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January 2020

Bill Sherrod, Editor


I am in a program called “The Look.” We look for things that we believe make this world a better place. I read the comments from the 15 volunteer cooperative lineworkers who traveled to Bolivia in your November-December issue.

I want to thank each one not only for making this world a better place with their compassion to help others, but also for giving me the feeling of love. It is so great knowing we have people in this world like these 15 volunteer lineworkers.

Hilary “Pete” Costello
Warrenton, Va.


It is impossible to decide which is more reprehensible, the name Suicide Bridge or your decision to highlight this restaurant in your November-December issue. As an advocate for mental health care and suicide prevention, it both appalls and saddens me.

Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death in those 15-24 years of age; and the third leading cause of death for middle and high school students; and, that in Virginia we lose a young person to suicide every two days?

Were you aware that in Virginia, one person dies by suicide every seven hours; and in 2017, more people died by suicide then in alcohol-related MVAs?

A “suicide bridge” is defined as a bridge used frequently to die by suicide. In 2001, a 48-year-old Spotsylvania County woman died after jumping from the I-95 bridge which crosses the Rappahannock River. I pray that her family and the families of the countless suicide survivors (family and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide) never see this issue of your magazine.

A great deal of my work as an advocate is to remove the stigma of mental illness and increase the understanding of and the sensitivity to those who suffer from mental illness and suicidal ideation; and love them as we do those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. This restaurant and your decision to highlight it do a tremendous disservice to so many still in mourning.

Pat Ivey
Locust Grove, Va.


What a heartwarming story to see these volunteers travel to Bolivia and improve the lives of these poor village folks.

I have been to Lake Titicaca and seen the lives of these unfortunate people. The volunteers deserve our kudos for giving their time and efforts so selflessly. God bless them and the people who made this possible.

Raj Lawande, M.D.
Haymarket, Va.


After reading the November-December cover story (with tears in my eyes throughout), I thought, “This planet would be a heaven on earth if everyone was as giving as this group of angels.” Not only were the lineworkers and Bolivians changed forever for the good, but I’ll bet your readers are too. Thank you for helping me to keep things in perspective and for swelling and warming my heart. In this time of “me first,” it seems there is hope for love to shine after all.

Janice Healy
Raphine, Va.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart! How wonderful that you guys did this great job for a country that really needs a lot of help. You are blessed instruments of God for these people, for the new generations you inspired and gave hope, and for people like myself — a Bolivian that lives in this amazing country — it means joy and happiness! The pictures show so much! Once more, thank you!

Hugo Berrios
Woodbridge, Va.


in the Oct. 2019 issue. I am curious to know, if you can furnish info as to why the boat, by the lighthouse, has the name, “Winnie Eslelle.” Just curious. Again, I enjoyed the article and look foward to reading the rest of the magazine.

— Earl Lutz
via email

Editor’s note: According to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the boat was named by Noah T. Evans, who built it in 1920, after his two daughters. He was a boatbuilder and operated buyboats, buying fish and oysters directly from watermen.

Correction: The name Thacker was placed inadvertently after Josh Golladay in a graphic in the November-December issue.

The Cooperative Living magazine used to be a source of enjoyable reading seasonally, especially during Thanksgiving/Christmas time of year. We have just received the latest issue. Sadly, its 40 pages are completely devoid of any mention whatsoever of Thanksgiving, Hanukah or Christmas, except advertisements on pages 5, 9, 22 and 24, and the Say Cheese column on page 7. This was no so in years gone by; therefore, we are only left with the impression that the secular progressives have scored another victory with the magazine, exemplifying further erosion of our Judeo Christian values.

— Pam and Willis Slaughter
Colonial Beach, Va.


To the 15 men who gave their time and energy for the people in Bolivia to have light, a special thanks! God will bless you for taking time from family and friends to help others. We need more people like you. Thank you!

— Janice M. Jones
Shenandoah, Va.


The article in the November-December issues on the linemen’s trip to Bolivia to bring electricity to those who had none was simply delightful. We enjoy this luxury daily and can’t comprehend what it would be like to live without electricity altogether.

It warmed my heart to read about these men traveling so far and working under such adverse conditions to help others who are less fortunate. They obviously warmed some hearts in Bolivia!

Hats off to the linemen and hats off to those who made this trip possible. We love your magazine, so please keep up the good work!

— Dana Mosebrook
Gladys, Va.


I was very moved by the reporting in the November – December issue of Cooperative Living about the 15 linemen who travelled to Bolivia to electrify several small villages in the Andes Mountain region.  Great reporting and photos; loved the personal recollections of each lineman and his takeaways from this likely once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Many congratulations are in order for a job well done under (to say the least) adverse circumstances.

I was saddened, however, to read how the crew struggled with the high altitude of the Bolivian plateau and their efforts to adapt in order to do their jobs. Their high altitude “sickness” could have been ameliorated considerably, in my opinion, by a little advance planning. I am an avid skier and often go to the Rockies and other high peaks of the western U.S. and Canada for a week or more of living and skiing at altitudes varying from 6000 to 13,000 feet. Before leaving Virginia, I always begin a regimen of acetazolamide tablets for about 3 days before flying out, and continue with this medication for another 3 – 4 days while in the high altitude environment.  Although acetazolamide will not entirely prevent altitude sickness, it definitely helps you to more quickly acclimate to the lower oxygen levels in these locations. I think it would have helped the linemen transition to the Bolivian environment with much less discomfort and fatigue than they were apparently experiencing. I can relate very well!

Nonetheless, an amazing job by these selfless individuals. I am glad to be a part of REC and appreciate the organization’s ability to make projects like Bolivian rural electrification possible.

— Stephen Turchen
Burke, Va.


I can’t express the pride I felt as I read about the local Linemen going to Bolivia to provide electricity to small villages. I am so proud of all the many sacrifices that were made to serve those less fortunate.

I hope as we enter the holiday season we will look for opportunities to serve our fellow men.

— Jennifer Vela
Via Email