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Looking Back - July 7, 2013

History column

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

Long ago, when people wished to share an opinion, they would use a pencil or ink pen and write the thoughts on paper, fold the paper, place it in an envelope, attach a postage stamp and mail it to The Albany Herald. Here are some excerpts from those opinion letters 30 years ago .

April 1983

That matter of prayer

Anyone who supports Senate Joint Resolution 199, also known as the School Prayer Amendment, does not know the Sermon on the Mount, which tells us plain enough to pray in secret behind the closed doors of our own closets.

It's a terrible bore for those who do not wear our religion on our sleeves. Let them have the amendment. The issue will then be confined to the classroom and away from those of us who have graduated.

Church-goers poor tippers

Don't you give 10 percent of your earnings for tithes? Then why can't you give your waitress her percentage of the bill? Maybe if you did, when your waitress attends church, she could afford to give 10 percent to the Lord and still feed her children.

May 1983

Destructive programs

Praise the Lord, Mayor Gray has given us a Civic Center and he did it the way any millionaire would do it. He took from the poor by way of raising taxes, garbage fees, sewage fees, water fees, etc. And lo, after the poor people paid these extra fees, they had not the money to attend the shows at the Civic Center.

Hospital pajamas

Who are these people whose unpaid hospital bills are added to the cost of persons who can and will pay for their care? Perhaps they can walk around in stolen hospital pajamas so they can be identified.

Let all play

To Lee County coaches: Read your sign over the Concession stand. It reminds us "that he's just a little boy." Some of the boys may not play as well as others but they will never learn keeping the bench warm. Let them all play, for you see, it's just a game.

June 1983

Too much advice

(To a frequent letter writer) I am very tired of opening my paper and reading your ranting and raving about this and that. Therefore, I offer you the following suggestions: If you don't like beer, don't drink it. If you don't like Oui magazine, don't look at it. If you don't like rock music, don't listen to it. If you want to give sermons, become a preacher. If you want to write to the Herald all the time, go down there and get a job as a reporter. Otherwise, please give your pen a rest and Herald readers a break.

July 1983

Criticizes news story

I call your attention to the June 27 evening edition of The Albany Herald. You ran a story and picture about the homosexual parade in Los Angeles. I found the story to be of little or no newsworthiness and the picture disgusting. To pay attention to these people is a waste of time. Why use valuable space in the newspaper to cover such trash? One of the biggest problems with our society today is our treating homosexuality as a preference when, in fact, it is a perversion.

Hypocritical president

There are many letters sent to the Forum criticizing hypocrites. But do you know who is a hypocrite? President Reagan is a hypocrite when he praises Poland's solidarity trade union for standing up against the oppressive Polish government while at the same time his administration tramples trade unions in the United States.

August 1983

Obligatory school prayer

Now the Christian children can pray at breakfast, lunch and dinner and bedtimes. They can go to Sunday school, church twice on Sunday and prayer meeting later in the week. They can also pray at other times they or their parents like. Isn't that enough contact with God?

Desegregating the University System of Georgia

It was a giant step forward when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregation. Then came the surprise. Blacks in our our state-supported "predominately black colleges" have resisted all attempts to integrate. Albany State, Savannah State and Fort Valley State have used all the same tactics whites used for all those years. Now, 19 years later, the three are still stalling.

September 1983

School children suffer in the heat

We haven't lived in Albany long. We were excited to be living in a bigger city. One of the advantages, we thought, would be the school system. I visited the school, an older one, one evening around 7 p.m. and the thermometer in the classroom read 90 degrees.The windows are small and the ceiling fans bat hot air backwards and forwards. The administration building on Flint Avenue is anything but new, but there is a window unit hanging out of every window. The jail has air conditioning. The prisoners are more comfortable than our children.

Inadequate education

Our educational system is no less than a farce compared to our foreign competitors. Our seniors probably know the equivalent of their preschoolers. Most foreigners can speak three or four languages fluently. Our children cannot even master the King's English enough to graduate.