LETTER: The Boathouse Decision: Shameful and Cowardly - Southern Maryland Headline News

LETTER: The Boathouse Decision: Shameful and Cowardly


So it is done. The St Mary's College Board of Trustees has now ratified its own decision, taken long ago, on the boathouse. Leave it where it is. And since the college is virtually autonomous, there is no appeal to the decision, except to the governor or God Himself.

The governor, of course, has no ties to Southern Maryland and seems to have his hands full at the current capital of Maryland. Probably he knows little of Historic St Mary City or its place in the history of his state and the nation. God must at least be very sad, maybe even angry. After all, was this not the site where He established religious tolerance in America? Would his children not honor such a place as this? But we know that God, in his infinite wisdom, does not interfere with the foibles of mankind.

The Board of Trustees took its decision with hardly a whisper of protest from within the college community. One would expect that with all of the collective knowledge and presumed wisdom residing in an institution of higher learning that someone there would have had the intellectual honesty and intestinal fortitude to just say NO. This is wrong! A boat shed?! Not in that sacred and beautiful place!

So we are dismayed at the timidity, but we try to understand. We know from various sources that some members of the college staff and faculty are as outraged as the outside community about this atrocity. Yet, such seems to be the power of the imperial presidency. In a tyranny, fear and intimidation rule. Dissent cannot be tolerated, as evidenced by the president's attempts even to halt a public meeting on the subject that was not under her direct control.

God has blessed this nation with some of the most beautiful landscapes and vistas - in its mountains, seashores, lakes, rivers and forests. Many of the original inhabitants here revered the land, the waterways, and lived modestly to preserve them for future generations. Some of our great artists, such as Andrew Wyeth, have portrayed in their canvases the natural beauty of this country, unembellished by human development. A hallmark of one of our greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, was to blend houses and other buildings that he designed into their natural environments. These artists and architects appreciated nature and our natural heritage. Instinctively they knew that there is little they can do to improve on the handiwork of God.

And then there is the new boat shed that sticks out like a sore thumb. A grotesque aberration. A twenty-first century piece of junk put squarely into an ostensibly seventeenth-century setting on the once-beautiful St Mary's River shoreline!

The Trustees must be proud. We hope that they will soon erect a large monument to themselves in front of the boat shed to show future generations who was responsible for this assault on our sensibilities. On the monument should appear the names of the college president, every current trustee, and all of their enablers such as the county commission president who helped manage the building project around the environmental protection process. Perhaps the trustees' next vote should be taken on who among them deserves the greatest credit and name the boat shed in his/her honor. The name should be prominently displayed on the face of the building for everyone driving north on Route 5 to see.

Ken Heikkinen
Citizens for the Preservation of Historic St. Mary's City
St. Mary's City, Md.

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