Letters to the Editor - Sept. 15
A fisher is after our pet cats
I’m responding to the missing cat letter of Aug. 25. I also have a missing cat, since the last week of July. I’ve been hearing awful screeching sounds like nothing I have ever heard before in the woods behind my house,which is on Bostwick Street in Lakeville.
Doing research on that sound for the last month-and-a-half and talking to several people and watching missing cat notices pop up, I truly believe we have a fisher cat or cats (which are in the weasel family) that are causing the disappearances. If you don’t know about these little beasts and you have small animals, find out about them. I want to try to save someone else’s furry family member.
Threat to outdoor cats
A couple weeks ago, I read a letter from someone who had lost their cat. They lived down by the ski jumps in Salisbury. The writer went on to say that four other people had lost their cats and by the time her letter was printed she had heard of four more missing cats. She wondered was it possible a fox had taken her cat.
Yes, it is more than possible. About a year ago, my brother-in-law, who lives next door to us, was looking out a second-story window in his house. He saw a cat being taken into the woods by a fox who we know lives there. By the time he got downstairs, it was too late. The fox and cat were gone.
This morning I went out through our backyard to walk my leashed dogs as I do every morning. They stopped to sniff something. When I looked I saw that it was a hind leg of a black cat. Further along was a length of intestine with some internal organs. That is all I found. I turned around, got a shovel and buried the remains.
I have cats who have always been indoor cats and always will be. They are not sad or unhappy to be indoor cats.
When I was growing up, we did let our cats out. At that time we did not have bobcats, coyotes, foxes and bears in the numbers we have now. It was relatively safe for a cat to go out. The only threat was cars. We had two cats who were hit by cars and then we kept our cats indoors and have for the last 30 years or so. They have all been happy, healthy cats.
I know some people believe that cats must go out to be happy. Well, at least supervise your cat. Don’t let it out at night or when you are not home. Even then it could still become a fox’s meal. I would not want one of my cats to be taken by a fox, coyote or bobcat. It does not seem like a pleasant death, as deaths go.
If anyone in the area of Grove Street is missing a black cat, the remains are buried in our backyard and marked with some rocks.
Rain, rain go away! Come again some other day
Tropical storm Irene has come and gone,
Leaving huge puddles all over the lawn.
Burbling brooks became raging rivers,
With rapids to give canoers the shivers.
Salisbury was lucky, for few lost power,
Not for a week, or hardly an hour.
When it was over we cleaned up the shambles
Of fallen limbs, tree branches, and brambles.
We thought that was the end, but golly gee!
We were soon flooded by the tail end of Lee.
That storm came along with lots of rain
So we got thoroughly soaked all over again.
In September we had a six-month supply
Of all the water that came down from the sky.
That’s surely enough without any doubt.
Send the next storm to Texas, where they’re having a drought!
Corporal Doggerel (Carl Williams)
Retirement is good in the Northwest Corner
I would like to welcome people to a wonderful learning experience in the Northwest Corner.
When thinking about retiring in this area, I always worried about the lack of mental stimulation and further learning experiences. Should my wife and I retire to a college town such as Hanover, N.H., or Princeton, N.J.? We really didn’t want to leave this beautiful area and small-town life.
Then I noticed a number of older doctors upon retirement were attending classes at something called the Taconic Learning Center (TLC).
TLC began in August 1989 at an organizational meeting at the home of the late Anita Westsmith. The first courses were offered in the fall of the same year, and there have been fall and winter terms ever since. Usually eight or so courses on a wide variety of subjects are offered each term.
For the past seven years, I have enjoyed two or three courses per term during my semi-retirement. The course instructors are retired teachers, businessmen, writers, professionals, opera lovers and just people who want to share their own learning experiences with others. It has amazed me, the wide breadth of knowledge and talent that exists in these hills.
The majority of classes are held at Noble Horizons, Geer Village or the Scoville Library. Each class meets once a week for two hours. Each course varies in length, typically four to 10 sessions. In most courses you do not need to worry about missing a few sessions because a different topic is presented each week. Besides, this is about having fun while learning, and no one is keeping attendance or passing out grades.
TLC is a remarkable all-volunteer institution that has fulfilled my needs.
W. Peter Reyelt MD
Let’s all do this for our democratic process
With the Salisbury municipal election fast approaching, once again there are those within the community who feel it is appropriate to illegally remove solely Republican candidate campaign signs from private property.
The placement of these signs is through agreement between the property owner and a candidate and represents two of America’s most cherished values — freedom of speech and private property rights.
How shameful that signs are removed with such frequency in our small New England town, which bears the historic recognition of being the “Arsenal of the Revolution.” While there is much to disagree about politically, one thing we must all support is our democratic election process that includes political lawn signs.
The Salisbury Republican Town Committee hopes that our town selectmen, the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee, The Lakeville Journal and perhaps even our local clergy will also publicly voice their admonition against the theft of our democratic process.
Chris Janelli, Chairman
Salisbury Republican Town Committee
Uncomfortable living in the South
I read this week’s edition of The Journal too late to plan to attend the talk by Gene Dattel on “The Help”: Fact or Fiction. I’ve read about the book and movie, both of which I will be avoiding because of my own experiences in Mississippi.
In the summer of 1964, my then-husband, who was a Naval aviator, was assigned to the Naval Auxiliary Air Station located near Meridian, Miss., I wasn’t too happy, as the three civil rights workers had disappeared in the area shortly before. I didn’t think it was a very safe place for Northerners. However, when the Navy sends you to a new location, you go.
We were assigned housing on the base, and the first day I received a call from one of the other wives welcoming me and offering to give me the names of several “maids” who were available.
The Officers Wives Club met on Tuesdays for lunch and bridge, hiring domestic help, invariably a black, or “colored” as they said then, woman or girl to do housework and babysit for the day. As time went by, I’d see these domestic workers walking down the street from the gate where their driver dropped them off. He was not allowed to drive into the housing area.
I didn’t really feel I needed household help, although the idea of a babysitter was practical. One of the other wives who advised me said, “Be sure you get one who can read and write so she can take phone messages.” I was so surprised to think that in 1964 there was anyone in the United States who could not read or write that I didn’t know what to say.
This was one of my first experiences in the South, which remains an unhappy period in my life.
Carolyn A. McDonough