Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, Dec. 8, 2014

Hamrick will be missed

In Raymond Hamrick, Macon has lost perhaps its best known musician of the 20th century. Although primarily known in Macon as a watchmaker, having owned Andersen’s Jewelers for many years, he was known internationally as the leading composer in the early American Sacred Harp shape-note singing tradition.

In spite of its name, Sacred Harp has nothing to do with the musical instrument by that name. “Harp” was used many times in titles of music books published in early America for teaching music in singing schools. In 1844, “The Sacred Harp” was published in Hamilton, Harris County (near Callaway Gardens) by two singing school teachers, B.F. White and E.J. King. King died shortly after its publication, but White lived and published several editions and became the most popular Georgia shape-note tunebook. Indeed, “The Sacred Harp” since the most recent edition in 1991 has spread to other countries, including Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and Australia. There are eight pieces of music in the 1991 edition by Macon’s own Raymond Hamrick, and they are being sung with much appreciation by singers around the world.

At his memorial service at Hart’s Funeral Home at the Copula, those eight pieces were supplemented by Raymond Hamrick’s pieces from his recent tunebook consisting exclusively of his music composed when he was in his 90s, the Georgian Harmony (2010, 2012), was sung by singers from the Sacred Harp tradition. Macon can rightly take pride in being the hometown of this composer whose music is known far beyond its borders.

-- Harry Eskew


A looter’s taste

I’m pulling for the real victims in Ferguson, Missouri, the good and decent folks who peacefully live and try to work there. I wish they would hunt down the looters and arsonists, gather up all their stuff and burn it in the street. Then, beat the dickens out of every one of them. Next, steal their newly looted Nikes, and make them walk out of town barefoot.

On a related note: It is reliably reported that in all the chaos, not a single pair of work boots was looted.

-- John Brogden

Warner Robins


Why do we continue condoning and justifying stupidity? It is very unfortunate that the 12-year-old boy recently killed for brandishing a weapon in a threatening fashion died unnecessarily. The fact that the incident reported by a bystander indicated that the gun was probably fake, there is no clear evidence supporting such an assertion. Accordingly, the apparent assumption by the cops regarding the gun was reasonable and deadly force justifiable in such instance. Many 12-year-old boys are on record shooting and killing others. What made this case any different?

This incident only serves to heighten the prevailing tension across the country as a result of the Michael Brown case, a case I find disturbing and not deserving the attention it is receiving. I would be less than honest if I expressed sympathy for Michael Brown. Of course, the parents of this young man have my deepest sympathy. It is my fervent belief that the blood of Michael Brown, found at the officer’s vehicle, suggests an altercation more than likely initiated by Brown, who presumably attempted to strong-arm the officer as he is seen doing to a merchant earlier on video. Where is the outcry for justice on behalf of the merchant?

We are a nation of laws, and we are bound to adhere and respect such laws. The outcry for justice in this case to some folks meant a “finding of probable cause.” Nothing short of such declaration would’ve been acceptable to them under any circumstances. It is regrettable that the good folks of Ferguson allowed outsiders to come in and exploit their peaceful protest by introducing violence. This will never be acceptable anywhere in America, and it’s time for concerned citizens to distance themselves from these opportunistic agitators that enter communities for one purpose -- to exploit racial tension.

-- John Haugabrook

Warner Robins

Seeking peace

In the midst of such turmoil surrounding the Ferguson, Missouri, encounter of Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson and examining deep and personal reasons for accepting and/or rejecting the various testimonies, I am truly thankful for a relationship with a God through Christ Jesus, who leads me to believe that nothing can happen without his knowledge and approval.

I often am forced to seek the “face” of God when challenged on a daily basis. Michael Brown’s father saying that he wanted his son’s death to have meaning moved my heart to seek peace from the only wise God, with ultimate power and authority. As the mother of a son and a godmother of several males, I had to seek God’s face.

It is because of who I am and the struggles of any person who is in a position of disadvantage at any given time, that the word reigns supreme. I believe that, possibly, Brown, in his final moments, was not yielding to another human by raising his hands and sensing the fatality, but raised his hands to the only one who could make a difference.

The words of a hymn gave me peace and solace: “Father, I stretch my hands to thee, no other help I know...” These words brought many of us through. I know what prayer can do. To others who are struggling, prayerfully read and receive the words recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

-- Myldred P. Hill


Hand it over

The recent intervention by our lustrous president in reducing the firepower of the law enforcement nationwide comes as welcome news. I personally thank him for affording us the opportunity to categorize criminal activity to bobby policing standards.

All gangs and gang activity including recruiting be labeled as terrorist action against the citizens of the United States and become the sole responsibility of the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce, court and incarcerate as per federal law.

I strongly recommend that all counties in Middle Georgia push and pass ordinances for the above recommendations and be prepared to file reckless endangerment charges against all elected officials for failure to uphold their oaths of office.

-- Daniel E. Lee