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The good ship, O'Donnell

Published August 03. 2013 09:03AM

Dear Editor,

Under the pretense of the title "Small Towns are a Necessity…even in the City" Mr. Castagnera, in his July 20 column, proceeded to discredit the O'Donnell family of Jim Thorpe along with another man us old timers knew as "Rump."

It's a pretty cute approach: A title that's appealing to small towners and then a turn of events that are largely contrary to the title. The discredit came from his identification of the three O'Donnell siblings being "a few cards short of a full deck."

I recently spoke with Francis O'Donnell whose father was one of the male siblings mentioned by Mr. Castagnera. They're in disbelief over the article as are many others of the town's people.

I think Mr. Castagnera's main necessity for the small town title was simply so that he could write something, which he thought was humorous but turned out to be at the O'Donnell's expense.

It's a bit like what Brutus did to Caesar he put his arm around him before he gave him the knife. One can only imagine how many O'Donnell's were hurt by this article since at least three generations have succeeded the original three O'Donnell siblings.

A recent telephone book carried the names of 36 O'Donnell's (admittedly, this was for the entire county). The female side of the family of which there are at least two or three generations were also affected. They lost their O'Donnell surname via marriage.

On Aug. 24, 2013, the O'Donnell family is having their reunion at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe. They would love to have Mr. Castagnera attend and witness the success of the O'Donnell family.

It might even be, that a man of integrity like Mr. Castagnera, would make an open apology to them and also in the newspaper. Somewhere along the line Mr. Castagnera missed out on Dale Carnegie's best seller "How to win friends and influence people".

Like Martha, of Martha and Mary in the Bible, Mr. Castagnera had a choice but he chose the wrong part. He chose to poke fun at the three siblings. I myself, have on occasion engaged in fun at other's expense but never published it in newsprint.

But Mr. "C" who is probably in his mid-60s is at the age when many adults turn to compassion or pity for their fellow man rather than to belittle them. Butter them up with the title and then sock it to them.

In the July 27, 2013 article, Claire states in part "a baby of any gender is a blessing and a healthy baby is the greatest blessing of all…" Claire's father, Jim is in agreement with Claire's statement.

Could it be that the Castegnera's have mellowed because back on March 23, 2013 Claire had written in effect that the new Pope Francis ought to consider, among other things, the option of abortion. If they'd switched gears…super…If they haven't these statements sure seem like an exercise in contradictions.

My guess is that their response will be that the blessings pertain only to those born not the unborn, but I could be wrong.

In the same July 27 article, Jim expresses that his reference to the three O'Donnell siblings was "rather gentle" (that's his evaluation) because they had no doubt been dead for decades. His words would have been somewhat gentle if they had not pertained to "PEOPLE," the most important things on the planet.

This poor fellow never realized that at least three generations with strong feelings for their roots are descendants of those three siblings and in addition at least two other families that stem from the female side of the family and don't bear the O'Donnell surname are also affected.

I'll give them a plus for the small town "tolerance theme" but that came after the salvo had been launched across the bow of the good ship, "O'Donnell."

Well, it was never my intention to be doing this kind of writing in my old age, but what can one do when the printed word is offensive to your friends as well as yourself?

John Huber

Jim Thorpe

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