Readers Respond to the January/February 2022 Issue

Your thoughts on old trees, Abraham Lincoln and a kind veterinarian

Street Veterinarian

I was awed by the unselfishness and pure love of animals demonstrated by veterinarian Kwane Stewart (“A Healing Presence,” January/February 2022), who is to be admired for ensuring that pets belonging to homeless people will remain healthy and loved. How fortunate those less fortunate are to have someone to tend to their pets. The world needs more Kwane Stewarts.

—Judith Ann Yannarelli | Longs, South Carolina

Lincoln’s Open Door

“Changing Lincoln’s Mind” (January/February 2022) brought the reader behind the scenes of Lincoln’s time in office. It highlighted the endless efforts of African Americans as well as a president’s change of heart and how it came about. I had no idea Lincoln’s presidency had such an open-door policy. Thank you for focusing attention in naming individuals and the roles they played.

—Carol Ahern | North Attleboro, Massachusetts

What Trees Teach Us

I have to express my gratitude to Bob Leverett (“The Old Man and the Tree,” January/February 2022) for being who he is and for his wonderful work for trees. I too find it hard to explain what it is like to be in old- growth forests. My soul is renewed when I am out in the trees. 

—Jim Wilson | Silverton, Oregon

Loved the story on old-growth forests and Bob Leverett’s calling to preserve and protect them. Over 50 years ago, with bonus money from my Mets 1969 World Series win over the Baltimore Orioles, I bought 70 acres of forest land hard by Deer Creek near Shawsville, Maryland. Thanks to my youngest son, that land will remain forest and in our family beyond my time on this planet. At 77 years old, I can still walk those acres dwarfed by the overstory of red, white and black oak trees and feel the joy in my spirit and the privilege to keep it as a place to come to.

—Ron Swoboda | New Orleans, Louisiana

Bound by Blood

I am much amused that “historians of the time were tasked with showing that giving women power would lead only to chaos, war and death” (“Sister Queens of the North,” January/February 2022), since giving men power always leads to harmony, peace and life!

—Sarah Shell Teague | Fayetteville, Arkansas

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This article is a selection from the March issue of Smithsonian magazine