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Love letters from our beloved readers

Dear Editor,

Per your story “Who’s to blame when students find out at the last minute that they won’t be graduating?,” you know (expletive deleted) well who is to blame. It is the students’ fault because they are supposed to be close to being adults and part of being adults is to take responsibility for themselves.

Was the teacher and school administrators supposed to call them at home and tell them “Make sure you take the right courses to graduate”?

Also, what kind of parents let their children get to the final week of school without knowing where they stand vis a vis graduating?


Dear Editor,

You were not doing the students of Craven County any favors when you tried to take up for their negligence. It’s been a long time since I was in high school, or even since my own children were in high school, but I think you have to be 17 or 18 to graduate, right?

That’s old enough to know how to get your ducks in a row so you don’t end up acting surprised days before you’re supposed to graduate and blaming the school administrators.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility, Barry, huh?

Oh, that’s right: you don’t believe in that if you have the chance to blame somebody else.


Dear Editor,

Concerning your story "Who's to blame...":

First, let me thank you for bringing this sad affair to our attention. I think the school administrators in Craven County should be ashamed of themselves. Not only did they let the students down, they let the whole community down. Kids/students at that age are immature and need constant guidance. Teachers and principals should be leaders and positive role models. The ones in Craven County proved they are neither. They should have kept those students updated on their progress every week. What they did prove is they are more concerned with punishing students than helping them, more concerned with imposing discipline than nurturing. In my opinion, this educational fiasco falls at the feet of the school administration.

I enjoy reading "The Saunders Report". Your articles and opinions are always timely and relevant to today's current events. Keep up the good work!"


Dear Editor,

Once again, you are attacking and criticizing conservative Blacks. The story you wrote about Clarence Thomas and his friend, Harlan Crow, was disgusting and obviously came from a jealous mind. So what if Mr. Crow is a billionaire who treats his friend to trips aboard his yacht and jet?

It’s his money and he can pick and choose his friends and how he spends it. I’ll bet if you had a billionaire friend, or a friend period, you would accept trips and gifts from him.


Dear Editor,

We get it. You don't like Republicans. Especially black ones. That picture you printed of Clarence Thomas and his lifelong friend Harlan Crow as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was just beyond the pale and so disrespectful. Respect the office if you don't respect the man.


Dear C.E.,

Which picture - this one?

Dear Editor,

Don’t you think it’s time you and your people got off the Democrat plantation? After hundreds of years, what has it got you? Come on over to the RIGHT side. Clarence Thomas is a real hero for your people.


Dear Editor,

There is no way you could have been as bad in high school as you pretend. I have been reading your columns for 30 years and you talk about how bad you were, but you obviously learned something… Your vocabulary is not one of a student who spent all of his time goofing off, as you would apparently have us believe.

Tell the truth. You were an egghead in school but you’re ashamed to admit it, weren’t you?


Dear W.A.,

“You were an egghead in school but you’re ashamed to admit it, weren’t you?”


Boy, did you miss the boat on that one, W.A. I think what happened is that I often learned things in school despite actively trying not to. I also was blessed to encounter some dedicated teachers who were determined to teach me whether I wanted to be taught or not, teachers like Coach Ron Krall and Mrs. Jeanette Martin. Over the years, I’ve written extensively and, I hope, lovingly, about both them.

For instance, when I became too much of a disruptive force - when I wasn't sleeping, that is - in her 10th grade English class, Mrs. Martin gave me a list of classic books to read, and she allowed me to read them during class, as long as I left the other students alone.

The editor

Dear Editor,

I have written letters to tell you how much I like The Saunders Report many times over the years, but I have yet to see one of my letters printed. Why? Do you only like to print the negative letters or am I the only person who actually likes what you write. If so, should I be worried that I am?


Dear L.H.,

No, you don’t have to be worried that you like The Saunders Report, because you are not the only person who actually likes it. Y’all fans are, I must admit, greatly outnumbered by readers who seem to think our endeavor is full of beans.

Thank you for the kind words you’ve sent in, and I definitely remember a couple of your letters. I don’t know why the letters editor has not printed them, although in his defense, he often seems surprised when someone sends in a compliment. Speaking of compliments, here’s one from the Clarence Thomas/Harlan Crow story: Gotta love your creative and oft humorous perception of people and politics. As a Scotland County native, I find it amazing that such intellect could possibly arise by a native from our western border.”

Thank you, Scotland County.

The editor

Dear Editor,

In the story about Ken Mask going from Hamlet to the Cannes Film Festival, you mention Mr. Rogers. In the story about the negligent high schoolers who didn’t know they weren’t going to graduate in Craven County, you talked about The Godfather.

You said: There’s a scene in The Godfather where the heads of the Five Families convene and Don Vito Corleone, seeking to quell a bloody mob war, asks his law-breaking contemporaries “How did things ever get so far?”

Serious question here, Holmes: Did you spend your whole life watching television? And can you just once write a column without referring to obscure pop culture and song references and Sanford and Son or The Godfather?


Dear T.E.,


Editor’s note: Proving once again that The Saunders Report readers are among the smartest in the land, a sharp-eyed reader noted a gaffe in our story about polymath Ken Mask. To wit: “'The Hamlet native, UNC grad and author recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival in Paris.'

"The Cannes Film Festival was not held in Paris but in Cannes, in the Cote d Azur.”

Since the closest I’ve gotten to Paris was eating a croissant from Burger King, I confess to being geographically challenged about that part of the world.

We regret the error, monsieur.

1 Comment

Wow…this month we got a few “you people” and a bunch of really miserable conservatives. Lol. I’ll give them credit, they are all just equally miserable aren’t they almost like they need to be.





Meet Barry Saunders

For over 20 years, Barry was a columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. He also wrote for other publications, such as the Atlanta Constitution and the Richmond County Daily Journal. Often described as powerfully honest and illustratively funny, Barry's writing is both loved and hated by readers- sometimes simultaneously.  


Want more? Get your own copy of one of Barry's published books featuring reader favorites (and not so favorites) from his years writing columns for The News & Observer. Titled "Do Unto Others...And then Run" and "...And The Horse You Rode In On Saunders!", they're full of guaranteed entertainment. 


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