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Glad to see Kate Smith treasured

To the editor:

On the front cover verso of the St. Agnes Church hymnal is a song for all hymnals of our churches. It’s Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” a tune popularized and immortalized by Lake Placid’s legendary Kate Smith. At a recent concert in that lovely church, performing musicians asked the audience to arise and sing the anthem as a fitting conclusion to the afternoon’s concert.

The audience appreciably arose and sang and, upon finishing, filed from the church, swelled with remembrance of Kate Smith and unmindful that their own aural effort presented no challenge to the beloved songstress.

The concert thus brought pleasure to many. Yet it might have brought, too, that troubling recollection of the Lake Placid Rotary Club, whose officers in cowering submission to agents of hate proceeded to consider — if but for a second — the removal of Kate Smith’s name from a school’s music scholarship award.

That deed went uncommitted, no great thanks to the Rotary Club officers. Kate’s name remains with the scholarship, as it should and only can be.

So notwithstanding the Rotary Club officers, thanks deservedly go to pianist/tenor Chris Gould and violinist Elaine Dewar, and also to the religious overseers of St. Agnes Church. And of course to Kate Smith herself, for her enduring legacy. In her eternal repose she can rest assured that persons of conscience shall preserve her good name, and reproach to the fullest provokers who’d smear it for some point of an idiot socio-political ideology.

John Edelberg

Saranac Lake

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