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NEW ORAL HISTORY EVOKES MEMORIES

Editor,

The fine new book, Voices From Savannah: Selections From The Oral History Collection of the Savannah Jewish Archives, compiled by Valerie Frey, Kaye Kole and Luciana Spracher, (available through the Georgia Historical Society,) is interesting and informative reading for all faiths, newcomers and Savannah natives alike.

It covers most of the 20th Century, from immigration and new businesses to politics, recreation, homes and schools, personal memoirs, and changes in the city. It also has a glossary of unfamiliar terms. There is an index of subjects and persons mentioned, and where one can find the complete interview at the archives, if desired.

Congratulations to all who helped in this worthy and well-edited project!

In the government memoirs of former Alderman Leo Center, he mentions that the first African-American alderman since Reconstruction served with him after being asked to run by Mayor John Rousakis in 1969.

He was Bowles Ford, who "was responsible for many miles of streets being paved, and who died in his second term of office."

It seems that in the current debate over moving pictures of Robert E. Lee and Mayor John F. Wheaton to the Savannah History Museum in order to install new TV cameras which will cover the entire council during debate, one might ask what the ethnic and gender makeup of the Council was when it voted to put any two pictures in place "in perpetuity."

Mayor Wheaton, of course, already has a photo among those of our past mayors, and would be better remembered by placing the other at the history museum.

Incidentally, the first time I ever heard of John Wheaton, I was new to the city, and on a tour of Laurel Grove Cemetery South with the late historian W.W. Law.

He pointed out a Confederate marker which Wheaton had placed over the grave of his trusted body servant and butler. It read, "Old Tom. He followed his master to war."

Law said that for the rest of his life, as Confederate graves were decorated, Wheaton led the veterans from Laurel Grove North to place a wreath for Tom as well.

Another fine marker honors Sarah, a nurse from the Hutchinson family, "intelligent and trusty," who had died with her young charges at the sinking of the S.S. Pulaski in 1838.

"These are the kinds of things which we need to remember," said Law, "the relationships which sometimes existed among the races, when we lived closer together than we do now."

Margaret W. DeBolt

 

 

 

 

TIME TO FIGHT THE DRAFT IS NOW

Editor,

More years lie ahead before we’re out of Iraq. And there’s a strong chance that our nation will declare war on another country, possibly Iran, during this administration. Despite the official line from the White House, it doesn’t take an oracle to see we’re headed for a draft.

Not only young men, but also young women and older adults with special in-demand skills may be among those selected.

Now is the time to let your representatives know that a draft is unacceptable. Letters, phone calls and e-mails do make a difference. Begin addressing the topic among your neighbors and at public forums.

Even if you support the war in Iraq, most likely you believe such a conflict should be fought using willing volunteers.

In the future it may be your child, or it may be you, who is sent off to fight.

Eric Williamson

 

 

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