Goodlier than the land that Moses climbed lone Nebo's Mount to see, it’s Monday Mail.
Today’s opening is from the song “Alabama” by Julia S. Tutwiler, which apparently is still the official state song of Alabama. Unless the official song has been changed to “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Speaking of Alabama, I hear this is the last day to register to vote in that ever-so-exciting Dec. 12 special U.S. Senate election between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.
Never miss a local story.
So be sure to sign up before the deadline passes, because if you don’t go vote that day, what will you do? Hang out at the mall?
Hope and change
In the in-box today are some responses to a Friday story about Riana Johnson, who was brutally abused as a foster child and later wound up pregnant and homeless with a 3-year-old. She is now at the Valley Rescue Mission’s Damascus Way shelter, and looking forward to a better life.
Here’s an email:
Enjoyed your story, in today’s Charlotte Observer: Mom’s reasons to be thankful.
If you are any relation to Mike Chitwood, would you tell me how to contact him?
Thanks! I don’t know Mike Chitwood, so I don’t know whether I’m related to him or not.
Off the phone
Here’s a call:
This is Anne Stanbro. I just got through reading your story about the abused mother, and I want to tell you that although it was sad, it was wonderful. And when I go to bed tonight, I’m going to pray that Riana and her two kids will find their forever home, and she won’t ever have to be abused again. Like I said, Tim, it was a wonderful story, sad like I told you, but I’m so happy her life seems to have finally turned around, and I pray that God will walk daily by her side every day. Thank you for this story. It brought back memories, but at the same time, it made me find hope for this mother and her two children, and I know that God will hear my prayer. Thank you again. ... Have a wonderful weekend, when you get this message. I always enjoy the things you write. Bye bye.
Thanks for calling. But you don’t have to thank me. You could thank Mitzi Oxford at Valley Rescue, who found that Thanksgiving story for me, and Riana for telling it.
Off the phone again
Here’s a voice-mail from someone who calls occasionally to criticize redundantly. This apparently is in reference to a report on convicted “Stocking Strangler” Carlton Gary’s Georgia Supreme Court appeal, which could be his last:
In your story about Carlton Gary, you consistently leave out one of the women that were killed, murdered, strangled to death by Carlton Gary in Syracuse, New York, and you know her name was Marion Fisher. She was the youngest one. A 40-year-old schoolteacher. He strangled, murdered her, raped her, left her body on the side of a golf course in Syracuse, New York, in 1975, and later on his DNA matched up in a database, the national database. Syracuse, New York, police interviewed Carlton Gary in his prison cell in Georgia. Have you totally forgotten about Marion Fisher, a woman that Carlton Gary murdered in Syracuse, New York, that was proven by DNA? And it was a conclusive DNA test. How come you don’t put that in your paper? What’s the matter with you?
Do you enjoy saying “Syracuse, New York”?
I wrote the Fisher DNA story when it broke in 2007.
The Fisher murder is noted in the online timeline accompanying Gary updates, but it is not in evidence in Gary’s appeal, so the state Supreme Court will not consider it.