Letters to the Editor

Wintroub says last week's letter from Road Superintendent doesn't cut it

Dear Editor:

Dear Editor:

I have a suggestion for Road Superintendent Darrell Reece, government agents in general, and customer service representatives. Reece, in The Tomahawk of 02/25/15, apologized for his department’s delays in maintaining the county roads during the previous week’s “inclement

weather”. He explained that mechanical “issues” with trucks caused the delays.

My suggestion -- request, really -- is that people quit apologizing for their or their organizations’ failures. Instead, I’d like them to spell out what they’re doing to prevent recurrences of those failures and, when appropriate, to spell out what they’re doing to rectify the results of those failures.

Mountain Electric apologizes for power outages. CenturyLink apologizes for not informing customers that a monthly fee applies to a change being made. Dish apologizes. Veterans Affairs apologizes. NBC news apologizes.

They all remind me of an employee in my department long ago. She was constantly screwing up and constantly apologizing. I kept explaining to her that apologizing does NOT make it okay to do it again.

I, for one, don’t care about your apology. I want to know what you’ve done to fix the problem and what preventive action(s) you’ve taken so it doesn’t happen again.

Terry Wintroub
Mountain City

Caiden appreciates last week's article about how to get published

Dear Editor:

Dear Editor:


I found it refreshing to see that your paper recognizes that there are certain people who love to write, and would love to have people read what they wrote. How do you go about writing a book, then how do you find a publisher. Why would anyone consider me, as a source to get the very best information to your readers, who want to be read.

 I am an internationally published author, currently listing eleven books on amazon.com, and Kindle. My books are selling, and I have decided to greatly expand my old website, to include my books, art, and greeting cards. After 15 years of painting, and 9 years of writing, I am comfortable that there is enough product now available for new customers, to invest in this venture.

 Just one word! “CreateSpace.com.”

 This is a division of amazon.com/books, that will publish your work. No rejection letters, no high mailing costs, no charges for what work you can do, without their help. Of course, very few new writers have any idea of how much time, money, and effort goes into publishing your own work. CreateSpace has all the services needed for your book creation, and they have fairly priced these services, should you have no other resources to submit correct manuscript copy, and format, or the graphic artist to do the art graphics on the outside cover. All work is paperback. This reduces your customer cost, to buy the book, by about 25%.

 The scammers offer to get your work ready to print, and submit to CreateSpace. For a fee, that keeps increasing when these rogue publishers advise of additional fees, to do the work that you request. To do the work that you can do yourself, and maintain the integrity of your copyright.

 Ignore them. Go direct to CreateSpace.com. There will be other similar sounding posts on a Google.com search, that will try to get you to hit their site. They will charge you a fee, for doing what you can do for free.

 So always read the e-mail address of the web party listing such a service. You don’t need them, and you do not want to get into paying them hundreds of dollars, then they tell you this, or that needs to be done! Send more money.

 The library has some of my books on the shelf. Linda Icenhour, the head librarian, knows me, as I know her, on a professional level. Should you have any questions that CreateSpace has not walked you through. let her know you would like to talk to me, and I will respond.

 I am currently writing another “Touched” series book, plus creating the new website, so have patience, as to when I will be able to get back to you.

 It is possible that, if there is enough interest, I can reserve the conference room at the library, and we can hold a free seminar, as to what I can share with those interested, in how to write your book, what to do, and what not to do! Let the librarian know, and Linda can advise me.

 I am very involved right now with my twelve book, the website marketing, and new subject research, so the meeting would have to take place in the evening.

 Wishing everyone success! That one day you will be able to say “I write books.”


Buddy Vaiden
Mountain City, TN

Norm Tester was one of the county's last "real American heroes"

Dear Editor:

Editor’s Note: This letter is a rerun from last week’s edition due to font formatting issues.

Dear Editor:

Norm Tester, a native of Johnson County, left us last week. Most knew Norm as a good Christian, family man. He and his wife, Sherry, were leaders in their church, civic and social activities. Fewer of you probably knew that he was awarded one of the highest awards for valor that the military could award, second only to The Congressional Medal Of Honor. He didn’t broadcast it, and even when it was related in a book written by his commanding officer, fictitious names were used. The record of the awarding and The Silver Star itself cannot be obscured. I had the honor of interviewing Norm 10 or 12 years ago when we were interviewing veterans for the Local Veterans Video Museum, hosted in the local library in Mountain City, TN. I want to tell the story as Norm told me.

After tours in Germany with the U S Army, Norm was assigned to Viet Nam, leaving his wife and children behind. Norm, a Sergeant was assigned to work with and guard a small village in South Viet Nam. Norm especially liked working with the children and helped the villagers in every way he could. The few skirmishes they had with the enemy were with small groups, until one night a large body of the Viet Kong came across the river and moved on the small village garrison. Norm and his small group tried to defend the village by meeting the Viet Kong on a hill between the village and the river. The Viet Kong were moving up on them and it was obvious they were highly outnumbered. Pinned down on the hill, in total darkness, Norm called for air support. In the darkness, the pilots asked them for the location to bomb. Lying on the side of the hill in the darkness and knowing that they were going to be killed anyway, Norm told them that he would use his strobe light to guide them, and they bombed and strafed the area. Norm said his last thoughts were of his wife and children because he was going to die. When the bombing and strafing stopped, Norm and his small group were untouched and the enemy assault stopped. The next morning, they found over forty of the enemy dead on the hill surrounding them. Norm was awarded the coveted Silver Star for that and other acts.

God was not through with Norm and allowed him to be in Mountain City with us for approximately half a century. Norm Tester, American hero, was buried this week.

Ken Wiley