Writer believes Pilgrim family gets unfair rap

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

Regarding your Oct. 12 article "Road Leads to Standoff:"

I have lived in McCarthy for the last 26 years. Since the Pilgrim family moved here two years ago I have gotten to know these warm-hearted neighbors. Many hours of quality time spent with Papa, Country Rose and their children over numerous cups of coffee have enabled me to get a glimpse of what is in their hearts. Superintendent Candelaria is quoted as saying "The Pilgrims are not what they appear. They will give you this simple, homespun, Christian, living-off-the-land act, but it doesn't ring true." How many hours of quality time has Mr. Candelaria spent with this family? Not one! Therefore, I do not think this superintendent is qualified to judge this family. He doesn't really know them. If he had truly wanted to know the Pilgrims, If he had approached them in honesty - not with slanderous unfounded rumors - I know this family would have freely come forth with the same openhearted and helpful spirit they have displayed towards me.

I was appalled at the section called "A Checkered Past." Perhaps if Papa Pilgrim were running for president or the governorship of California the probing into his past just might be called for, but come on - the man is simply trying to go home and bring in supplies for his wife and 15 beautiful children! The issue is access.

Bonnie Kenyon

Glennallen



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