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‘Terrible Thanksgiving’

To the editor:

How has it come to this? The one day that was set aside annually for gratitude and thanksgiving has devolved into a feeding frenzy of everything that is considered wrong with the world. Where rampant greed and inconsideration for your fellow man hits the nationwide low point. Where it is not uncommon for people to be trampled and for fights to break out over inconsequential material goods. 

Yes, “Black Friday” has evolved into “Terrible Thanksgiving” over the past few years. 

In days that were, many individuals enjoyed Thanksgiving secondary to its lack of commercialism. It was just a day to enjoy your familial relationships and a time to reflect on the story of a peaceable celebration of multiple races who managed to stave off starvation allowing a love for life and a feeling of brotherhood to exist where it may not have done so before or after. 

So how did this happen? 

It can’t be just explained by money because normal spreadsheets don’t break down into 12-hour increments when Christmas season sales are reported to the board of directors. 

Black Friday is not usually the biggest shopping day of the Christmas season (it usually occurs the week before Christmas but not on a consistent day). I don’t know that there would be less money taken in on Friday than there would be on Thursday if the demented doorbusters were delayed 12 hours.

The real goal that I have in writing is not to have a discussion about commercialism or condemn corporate America. 

The discussion comes up each year about the general populace refusing to go shopping on Thanksgiving so that business are forced to not open, thus allowing the employees who make low wages in many instances to enjoy their holiday. This is nice ethically but in reality only works if everyone is on board. 

The energy surrounding doorbuster sales is too high to expect an appeal to people’s good nature to make a difference on a national scale.   

Unlike most services that have to be opened that operate on skeleton crews, most retail employees are required to be at work and are on occasion threatened with firings if they don’t show up. Some don’t get holiday or overtime pay for their long hours on a holiday. 

I personally would like to see Black Friday sales start on Friday not Thanksgiving. 

If not closed on Thanksgiving then the employers need to pay the employees correctly if they require them to work on that specific holiday. I would appeal to state lawmakers in the next general session to protect these vulnerable employees by requiring retailers to either not start their doorbuster black Friday sales on Thanksgiving or pay their employees three times their normal rate, so that it is at least palatable for the employee to work on that day. 

It would also be nice to have an official statewide earliest start time so that the beginning of Black Friday doesn’t creep to earlier times as businesses try to one up each other, as has been the trend in the last few years. 

Grant Merrill

South Boston


Sharing and caring needed

To the editor:

During this wonderful holiday season, we are all feeling pretty frazzled but still able to snuggle under the blankets and get a good night’s sleep…for this, we are truly thankful.  

But, please take a moment to remember those less fortunate who are suffering the effects of a recent house fire which may have destroyed their warm winter coat or that extra pair of jeans that made for a clean pair and of course that “other pair of shoes.”

Because of those private financial donations given to the American Red Cross… thank you very much… families who experience a house fire losing their clothes, etc. are immediately provided for with those necessities that they have lost.  

Each family member is assisted with a safe and warm shelter, as well as a change of clothes, coat, shoes, a week’s grocery allowance as well as other recovery assistance as caseworkers deem necessary; we also refer each family to the local GoodWill and their local clothing closet.

The Red Cross office in Halifax serves the surrounding counties of Charlotte, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg as well as Halifax County.  

We are hearing reports from our clients that they are unable to find coats that fit, shoes and jeans that fit.  I wanted to appeal to each of you to search your closet for that warm coat that you are just not wearing any longer, shoes that are taking up room in your closet and those jeans that maybe don’t fit you just right after the turkey and stuffing weekend we just had.  

The Goodwill management out of the Danville location, which serves each of the counties that are in this Red Cross territory of seven counties, has graciously agreed that for a Red Cross client with a Red Cross letter of referral in hand, who has lost everything in a recent house fire, their local store will provide some of these necessities.  

So, the Red Cross is requesting you to take these needed items to your local GoodWill location or to your local clothing closet so that others who are in need may make good use of them.

Thanks for sharing and for caring,


Ginger Weaver

Specialist, Disaster & Military Services

American Red Cross

Eastern Virginia Region



2014 wish list

To the editor:

Here is my wish list for 2014.

Americans across the country turn their concerns over to the care of God realizing there is now other way; 

 A break through in our economy with a renaissance of job creation and Americans making an effort to buy products “made in USA;” 

 Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement to solve the insurance problems;

 Putting an end to hunger and homelessness;

 Using alternative types of power on a bigger scale;

  Finding a cure for cancer; and

 Pittsburgh Steelers find a way to make it to the Super Bowl. Wishful thinking. 

Paul DuPont



Once again

To the editor:

Yes, once again former employees of J. P. Stevens Apparel dined and fellowshipped together with this occasion at Roma Restaurant in South Boston on Saturday night, Nov. 17, and there were also a few former employees of Burlington Industries in attendance, which made it a great fellowship of just good down home dedicated, loyal textile workers. 

We gave blessings for our food and thanked God for His everlasting presence around us and not a soul objected to that. Amen.

We were just like any family. We all did not agree some of the time, but we worked together and got the job done with great production quality, safety and on time, and that is one of the reasons why J. P. Stevens Apparel had such a longevity standing not only in our community, but worldwide.

There has been a lot of co-workers of J.P.S.A. to pass on into eternity, and a phone call confirmed the passing of one more this week, Freddie Holt. 

J. P. Stevens was good to us, but just like Burlington, Stevens Plant is just a memory in time that our government realizes now that textile workers were the backbone of the United States of  America. Just look at the economy now.

In closing. I love the Father, the Son, the Holy Sprit. I love my country and the men and women who have and now defend her. I also love family and friends and our government and pray for all.

I’m so sorry and my heart aches for the coworkers who weren’t able to join us on this momentous occasion because a question was asked, and it turned out to be a gut splitting, laughter of emotions for everyone, and no one could find an answer or reply.

God bless you until we meet again, maybe in Hallelujah Square. 

Jim Glass