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Letters to the editor – Saturday (9-27-08)

Laurels to the legacy of Mary Garber, the pioneering sportswriter who died last Sunday in Winston-Salem. Her death, at age 92, came only three months after she was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in Salisbury. It was one of many honors accrued during more than a half century of covering sports for the Winston-Salem Journal and, earlier, the Twin City Sentinel.
While it’s no longer a rarity to see women in the press box or roaming the sidelines, microphone in hand, it was a radical change when Garber moved from the Sentinel’s society section to the sports beat in 1946. She proved herself not only capable of handling the overt sexism of the day but also used her skills to address racial discrimination by promoting the achievements of black athletes and their schools. “It was not easy for Garber or the later generation of women who encountered pompous obstructionists like Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who tried to keep them out of baseball clubhouses,” New York Times sportswriter George Vecsey wrote in an earlier tribute to Garber. “To this day, many male fans and reporters whack away at female sportswriters because ‘they don’t know the game’ or just because.”
Garber knew the game, and she knew that fairness and a level playing field were an important part of it.
– – –
Dart to gas-pump panic, the malady that makes normally rational people turn into obnoxious morons. As spot shortages occur and some stations run dry, tempers are fraying. In some cities, fights have broken out, and drivers have gotten into arguments as the lines lengthened. While we haven’t had any reports of any fill-up fisticuffs in our area, there have been reports of rude behavior. While you can blame Hurricane Ike for disrupting the production system, motorists have only themselves to blame for worsening the situation by creating more panic and stress with their own behaviors. Stampedes to top-off inevitably create the very situation we’re trying to avoid. Don’t buy gas until you need it, and be polite toward other drivers. Flying off the handle only adds more fuel to the tension.
– – –
Laurels to the 100 or so volunteers who turned out for last weekend’s Big Sweep cleanup at High Rock Lake. As a letter to the editor elsewhere on this page describes it, this was a great success, with participants bagging and dragging more than 2 tons of trash from the shoreline and adjacent areas. The annual cleanup helps makes High Rock a more attractive, safer and cleaner place to fish, boat or enjoy an outing. But while the volunteers deserve our thanks, dart to the dumpers who create the mess.

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