It was from Barbara Speece’s phone number. It sounded like Barbara Speece. But for now, let’s call her The Mystery Caller.
(The following conversation is semi-paraphrased because I’m laughing so hard at recalling it.)
Mystery Caller: Is this the person that publishes SouthsideCentral?
Me: Why, yes it is!
Mystery Caller: Who is Butch Oyler? (The commenter who left this comment on a Woodson Hughes article.)
Me: I have no idea.
Mystery Caller: So, you let people write anonymously and you publish them?
Me: Sure. As long as there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with what is said, I give people a place to speak their mind.
Mystery Caller: Even if they are talking about criminal activity? (or something that involved criminal-something, I started chuckling as I recognized the phone number and the content of the comment of which our Mystery Caller was talking about.)
Me: Of course. And you are?
Mystery Caller: (silence) (time passes) I just wanted to know who Butch Oyler was.
Me: No problem. Again, you would be?
Mystery Caller: (silence) I just asked you that question.
Me: This is Barbara Speece, isn’t it? I recognize the voice!
Mystery Caller: (silence) I just … um… wanted to … (silence) So you don’t know who Butch Oyler is?
Me: As stated before, no idea. Barbara? Hi!
Mystery Caller: (silence)
Me: Thanks for calling! (click)
Hello? Barbara? You’re now a public figure. You’re on the Library Board. You were a integral part of a public body that made a horrible decision. Lots of people disagree with that decision and now you’re going to have to face the public that disagrees with that decision. See how this works? If you haven’t figured this out yet, you can ask your husband. He’s a South Boston Town Councilman. He has people that don’t agree with decisions that he’s made in his role as a public figure.
If you’re going to criticize the media coverage that your board’s horrible decision has made, at least tell me who you are. Or when I know who you are, at least admit who you are!