Letter to the Editor

Article focused on the negative

Sunday, October 15, 2006

To the editor:

As a Bootheel native, I feel compelled to reply to the article about life expectancy in Pemiscot County. My wife and I are from the lower Bootheel, 40 of those years in Pemiscot County. We had a good life and raised two boys there. We made more than the median income and went to college.

I don't dispute the findings in the article. The same could be said of most delta areas where farm labor was once abundant but no longer, because of mechanization. I wish these statistics were better. Perhaps they will improve. However, they will always be below the norm because of circumstances.

My objection is the way you treated the article. It took up almost half the front page in bold print. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to berate this county. This is typical of your paper and most other area news media.

Recently a reporter interviewed a victim of the Caruthersville tornado. She was a black woman with a houseful of kids in a one-bedroom FEMA camping trailer. This is a shameful situation. But couldn't the reporter find at least one good situation to report?

I get a little testy when someone berates my home area. I was born there. So were my parents and grandparents, who lived well into their 80s.

One can prove almost anything with averages. As the saying goes, with one hand in ice water and the other in boiling water, on average one should be comfortable.

TERRY ROLLINS, Cape Girardeau