Composing this note grants two sorrows. First is the realization that I am old enough to be one of the people who clamors for the preservation of our cherished history and institutions. I always thought of this as the act of an old man. Well, here I am now.

During my youth I found joy and education at the Smiley Library. Whether it was just browsing books with my mother, staring at the memorial stationed glass windows or walking the Lincoln Memorial Shrine with a whispered enthusiasm, there was always happiness to be found at the library. As a child, my mother had a similar experiences and it now offers me bliss to know that we are bound with this common love for the library.

The second sorrow is thinking that a historically conscience city like Redlands could even consider not fully funding one of its grandest institutions. The landscaped grounds, the wonderful architecture and the vital literary service the library provides should be a leading concern for the city leaders. A failure to fund this functioning landmark would tarnish Redlands and erode the foundation that makes Redlands district and unique.

Our library has survived so much (least of which is Larry Burgess’ wardrobe) to allow it to flounder now would be a travesty. I fully support Don McCue and all his fellow personnel in their continued quest to make the A.K. Public Smiley Library more superior than it already is. I trust you will correct any efforts to limit funding, as doing so only serves to add to the decay of our great city.

Robert A. Manchester IV, who grew up in Redlands, now lives in Oklahoma City