Letter: ‘An apology is due Ben Jones’

An apology is due Ben Jones for having been denied the opportunity to be heard at Thursday’s (June 19) community forum, an opportunity accorded all the others who took the mic to speak for some two and a half hours. Common courtesy and civility does not end just because one disagrees with — or just doesn’t like — what is being said.

The town, the county and every one of us who were there are the lesser because of a few loudmouths at the back of the Theatre who were not told they were out of order. Such a rude and obnoxious interruption of any speaker is not the Rappahannock way and I am heartily sorry, Ben, that it happened to you.

We heard a lot about “love of Rappahannock” and “best friends” at the forum. Ben Jones has a longstanding love for our community he has shown in uninhibited words and emotions. And there have not been better friends to all of us who make our home here than Ben and Alma, who have made a real difference over the years by quietly volunteering their time and talent to make this a better place.

Seeing Ben behind that white beard with a lap full of youngsters at the Christmas singalong made me a believer again, at least for that evening. And, when the Historical Society was struggling a few years back to add on to its offices, Ben, Alma and their Garage Band with Lisa Meadows spent several hours on a summer Sunday afternoon at a fundraiser at Montpelier entertaining more than 400 folks and raising enough money for the society to complete that addition debt free. I expect we all have our own fond memories of Ben at work for us.

Now, Ben has written that it’s over for him and the town. When next you see him, give him a hug or a hearty handshake and try to get him to change his mind.

Ray Gooch

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