Stepheny With Things to Talk About After ‘A Mount Rushmore 4th of July’

For me, these last days have been like a roller coaster ride from long ago Riverview in Chicago. Roller coasters are not for me. I looked forward to the Mount Rushmore celebrations, hoped for and received a patriotic fix.  One of my favorite parts of the evening were the brief stories of Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Lincoln.  A few tears leaked while hearing their inspiring stories, knowing the country they helped build is under attack.  Mobs of indoctrinated people empowered by destruction and mayhem, have been left to run free and out of control.

Recharged with hope by a show of strength and determination from the program, I returned to thoughts of Main Street Rocky Mount determined to kick some sand on the beach, or holler from my Main Street Bench, pleading for a return to law and order.  I was determined to help figure out how to put our city back on a sensible path to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We  begin by examining our reality.

IF WE KEEP DOING WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE,                                                        WE WILL GET WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE

What a dilemma we are in. I am in! I have a friend who has my best interests at heart, who tells me to strive to be the Henry Kissinger of Rocky Mount, rise above the fray, stay out of politics, another words, Live on Higher Ground. I don’t want to disappoint these expectations, but, but, but…again! in the middle of a budget meeting, a vote passes ignoring the three public meetings who said “Leave the Monument Alone.” Public meetings for show and then do what you want to do anyway. Once again we got what we already have.

Manley Photographs has captured the remarkable dismantling of the monument. ‘Forever Gratitude’ for the images that tell a wordless story. I leave you with one to meditate over. What CAN we do when  “Our Nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.” Rocky Mount with beautiful, God-fearing, people, asking so little…to live a safe life where education, medical support, reasonable taxes are available. The right to love and be loved, to sit on the porch relishing a cool evening, to listen as the bird song quiets down. I think of  two teenagers having kiss on the porch swing, the voices of mothers calling their children home, Dads putting down their papers as the light fads. There is no difference among us when it comes to these things. In our minds, kneeling now on a level piece of ground with cement crushed to powder, it is a blank slate. In your spheres of influence, won’t you reason together how we can stop doing what keeps getting us the same results.

 

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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6 Responses to Stepheny With Things to Talk About After ‘A Mount Rushmore 4th of July’

  1. Rodd says:

    The context of much of the dialog surrounding the removal of monuments, the protesting, the vandalism, the theft, the disrespect of law enforcement and the violence perpetuated by the demonstrators revolves around ignorance of basic facts and a LACK of knowledge of history.

    Ask this–If one is to accept that the rantings of protesters is valid then where will it lead us too?

    What if we remove all the monuments of MLK, what if we paint over all the MLK street signs, what if we paint streets named MLK with White Lives Matter or Men’s Lives Matter or Women’s Lives Matter or Asians’ Lives Matter or Children’s Lives Matter?

    The point being one person, or a large crowd cannot erase history! And all lives matter.

    And one more point there are no monuments to the Nazis because their leader was evil and killed millions of people—specifically Jewish people. The thousands of monuments for those lost exist to remind us that the dissemination of propaganda through the media can and was used to cause mass demonstrations against Jewish people and others who a FACATION of society deemed inappropriate. A chilling reminder of just how EASILY the media and those seeking power can manipulate society at large to riot, hate and kill.

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  2. Randy Adcox says:

    Thank you Stephany for once again putting into words, what so many of us are feeling in our hearts. Your message here reminded me of the old adage, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” So many of the problems our fare city is facing today, can be directly traced to those who have supported, and who continue to support, the failed policies of certain members of our city council. If we truly want to change the direction of this city, we need to start with those in positions of leadership; those who have so miserably failed to *serve* those who elected them to office. The poorest and most economically depressed wards in this city, are represented by career politicians who’ve “talked a good talk”, but failed to deliver on two decades worth of broken promises. When the voters of those wards finally begin to see that they’re NOT being adequately “served” by their elected leaders, perhaps THEN they’ll vote those leaders AND their failed policies, out of office. Until then however, it’s likely we’re in for “more of the same”.

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  3. Monika Fleming says:

    Stephanie, Jackson is not on Mt Rushmore but Thomas Jefferson is. Did you mean to say Jefferson or was the story you heard about Andrew Jackson?

    On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 7:44 PM Main Street Rocky Mount wrote:

    > Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin posted: “For me, these last days have been like > a roller coaster ride from long ago Riverview in Chicago. Roller coasters > are not for me. I looked forward to the Mount Rushmore celebrations, hoped > for and received a patriotic fix. One of my favorite parts of the ” >

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  4. Bruce Sharer says:

    My ancestors come from Tennessee (four generations back) and Scotland (two generations back). I view these monuments as the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of our black citizens. I realize that people wish to honor their ancestors from that era, but for example you find no statues in Germany honor the Nazis heroes. You do find memorials in German cities remember local citizens who died in war, mostly from WWI. It is sad to realize the wasted youth of our state during the civil war. A war perpetrated by leaders who violated their oath of allegiance to the country, some who violated their military oath of office. All to maintain the way of life for a few right plantation owners. Our state was the last to secede. Many leaders in the state fought to remain, but were pressured to fall in line. North Carolina lost more soldiers during the Civil War than any other state. It is a sad legacy.

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  5. Tom Betts says:

    You are our salvation. You are sensible, steady, and stable. Please keep providing us a regular dose of your common sense!

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