Care, Asheville House, Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio, Black Mountain Fire Department, Black Mountain Presbyterian Weekday School, Blue Ridge Pictures, Chifferobe, Danielle Lavery, Design Driven Studio, Dreams Salon & Spa, Girl Scout Troop 2498, Kilwin’s, Lakeview Center for Active Aging, Monte Vista Memory Room, Montreat Cottagers, Oliver’s Woodworks, Que Sera, Sherwin Williams, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League, Swannanoa Valley Museum & History, The Christmas Avenue and The Thread Bears.
Cheryl Wilson, executive director
Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry
Guest commentary based on limited research
The guest commentary in the Jan. 11 paper by Matthew Tennant questions the validly of the memorial to Buncombe County’s first white settler. He indicates he is a history major at Warren Wilson College, and yet he states his only research was Pack Library.
Did he think to research the multitude of descendants of Davidson who continue to reside in Swannanoa? Did he think to research at Swannanoa Valley Museum or WNC Historical Society? Did he think to extend his research to Old Fort History Museum? Reading his article, apparently he did not.
If Tennant is going to base his argument regarding Davidson on one written source, I wonder what his argument is regarding the validly of the Bible containing exclusively handed-down word-of-mouth stories. The same would be true for the Torah, or Koran.
The Davidson stone holds as much significance to Swannanoa Valley history as do the multitude of tombstones in the cemetery down the road from it that holds the history and remains of a plethora of his kin.
Tennant needs to realize that history handed down from generation to generation is the story carried through the decades, told and re-told at family gatherings. That's a bit different from the validated history of Vance Monument and many other memorials to human-insulting memories. He needs to take a moment to contemplate the words of the Ogala Lakota: "Mitakuye Oyasin" (We are all related).
Research further and respect oral history.
One way of interpreting Trump's tweet about size
Our president has tweeted (bragged) that his (our) nuclear button is bigger (better) than that of the head of North Korea. The interpretation given this statement by all public commentators is that militarily (especially nuclear) he (we) are much more powerful than the head of North Korea and his people.
Could it be that this tweet (statement) was meant, or can yet be interpreted, as a metaphorical statement, that is, that we are a better nation/society in every sense of the word than North Korea, that we have the resources to hold out longer in the pursuit of a more compassionate, just, and lasting resolution to this particular disagreement/conflict than that of nuclear warfare?
For God's sake and humanity's, I pray and hope that our president, and his most powerful and influential confidantes and advisors, will take the longer, more challenging and difficult, but ultimately more promising, way of peace.
"Is not our silence complicity?"
What would happen if tomorrow morning, we all awaken to the best within us, that with the first stream of light, we recognize ourselves as beloved participants in a single human story? As Quakers in our 80s, we appeal to that awakeness in each of us, that awareness, not defined by religion, race or nationality, but by the divine inner spark endowed by our creator, our common humanity.
This leads us to a troubling question. Why is it that in these disturbing times we now confront, the best of us are often silent? Why do we cede the voice to those who dishonor our people, our community? Is not our silence complicity? We seem to “stand in the shadows between the battleground of our struggle and the sanctity of our soul,” as Nancy Sehested of the Circle of Mercy congregation said.
Can we, instead, find the courage to stand with truth and respect for others? Real community begins with the heart. May the awareness of essential goodness come alive in us. May compassion win over judgement. May humility win over arrogance. May love win over fear.
Let us affirm our common humanity and seek to live into its sacred truth. Only then will we waken to the divine spirit in us all.
Ellen Farrior and Alan Hetzel
Kemper Bornman celebration to be held Jan. 26
Kemper Bornman lived in and loved Black Mountain for 25 years before moving back home to Baton Rouge LA last year because of declining health. She died peacefully there on Monday, January 8.
A memorial service was held for her in Baton Rouge on January 14, but she had so many friends and contributed so much to our valley that some of us thought it appropriate to plan a celebration of life for her here as well.
This gathering will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 26, in the Assembly Room at Givens/Highland Farms. There will be a brief service during which friends are invited to share stories and memories of Kemper. Refreshments will follow. All who knew Kemper are invited to attend.