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Terry Mercer <tmercer at wichita_infi.net>: The "Ditch" piece

Thank you Terry,

Yours and Bill Flowers were among the last colonys collected from the
ditch. I hope you enjoy them as much  as I have enjoyed
collecting/watching  them over the past couple of years......Perhaps
someday my daughter can reaquire her old friends when she is a teen....

.I write for one reason only that is to light the fire in my readers to
do something ! I hope this article has the long range impact you
envision...Heck maybe my publsiher will call me back on my childrens book
:) Thanks again you made my day and thank you TFH for giving me a forum.

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: Terry Mercer <tmercer at wichita_infi.net>
To: robertrice at juno_com
Subject: The "Ditch" piece
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 22:01:35 -0500
Message-ID: <l03102800b1acdc2531af@[]>

Dear Robert,

Let me tell you: I thought that your piece about your rescue of the pond
your back yard was one of the most conservationally affecting pieces I
read in a long time, but you have topped yourself! Your "Eulogy to a
is superb. I am under the impression that that's where my H. formosa came
from? If that is true, I promise you that the strain will live on pure as
long as I can keep a fish tank. The piece makes it seem incumbent upon me
to do that as a tribute to the ditch.

I'm quite comfortable telling you that much. You know you've been an
inspiration to me, so it should come as no real surprise to know that
piece only reinforces that inspiration.

However, I am not quite so sanguine about what I am going to write next.
"Eulogy to a Ditch" is, after all, your work, and I hope you won't think
I'm treading on your toes with what comes next.

I really believe that if we in the NFC do not use this piece as an
and fund-raising tool we are missing the bet of the century. This piece
captures the local indifference that makes such a difference to the
of a small place, the human indifference that makes the critical
to the survival of native species of all sorts. Repeated a thousand times
(or only once), that indifference means not only the disappearance of a
particular fish or bird or animal from a particular spot, but maybe from
the face of the earth.

In my mind, I have renamed your piece "Erin's Ditch," and rewritten it so
that your daughter is affected as much by what happens to the ditch as
the fish and birds and animals that lived in it and depended on it. Of
course, that is the reality of conservation; that we and our children
depend completely on the health of the earth and its populations of

In my mind, I see a fund established by the NFC called "Erin's Ditch."
proceeds from that fund could be used for many things, but right now I'm
thinking that the best use might be for educational projects in schools
which would alert the students to the small things around them and to the
dangers those small things face - to the significance of the
What better emblems for the importance of small things than H. formosa
Erin's ditch?

I don't have any problem at all imagining a coloring book called "Erin's
Ditch," which would have your story and pictures of Erin, the ditch, and
the creatures who depended on the ditch in it. I can see us supplying
acquariums for  classrooms with the "Erin's Ditch" strain of H. formosa
them to accompany a unit on the story and the bigger problem of
destruction of our natural world. Hell, at the rate I'm going, I don't
any problem seeing a television series which would examine Erin's ditch
the most minute detail and the larger implications of its paving over!

Of course, I'm writing to you privately because "Erin's Ditch" is really
"Eulogy to a Ditch," and it belongs to you. I guess I'm asking you to do
more than just share it with the readers of TFH and the NFC list: give
thought to what we might be able to do with your piece and let me know
you think.

Forgive me if I'm completely out-of-bounds here. Obviously, the fish did
not come today, and I had way too much time on my hands!

With sincere regards,


--------- End forwarded message ----------

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