MIXED MEMORIESEditor: "Keepsakes of the Heart" [Dec. 6...

LETTERS

February 07, 1993

MIXED MEMORIES

Editor: "Keepsakes of the Heart" [Dec. 6] was so sad, so bitter. Ms. Ehrlich must be a very strong woman to confront a memory so full of sorrow and prejudice.

Like many others, I have returned with sweet anticipation to scenes of my childhood. I prefer to walk in the past that held magic and friendship but I do understand [Ms. Ehrlich's] having to go home again.

Rae Miller Heneson

Baltimore

Editor: I have just read and then re-read [the article] by Arlene Ehrlich in the Sun Magazine dated Dec. 6.

The lady has not "half forgotten" a time and place. Her description of Worcester County in the 1950s bears no resemblance to the Worcester County that I knew far more intimately than she would ever know it. My late husband, Dr. Paul Cohen, was a country doctor . . . and I worked with him from 1945 to his death in 1965.

We knew all the roads and back roads very well; they were at least adequate.

I was also surprised she saw as many tobacco fields. We don't grow tobacco in Worcester County. I think she perhaps confused soybeans with tobacco.

I also wondered where she saw families living in chicken houses -- certainly not in Worcester County.

I can also promise you that any dilapidated chicken houses Ms. Ehrlich saw were not in production, for no poultry company would consider putting baby chicks in a house that was not clean, warm, well ventilated, and with automatic water troughs conveniently situated throughout the houses.

I could continue to disagree with Ms. Ehrlich item by item, but it would take too long. I do agree with her about one of her observations. Miss Julia Robertson is a lovely lady and was one ** of Dr. Cohen's favorite patients.

Mabel J. Cohen

Annapolis

Editor: I read the Dec. 6 cover story by Arlene Ehrlich in the Sun Magazine . . . with a sense of sadness. It must be terrible to be haunted by such an unpleasant perception of reality. I am just a few years older than Ms. Ehrlich and grew up in Snow Hill during the same period that she lived in Pocomoke, 13 miles away. My memory of Worcester County is quite different from hers. In fact, I loved Snow Hill enough that after more than 30 years spent mostly in Baltimore, I returned home in 1990.

I do hope that [Ms. Ehrlich] has been able to put those bad memories behind her. Maybe one day she will be able to visit Worcester County again and get to know it and the people a bit better.

Albert P. Cohen

Snow Hill

Editor: With respect to the article in your Dec. 6 Sun Magazine by Arlene Ehrlich, I am enclosing [a portion of] the rebuttal I

wrote in my weekly column for the Salisbury Daily Times, Dec. 9, 1992.

To say that the article enraged many of my fellow Shoremen is to greatly understate the matter.

Here is the excerpt from the column, "Pocomoke Scene":

Even granting that Arlene was a "lonely only" child and Jewish in a predominantly Christian community, and that racial prejudice was probably at its zenith here at that time, her bitter memories are so at odds with my own recollections that they must be refuted.

Like the Ehrlichs, we came here from a metropolitan area, in our case, Washington, D.C. They came in 1953, we arrived four years later.

True, there were adjustments to be made: smaller living quarters, far less convenient shopping, far fewer cultural opportunities. We, too, were appalled at the conditions endured by migrant laborers but not more than we had been by conditions in the shadow of the Capitol in Southwest Washington. At least here, time has brought change.

We, too, were met with the "Been Here" as against the "Come Here" mentality but we took it with good humor and were rewarded with typical warmhearted Eastern Shore hospitality.

We do agree on one thing, and that is the delightful Miss Julia Robertson, who was one of Arlene's early teachers and with whom she recalls spending many happy hours. You're right on the mark with that memory, Arlene, but the rest is well-written hogwash.

Isabelle K. Leach

Pocomoke City

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