Dear Dr. Stuart,
I write this letter to you because you serve on the Governors staff, and because I too have worked in the theater of Minority Affairs. First under the Honorable Ms. Lillian Williams, Affirmative Action Director at the University of Minnesota, and many years later help re-write the Minority Business Program for the City of Asheville, and Buncombe County North Carolina. and have come to know so many honorable people in this venue.
And secondly, because the Governor's name appears as a contributor to the event so named " Logan Civil War Heritage Weekend, and I want this correspondence to serve as an official complaint of the verbal contract made to myself and those who would co-ordinate this event and especially Ms. Jackie Tomblin who identified herself as the Event Director. and have not lived up to the terms of payment to me for expenses incurred. And hope that it will make it to the Governor for his aid in the matter.
Ms. Tomblin would visit my website six months ago ( www.southernheritage411.com ), and then contacted me about speaking at this event. She told me that she was operating on a tight budget, and if I could waive my speakers fee of $20,000 as indicated on my web page. I agreed to come to Logan for $.62 per mile X 2 ( going and return ) $100 for out of pocket expense, room accommodations for two days, and directions to the hotel and event. And further that I would allow her and her committee to choose what the pay for the Honorarium would be. And further that I was to receive the traveling expense at least one week prior to the event.
Ms. Tomblin would contact me on Thursday, September 24, 2014, asking if I was still coming? I told her that I had not received the traveling expenses, thereby, I could not make the journey. She indicated that she thought she was to give me payment after I arrived, and that she had already paid for the hotel accommodations, and that she would compensate me in cash if I would come on. I asked for the directions. She said that she had no idea and that I should try map quest. After traveling all the way to Ashland, Kentucky, I would discover that MapQuest had no idea on how to get to Logan, West Virginia .
After several more hours, I would arrive at the Holliday Inn Express in Logan, and be told by the desk clerk that she only had reservations for the re-enactors, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriett Tubman. I had been trying to reach Ms. Tomlin since 2PM, and it was now 8P; again I tried with no luck. Finally I would ask the clerk where was the re-enactment camp, and she indicated 10 miles away. I finally found it around 9:30 PM, some 12 and one half hours after leaving home. One of the re-enactors called Ms. Tomblin's cell phone. She apologized for her mistake for not securing my room at the hotel.
Saturday morning I would return to the Chief Logan State Park, sign hundreds of autographs, pose for as many pictures, gave a speech at noon, and joined in as a Color Bearer with the Confederate Artillery, and would also fire the first artillery round.
Sunday morning would mirror the day before. With exception, I would don the uniform of the Confederate Infantry soldier, and after giving another speech would join the Confederate Infantry in battle.
After the battle Ms. Tomblin would indicate that she would settle up with me shortly. After about two hours, I would approach her with my bill that only indicated the 444 mile one way trip X 2 at the rate of $.62 per mile, $100 for out of pocket expense, and a ? for the Honorarium. She indicated to me that she couldn't afford to pay the bill. I asked her, mam what can you afford to pay me because I need to get started home. She said $300. I did not want to make a scene, I agreed to accept the three hundred dollars in cash. She had me to sign a note of acceptance. I changed clothes, and returned for the payment. She told me that she only had $100 in cash and that her son had left with the check book, and would I wait around ten more minutes for his return. I asked her if she would just send me the check. She promised that she would right away.
After two weeks and still not receiving payment, I would phone Ms. Tomblin, and ask of her if she planned on paying me? She said that she would when she got the money. Another week has passed, and now she won't answer my calls. I left her a message that because the Governor's name appears alongside mine on the Schedule of events, even though my name is spelled wrong; I would contact him for help in receiving my payment.
I hate to drag you into this, but my conscious tells me that you would help if you can. God bless you!
Recipient H.L.Hunley Award / Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the
Southern Legal Resource Center Emeritus / President Southern Heritage 411