To the Editor: Paul Cale, Sr.

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Paul Cale, Sr.

I am a subscriber to your paper and read it cover to cover each month in an attempt to keep abreast of the events and people of my hometown. I was born in Crozet in 1933 and lived there happily, only moving away in 1971 for an employment opportunity elsewhere. When my wife and I married, we looked for and found the location and home in which we hoped to raise our family, in Wayland Park, Crozet. Our prior home is easy to find as it is the only home in the original Wayland Park facing east, directly across from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hurt.

We were blessed to live in Wayland Park from July 1957 to February 1971. We brought our son and daughter to that home in 1957 and 1959 respectively; moving away was not an easy decision. Each of us has made what we term “pilgrimages” back to Crozet as our time and fortunes permitted. My wife and I relocated in 1980 to the Clearwater, Florida area, where I still reside. My wife, the former Peggy Sandridge, passed away here in 2014. 

This background is by way of leading to the fact that I have been acquainted on a very personal level with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cale, Sr., and their children, from my very early memoires until the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Cale; I am still in occasional contact with their son, Paul Jr. I submit that I knew Mr. Cale, Sr., as a friend for many years and more closely as a neighbor, too, from 1957 to 1971.

In the late 60s, I was among a group who sought to revive Crozet Park when it had seemed to lose its way. As a group, we agreed to seek community-wide support and funding, and each of us took a group of names to contact for that purpose. One of the names I selected, on purpose, was that of Mr. Paul H. Cale. I called for an appointment and was graciously invited into his home on St. George Ave. I explained my purpose and both he and Mrs. Cale immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Mr. Cale brought out his checkbook and while writing a check, he asked me if we intended to keep the park open to everyone, including the black community. My reply, simply, was “We had not thought not to!” He smiled, thanked me and said, “That’s what I wanted to hear.”

That’s the man that some reporter, who failed to do his homework, and the man that the chairperson of the Albemarle County School Board, Dr. Kate Acuff—taking that reporter’s work as the truth—vilified publicly as a racist. How absurd! While this is shocking, I am further appalled that our local news people have not taken up arms, done the required study as a good reporter does, and called these people to task for the denigration of the finest man, not to mention, educator, Albemarle County has ever known! 

Paul Cale, Jr. wrote an excellent letter to the editor, published in your paper in the December 2018 issue, which could and should be used as the basis for further study to clear the good name of Mr. Cale, Sr. The ugly paint job provided by a Mr. James Rorty, used by the reporter, and repeated by Dr. Acuff, not only smears Mr. Cale, Sr., but by implication, his children, too. Good people should not and cannot stand by and let this go unchallenged. If for no other reason, we need to curtail the revisionist view of history whenever and wherever that hindsight revision is false, to honor those who were so very dedicated to the betterment of our community as well as each of us within it. 

We, your readers, sincerely hope you will become a part of this cause. 

Curtis Tomlin,
Palm Harbor, Florida

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