Letters to the editor
Childish board behavior to blame
The article “Secret history: Is the Charlottesville historical society a thing of the past?” [October 25-31] by John Last should have been on the opinion(ated) page as it does not qualify as a news article.
Starting off the article by referring to Steven Meeks as an “amateur historian” immediately reveals that Mr. Last has an ax to grind. Calling someone an amateur who has spent his life researching local history and doing a darned good job of sharing his knowledge with the public is simply a tactic to try to demean the person’s accomplishments.
If Steven is paid to run the ACHS, then he is definitely not an amateur (someone who engages in a pursuit on an unpaid basis). If he isn’t paid, he is still not an amateur as he has written and sold books about local history. The fact is that Steven Meeks has worked as a local-history expert for decades now, which means he IS a professional historian.
As someone who has personally witnessed the shameful and undignified behavior of a board member who commandeered a public meeting to complain about Steven Meeks—preventing the invited speaker from giving his presentation on time and thus causing some audience members to miss part of it—I have to say that childish board members seem more likely to be the cause of ACHS problems than Steven.
And isn’t it equally childish for a UVA prof to make a stink about KKK robes when the historical society had made an agreement with the owner of the robes not to disclose the person’s name? How ridiculous! And why on earth should anyone expect the historical society to comment on the events of August 12?!