Yes, we can overcome this big challenge!

Published 2:29 pm Friday, September 4, 2020

Dear Editor,

One can’t help but notice that The Daily News has been full of disturbing coverage lately, and understandably so, because that’s what has been happening.

What with COVID-19 and its present horrors and frighteningly uncertain longevity, Hurricane Laura with its initial threat here and the very real tragedy it has wrought elsewhere, the constant reports of violent criminal behavior and its contempt for law enforcement and those who try to obey the law — what with all this — things seem troublous indeed.

I know we have problems aplenty, and I quickly confess that they are certainly beyond my ability to solve, but one thing from a long while back comes to mind, something that might at least be of interest in viewing today’s challenges.

In August 1961, a strike was voted at the paper mill, a strike that took out of circulation the paychecks of close to 1,000 workers. The strike began. Summer and autumn went into winter, with family-owned businesses struggling to pay overhead costs and stay open, and with union representatives going from door to door asking for contributions to use to put some toys under Christmas trees. “Tight times” is not the phrase for it; for many, it was extreme hardship. Negotiations got serious, but continued to be unsuccessful.

On a Sunday in either late March or early April, when an atmosphere of gloom had pretty much settled on us, The Daily News carried an entire front-page article that concluded with a statement by Mayor Charles Cassidy with articulate requests for unity and cooperation, and ending with a quiet benediction that was much in contrast to the desperate and angry words we had been hearing:

“With God’s help we shall not fail.”

The following Saturday evening not long before midnight, a friend from the mill knocked on our door and told us the strike had ended.

John N. Gallaspy

Bogalusa