To The Daily Sun,
It would seem that, having been heartened by the recent defeat of both articles to fund the Gilmanton Year-Round Library earlier this month, Al Blake has himself actually slipped, in his own words (from his letter of March 25), from a "soap opera level of hyperbole into the depths of absurdity."
I am trying to fathom his meaning. Is it "hyperbole" on the part of the GYRL to say that, above and beyond money they are able to raise from fundraising and donations, they need additional money from the town in order to remain open. It doesn't seem so to me.
He goes on to insinuate, without saying why, that this very newspaper, that dutifully prints his letters, was "seemingly biased" in the front-page article that it printed about the GYRL on March 22. It seems as though the current vogue in national politics of making baseless accusations and claims is catching on here at home.
Mr. Blake makes a lot of the fact that the GYRL was able to raise $30,000 in emergency donations in order to keep its doors open for the next year. He insinuates that there is a secret small cadre of incredibly well-heeled benefactors whom the GYRL board is intentionally shielding from public view and who have but simply to dig into their profoundly deep pockets in order to keep the library flush, and that obviously the depth of the financial resources of these shadow sponsors could easily, if tapped, create an endowment for the GYRL the income alone from which could easily fund its operations into the next century, or beyond. In which bizarre case, of course, the library could readily have been substantially endowed in year one, were it not for the devious intent of the founders to go hat in hand to beg the voters for money from the public coffers to fund their own "private library."
Spare me, Mr. Blake, for I think I have discovered the absurdity here. It's in your own thinking. If such a group of sponsors existed, I too would like to know who and where they are. But rather than the conspiracy-laden and paranoid idea that fuels Mr. Blake's thought process, I tend to think this is a rather large group of our good friends and neighbors who have contributed relatively smaller amounts in order to sustain an institution in the absence of the public's will do do so which has grown dear to them.
I myself have made donations to the library, and I imagine that, like me, few of these people would mind the public knowing who they are and how much they have given even though the GYRL remains at this point in time a private organization.
As I suggested above, Mr. Blake goes further to question the intentions of the present GYRL Board when they discuss whether or not the library should be owned by the town. He says, "... gifting the library to the town flies in the face of the fact, believed by many, that the initiative of the original founders (those who truly still have influential control) did not build the GYRL for the town ... but for themselves" (my emphasis).
I am struggling in the moment, as I reread this passage, to remain securely balanced in my chair. The multifold absurdities in this blusterous statement are truly incomprehensible. There is no "fact" here, only Mr. Blake's long-held, ill-seeded presumption that the intentions of the founders were dishonorable and that these same founders still exercise "influential control" of the GYRL Board. Mr. Blake says that the disclosure of this consideration was "deceptively (and) seemingly evasive" once again without saying why he thinks so and that the Board simply wants to "manipulate" the "now-friendly Board of Selectmen."
And there's more: The Board has "deliberately and unnecessarily stressed out and misled the very people who support them" by raising "'myth of closure scenario." After all, they knew "they had the means and resources to stay open."
I have quoted liberally from Mr. Blake's letter to be sure that readers are as cognizant as possible of what he actually said, and because his statements much better than my own so readily make the case for their utter inanity. It again saddens and depresses me that Mr. Blake continues to weigh in on the public discourse in such a bad manner to openly smear the intentions of good people in our town. The fact that Gilmanton stands virtually alone in the state of New Hampshire in its failure to fund a full-resource library is in itself a continuing disgrace.
Beyond that, I fear the worst that there is unspoken interpersonal resentment and an undercurrent of intellectualism at the core of this resistance. Mr. Blake accuses the founders and supporters of fostering "ugly division" when he is almost single-handedly responsible for nurturing our current division, and ugly it is indeed.
Gilmanton Iron Works