‘Entrez les artistes’

We enjoyed Lynn Felder’s tribute to our friend, Dudley Shearburn (“Dudley Shearburn, educator and bon vivant, dies at 91,” June 16). Lynn’s story gave an excellent picture of who Dudley was and who she remains in the hearts of all who knew her. As members of one of the book clubs Dudley mentored, we were glad that Lynn included David Hough’s description of our reading experience. Dudley taught us to love literature and to love life. Her impact was immeasurable.

A plaque on the door of Dudley’s home said, “Entrez les artistes.” Inside, there was a large poster of Michelangelo’s David taken at an interesting angle. Readers knew they were in for an experience. We brought refreshments and celebrated our love of books. There was a bit of “reading between the wines,” but any inebriation that ensued from having a good time was less about the wine in the glasses than from the joy of being with the vibrant lady wearing the oversized Halston glasses.

When our friend moved away in 2014, we wanted to keep our group together. Our book club is now the Dudley Shearburn Literary Society. We have endeavored to maintain the high standard of reading that Dudley demanded. We have members who have been with the book club since the late 1980s and members who never met Dudley.

From Dudley Shearburn, we learned how to read in a new way, but we learned so much more.

Byah McGee and Gail Fisher

The Dudley Shearburn Literary Society

Winston-Salem

Simple facts

The author of the June 15 letter “Democrats are far left” declared he looks “at every Democratic-led city that has had solely Democratic leadership for the last 50-75 years” and finds them in dire straits financially, culturally and morally. I wonder what cities he is specifically referring to and whether he has in fact actually visited such cities. I am also at a loss to think of any major U.S. city that has had solely Democratic mayors for such a long length of time.

Also, as a “law and order” loving person, I applaud elected officials who enforced laws when business owners illegally opened their businesses while allowing peaceful protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Lastly, the defeat of practically all of the far-left candidates in the Democratic primaries shows the moderates are still in firm control of the Democratic Party. To paraphrase the author, sometimes all it takes is simple facts to dispel uneducated hogwash.

The Rev. Margaret K. Leinbach

Winston-Salem

Rights and responsibilities

I had the good fortune to have longtime and legendary Journal sportswriter Mary Garber as my high school graduation speaker. Of the many graduations I’ve attended or been a part of, hers is the only speech that I remember. Among other things, she pointed out a particular phrase on our diplomas: rights and responsibilities. She emphasized that along with the rights that our new status as graduates conferred upon us, we also had new responsibilities.

We need some of Garber’s wisdom these days. Mask-wearing is one of the best options we have at this point to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Yet repeatedly I hear people say that they are refusing to wear them because “I have my rights.”

Yes, we have rights to make choices as to whether or not to wear a mask. As citizens, however, we also have a responsibility to look farther than the ends of our own noses. Because of that responsibility, we willingly sacrifice some of our own choices because our inconvenience pales in importance when measured against the life of another human being.

Someone in this town may have died today because of COVID-19. Someone who was loved and who will be terribly missed. Someone who looked forward to having more life to live. Someone whom tired doctors and nurses tried desperately to save.

But, you know, we have our rights.

The Rev. Peggy Haymes

Winston-Salem

More than condemnation required

I was shocked and saddened to see the report regarding the re-enactment of George Floyd’s murder staged by some Davie County school students (“Davie schools condemn video reenacting Floyd death,” June 4). The school official’s anemic response was “condemnation” without mention of additional action that could or would be taken in response to this heinous act.

If the students involved had re-enacted a Sandy Hook or a Columbine incident, would it be left at that? I think not.

“School property” is no longer a physical space, it is a virtual space. Surely the re-enactment of a murder is not only a threat to the safety of our schools, but bespeaks a level of racism and hate within our community that must be confronted now. If not now, then when?

Robert Finch

Winston-Salem

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