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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Don't Mess With My Great-Grandpa

I was surprised to read in one of my local papers on Thursday a letter to the editor written by my great-grandfather, Elton Dunham. Surprised because he died in 1953. It was reprinted in a column called "Not-So-Good Old Days" to illustrate that "In years gone by, information about individuals that most newspapers today would decorously omit or, often, not have access to, was not only given, but even bluntly expressed."

R. L. Cummings, in his article, "Taxes, Who Shall Pay Them" in the Feb. 3rd issue of your paper gave the selectmen of the town [Greenwood] a hard slam. Mr. Cummings is an artist. No one who has passed on that road can fail to recognize the picture. If this man spent one fourth of the money on his house that he has wasted on old automobiles, his windows would have glass in them and the picture would be different.
He goes on to enumerate the ways Cummings had misrepresented his dealings with town officials ("If this man had a disposition to try and pay his taxes, we would make it as easy for him as possible, but he has not.").
Now, Mr. Editor, we are not setting ourselves up as little tin Gods and if Mr. Cummings had written the truth about us, we would have grinned and taken our medicine, but we object to—well, let's call a spade a spade, and say lie[s].
—E. L. Dunham, Chairman, Selectmen of Greenwood.

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