JHU founders would deny involvement in chicken fight
I write in response to the letter of Dr. Hartgrove concerning my defense of the right of farmers in Cecil County to adjust and change in order to remain viable economically.
I was delighted to see that he has parsed my defense and searched for its inaccuracies. I am not inaccurate but by not having advanced degrees in science or public health my letter isn’t up to the standards of the Calvert-Zion Chicken People. I did learn the word “parse” in my undergraduate years at the Johns Hopkins University, but being a simple Cecil County hillbilly farmer, I have probably not used it since 1963. I am, however, going to “parse” Dr. Hartgrove and his group’s allegations about Perdue, the Horsts and we unlettered “unscientific” Cecil Countians.
First of all in Dr. Fry’s own words, they have no scientific proof that chicken houses and the poutlry industry in general are a public health issue. “However, we feel that” or “it would appear that” … Hardly a scientific approach, isn’t it?
What would professor Gilman think? What about Drs. Finney and Kelly? I am so old that I had numerous conversations with their children and grandchildren when I lived in Harford County. I feel they would be turning in their graves knowing their School of Public Health is out in the hinterlands to spread inaccuracies and untruths rather than attacking the true public health menaces just outside the very doors of the hospital and my beloved university.
What would Johns Hopkins think? I’m not old enough to remember him, but I’m sure that he is also turning in his grave. His fortune, which founded those two world-class facilities originated from his abilities a “Frank Perdue” of the 1820s and ‘30s, wholesaling beef, poultry, eggs and even “Hopkins Best,” a southern rye whiskey. He later switched over to banking, railroading and real estate investment. Without his fortune and foresight, millions of Marylanders would have died before their time. Or what of Mary Garrett, whose timely endowment of her family’s B&O Railroad and stock came at a fortuitous moment.
Johns Hopkins dealt mostly with the megafarmer of the early 19th century, buying their produce for the wholesale trade and providing the necessities fro the settlers of the southern and midwestern frontiers. The Garretts (remember Garrett Island at Perryville?) built thousands of miles of railroad tracks, replacing horse and wagon transportation and defacing hundreds of miles of forest and mountain terrain, which the Chicken Farm Peo- ple need for “traditional, bucolic” scenery. I’m sure neither of these founders would give Dr. Fry a minute of their time, much less two hours.
And then of a more recent endowment, my brother at JHU was a classmate of Mike Bloomberg. As we recall, he was charitably “frugal.” I’d love to see him signing off on those expense vouchers of those public health experts related to their Cecil County testimony. I’m sure any of these donors would be disgusted to find their funds used to attempt to bailout unlucky real estate investments.