Enjoyed Bethlehem column

I enjoyed George McNeely’s “A Letter from Bethlehem” [Feb. 20], both for its information and for its fine writing.

The founding Moravians were also dedicated to education, establishing Moravian College in 1742, which still boasts a number of outstanding examples of their distinctive stone architecture. Notable among these is the music building, with its numerous practice rooms sound-proofed by the thick stone walls. 

The Moravians celebrated their faith with music, and the college is part of an annual summer Bach Festival which has been celebrated for more than a century. 

Judith Renyi
Chestnut Hill

Dwyer technician saved their Sunday

On Sunday morning (Feb. 23), we woke up to find that our basement was flooded, and more water was gushing out of a pipe as if it was Noah’s flood. We attempted to turn off a spigot where the water was gushing, but it could not be moved. We eventually did find an emergency handle that we turned, and it stopped the water from filling the basement any more. But there was no hot or cold water coming from anywhere, so we could not wash our hands, take a shower or bath or use the toilets.

We called two plumbing companies we have used in the past (we have been in our 215-year-old house for 49 years) and left phone messages. After abut 90 minutes or so of waiting for return calls that did not come (and the whole time we were using rags to soak up water in the basement and squeeze it into buckets and carry out water-drenched carpets), we grew even more frustrated and called Dwyer Oil, which we have used for several years for home oil delivery. 

An actual person answered the phone, and after we explained our predicament, he said he would send someone right out. About 40 minutes later, their technician, Zach, arrived with a smile and began to work. After about 30 minutes of diagnosing and working on the problem, he fixed it. Probably had to do with corroded pipes, which we most likely will have to replace soon. Zach was very pleasant, did not seem to mind in the least that he had been called out on a Sunday to deal with an emergency, and obviously knew just what he was doing. Definitely made our day! What more can I say? Dwyer is the greatest!

Jeanette Fairorth
West Mt. Airy


American history is ‘whitewashed’

When I saw that the editors printed my opinion piece (Feb. 20) and called it “The President  Needs to Learn the True American History,” I loved it.

I discovered long ago that most of us have been taught a whitewashed version of our own history. From “Columbus discovered America” (How can you discover it when someone already lived there?) to “The settlers were lovely folks who just wanted religious freedom, who shared a lovely Thanksgiving meal with the natives.” 

How could anyone of genuine faith kill the people who were living free on the land when they arrived?  To “The slaves were better off in America than in the country they were taken from.” I remember a picture in my high school history book. African slaves were picking cotton, and the caption under it said, “Slaves sang as they worked, and that’s how we got Negro Spirituals.” That was my lesson on slavery.

Why wasn’t I taught about the horrible conditions on slave ships, about the inner passage, the islands where slaves were “made,” the breeding  of an endless supply of free labor, the raping of slaves by their masters, the creation of a force to hunt and return runaway slaves? The part of history that says so much about our founding fathers and our nation has been hidden, rewritten, covered up, eliminated. And the whitewashed version was all I got.

Until I grew up, of course, and started educating myself with the help of my African American husband. We must constantly confront lies with the truth, no matter how ugly or shameful it may be. And it would be nice if we could actually learn from it. I like what American author Erik Qualman says: “History repeats itself because nobody listens the first time.”

Delores Paulk
Germantown


...