Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 08.13.20

Memoirs of an Amnesiac: Butterflies from Heaven?

When my Dad passed away in 1987, he and Mom had just retired to England and bought a little bungalow which suited them. That’s where he collapsed suddenly from an aneurysm. It was a tiny bungalow, but now Mom felt lost in it. Everywhere she turned, she expected to see him; but he wasn’t there. Her next-door neighbor recommended that Mom visit a local fortune-teller named Mary Melton. Compared to fortune-tellers who talk in vague generalities, Mary was famous for being detailed–and often accurate. She might offer Mom some guidance.

What Mary Melton said was that Mom should watch for butterflies–especially at a time or place where you wouldn’t normally expect to see one. It would be a sign that Dad was watching over her.

I used to phone Mom every Sunday morning, and one Sunday in December she said, “It’s the strangest thing! Somehow a butterfly has gotten into the house, and it won’t leave me alone. It keeps following me from room to room, and at one point it even landed on my shoulder!” Ironically, Mom had a phobia of flying creatures, and couldn’t wait ‘til this one disappeared.

Fast-forward to August 8, 2012; what would have been Dad’s 99th birthday. I kept thinking about him, and sent up a prayer hoping that he was OK, wherever he was. Then I went outdoors to work on my house. From across the road I noticed a monarch butterfly, and it appeared to notice me. (If you knew my Dad, you’d understand why it had to be a monarch.) It flew directly across the road and circled me a few times, close enough to land on my shoulder. I said, “Hi, Dad!”, then it was gone.

When it comes to fortune-tellers and guardian angels, you’re free to scoff. But I’m keeping my mind open.

Ron McKee, Averill Park

Preserve Zoning Plan

I live next door to the place requesting a special use permit for a commercial party barn. One to two hundred people would be using the barn. That is much more than the current population of Barnes Road. It’s a massive influx of people for a little country road.

This type of establishment is totally incompatible with an agricultural district, and especially on a very rural side road. It would be better located on Route 4 or Route 9, which are more commercial areas.

Our neighborhood is composed of small family farms and family homes. A commercial entertainment facility does not belong here. I do not want this next to the land I have so carefully preserved.


Rodger Sutton, West Sand Lake

No Party Barn in Our Backyard

I am a neighbor of the property requesting permission to change their zoning to allow them to open a party barn. As I understand it, up to 200 people would be driving to and from this barn and playing music and drinking.

The proposed party from where people would be partying is directly across from our back yard. We would see the barn and it’s activity from our house. The noise would occur every weekend in the summer and into the night. We enjoy the quiet of living in the country and that would be ruined.

The party barn would change the area. I don’t know if I would feel safe having kids near the road with all those people driving. Especially since they won’t know the road or the speed limit, and are likely to have had a few drinks.

I strongly oppose this special request. I hope you will reject this request. This type of place does not belong ina rural setting.


Carl Ublacker, West Sand Lake

My flower, my wife

A rose may bloom red

while a violet may bloom blue

Yet no flower has ever bloomed

more beautiful than you

Walter De BELL, Troy

Olive’s Big Brother (Walter H. Bethel)

He wasn’t a movie star

he didn’t record a hit song

He was just her big brother

in her eyes he could do no wrong

It was December 7th nineteen forty-one

he was only seventeen years old

When Pearl Harbor cried out

so he put his young life on hold

Proudly he joined the Navy

a Destroyer became his home

Instead of shagging flies in the outfield

the high seas are now where he would roam

Now when she lays down to sleep

if he should die before she wakes

She prays to the Lord each night

he big brother’s soul he takes

When off the coast of Nova Scotia

on August the 22nd of nineteen forty-two

The USS Ingraham received their orders

to help with a search and rescue

The USS Buck and a merchant vessel had collided

so the Ingraham had to act quick

The ocean waters were ice cold

and had a fog that was pea soup thick

But the Ingraham’s fate was sealed

by the USS tanker Chemung

When the tanker crashed into the destroyer

her big brothers life was over before it even begun

Now when she lays down to sleep

if he should die before she wakes

She prays to the Lord each night

her big brothers soul he takes

Eleven of the Ingraham’s crew survived the wreck

two hundred and forty-three never came home

One of them was her big brother

she still thanks God he wasn’t alone

Stories say her big brother was a boxer

he beat the best on every tin can

Sounded like her big brother

was shaping up into a fine man

But that August night changed her life

some things are just meant to be

She never saw her big brother again

his body was lost at sea

Now when she lays down to sleep

if she should die before she wakes

She prays to the Lord each night

it’s her soul he takes

Walter De BELL, Troy

Money – The Change Maker

Even though it’s only legal tender

It effects every age and every gender

It can be used for good and bad

Or leave you feeling like you’ve just been had

It tries to control every facet of your life

Pretending to be a necessary vice

Money can cause war but it doesn’t buy peace

Yet possessing it brings you no release

Don’t let the lack of cash bring you pain

Because the desire for it will drive you insane

If you let money be your master

Your life might be a disaster

The things that satisfy, money just can’t buy

If you were a spendthrift

You would let your money go adrift

Then there’s the miser who won’t spend a dollar

When he has to, he will hoot and holler

Most of us use money to pay the bills

And what’s left over buys us some cheap thrills

Volumes have been written about

What the evil of loving money can do

Heed the warning and don’t let this happen to you

Rich people try to use money to get their way

Only to find out later there’s a bigger price to pay

A wise man builds up eternal treasures

Far greater than earthly pleasures

If money is what you crave, you tend to misbehave

Use your money for change, but don’t let it change you

Do what is right and stick to what is true

Money has a purpose and a place

But it should never be used to control the human race

I pray that the world seeks

Riches far greater than wealth

And God bless everyone with happiness and good health

Donna Masters, Troy

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