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Letters April 27

Maggie Walker statue supporter speaks out

Maggie Walker statue supporter speaks out

This letter is in rebuttal to "Astrological Chances" (Metro, June 8). This is a subtle effort to destroy our non-profit efforts to commemorate the life and work of Maggie L. Walker. History has shown that racism can raise its ugly face under the guise of objectivity.

There was and still is a "pledge" (among other pledges) which is the standard practice in fund-raising. It was, however never disclosed that the $100,000 would be in cash, bonds, securities, real estate or inventories - $100,000 is a mere accounting term and a store value for capital.

Style Weekly says the Richmond City Council promised to give the group land and that internationally famous sculptors such as Tina Allen have submitted applications, thereby implying inducement and reliance upon the representations of the pledge.

Style leaves the reader to conclude (as in a fairy tale) that Richmond City Council was seduced and induced by the pledge to designate land and that they did so in reliance thereon. Moreover, international sculptors have also (by implication) been induced by the pledge to submit applications in reliance thereon.

The Richmond City Council at no time to my personal knowledge took the pledge into consideration. They acted upon the merits of the request and the resolution itself in the recognition of the noble work of Maggie L. Walker.

Also, the National Commitment to Noble Works (Incorporated as NCNW Committee Inc.) does not even have applications nor did they submit applications for the sculptors' submissions. Nor was there any inducement or suggestions of the pledge in their reliance of interest. Paul Di Pasquale contacted me. The others came by referral from local citizens, while others were researched from their work.

The story also includes a spurious and subtle effort to denigrate and mitigate the importance of H. Clayton Moore. The fact is that H. Clayton Moore is an African-American inventor and game developer, one of a handful of African-American game developers in the United States. Whether he sells a billion a year or a few thousand, he is still a copyrighted inventor who has a philanthropic heart and should not be denigrated because he is not a millionaire and well known. This is a classical put-down to an emergent African-American business person. In my opinion, H. Clayton Moore is a creative genius who is yet unrecognized and needs marketability like all other products and services in this country.

Look at the damage that Style has not only done me, Moore, our efforts and the project's reputation. Look at the crippling effect that this may have on our ability to raise funds. It is not what has been said but the reliance and the perception of the public upon what has been said.

In closing, this is the kind of experience that Maggie L. Walker went through when she wanted to conduct business on Broad Street.

- Alfred "Doug" Goodwein
Managing Director
National Commitment to Noble Works

Hiker's story an inspiration

Mark Stroh's story on Steve Beggs in Style Weekly was an outstanding piece (Metro, April 27).

The article noted "the following summer, while Beggs continued his recovery...."

That "recovery" consisted of serving as the program director at St. George's Camp at Shrine Mont. He offered extraordinary leadership to the largest Episcopal camp in the Diocese of Virginia.

For eight hot summer weeks in the Shenandoah Valley, his energy never flagged, and his enthusiasm, maturity, and faith inspired 350 young campers and counselors alike.

Steve Beggs' story is a gift to those who hear it.

Thank you for telling it to a wider audience.

- Henry D.W. Burt
Assistant to the Bishop & Deployment Officer
(and formerly director of St. George's Camp)
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

More response to Movers and Shapers

I read with interest your review of Richmond's most influential citizens of the 20th century (Cover story, May 11). Most readers and most viewers of the Valentine's exhibit could hardly challenge the selection of those who are no longer living. But among the still-living there seemed to be some dubious choices.

Without enumerating my list of dubious choices I must question the omission of Dr. Charles F. Bryan Jr., director of the Virginia Historical Society. In just a decade he has inspired the transformation of the Historical Society from a dark, musty mausoleum into a vibrant cultural resource. And in our time he is a scholar, a leader, a constituency builder, a fund-raiser, an administrator, a teacher, a cheerleader for Virginia and a superb citizen of the Richmond community.

Without a doubt he should be included in your list.

- Patti B. Russell

A superb presentation. The layout is fine, and although I could quibble over some of your choices for the "100 most influential Richmonders of the century," I'll go along with 85 to 90 percent of them.

Let me suggest a few others: H.I. Willett, superintendent of city schools in the 1940s and 1950s and considered one of the nation's best superintendents at that time; Allix James and Thomas Henderson, presidents of Virginia Union University; Edgar Schenkman, first music director of the postwar Richmond Symphony; George Modlin, president of the University of Richmond; Drs. Frank Johns, David Hume and Richard Lower, eminent surgeons; James J. Kilpatrick, expert in English usage and a potent editorialist, even when espousing bad causes (e.g., Massive Resistance); and City Managers Sherwood Reeder, Horace Edwards, Alan Kiepper, William Leidinger, Manuel Deese and Robert Bobb.

- Earl Dunford

We want to hear from you
Style welcomes signed letters to the editor that include the writer's daytime telephone number. Letters are edited for clarity and space. Mail or deliver to 1118 W. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23220. You can fax your letter to 355-9089 or e-mail it to Please indicate letter to the editor in the topic field.

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