1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Ms. Martha
John McCurdy, March 10, 2005


Dear Folks; Now that Martha is no longer a part of our little town, I guess we’ll have to go back to hunting ginseng and trapping for excitement in our lives. I don’t hear the words “Alderson” very often on the television set lately!  

The “big city” TV crews and satellite trucks are a thing of the past, as is the sometimes 5 or 6 car back-ups at the ATM machine at the local City National Bank. One can again go in the local stores without being asked if we would like to be interviewed by the TV gang from Big Jaw, New Jersey.  

The bottom line, after we get all the mileage we can out of the event, is that our little town took it all in strive, just as we took the devastating floods of 85 &  95. Like we took the closing of our local high school to consolidation and like we even took the loss of the State Football Championship Game in 1952! My wife will likely never again see her pretty face on the BBC, but she says she thinks she can stand it.  

The consensus in our town is that the Government didn’t have much to do when they spent over $65,000,000.00, (so I hear), to convict Ms. Stewart of whatever it was they convicted her of.  Frankly, I did not realize it was illegal to lie to the FBI, unless of course, one was under oath!  But then I’m not a lawyer, but it seems a lot of people lie and get away with it! The increase in Overtime costs to the already short-handed prison was probably taken care of by the Fiscal section of the Department of Justice, but the little odds and ends, I’m sure, added up to a sizable chunk of change out of your pocket and mine. The truth of the matter is that Alderson probably profited by Martha’s stay.

The Limousine driver that Martha's mother & sister asked for each week, when they came to visit, (he was a a local lay-leader in the White Sulphur Springs Methodist Church), reported that they always managed to allow him the chance to go to services on Sunday, arranging their time if it were necessary. The local Hospitality House, which as is their particular mission, provides free accommodations to the often poor relatives of the women in prison, received without  having  asked, after a visit and a  Thanksgiving Day  meal by Martha’s mother,  a plethora of badly needed bed linens,  curtains  and bath towels  from the  Martha Stewart Organization with no fanfare, they just  arrived one day,  So you see, while I have laughed and retold with gusto the many Martha Stewart jokes, and I have forwarded on to my friends the many cartoons of Martha in prison. I think we will have to say that she has handled, thus far, the situation with grace and with some semblance of noblesse oblige! She may have gained that grace and understanding of her responsibilities to the less fortunate, the forgotten, the prisoners, both real and those who are only prisoners in their own minds who are always among us. Perhaps we can all learn a little from Ms. Martha.