LETTER — Stick to the comprehensive plan

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 4, 2020

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To The Editor:

My name is Debra Branch and I live on 737 Warminster Church Road in Buckingham County.

If a gold mine is allowed to come into the A-1 zone it would literally be in my front yard.

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I came across a letter I wrote as an entry in a Buckingham Proud essay contest published in The Buckingham Times April 14, 1998. It won first prize.

It reads: “I am Buckingham Proud because no matter where I have traveled in my lifetime, Buckingham has always been home to me and holds a special place in my heart. I was brought here to live in Buckingham around 1960. Before, I had lived in a variety of places, but had no place to call home. I grew up in this county, graduated and went to college in South Carolina. But the rolling green hills and the colors of autumn called me back home to Virginia, to Buckingham County where I have worked as a teacher in the county for 20-plus years. I make my home here with my husband and four children.

“I am Buckingham Proud mostly however, of the closeness of the people who live in our community, and how much they care about you. I came to that realization in 1994, when our home was completely destroyed by fire. The neighbors, churches, organizations all came to our aid and I personally will never forget it as long as I live. The people in Buckingham County cannot be equaled anywhere when it comes to their giving, sharing and caring.

“We, who live here in Buckingham, are extremely lucky people. When I listen to the news or read in the papers of other localities’ tragedies and hardships, even with the problems our county faces, they seem so mild in comparison. I am grateful to live where my children can still play with the neighbor children and feel at ease, where so many healthy activities are provided for them to participate in, and where attending church on Sunday as well as getting a good education is still emphasized as a pathway to a truly ‘wealthy’ way of life. Yes, I am honestly Buckingham Proud.”

Today is December 1, 22 years later. I’m typing this on my phone now while still looking out that same window. But today I’m writing with a heavy, burdened heart, wondering what the future holds for me, my children and grandchildren who have their own homes now and live on this same road. Are Buckingham people serving in positions representing the good people of Buckingham still as caring?

Our land, our homes, these are our places of safety where memories were made and where retiring and resting were anticipated. I am asking you to please adhere to the comprehensive plan for the A-1 zone. Vote to preserve what is good and right for the families and future generations who live not only in the A-1 zone, but in all of Buckingham County.

Debra Branch