An Open Letter & Open Report / WLOS Channel 13 ABC
February 11, 2020
WLOS Channel 13 ABC
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, I would don the uniform of the Southern soldier and post his colors at the entrance of WLOS Channel 13 in Biltmore Park, in hopes that they would respond to my Black History Month charge to highlight the Black Confederate in the armed services of the Confederacy. And, not to forget those trained cadre of black folks who made the implements of war, provided the food stuffs for General Lee’s beleaguered army and went off to war with a man that he not only called master, but also family and friend.
The first to greet me would be a young lady exiting the building, and who promised that she would let the powers to be know about my presence.
No sooner that she had entered the building then would the Vice President/General Manager, the Honorable Joe Fishleigh, come up to where I stood with the colors posted at his entrance. We would exchange pleasantries, and he would take my card and promise to alert the newsroom of my charge for the day. A short time later, he would inform me that the news staff had a large agenda set for the day, but would contact me.
I decided not to waste the day, and marched up Technology Drive to the intersection of the Parkway. A short time later, one of my babies, now full grown, and dressed in a security uniform, came to where I stood. And, with teary eyes, began apologizing immediately…… “Mr. HK, I love you, and what you do for our homeland. But today, I was chosen to come and tell you that the Secretary of Biltmore Park asked that you leave. She told me to tell you that Biltmore Park was privately owned, and that the owners want you gone.” I told the baby boy that I was standing in the public easement, and had no intent on leaving. She figured that, was his reply, and said that she was going to call the police. “I just wanted to warn you, Sir.”
Shortly thereafter as I returned the waves, salutes and messages of thanks from those passing by, I would find myself surrounded by several police officers that would grow in numbers as this debacle unfolded. “Mr. Edgerton,” one would say, “we are trying to determine just where you are, and legally where you can be around here. And, believe me it’s complicated. You are standing in the public easement. However, this lady claims that Biltmore Parks owns all this side of the street. Our computer shows that across the street just past those trees,” he said pointing, “is public property, and we know that you can stand there.”
About that time, up Technology Drive, came the Honorable Joe Fishleigh. “Officers,” he would shout, “HK is a good guy and is causing no problems by his presence here. And, if being on this corner is a problem for him, then he can come back and stand with his flag and sign in front of our building where he had been standing for most of this morning.”
The Officer said, “No sir, he’s going to be just fine. We are trying to work out some logistics for him.” I told Mr. Fishleigh that I loved him, and thanks for looking out for me.
With all those flashing lights, and the presence of some many police officers, I was getting more attention than my flag and I could have hoped for on that corner. However, that secretary lady was abreast of our every moment, and was stepping up her brow beating of those mighty fine officers to dispose of my presence.
I finally told them that I had been there long enough, and just decided to go on home, but that on another day that I would return and hoped that they could figure out the first amendment issue now being raised because of public easement on private property.
And, to the sounds of car horns blaring, the Rebel Yell, and my name shouted out, I would bid those honorable officers adieu, and to have a great day in Dixie. God bless you!
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage Florida
Recipient, National Sons of Confederate Veterans, H.L. Hunley Award
Honorary Life Member, Zebulon Vance Camp 15, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Forrest Orphan Home Camp 1744, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Longstreet Zollicoffer Camp 87, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose
Recipient, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Medal
Confederate Legion, Judah P. Benjamin Camp 2210, Sons of Confederate Veterans
President, Southern Heritage 411