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January 2019

Bill Sherrod, Editor


I am writer Audrey T. Hingley, and I did the story and photos for the November-December 2018 issue’s Crossroads feature on Schuyler, Virginia.

On page 32 there is a photo of a colorful shed that’s incorrectly identified as the site where Earl Hamner Jr. had his real-life printing press. The site is actually an old, vintage-1800s structure that now houses Walton’s Mountain Country Store.

Walton’s Mountain Country Store is located at 6401 Rockfish River Road in Schuyler, just in front of the restored Hamner House, Earl Hamner Jr.’s homeplace. Walton’s Mountain Country Store offers Earl Hamner Jr. books, DVDs, T-shirts and a variety of items related to The Waltons.

I apologize for the error.

Thank you!

— Audrey T. Hingley


I am a 12-year-old girl living in Louisa County. I love Cooperative Living magazine!

It is fun, local and clean. It talks about things I understand and enjoy, and talks about new things, too. I want to thank all the people who make this magazine happen.

I also want to say that I really enjoy Ms. Oxendine’s column. It is very funny but it isn’t crude or confusing. I and many others enjoy it for a reason. Thank you for writing, Ms. Oxendine!

— Charis O.


As always, I enjoyed Margo Oxendine’s article in the November-December issue. As an electrician, I had to go up in bucket trucks to repair pole or sign lighting. I have a fear of heights myself, so if I hadn’t been up in a while, I had to ease into it. Once I was acclimated, I was fine.

My most notable adventure was in a borrowed old broken-down electric bucket truck that chose to break down with me in the air. I had to climb down the greasy pole. Most disconcerting!

Thanks, Margo, for your self-deprecating sense of humor. It is most appreciated.

— Don Baker


I love birds and enjoy all the finches that come to my bird feeders, but I have not stopped laughing since reading the Feathered Friends column about the Eastern purple finch.

About halfway down the first column, there is the sentence, “Measuring about 6 inches long, this bird’s conical bill is thick and larger in proportion to its body than that of other finches.” I am sure the finches at my feeders do not have 6-inch-long conical bills!

I am also sure that Mr. Knuth did not mean for the sentence to read that way, but it slipped by and made us all stop and laugh. Beware the misplaced modifier because the results are frequently funny.

— Elizabeth White


Regarding the issue of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, these players are role models for many of our youth. I believe it is an established fact that they kneel for a variety of reasons and sometimes for no reason other than to support other players. The movement has now even gone into youth-league football and to the cheerleaders.

We can argue about the reasons for kneeling, but has it been effective? NFL attendance and TV viewing are down. The players are mostly well-paid and need to find other ways to promote their causes.

I have stopped watching NFL games and I know several people who have either stopped or reduced their watching on TV. Patriotism and social justice are important issues but football is a game that has been turned into political football.

— William K. Phillips
Stuarts Draft


In the November-December issue’s Mailbag, pro-NFL-kneeling letter-writers made the following points:
1) The national anthem belongs to everyone;
2) Kneeling is a peaceful, respectful way to protest;
3) Don’t look;
4) It’s free speech;
5) Listen to the players to have more tolerance for others’ views.

The First Amendment doesn’t guarantee free speech at work. You can lose your job for speech or actions on or off the job.

The NFL players have a job. The NFL is a business. It has frequently quashed “free speech” at work in various forms by players, including expression of Christian beliefs, raising awareness of domestic violence, mental health disorders and disease. The anti-police expression has been supported while Back the Blue-type expression was sacked.

The NFL’s double-standard has been noted in these two excellent articles: NFL’s Free Speech History by Jeanine Martin and, NFL Hypocrisy: They Refuse to Ban Kneeling, But Banned All These Other Things by Cillian Zeal.

Don’t kid yourself that the NFL is allowing free speech. They are allowing PC speech, which the liberal media will applaud. That is more important to the NFL than the patriotic fans who find kneeling during our national anthem to be insulting and offensive.

The person who wrote to oppose kneeling by NFL players during the national anthem was dissenting against the use of a sporting event to purposefully disrespect our country’s national anthem for fuzzy political purposes. These millionaire athletes have many other venues at their disposal, outside of their jobs, for their political activism.

— Martha Dudley


My heart was touched by the reader who wrote in the Mailbag that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to our veterans.

I would like to point out, though, that most of the freedoms and privileges we enjoy today came from everyday American veterans and civilians who rose up against injustice and wrongs wherever they found them. I consider it a great disrespect to try to dismiss another’s viewpoint without introspection upon the issue. “Want for your brother/sister what you want for yourself.

— Deborah Thomas


“Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, remove your hat, and join us in singing our national anthem.”

Anyone who has ever attended a sporting event recognizes those words. They reinforce the respectful treatment of our national anthem and the American flag that we salute when we sing it. Rise and remove your hat ― to do otherwise is to be disrespectful. This is an American social norm and represents the expectation against which respect must be measured.

As so often happens, the debate has meandered and lost focus. Respect is a function of action, time and venue. Note that the words “right” and “purpose” aren’t in there. Is it disrespectful to belch loudly in church before people arrive for Sunday service? Probably not. How about while a priest delivers your late grandmother’s eulogy? Most reasonable people agree that this act, at this time, in this place is disrespectful.

Kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful, period. That is not the debate. The debate is about whether people tolerate this disrespectful act in light of a stated purpose. You’re free to be disrespectful. You have that right. You have a right to be disrespectful for any purpose you choose.

If you want to protest the oppression of minority millionaire athletes, by all means, have at it. But don’t hide behind the cloak of your right and your purpose to pretend that you’re not being disrespectful to the flag, the anthem, and the people who died defending your right to disrespect them.

— Bryan E. Polk
Manassas Park


One of the more popular features in Cooperative Living each issue is the History Mystery contest, in which hundreds, even thousands of readers participate.

In 2018, there were two mistakes ― incorrect identities ― in two separate History Mystery contests. The subject of the July History Mystery, Dr. Ulysses Grant Dailey, was incorrectly identified in September’s issue as Charles Johnson. The subject of the September History Mystery, Claude Daniel Ely, was incorrectly identified as Roy Linwood Clark in the November-December issue.

Numerous readers caught the mistakes and gently informed us of the errors. These mistakes resulted from faults in our research, fact-checking and proofing processes, which we have addressed, and we believe, corrected. To our loyal readers and History Mystery participants, we offer humble, sincere apologies.

Since some entrants in both of these contests correctly identified Dailey and Ely, we planned to re-draw winners for the two contests from the pool of correct guesses. Contest entries come in via email as well as USPS mail, and some of the mailed entries were discarded for both of the incorrectly identified contest subjects, so we elected not to re-draw since not all correct answers would be included in the drawing.

Again, we offer our apologies to our readers for these mistakes and hope you’ll continue to enjoy future iterations of our reader-interaction contests.

— Bill Sherrod,