Thank you from a vet

Dear Editor,

To Dawn Teer                                                                                                                     

The Sun Times

So Friday the 13th of April could have resulted in a cancelled or no-show event due to a “Tor Con 7” early weather warning.   But there were a few hundred folks that braved the tornado alerts to attend the “Welcome Home Viet-Nam Vets” event.   While I don’t presume to speak for all the Veterans in attendance, the many I did speak with were really moved by the genuine appreciation for our service.  For many of us, when we came home from the war, we were either rejected or avoided by our “friends”.  Many of us didn’t talk about our time in Viet-Nam.  An unpopular war and our own undesirable memories kept many of us from ever telling others of our service.  Many of the men I served with were physically and/or emotionally wounded and many self-medicated.  The healing process has been different for all of us, but a major part of it is the gratitude of our peers.

This “Welcome Home” event opened up an opportunity for that healing to continue.  Flags flown in town honored us.  Greeters met us as we entered the event room.  There were smiles, handshakes, several gifts and “Thank Yous”.   There were Servicemen and women, Law Enforcement, Veterans, Scouts, townspeople, politicians, family, friends and many non-vets in attendance . . . just to say “Thanks”.   The “celebration” included keynote speakers, inspiring music and several different looks at the Viet-Nam Memorial Wall.   

The Sun Times and you and your staff’s work to publicize and cover the event was excellent. I feel blessed to live in this great neighborhood, where the support and generosity of the folks in Heber Springs is complemented by the community newspaper that serves us. 

A big “Thank You” to Dawn and the hard working staff at The Sun Times.

Sincerely,

Bob Bee

Excellent play review

Dear Editor,

Recently, your star reporter, Lori Hamilton, wrote an excellent review of the play, “The Dining Room” performed at The 12 Baywood Theater. Her article was very thorough, informative, well researched and interesting to read. Also, Ms. Hamilton’s review was accompanied by four large color photos of scenes from the play that gave the reader further insight into the production.

I enjoyed Ms.Hamilton’s review even more because my wife and I, accompanied by another couple and a widower friend of ours had the distinct pleasure of seeing “THE DINING ROOM” by A.R. GURNEY capably performed at 12 BAYWOOD (Theater in the Ground). This play was expertly directed by Jeff Craddock who also was one of the actors. Jeff, having a Masters Degree in acting, is extraordinarily multi-talented as evidenced by the flawless performance of all the actors he directed. This was the third play production performed at 12 Baywood and the donated proceeds from each play were dedicated to a different local charity. The audience feels that they are intimately watching a private production just for their benefit in a cabaret atmosphere at 12 Baywood.

The story had many comical moments but also serious ones that caused the audience to reflect on their lives. Basically all the action took place around the dining room table in a house inhabited by succeeding generations and families who provided a thoughtful commentary on the changing customs and mores in America from approximately 1935 to 1975.

All of the amateur actors in this play performed at a professional level. They were outstanding. Their individual abilities to get into their many different character roles that each actor was required to perform was skillfully accomplished. At the same time they made the audience suspend reality and accept them as the characters they portrayed. Most amazing was where their character’s age or social position was a radical departure from the previous character they played in a scene only moments earlier.

I must applaud the actors by name and give special recognition to each since they deserve this critical feedback. Carolyn Burrall, Jeff Craddock, and Jean Ann Lee are each experienced consummate professionals who I have had the pleasure to see in other plays many times. They have perfected their craft, the necessary impeccable timing , and the little nuances that every role requires. John Goddard, Kasey Goddard and Richard Nordskog have each grown tremendously as actors since I first saw them perform in several previous plays. They were very skilled and believable in their roles. Holly Langster is quite talented and displayed much creativity in her interpretations in six different characters she portrayed. The next three performers stood out like delicious chocolate fudge icing on a just- baked moist cake with French vanilla ice cream. Alyce Chapin was mesmerizing as an elderly woman with dementia. Morris Taylor added a great deal of gravitas to the entire play in his role as a wise grandfather. Gretchan West knocked the ball over the fence like a bases-loaded home run in her sensitiverole as an adult daughter with children who was separated from her husband, was involved in other intimate relationships, and was now wanting to move in with her parents.

If you missed this play presented and performed so capably by the “12 Baywood” players mentioned above, then you missed a tremendously entertaining show. The other three people who accompanied my wife and I thought that the entire show experience was outstanding.

Paul Cafferty

Quitman, Arkansas

Opiods aren't always an addiction

Dear Editor,

I disagree with the column on opioids. Not all people get addicted. I’m not addicted to them. I’m a strong willed person, I just need them to get through the day. I don’t take morphine or methadone or smoke weed. Likes been on the news. But people with medical problems should get what they need. I don’t want to resort to smoking weed to get pain relief. I’d love to go walking hand in hand in Spring Park with my husband. Instead of him having to push me in a wheelchair. Not everyone has an addiction (I don’t) I’m sure there’s other people that’s not addicted. So all of you people who are in the high offices trying to take them away. (Stop). What if was your parents, children and they took them. I wish everyone good health and maybe you’ll never need a opioid your trying to take away. But I need my pain pills. Good health to you all.

Shelba Rodgers

Heber Springs