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His race is over; his battle’s won

To the editor:

A eulogy to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Robert Woodall, a lifelong friend of mine, is something I realized over the past 12 months that may come sooner than later. His battle with an unknown blood disease ended his life Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Robert’s life ended way too soon, and it’s hard to understand why tragic things like this happen to such a good, big-hearted and loving man. His family, friends and those that worked for him knew of his kindness and his remarkable accomplishments that was his
trademark. He was a simple man who worked hard, played hard and was well aware of how wonderful life was, and it’s incredibly sad that his life ended at age 65.

Robert taught us so much about life; he had no fear of dying. His three sons, Michael, Patrick and Robbie, were the loves of his life. He told me three weeks prior to his death that dying was only the last and final cycle of life, and his only worry was the well being of his sons. It doesn’t matter about me, he said, it’s my sons that matter.

It was a long and successful journey for Robert from his early years of working at Dan River Inc. to having ownership of several dealerships that were recognized throughout Southside Virginia as the most successful and largest in the area. He took pride in that and often said “he was laying the groundwork for his sons, giving them a head start on something that he never had.”

I met Robert through our love for auto racing. He was an avid fan and spent countless time and money on the sport he loved. Dale Earnhardt Sr. was his idol, and his personal relationship with the seven-time Cup champion was something he relished. His interest in racing also trickled down to the lower tiers of NASCAR racing, having sponsored Barry Beggarly’s Winston Racing Series National Championship run for Late Model Stock cars in 1993.

Much has been said about the life of Robert Woodall, and much more will be said. He was a giant of a man, a man of wisdom, a man of integrity and a true friend.

It’s easy to say you’ll miss a friend when he’s gone. But Robert was a positive person and would not want us to be sad, regardless of how hard that might be. He would tell us to cheer up, smile and remember all the great times we shared, and there were plenty of

His memory will live on for all of us to remember. I would rather suffer through his loss than never had his friendship for the past 35 years.

Robert’s race with life is over. I appreciate your friendship, Robert, and I’ll never forget you.

Bill Dyer



Still hope

To the editor:

Last week the city of Martinsville had a job fair in which over 1,000 people showed up. Martinsville badly needed one since it had the highest unemployment rate in the whole state of Virginia. Forty employers were there to look at resumes and interview people.

I was impressed when I heard that almost every person that showed up for the job fair actually got hired for a job of some sort — full or part-time. I understand people were crying tears of joy since many had not had a job in so long. What a nice story. It shows there is still hope out there for those who are unemployed. Don’t give up.

Paul DuPont



An awesome choice

To the editor:

My name is Rick Hess, and I am retired from law enforcement in South Boston.

The first time I saw Tracy Martin Quackenbush in action in court in 1999, I knew she was going to be a great attorney. As a matter of fact, I walked up to her the first time I saw her in action and told her that one day soon she would be an attorney very much in demand.  In her very humble way she smiled and protested politely.

Since then my opinion has been proven true and Tracy has come full circle as one of the premier and most sought after attorneys in Halifax County.

When a defense attorney fights strongly for his or her clients, it raises the bar for the standards of defense. Conversely, this raises the level of investigation and prosecution on the law enforcement side of the case. A great defense lawyer helps to make great police officers and prosecutors.

Tracy is a great attorney.

 I am not much on politics, but I do have political opinions. I can only speak on what I know. I know Tracy Quackenbush Martin on a professional and personal level. Tracy has helped law enforcement by being a great defense lawyer. Tracy has helped the community through service and volunteer opportunities.

I know Tracy to be a genuine person who cares about Halifax and the people within it. Tracy is a personal friend who I know I can count on to be there for me. 

Most importantly, Tracy lives her faith every day openly. Her professional qualifications as well as her personal convictions make her the choice in Halifax to lead the fight against crime. If Tracy fights as hard as a prosecutor as she did as a defense attorney, and I know she will, criminals will be moving to other counties.

Tracy is a great trial attorney dedicated to the citizens of Halifax County. Tracy is genuine person with empathy for the victims of crime, a sense of fairness in all things, and always a smile on her face. Tracy is an awesome choice for this position.

Rick Hess

South Boston Police Department retired


In response to ‘Too many school fundraisers’  

To the editor:

First let me begin by saying that I have four children who have all passed through Cluster Springs Elementary School and have graduated and moved on. 

Yes there are many, many fundraisers every year given by every school, and sometimes it seems overbearing at times especially when you have four kids doing these fundraisers at the same time, but somehow we managed to make it through. 

However, I know for a fact that no child is required to participate in any fundraisers, so that is why there are rewards for those who do participate and achieve the goals laid out. 

I do however completely disagree with you that every kid should be able to receive an award for doing nothing. Why should other kids have to burden the responsibility of ensuring a reward for someone who doesn’t help? Isn’t that one major problem with our economy today? 

Your entire spiel about it is not fair is a problem where everyone believes they should have the same regardless of whether it is deserved or not. This would be the same as saying everyone who works at McDonalds should receive the same pay as the doctor at the hospital.

Secondly, all schools have a budget that never has enough to pay for the essentials much less any extracurricular activities that these schools have. 

And if you believe that any school receives enough tax dollars in this county to pay for everything for any child, then I encourage you to sit down and talk to any one of the hundreds of teachers who are teaching in this county, because I know they are underpaid and abused. 

Another question, but this time using your theory, should the teachers at this same school be sending you a bill for all of the paper, pencils and so many more items they have to purchase for their classrooms because the school budget doesn’t have enough money for these items? 

How would you feel about a teacher who spends $200 a year sending you a bill for part of those fees? 

I would also like to give you a little piece of advice, if you think these prices are high, just wait until they go on to high school or worse, college, and then watch how the bills come in.

Sharon Hereford stated these things appalled her, but her letter appalled me. The fact that someone could write an article criticizing a school system for holding their kids and parents accountable and rewarding these kids for hard work shows exactly the type of people who are tearing the economy down. 

Finally, in my job I constantly hear people talk about equality and everyone being treated the same. Well from Sharon’s letter it seems that the rules, guidelines and rewards are all the same for everyone, and as long as you accomplish the goal, then you will receive the reward. 

And the writer criticizes the PTO, but unless things have changed, it is open to all parents who want to be involved. So before you criticize, actually join them and find out why the money is needed and what it is spent on. 

A college professor of mine had a line that he always told his students at the end of every year, and I quote, “If everyone receives the same reward for their efforts as those who do nothing, then soon there will be no one doing anything.”

Tony Conner

South Boston 


‘Live vegan’

To the editor:

Looking through my calendar of national observances, it appears that October is turning into “food month,” beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Day for Farm Animals on Oct. 1 and 2, continuing with National School Lunch Week on Oct. 14-18 and World Food Day on Oct. 16, and culminating with Food Day on Oct. 24.

World Day for Farm Animals Day (www.WFAD.org), on Oct. 2, is perhaps the most dramatic of these. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses and memorializes the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food. 

Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious. 

Moreover, a recent Harvard study of more than 120,000 people confirmed once again that meat consumption raises mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 

Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than all other human activities. 

A 2011 United Nations report recommends eating less meat to reduce greenhouse gases.

The good news is that our meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually.

Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.


Garry Veitzmann