I appreciate and value the greater Asheville area. I have reasons.
Before coming to this area of deep family roots for my wife, she and I lived in an area blanked by a deep mist of monolithic, fundamentalist theocracy. We have also lived where development avarice and political opportunism have destroyed much of natural value in its path.
Greater Asheville is precious for its diversity, its open beauty and opportunity for natural experience on many planes; its ample supply of people in leadership and support roles who understand and work for a sense of greater community. I increasingly have come to see that much of this is enabled and protected by our special community infrastructure such as the Mountain Area Information Network/WPVM, a community-oriented Mission Hospitals, Mountain Housing Opportunities, the YWCA, and the Mountain Xpress, among other positive entities.
But just as I see the Mountain Xpress as a serious part of the nurturing fiber of Asheville, I see Cecil Bothwell as a serious, major contributor to what is the Mountain Xpress. To your readers in general, I suspect that the Mountain Xpress is a much more valuable publication with Cecil than without. I know it is for me.
I first met Cecil in your pages, but now have gotten to know him—and his cat—out in the community, close up and personally. He is ethical, talented, grounded in community, energetic. He is also his own person, can be reserved and is an individual—I suspect with quirks like many of us who are alive.
If Cecil were your brother, would you have so strongly, expressively and economically cut him off? If you really believe your Mountain Xpress mission statement, he is your brother, you know.
— James Sheeler