Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2013

I have lived in the community of Fairview Heights for almost 57 years. I say that with great pride. Now, here comes the “but.” About five years ago, a family moved in, with many pit bull dogs. For the first time in 57 years, I wish I could pick up the house and move.
I have nothing against the people. It’s their lack of respect for the laws of the land. We have a leash law in this city. When dogs roam free, the law is being ignored. We’ve called Animal Control time after time, and nothing is done. And I’m not the only one calling. Must I wait until I — a woman in a wheelchair — or one of my three grandchildren is bitten before the law will be enforced? Heaven forbid.
On June 6, my son and his 2-year-old daughter were at my house. She spilled her drink on my just-mopped floor. My son opened my back door to retrieve my mop. The biggest pit bull was at the end of my ramp, and he began to charge at my son. I shudder to think what would have happened if it had been me opening that door.
I have given up the cookouts I used to love, midweek Bible study, choir rehearsals and other activities because of these dogs. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.
Can someone help me understand why in some neighborhoods the laws are enforced and in others they aren’t?
— Diane S. Robinson


While I was attending Eastern High School in Detroit, our literature class was required to write a short essay about the Southern generals in the Civil War. I had a keen interest in Gen. Robert E. Lee, who upon the South’s surrender in 1865 accepted an offer to become president of Washington College.
Lexington was a small college town in Virginia, really a frontier town, and Lee was a resident of the aristocratic section of Virginia that is today Washington, D.C.
Washington College was a wreck after the war. There were only 63 students, but it was a school endowed by George Washington. So I wrote of an incident that occurred in the winter of 1866.
It was a very cold winter, and some students noticed that someone was taking firewood from their pile. In order to expose the culprit, one of the students hollowed out a log and put gunpowder in it. The next morning, there was a huge explosion and fire in the room of Dr. Edward Joynes, the professor of languages. It created quite a commotion!
That morning before services in the chapel, General Lee reminded the students that there were no rules for student government, but he presumed that all students were gentlemen, and by that fact, the control of the students was left to the students and their individual sense of honor. Lee wanted anyone who knew information about the incident to come to his office that morning.
The two guilty students went to General Lee’s office and told him about the missing wood and their gunpowder plan to discover the thief. Of course, they felt bad about the fire and did not realize it was Professor Joynes.
Lee responded that their plan to find out who was stealing wood was a good one, but “next time use less powder.”
— Victor S. Farrah



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