Letters to the Editor

Poetry Floats My Boat

Dear Editor:

I’m so very pleased and proud that the “Poetry Floats My Boat” float in the Edgefield Christmas Parade was given first place as Most Original Float! Thank you to the judges for this great honor! Many, many thanks to everybody on and off the Poet Laureate Committee who helped make the float the adorable entry it was. Thanks especially to Max and Jeannie Shanks for building the boat, painting it pea-green, painting the waves, and helping in so many other ways with all their enthusiasm and good cheer! Thanks to wonderful artist Pamela Moore for painting the boat, lettering so beautifully the sides of the boat with the words of Edward Lear’s delightful poem, “The Owl and the Pussy-cat,” making the “Poetry Floats My Boat,” banner and the lovely, lively, leaping fish! Thanks to Laurie Prince for recruiting her JET Middle-School students, Darriah Holmes and Patience Clark, to play the Owl and the Pussy-cat, and thanks to Darriah and Patience for taking o the roles! Thanks to Jo Ann Amos for making the perfect costumes! Thanks to Ricky Brunson for driving the truck that pulled the trailer that carried the float to the Square! And, last but not least, thanks to Camara Brown, Youth Poet Laureate of Edgefield, for lending her support, time, and enthusiasm by riding beside Ricky in the cab of the truck! I wish she had been more visible, but you can see her again next Saturday, December 12, at the Christmas is for Kids event, where she will perform Christmas poems with me and Mr. Hal Irish, on stage at 1PM! Don’t miss it!

Thanks most of all to the Edgefield community for supporting the parade, for coming out and cheering us on! Happy Holidays to everyone. And renewed hope for 2016!

Laurel Blossom

Poet Laureate of Edgefield

The Gift of Cancer Research Funding

With the clock running out on 2016, Congress has an opportunity to show Americans that lawmakers stand with us in the fight against cancer. What better gift can Congress deliver during this holiday season than a renewed commitment to fighting a disease that continues to kill one person for every minute of every day?

Unfortunately, over the past decade, flat funding and inflation have eroded the budget for the National Institutes of Health and have jeopardized progress against cancer. Federal funding for medical research has dropped more than 24 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2003, forcing cancer centers to halt promising clinical trials and drying up the grant pool relied upon by researchers.

Budget proposals being voted on in Congress over the next few weeks include the largest single increase for cancer research in a decade. Cancer strikes one in two men and one in three women in their lifetimes. Right now, we have a rare moment to make a substantial impact in the fight against cancer. Congressman Jeff Duncan, will you help make save more lives from cancer by voting for an increase for research funding in the 2016 budget?

Lynn Rearden

Edgefield, SC

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Dear Editor:

In your front page story last week about our local families serving in the military during Pearl Harbor, my uncle Jimmy (James Strom) Byrd was pictured when he served in the Navy. He told me years ago about it and I wanted to relay it to you.

That Sunday morning he was on shore patrol duty on the beaches of Pearl Harbor. When the attack happened – he was thankfully spared and later learned that his entire ship (a destroyer named the Thrasher) had been lost.

After Pearl Harbor, he traveled to many areas of the world since he was career navy. About three years later, at a shop in Hong Kong- he looked up and thought he was seeing a ghost. It was the one of the cooks from his ship. Needless to say, they had quite a reunion. He learned that his friend had gone in to Pearl Harbor that Saturday night and had had a little too much to drink. He was put in jail and that’s where he was that Sunday morning. It is my understanding that they were the only two survivors of that ship.

Beth Byrd

Edgefield, SC