Readers Write 4/19


Thank God for newsman Aubrey Morris

I was saddened by the news of Aubrey Morris’ death, but after a moment, I was laughing again as I remembered this legendary peripatetic radio reporter’s daily search for news in the greater Atlanta area when we were colleagues at WSB in the mid-1960s.

He was simply one of the best local reporters I ever encountered, as he raced all over the metro area, tape recorder and microphone at the ready, cornering anyone who might be in the news that day.

One of my favorite Aubrey stories involved Billy Graham. The Rev. Graham arrived in Atlanta just as Time magazine published its provocative cover asking the question, “Is God Dead?”

Aubrey stuck his mike in Graham’s face and said, “Dr. Graham, is God dead?”

Graham smiled beatifically and said, “Why, of course not.”

Aubrey followed up: “Dr. Graham, how do you know?”

The world’s best-known preacher put his hand on Aubrey’s shoulder and said, “Because I talked to him this morning.”

Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC News


Join the efforts to save the hemlock tree

As you consider how to celebrate this Earth Day, let me suggest that supporting the efforts to save the hemlock tree may well be the best way.

Many people — particularly hikers of the North Georgia mountains — know of this tree’s elegant beauty, and its uncanny ability to provide deep, dark, refreshing shade, even on the hottest days of the summer.

Sadly, a non-native insect pest known as the hemlock woolly adelgid is now decimating hemlock tree stands throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains, where many Atlantans spend their weekends. Earth Day serves to remind us that while we humans can cause extensive damage to our natural world, we can also work together to repair such harm.

Consider donating to one of our local agencies as they strive to save this tree.

Will Lance, Atlanta


Elimination of funding will damage Georgia

As a resident of Georgia for over five decades, I remember how exciting it was to take school trips to the Atlanta Symphony, the High Museum and children’s theater productions. I’ve been proud of Georgia’s ongoing accomplishments in the arts. But with the vote to eliminate the Georgia Council for the Arts budget for fiscal year 2011, the state’s quality of life continues its downward spiral.

Georgia may now be the only state in the country without an arts agency. We will lose tax money that is reinvested in our state through the National Endowment for the Arts. It was through this funding that such works as “Driving Miss Daisy” found a national audience. We will lose even more jobs in this economic crisis, as well as tax revenue, and further diminish the state’s tourism.

I continue to be alarmed by certain legislators’ ongoing, knee-jerk attempts to use education and the arts as the perpetual go-to cuts of items that are fiscally negligible — but spiritually vital.

Theresa O’Shea, Atlanta