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A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Shouldn't the Tea Party apologize to Obama?

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Ah, gentle reader, it appears that, not for the first time, and probably not for the last, we have succeeded in irritating, if not downright outraging, Mrs. Linda Wimberley, who identifies herself as secretary/vice treasurer of the RCTP, which we assume stands for the Roane County Tea Party.

This lady’s ire has been roused, her equilibrium has been disestablished, her feelings have been hurt — in short, she’s mad as hell.

The source of her anger is your humble servant, and his column of a couple weeks ago in which he posed the question, “Why does Tea Party want a §501 (c) (4) paper?”

By means of a letter to the editor published in last Friday’s News, she excoriates, ridicules, chastises, and derides that miserable scribe, the old curmudgeon. And she demands a prompt apology.

For what exactly this low scribbling creature is supposed to apologize, we are not sure.

We suspect it is principally for having the audacity to exist, but mayhap we err in this conclusion, just as Mrs. Wimberley erred in her basic premise, i. e. that when we mention the Tea Party we are necessarily specifically referring to the Roane County Tea Party.

This is incorrect as a careful reading of the column would disclose, but we suspect that when one is breathing fire, and roiled with outrage, it is difficult to do a careful reading.

One would also conclude that Mrs. Wimberley thought that we were making an ad hominem attack upon her and her fellows.

Although we certainly could do this with complete justification, we do not choose to do so.

After all, the leader of the local party is Gary Johnston, who without doubt shares kinship with the old curmudgeon through our shared heritage of the blood of Clan Johnston, the Lowland Clan of which it was said that they were the best cattle thieves on the border!

We have very scrupulously avoided attacks on our kinsman, regardless of the tenuous degree of relation. A cousin is a cousin when all’s said and done.

We were long ago taught that a gentleman should never disappoint a lady, and we have tried throughout our three score and ten, plus years to adhere closely to this principle, but we fear that in this case Mrs. Wimberley must survive without an apology from us, for we owe her none.

We cannot say the same insofar as the Tea Party campaign of maligning Our President with such tactics as Mrs. Wimberley recalls in her letter, reminding us of their “America or Obama, You Can’t Have Both” billboards.

The majority of the American people disagreed. They spoke, despite the efforts of Republicans and Tea Partyers, strongly in favour of having both America and Obama!

And the shameful effort to attack the President by means of an absurd film questioning the identity of his father, and maliciously contending that he is the illegitimate offspring of an old-line Communist activist should provoke a strong and sincere apology from the promoters of this canard, but we have heard of none, and expect to hear of none.

It seems that, contrary to the old saw, what is sauce for the goose is not necessarily sauce for the gander!

Finally, in view of Mrs. Wimberley’s letter, it is obvious that the RCTP should owe no taxes, so we ask again, “Why does Tea Party want a §501 (c) (4) paper?”
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Some time back, we had mentioned to Historian Robert Bailey that we intended to donate our small collection of books touching on Tennessee history to the Heritage Commission library in the old Court House.

Darleen Trent, being a doer of the first order, set about making space for the books and showed us that it was there waiting!

We took the hint and are in the midst of gathering them together and making delivery.

In so doing we came upon one item, the history of which has troubled us for years.

This is Cyril J. Smith’s book, Tradition of Eve, published in 1961 by the Naylor Company of San Antonio, Texas.

Smith was a native of Rockwood, the son of a leading physician, who practiced law there for a time, the latter years of which were in partnership with the late L. G. McCluen.

Smith removed from this area to Texas and continued to practice law in that state for the balance of his life.

His sister, Alya Dean Smith Irwin, (a charming and lovely lady) also lived in Texas, and we have never been sure of which sibling left Roane County for the Lone Star State first, but both wound up there.

The sister married the oil-man Rich Irwin, who late in life retired to Dr. Smith’s farm down on the Meigs County line, where the couple constructed a show-place home, and developed more than one subdivision on the old Smith lands.

However, it is not our intention here to write about Smith, or McCluen, or anything else other than Cyril J. Smith’s book itself.

Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Parker acquired this book by this Roane County native, and presented it to the Roane County Public Library in Kingston with a bookplate reciting that it was a gift “in Memory of Mrs. Goodwin”
Now, one would have thought that this memorial volume by a native son would still be residing on the shelves of the library, wouldn’t one?
But no, it was marked “Discard” at some time and put back into commerce.

We do not remember whether we bought it at a book sale at the library, or at a used book store, which seems more likely since it bears a sticker giving a price of .25.

We don’t know who made this decision to discard, nor when, but it grows more and more common.

We have now acquired several volumes donated to various libraries ranging from Tellico Village to Chattanooga and other places.
It is a deplorable practice.

Every library fit to bear the title should have a permanent collection, kept irrespective of how often the items are checked out.
The collection should just be there, in our opinion.

Libraries should be repositories of knowledge, just waiting to be examined, even though that wait might be measured in decades rather than years.

Since the destruction of the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt, it has been commonly recognized that the destruction of a library is a heinous thing to do.

What has been lost sight of in many cases is that a library through discards and de-acquisitioning can be just as much destroyed as it can through the depredations and destruction by vandals, or flood or fire.
Libraries should be protected and preserved for generations yet unborn.