Letter – Misquoted by critic

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

To my dear friend Ed Hipp: Ed, Ed, Ed, if you must publicly berate me, please, please at least quote me correctly.

Your letter in last week’s Times (“Burckard off base”) quoted me as saying that “the Historical Society should focus on our country’s history,” etc. etc. No, my friend, my published quote was that they should focus on our county’s history, as in Isle of Wight County, of course. That is their stated mission, not bringing in entertainers who have nothing to do with our storied local past. Their recent hosting of Clay Jenkinson as Thomas Jefferson dramatically (get it?) illustrates my point.

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Jenkinson is indeed excellent, even brilliant, when channeling Jefferson. But his, Jenkinson’s, personal politics really stink. Ed, you also wrote, referring to Jenkinson’s love affair (my words) with Fidel Castro, that some of Castro’s “arguments” are “worth considering.” Really? Might it be when this communist dictator was the ONLY national leader who urged Khrushchev to annihilate the United States with a nuclear “first strike”? Read his 1962 “Dear Comrade” letter at  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/jfk-attack/

Or maybe “worth considering” are Fidel’s ideas like world communist domination? Revolutions overthrowing Western democracies? Autocratic and economic socialist equity for all? Equity except, of course, for the communist political elites. 

But back to my correction. Ed, I think you would agree with my original assertion that our local Historical Society should be focusing on our local Isle of Wight County history and maybe leave generalized state and national history to more competent organizations. 


Albert P. Burckard Jr.