May 8, 1995
The Staunton Leader
P.O. Box 59
Staunton, Va. 24401
Dear Mr. Editor:
My friend in the Arizona Militia sent me a postcard the other day with the prettiest photograph on the front. The photo was, the caption read, of a "mesa," which is Spanish for table, but it is also a geological term used to describe steep sloped hills in the arid West. I felt a twinge of jealousy for my Arizona friend. Why couldn't God have seen fit to bless the Shenandoah Valley with such wonders?
But then on a drive back from the gun store, I happened to motor past the site of the new Walmart on Richmond Road. It occurred to me that God's oversight was here being corrected by the wonders of modern earth moving technology. I'd been impressed by the stunning cliffs made to accommodate the location of the original Walmart at the base of Betsy Bell, but a quarter way around the hill to the new location, the cliffs of Ordovician Beekmantown limestone, with its rich orange hues, are simply sublime. As Walmart, encouraged by competing tax breaks, continues relocating to new locations at the base of Betsy Bell, it seems inevitable that at last Staunton too will have its own mesa. Perhaps the unruly forest on top can be replaced with orderly plantings of Bradford Pears. People from far and wide will come just to have honeymoons within sight of it and our economy will boom. No longer will we be a sleepy town in a backwater county. The Metropolis of the Shenandoah will rival the Northeast.
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