JHU founders would deny in­volve­ment in chicken fight

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - Com­mu­nity Voice By FROM: JOHN KILBY


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.

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