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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A loss that stirred a sweet memory
The passing of Chip Woodrum resurrected an encounter 25-plus years ago. It was a poignant couple of minutes, but they are unforgettable.
I moved to Roanoke in 1973 and only came to know Woodrum through The Times. I knew him as leader of the 6th District Democratic Committee and, later, as a Virginia House delegate, a caring, mild-mannered, effective representative.
The encounter came about unexpectedly. I was downtown and had two hours to burn. Gee, a good time to visit the Transportation Museum. I moseyed around, taking in memorabilia rooted in Roanoke's past. In the aviation section, a large photo titled "Dedication of Woodrum Field, Dec. 15, 1941" caught my attention. A large crowd of Roanokers, mostly men wearing fedoras and winter coats, was frozen in time, all looking into the camera.
Suddenly I realized someone was also surveying the photo. In a neighborly way, I commented, "a fascinating photo."
His answer: "Yes, it is."
Next, "I wonder who that little boy is, standing center foreground beside the stately gentleman?"
My "neighbor" stuck out his index finger, touching the boy, nostalgically, "That's me."
We looked full at each other and smiled.
DR. ROBERT F. ROTH
Less talking, more listening
The fact those elected to be political leaders in Washington took no kind of action on the sequester demonstrates again their inability to make decisions. Why can't they cooperate on decision making?
There are undoubtedly several reasons, such as fear of losing dollars from donors who expect unbending support of their agendas, entrenched positions on issues, etc.
I believe there is a more basic reason why they can't agree.
Our political process has degenerated into using almost any means to tear each other down.
Rarely is anything good recognized in an opponent.
Candidates cannot repeatedly blame and try to destroy each other and then expect cooperation after an election.
Compromise and agreement require basic personal respect and a willingness to listen to each other.
But the problem isn't just limited to politicians. We all do it.
We are more interested in talking rather than listening, often interrupting the person who is speaking. This is disrespectful and destructive of communication.
The foundation for cooperation is respect and positive relationships.
We would do well to take seriously the direction of the first century missionary Paul, who said, "Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up."
OWEN G. STULTZ
Gun ownership is an inborn right
Re: Theodore Fuller's commentary, "Beyond militia, gun ownership is privilege, not right," March 6:
We have read and heard much lately about gun control and gun owners' rights.
Fuller's statement about gun ownership being a privilege, not a right, has convinced me to add to that discussion.
The government cannot give rights, it can only take away rights.
The Second Amendment does not give us the right to own guns, it secures that innate right.
I do not need words written on a piece of paper to defend myself, my family or my home. Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia state Constitution also secures that right.
It is also important to note that the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments, were added to the U.S. Constitution to protect the natural rights of liberty of the people from an overly oppressive government.
If you don't think this is necessary, then you are not paying attention, and you better read some history.
LANCE O. HUNT
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?