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Mea culpa, mea culpa - apologies

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

My apologies all around.

Having so often inspired readers to try something or go someplace new, I’ve pledged to myself that I’ll respond to your comments if I can.

But The Citizen’s recent makeover confused me and I didn’t know how to reach you when you’ve posted remarks online anonymously. In fact, I didn’t even know there were comments until somebody told me I had been savaged for my column on public transportation and how badly needed it is, especially to citizens of a certain age.

So herewith, I’ll try to answer questions – and there were many – and address my detractors. Unsigned comments don’t deserve response, so those I’ll do or not, depending on how much they tick me off.

A reader very helpfully explained how to clean the inside of a computer tower, and how not to do it with a vacuum cleaner. He/she seemed to be more concerned about shorting something out with static electricity.

I was careful to recommend using a really miniscule, low-powered vacuuming implement, and my Detail Review Commissioner (a.k.a. Dave) says such a thing has already been invented. Good.

A woman wrote me a single paragraph telling the story of a man who was arrested at the Atlanta Airport trying to take a plane to Tel Aviv. I have no idea why she wrote me that. The column was about peaches and antique airplanes near Hollonville.

Another reader responded via snail mail to the same subject, asking for more complete directions to The Barnstormers’ Grill. She wrote later that the food is excellent.

The winning column for inciting responses was the one about public transportation, with 32 comments. Only one – from Claude Paquin – was signed, so I don’t feel any particular responsibility for bringing the others into the light.

Interestingly, very few were opposed to the transportation options I mentioned. The vast majority were in response to other blog posters, for and against, and not to the article itself. And all those who wrote me, both for and against, were civil. The only uncivil responses were among the comment posters themselves.

Mr. Paquin wrote: “Many of those who express opposition to public transportation see MARTA ‘as it is’ today with all its flaws, rather than as it could be. Having had the opportunity to ride the Washington D.C. subway system, and also the trains and streetcars of Portland, Oregon, I came back with a favorable impression of ‘what could be’ in the Atlanta area. It takes a sense of optimism to accomplish anything.”

Frankie Jane Shinneman thanked me for my “moving description” of life with Parkinson’s disease, and referred me to a Website offering information about PD speech and physical therapy. I haven’t checked it out yet; I’ll share it with you if I find it helpful.

I figured out Kim Miller’s name even though she didn’t sign her comment. She’s had PD for about 10 years and, basing her estimates on her late father’s experience, wonders if she has 10 good years ahead of her.

She wrote: “They say when you share your sadness, it cuts it in half, and when you share your joy, it doubles it…. Know that this stranger’s thoughts and prayers are with you.”

When I wrote about plans to visit daughter Mary in Germany last year, a reader wrote to ask if Mary had become a German citizen.

No, but laws are similar there – you get the equivalent of our “green card” if you have a specialization that a German citizen does not. In Mary’s case, that would be opera pianist and voice coach, and she’s so good at it that directors call her. Her skills and flexibility are valued.

Interestingly, she does pay taxes to both governments, and may vote in local German elections (equivalent to our county, city, school board, judgeships, and local issues).

Another reader thanked me for writing about genealogy and family history. Why anyone else would be interested in my nattering on about families that don’t link with ours, I do not know. I’ve got to get back into the gene pool and try a few laps – I’ve not touched it in years.

A reader made fun of my traffic accident, but another, LOL almost audibly, confessed she has used “That little old lady [on her way to church] thingy, too.” In my case, it was true – honest it was.

And there was a note correcting my faulty geography. I made a couple of egregious errors when chronicling our visit to the Baltic countries. They are Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Bosnia is a Balkan nation.

That’s why newspapers have editors. Where was mine?

Mea culpa, indeed.


Cal, I implore you to ban the following userids immediately:

One or more of the above userids was responsible for the savaging of one of your beloved columnists, Sallie Satterwaithe, on or about 9/10/10. On or about that date, Ms. Satterwaithe, for reasons known only to herself, did something completely out of character and submitted a thought-provoking column for one of the very few times in her tenure as a Citizen columnist (and subsequently leaving Carolyn Cary as your only remaining columnist yet to write a column considered "thought-provoking", but I digress).

Reaction to columnist Satterwaithe's plea for mass transit was swifter than a Marta train and more brutal than a Marta fare hike. While some people agreed with Ms. Satterwaithe's position, others did not. One userid, ginga1414, actually had the temerity to writing, no less!..."Sallie, I have continually enjoyed many of your articles. However, <strong>I have to disagree with your views</strong> on public/mass transportation."

Cal, I don't have to remind you that this sort of overt nastiness and senseless brutality has no place in a genteel website like the Citizen online. You're not a woman (and I absolutely disagree with those shameless wags who whisper "<em>Joyce wears the pants in the Beverly household</em>") but try and put yourself in your columnist Sallie Satterwaithe's position. She's been shamed and stigmatized, battered and brutalized. I seriously doubt that this hothouse flower of white womanhood will be able to show herself in public ever again after such a public savaging! Okay, maybe she can still go to the Braelinn K-mart, but only because nobody who is anybody ever shops there.

We live in a post-9/11 world, Cal, and the need to conform is the new norm. People disagreeing with Sallie Satterwaithe have no business living in our beloved Fayette county...and they certainly don't have any business posting such drivel on this website. I urge you to ban the above malcontents at your earliest convenience, and seriously consider filing criminal charges against ginga1414.

Only then can the healing begin for poor savaged Sallie.

SPQR's picture

seemed kinda thought provoking to me when Ms Cary called Steve Brown a Parvenu.

mudcat's picture

Should be "more brutal than a Marta train and swifter than a Marta fare hike" - have you rode one of those things lately? The smell is indeed brutal and some of the other riders could be described that way as well. But in general I agree with you. Both Sallie and Carolyn are treasures and should not be messed with. However, banning all those bloggers would cut the content on here by over half and double the quality. Obviously this is not about quality, so don't tempt Cal to go highbrow.

BTW, I voted early and did my first write-in - ever. I could not make my finger touch Steve Brown's little square box, so I wrote in Mickey Mouse. Told my neighbor and she's going to as well. I doubt Mickey will win, but if he came in first among the write-ins it would be pretty funny.

Apparently I must have disagreed with a Sallie column somewhere along the way. My name was in the list---although spelled incorrectly.

Now as to banning all those listed who rattle the cages of some cats and disturb some's tea, wine and crumpets parties, and actually totally destroy the bidding of bridge parties, I must disagree---I am there!!

I really do get fed up with restaurant talk, how terrible the help is, and what beer or wine they lacked, and just who the "Chef" is---as if Fayette county actually had a Chef!
Then there are the trips to the red-nek Rivera and how magnificent it is to get pie-eyed drunk and get sun-burned; and then eat at one of those tourist traps for $30 a head.

Then the talk of shopping and who has the best stores for that.

Now as to the smells of the transportation vehicles and those people who ride them, you must have been in a bad neighborhood because I have ridden the Braves shuttle a few times and found none of that!
Are you saying that if we had public transportation here in Fayette County that our vehicles and people would also stink terribly?
What makes that happen to people who usually keep their vehicles clean and don't stink except at certain times?
Maybe we could avoid that!

Now surely you will vote to keep my name on the list!

And what was that somebody said about Cal not wearing any pants in the family?
Anybody know how the crowds were at the local gathering of the faithful recently---advertised a lot in this paper?

Many around here also were critical of the latest Washington, DC gathering and said that the fruit-cake Beck had a much more pleasant gathering at his and it also smelled much better and had less trash!

I think there is another one at the end of October (Washington gathering) now that one I recommend to you!
They will not ask for money.

Forgot to mention that Jon Stewart and company are the hosts for the next Washington get together of idiots.

Don't you people realize that ALL of these "get togethers" are making fun of us for being so thick?

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