November 11, 2020
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
On Monday evening, November 9, 2020, alongside the Honorable Attorney, David McCallister, and yourself, we would have supper with Palatka’s County Commissioner, Jeff Rawls, his wife Dawn, and their baby boy Liam. Commissioner Rawls was the lone County Commissioner to voice a vote not to remove the Confederate Cenotaph from the courthouse grounds in downtown Palatka.
With great pleasure, I would spend the greatest part of my time confabulating with their seven-year-old genius son, who enthralled me with tales of his entrepreneurial activities as a Free Range egg merchant, and the history of his chickens, one of which lay green eggs.
On Tuesday afternoon, we would drive to the County Commissioners office building and be greeted by the large crowd gathered both outside and inside the building with what can only be described as something synonymous to heroes welcoming for a conquering Roman General would have received. Almost put me in tears, and I would tell everyone so, and that I felt like singing Dixie; they would right away accommodate me right outside the chamber doors. It was great!
I could not have been made more proud of those wonderful citizens who spoke in support of not moving the Cenotaph, especially so when a Yankee woman brought the house down with her dissertation of support for the Southern people and their memorials to the Confederate armed forces. She would receive a thunderous ovation.
The County Commission Chair made it clear that the County would not fund the removal of the Cenotaph to a proposed location, the so-called “Veterans Park”, a finger of land on the St. Johns River in the flood plain under a bridge.
However, after two resolutions failed to get a second on the proposal, the Chair expressed his determination to settle the matter before the evening was up.
Commissioner Rawls offered up a resolution to move the sidewalk that leads to the entrance of the courthouse so that those who lie about how they are negatively mentally challenged when they pass the Cenotaph and fear that no justice would be served them in the courthouse because of the Cenotaph. Pure poppycock, and I would tell the Commissioners and members of the public that this was a lie, and those who spit it out could not pass a lie detector test to support their claim.
After much arm twisting and introduction of the same failed motion a second time, the Commission accepted what they called a “compromise”; those who wanted the Cenotaph removed had to come up with two hundred thousand dollars in ninety days to do so, or the Cenotaph would remain in place. The money would have to come from the citizens of Putnam County.
Rain from hurricane Eta had begun and, in the rush, forgot to get the eggs that Liam had brought for you, Mr. McCallister, and myself. Please tell him not to sell my eggs! God bless you!
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage – Florida
Honorary Life Member, Augusta Jane Evans Chapter 2640, United Daughters of the Confederacy
Confederate Legion, Judah P. Benjamin Camp 2610, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose
Honorary Life Member, Texas and Kentucky Divisions, Sons of Confederate Veterans
President, Southern Heritage 411