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March love letters from readers

Dear Editor,

I stumbled on your website and just read the story about your P.E. teacher Ron Krall. I went to (N.C.) State with him and being a P.E. teacher is what he always wanted to be. He was a very good person and you should count yourself lucky to have had someone like him in your life.

Do you know how I can get in touch with his family?


Dear L.N.,

I do, indeed, consider myself lucky to have had Coach Krall in my life. I think he was born to be a P.E. teacher, more specifically my P.E. teacher.

I will pass your email address on to his son in Illinois.

Dear Editor,

I know exactly who was the principal at Rockingham High School in 1971 and everybody who went there does too. I hope his family sues your *$$ for slandering his name when he is not here to defend himself. You complained that he continually threatened to send you to Morrison Training School for being a #@$%^& $#@%&*, but you always write about what a bad actor you were growing up.

Did you ever think that maybe you deserved to go there? Maybe you and the world would be better off if you did. Did you ever think also that maybe (that principal) had more important things to do than dealing with you every day? Like making sure hundreds of other students were receiving an education?

Your unfriend,


Dear Editor,

I always knew you were a racist and a sexist, but now I see that you are classist, too. In your story about Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary McLeod Bethune and Charlotte Hawkins Brown, you wrote that she opened a school for “upper class” Black students.

What is that? All children should have the same opportunity to get a good education regardless of if their father started an insurance company or not.

Also, just because somebody makes more money than somebody else doesn’t make them upper class and make the other person lower class. By writing about classes, you are only further dividing us when we need to be coming together.

Dear Editor,

What a great story about Palmer Memorial Institute. Do you have any pictures of the three magnificent ladies you wrote about being there at the same time? After I read your story, I did some research on the school and was so disappointed to read that it closed soon after she died. That is a shame. Do you know why it closed?

W. M.

Dear W.M.,

I do not know why the school closed but I suspect moolah had something to do with it. Also, as someone who 40 years ago had a dream and started his own newspaper, I know that other people – even employees – don’t always share your vision.

Like you, I was saddened to see that the school lasted barely a decade after Dr. Brown’s death, but I was also angry that we let it close.

There were no Go Fund Me sites back in the 1960s and 1970s, but enough Black people and institutions should have seen that the school was important enough to contribute to and save.

Oh yeah: Miss me with the “we were poor” excuse: as individuals we may not be wealthy, but as a group we have enough money to do anything we want to. We definitely could have kept that marvelous school open and some more besides.

We need more finishing schools to provide young people with a classical education and to teach them the social graces.

Dear Editor,

You owe me for the cost of laundering a shirt. My wife read me the story about you tricking your teachers and making them think you had met President Nixon and the principal calling all of the students to assembly to hear you talk about it.

I laughed so hard that my coffee came through my nose and got on my shirt. My meetings that day were on Zoom so my co-workers didn’t see the coffee stain, but I don’t think regular washing is going to get it out. Please remit payment for laundering one shirt.

P. W.

Dear Editor,

Please, please, please. Don’t write about Will Smith. I am sick to death of reading about that, so forgive this preemptive request.

Everyone else is writing about him slapping Chris Rock and I don’t think there is anything new to say. I will subscribe to your site if you make a promise not to write about that. How much does it cost and where do I send the money?

M. E.

Dear M.E.,

Even without your generous offer, I had no intention of writing about Will Smith slapping the taste out of Chris Rock's mouth – even though the first and only time I saw him onstage in person I was two seconds from doing a Will Smith to him myself.


Don’t ask. Suffice it to say that every time I’ve driven past Charlie Goodnight’s comedy club in Raleigh, I halfway regret not at least confronting him.

As for what Smith did, I just consider that a private issue, even though it occurred in front of the tens and tens of people who actually watched the Oscars broadcast. There are mercifully few instances where I think violence is acceptable, but it seems undeniable that Will is dealing with things beyond the unfunny, easily forgettable swipe Rock took at his wife.

I read an excerpt from Smith’s autobiography and he wrote of feeling helpless as a nine-year-old boy when he saw his father bloody his mother’s mouth with a punch.

You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to see that he probably wanted to show the world - and himself - that he is no longer a helpless nine-year-old boy.

Thanks for subscribing, but it doesn’t cost anything. In coming months, The Saunders Report will hold a fundraiser asking readers to help sustain it for another year, but that will be voluntary. So, continue to enjoy it and forward it to all of your friends and neighbors and ask them to subscribe, too.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the recent story on Linda Wright Woods, UNC’s late director of basketball operations. According to Phil and Chris, she sounded like a lovely human being.

It’s a shame she isn’t around to see the Heels in the Final Four this year.

1 Comment

I notice people keep trying to box you up and put a label on the box. Our human brains stereotype information into chunks of data in order to organize thought. Creative people are often annoying to others because they don’t fit in boxes or they put boxes together in an unique way that is uncomfortable.

You are a Renaissance man in a world of tiny “istic” boxes. Keep on with your bad self, Sir, you give the rest of us hope. Karolyn Stanley





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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