First, please let me state that the opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone and do not represent any government or volunteer entity that I belong to.
I don’t have to tell anyone what a slap in the face it is to see the Eastern Shore left off of the official ornament this year (“Where is ESVA? Not on Official Virginia History Ornament,” Oct. 1, Page 1) and I certainly don’t have to tell anyone that we really aren’t surprised either.
The lame excuse given that the shape of the State of Virginia made it difficult
to include the Eastern Shore is just that – a lame excuse. Our cell phones can almost tell us when to have a bowel movement but design programs don’t have the technology to figure out how to include a peninsula in a layout? I call BS on that! I wonder how New Yorkers would feel if Long Island were left off? Or how Sicilians would feel if they were left off of Italy?
What irritates me the most is that the Shore has given so much to the State that now sees an official history museum not find us fit to be included in said State. The Eastern Shore’s contributions to Virginia far outnumber anything I could list here but here are a few worth thinking about:
• The farming industry. Do they grow Hayman potatoes in southwest Virginia?
• The seafood industry. Do they grow oysters and clams in the Shenandoah Valley?
• The tourist industry. Do they swim ponies across the Potomac River?
• The space industry. Do they send cargo to the space station from Charlottesville?
No, they don’t.
And what about the early settlements here on the Shore? Do they play no part in Virginia’s history? What about the first ever play ever to the hit the stage in the country that took place here on the Shore? Could we say that American culture/entertainment started right then and there? What about 70 miles of pristine coastline chock full of wildlife? I could go on and on but you all get my drift.
I have traveled our beautiful state extensively over the last 30 years and every region has something beautiful to offer. We only want the same recognition. Honestly, there would be no state of Virginia without the Eastern Shore. The designers of the ornament really dropped the ball on this and it has become a public relations disaster for them for which I hold no sympathy.
The fact that the governor of the state (whether you like him or not) is from the Eastern Shore should make them go crawling back to the design board with their tails tucked between their legs. Seriously, did they not know the governor is from the part they left off? Talk about embarrassing! Maybe a 51st state is in order – the state of the Eastern Shore.
I’ll tell you what though, the only way that ornament would be in my house is to prop up the tree stand to keep it from falling over.