No WMDs behind the razor-wire

I've been reading the stories of Mrs. Shirley Presley and her razor wire with some amusement. I have known the family since I moved down the road from them in 1987. I graduated from Charlottesville High School in 1990 with the Presleys' son, and we coached a Little League baseball team together for five-plus years after that.

I know this family; they are good people. The father, "Chief" Presley, was retired from the U.S. Navy and was also one of the most good-natured and respectable men I have ever met in my life. To think, as your cartoon with the last article suggested, that Shirley Presley (retired from the Virginia Employment Commission) would be celebrating drinking martinis with white party gloves on is doing her an injustice to say the least. (You might as well have had her driving a Hummer and not recycling.)

That family has owned that house for at least 35 years and worked hard to make it a home. The way it worked back then was your property line actually went into the middle of the Rivanna. So the river bank is hers, and that's how it is, period.

The Rivanna Trails Foundation is not part of our government. They are a non-profit that asked for, and were denied the right, to use a trail on her land. End of story, or at least it should have been.

The Presleys had many problems with vandals and vagrants way before the RTF decided to put it on a map. The simple solution would be to bypass the trail (at the 250 bypass) by diverting hikers to the other side of the Rivanna where Darden Towe Park is, then make a crossing back over past the land in question, right?

So what have we come to? The city rewriting laws to find something to convict her of when she is simply defending her land, and a judge saying they didn't rewrite the law correctly, case dismissed. How poetic!

Or is it? Will they just rewrite the law in question and try her again? Hmmm, maybe this should be covered in the Patriot Act II. Don't multiple tours in Korea and Vietnam prove that this family doesn't have WMD's behind that razor-wire? Sorry, people, life goes on, so let Mrs. Presley live hers in peace, and go walk somewhere else.

Speaking my mind while it's still legal,

Al Zappa

P.S. I officially deny anyone the right to list my property on a trail map. You will be trespassing!