Rod Gentry headshot

Rod Gentry

Venable School, Lane High School

And I told Annie, I said, “You know, I didn’t want to see the statue taken down.  I don’t want to think about it being melted down.”  But it has nothing to do with race.  It has nothing to do with the civil war to me.  It has everything to do with growing up.  It’s my experience in Charlottesville.  The living nativity scene was at the base of that statue every Christmas in my formative years.  And we always went there and stood around and looked at the nativity scene.  And so Lee Park was the place where that happened.  And so you know, that’s my feeling about the statue.  When you talk to Dickie Tayloe his feeling about the statue is different than mine.  But I totally get it.  I mean, you’re a Black grandparent and your grandchild is with you and he says, “Grandad, who is that man?”  And what do you tell him?  What are you supposed to tell him?  He’s nothing to you.  And he’s never going to be anything to you.  And I get that.  But it’s an emotionally, for whites for whatever reason, it’s an emotionally charged issue.