Dalkon Shield creator had a positive side of generosity...


November 01, 1998

Dalkon Shield creator had a positive side of generosity, humor

As Hugh Davis' daughter, I would like to add a few personal remarks to the article "Destroyed by his own invention" (Oct. 25) about my father.

Although I was interviewed for five hours, very little of my conversation highlighting father's many, many interests; his generosity; his humor; and his openness found its way into print.

Likewise, I have received calls from friends and colleagues of my father's who were interviewed for hours and were not quoted. I understand that they too had many positive things to say.

Naturally, I am inclined to defend my father. This article focuses on Hugh Davis' shortcomings from one point of view -- almost disregarding his strengths from other points of view.

Similarly, other articles have focused on the Dalkon Shield and its shortcomings -- almost disregarding the strengths and contributions of that device and of my father's other inventions.

The truth is that, as a father, Hugh Davis did his best.

Resenting his own mother for being overly meddlesome, he strove to allow his children to pave their own way. When we wanted boats, we got boats; fishing rods, we got them; guns, horses, pianos, them too.

When it was time to go to college, the money was in the bank -- in our own names. He would say: "The money is there. I suggest you use it for college. If not, that's your business, but there's no more where that came from."

My father was a genius -- my walking encyclopedia. He was interested in everything and fascinated by life. He had a marvelous sense of humor, loved people and could be delightfully charming.

He was also sick. That sickness grew worse as he grew older. People rarely understood how he struggled because he lashed out at them.

Those who did understand were cherished by him and by the rest of our family. I will be eternally grateful to those who stood by my father, and the rest of us, when life was difficult.

This is the story of a man who was brave enough to dream and brave enough to try.

The flip side of genius is, commonly, impatience -- and bipolar or other disorders. His gift did not come free.

I, for one, feel privileged to have had Hugh Davis as part of my life. He was my father and I loved him.

Rikke Davis


Sauerbrey's letter writers don't get a fair chance

Your readers are accustomed to slanted editorial page reporting when it suits your purpose at election time, whether it's through absolving President Clinton of responsibility for his recklessness and lies or conveniently omitting in your endorsement the corruption of your chosen gubernatorial candidate.

But I can never recall your paper making such an obviously blatant attempt to influence the outcome of an election by allowing only one side to be heard for so long from letter writers. These like-minded partisans of yours are given free reign to incorrectly characterize Ellen R. Sauerbrey and foment against her and Republicans at every turn, especially on such easily distorted, issues as gun control, abortion and the environment.

Regarding the environment, for example, how could anyone believe that the Glendening administration has been such a good steward when stream quality throughout the state has continued to decline and raw sewage is discharged into streams from city pipes? Surely, we Republicans can do better across the board, and we would, if given a chance.

Another problem many of your readers have is how assiduously you have ignored newsworthy items favorable to our candidate, such as how the Maryland Classified Employees Association and former Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary James Brady endorsed Ms. Sauerbrey.

Glaring omissions such as these, the Sunny Day Fund controversy and other items unfavorable to Gov. Parris N. Glendening do not instill confidence and diminish your paper greatly.

Dick Fairbanks


The writer is vice chairman of the Baltimore City Republican Party.

Don't let Maryland become Prince George's

I grew up in Prince George's County when Gov. Parris N. Glendening was county executive.

I saw what became of the school system and the county. I remember when Mr. Glendening ran on a record of low crime, quality schools and a budget surplus. But when Wayne Curry took over as county executive, he discovered a massive multimillion-dollar deficit, crime out of control and one of the poorest-quality school systems in the state.

Don't allow what happened to Prince George's County happen to the state.

Jeff Frederick


Pub Date: 11/01/98

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