On Fri, Aug 5, 2011, jim butcher [email@example.com] wrote:
Can you put in a separate email exactly what happened at Manassas?? I understand there was an issue with your being reimbursed for your expenses. I think the SCV community should know how you were insulted.
1st Lt. Cmdr.
As I tried to explain, as I began to speak, the 3 piece band that was playing for those folks that were dancing prior to me speaking suddenly began playing blocking out my voice from being heard. They turned off the mike after I enquired of Mr. Gorman, the gentleman who had depicted General Hood in the film God's and Generals, what is going on? Not once but twice the band began loudly playing in the middle of me speaking. The final time came when I began to recite the Honorable Dr. Michael Bradley's (Past Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons) poem "I Am Their Flag". Had I known the complexion of this event and those gathered, I probably would not have agreed to take the place of Stan Clardy who pulled out at the last hour.
I signed a contract that stated that I would start promptly at 7:30 PM. I didn't start until 8:00 PM, but that didn't bother me, but it was in their contract. I was to be paid immediately after I finished the speech. Because of the indignities of the moment, I only stayed long enough to pose for several pictures, and to listen to several people to include the Event Coordinator's (Ms. Sarah R. McHugh) husband apologize for what took place and pose for a picture with him.
The sad part for me is that I took this engagement at the last minute to help them, spent a great deal of money on shirts, books, and documentary tapes that they said I could sell at a table they would set up. They told me at the event they would send someone to my car to get the materials out before I began to speak. There was no table and no one ever asked to go to my car to fetch my goods, and after the way I was treated, I felt too embarassed to even ask, or to stay around longer. Secondly, I had to seek my own accommodations, and cut my travel allotment expense some $.24 per mile, and the out of pocket expense from $100 to $0 because they claim they only had $500 and $.40 per mile that they could pay. I called Ms. McHugh the following Monday (July 25, 2001) to ask for the balance of my speaking fee, and she told me that they had the check that night, but because I left shortly after I spoke, that they had already put it in the mail. After another five days, I called again to Ms. McHugh and told her that the Honorarium was a fee waiver, and that if I didn't have the balance by Monday, August 1, 2011 that the waiver was null and void, and that they would have to pay the entire speaker fee of $20,000. She sent me an email saying that the check must have been lost in the mail, and that they would ask the bank to cancel it and would send me out another right away. I received that check on Thursday, August 4, 2011. I don't believe they ever mailed the check when they claimed they did. Neither the first check was lost coming to my home address at 71 Buffalo St., Asheville, N.C., or the one they finally sent.
In hind site, had I been properly versed on the complexion of the event, and those attending, I in all likelihood would have respectfully declined to speak, even though it was Manassas. And I did thank Ms. McHugh for the kind treatment that I was garnered from the ladies who gave it their best to see that my guest, the Honorable Andrew Paramoore, and I were comfortable at the event.
I truly appreciate your concern and that of my Southern family. However, other than the expense that I have had to absorb, and it is hard for me because I have no income other than to try and sell my shirts, and the kindness from those who honorably pass the hat, and sometimes an Honorarium thrown in. While I felt that I was set up, I shall put it behind me and regard it as a lesson well learned, and hope that those who invite me to speak in the future truly understand that I am Southern through and through, and shall always speak on behalf of my Southern family and seek vindication for the wrong done them in whatever venue I am in. Again God bless you, and thanks.