Letter: Perplexed by fuss over Millionaires nickname

Posted
To the editor:

Back in 1965 at UMass Amherst, Friday evenings in the fall were spent at pep rallies rooting for the Redmen football team. A huge bonfire was lighted and team mascot Chief Metawampe (a local American Indian from the 1600s) danced around it. It was a fun time for all, but by the early 1970s a controversy erupted over the apparent disrespect for Native Americans, and the mascot and bonfire disappeared and the team and mascot name changed to the Minutemen.

From as long ago as I can recall, our town of Lee was known as a blue-collar town (or, as Washington Post Group writer Dana Milbank would say, Johnny Lunchbox). Everyone living in Berkshire County knew we were heavily populated with paper mill workers, just as other county towns were, but no one including us cared and didn't mind the tag at all. Neighboring towns Lenox and Stockbridge were known to be more affluent and that didn't bother us either. We had friends in both towns, and it made no difference. No one cared that Lenox school athletes were named the Millionaires. It was absolutely no affront to us, but somehow today it is.

Granted this is absolutely none of my business, but when I see the current controversy over the Lenox name Millionaires reach a point where a binding town vote is scheduled for next May to resolve it, I simply have to wonder.

<em>Dave Simmons,

Lee</em>


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