I was raised in Bethesda and went to college in D.C. When I graduated in 1973 I “moved” to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to live with friends on a farm in Accomack County. I didn’t stay long as I was unable to find work to establish a career. Fast forwarding many years, I retired to the Maryland’s Eastern Shore five years ago and live in the home my wife and I bought 25 years ago.
During the time I’ve been associated with the Eastern Shore I’ve known long-time residents to be strong willed. I’ve also known many of them to be quiet. If you don’t take the time to care – or if you’re not a family member, close neighbor or family friend you might not know the opinions of many in your own community. This dynamic impacts community discussions such as Talbot Boys statue. There are many local voices, black and white, not being heard because it’s not their way to openly engage in a public dialogue, particularly a contentious one. Nevertheless, these neighbors have opinions and beliefs, often deeply held.
There is a diehard group for the cause of removing the statue. You’ve read about them in The Spy and you may have seen or heard them in the Court Yard in Easton. There seems to be less of a vocal group speaking out for the monument to stay, but there are certainly letters to the editor and other avenues where these feelings have been expressed. If any member of the Talbot County Board is considering how to cast his or her vote on this debate by counting heads they are missing a strong quiet undercurrent — an undertow, even — that might sweep them out of office come election time.
As much as to any individual, I hope this message reaches the three-fifths of the Talbot County Board having regularly voted to let the statue stay. This is not a liberal vs. conservative argument, though it may be tempting. It’s a right vs. wrong argument about an issue whose time has come to be resolved… voices raised or quiet, the majority opinion is: Move the statue.
John C. Scott