FEEDBACK: Currents helps this sleuth better understand the South

To the editor:

00_icon_feedbackI noticed on your Charleston web page that it is your ninth year celebration of your Charleston Currents and you wanted to know what the weekly publication of good news means to me.

My answer may not sit well with Southerners, but I’ll answer it truthfully.  I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., where the Civil War was taught as a history lesson, and yes, I went to Gettysburg and various Virginia battlefield sites to learn the detailed history both from the North and South viewpoints.

However, after moving around the world as a U.S. Army soldier and later civilian, I married my Virginia love of my live.  Things got a little confrontational when I got to know my wife’s family (all from the South), who labeled me as the “Yankee.”  They all (yes all) were irritated that I was a Yankee.  What was a history lesson for me was still an injury wound to them.

I still get email and vocal admonishments about Abraham Lincoln and the scorched earth policies of General Sherman.  We see it up North as history and down South it seems they still have revenge in their blood.  So, I guess I read your Charleston Currents and your father’s Gwinnett Forum to understand the views from Southerners.  From being overseas for 18 years, I seem to be only able to understand other people’s viewpoint by living with them and hearing their values and deep wounds.  That is why I read your column and not just because your Mystery Photo which is why you may think so.

— George Graf, Palmyra, Va. — THE YANKEE who is working to understand the Southern bitterness toward the North.

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