Letter – Don’t mess up a good thing

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Let me understand this. If we taxpayers pony up $6 million, the Luter family will move our “Gold Standard” farmers market from its present award-winning location onto their own personal property outside the acclaimed tourist-attracting Historic District?

What gives here? Is it maybe that they deeply regret handing over their once proud and world-famous ham operation to our Chinese Communist enemies? Whoops, I meant “adversaries,” as our governor has branded them.

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“Philanthropy” means giving of your own success and wealth back to your community without demanding something from them. 

The Times recently reported, “The Smithfield Farmers Market is the first of hundreds across the state to literally achieve the gold standard under a new certification process the Virginia Farmers Market Association launched last year… (it) is the first Virginia Certified Farmers Market, especially at the gold level … the highest-level gold standard.”

OK, so our farmers market is certified one of the best in the commonwealth and the Luters want the town to pay to change it. Really?

Sort of reminds me of that infamous 1985 “New Coke” decision to “improve” their most famous product, a worldwide success for 100 years. We all know how that ended up! Are the Luters proposing another Coke-style “improvement” for Smithfield?

If they think it’s such a great idea, why don’t they just pay for it themselves like real philanthropists do? 

But maybe I’ve got all this backward and the Luter Family is just going about their good deeds in a most unenlightened and pigheaded (what a great pun!) way.

Joe Luter IV, please tell me I’m wrong. 


Albert P. Burckard Jr.