Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 7, 2007

Winthrop runners are a family

On Sept. 29, the Winthrop University track and cross country teams lost a family member in Matt Kelleher, or "Matt K" as we all knew him. "Family" because friendships between collegiate athletes become like those of siblings. Every afternoon and weekend are spent together. You eat, sleep, shower and bandage each other's injuries.

Coach Paxton's runners run without stopwatches: Our teammates set our pace. Coach taught us a race isn't won by one, but by a team working together. "Talk to each other," Coach would scream at races, "Stick together!" Matt K. was one of Coach Paxton's wonder boys who won two conference cross country titles largely due to their ability to work as a cohesive unit. Matt knew the importance of running with the pack.

Matt taught me spades on an ice chest in the back of a Winthrop bus. He was a people person, who could debate football plays with the guys one minute, then listen sincerely to another teammate complain about her boyfriend. Matt made you feel important and always welcome to the party.

Matt K also was a wonderful son. His family would frequently come to cheer at races; you could see him soften in their presence -- especially his mother's. To eat healthier, Matt would occasionally have me cook for him. He told me he liked my cooking because it reminded him of his mother's.

Coach couldn't have said it better than when he stated that Matt's smile was infectious, because that was what you were usually doing in Matt's presence -- smiling and laughing.

So, as I lace up my running shoes tonight, Matt, I'm going to think of you in laughter and not in tears. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Gabrielle Lee

Lafayette, La.

Motorists should use turn signals

Back in the day, citations (tickets) were issued for not using turn signals (blinkers) or hand signals. I ride a motorcycle. I almost always use hand signals and, when appropriate, directional signals. By nature, when motorists apply their turn signals, they instinctively look in the rearview and/or side mirrors to avoid collisions. Motor vehicles often swerve into my lane without any warning.

How many motorcyclists have been killed or injured after being side-swiped into a ditch or on-coming traffic? Right-of-way violations by automobiles and trucks are a major factor in motorcyclists' deaths and injuries. Mandatory signal use would help warn motorcyclists when a motorist intends to change lanes, cut across traffic or enter the roadway.

The most effective way to reduce two-vehicle motorcycle accidents in South Carolina is to reduce crashes by enforce existing laws. The seatbelt "Click It or Ticket" program has been very successful. The city, state and nation should extend the Click It or Ticket program by replacing the seatbelt usage image with a turn signal usage image. By enforcing existing laws we can reduce accidents, save lives, create awareness and become more responsible motor vehicle operators.

Michael "JicJac" Maloney

Rock Hill

We can't afford to let down our guard

While we were sleeping the "snake head of racism" has arisen.

While we were sleeping, the snake head of racism has slowly moved back into the soul of our country.

While we were sleeping, the laws of the past have allowed our young children to be legally accused and jailed of crimes that did not warrant the time they had to serve.

While we were sleeping, the ropes of hatred have been hung from trees that represent the sweat and blood of all our fathers before us.

While we were sleeping, and thinking that we had overcome, the diversities of discrimination have escaped the past, and have now become a part of our present.

While we were sleeping, our poor and our elders have been overlooked and forgotten. You know the ones, the people who fought long and hard and died to make us free.

While we were sleeping, we have allowed ourselves to believe that we are no longer responsible for each other, and the safety and well being of our community.

While we were sleeping, this great country we all built together, out of blood, sweat and tears, is spinning out of control, and the disease of hate and bitterness has once again implanted itself into the hearts of a new generation that has been sorted out and devoured by an old generation that refuses to change for one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Jena, La., is not the only town that has covered its wound of racism with a Band-aid. This whole country is covered with a Band-aid. And that sore has become infested with the worms of death.

It was a sad day for me, when I realized that nothing has changed and we still look at each other as they, and not us.

That's keeping it real in Rock Hill.

Loretta Robinson

Rock Hill