Let me tell you a little about the Bebe Heiskell I have met.
On July 2, 2002, Walker County was allocated $45,000 to build a memorial park for the victims of the Marsh crematory. Every year for the last 9 years I have called Ms. Heiskell to ask what was going on with the memorial, and every year I got the same answer: “I’m working on it.”
This year, I didn’t want to hear “I am working on it,” so we had a meeting in her office — myself, another family member, Bebe and a representative from the Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery. I got to the meeting 15 minutes early, and Ms.Heiskell and the representative were already in the meeting room with their chairs side-by-side. When Ms. Heiskell finally noticed me sitting out in the lobby, they pulled their chairs apart and let me sit between them.
When I left the meeting, I thought: “I have never heard such a load of crap in my life.” All the sweet talking could have caused me to go into a sugar coma! I knew when I left that meeting that it was a done deal, but I could not let it go because Bebe had asked me to get in touch with another monument company.
Zack Huggins had read about the memorial and wanted to put in a bid for the business, so Bebe had me get in touch with him, though she knew all along that she had already decided to use Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery.
I asked Mr. Huggins to go ahead and draw up plans and submit a bid. Then, I asked for another meeting last March. Bebe did not want the meeting, but I kind of insisted. There were a couple of other families there and the media. In that meeting, Bebe Heiskell sat there and lied to the media and family members, telling them that letters would be sent out to all the families, so if they wanted their loved ones’ name on a memorial stone, they needed to get in touch with Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery.
After everyone had left but myself, my daughter, the Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery representative and Bebe, we continued to talk. Bebe Heiskell sat there and told us that no letters would be sent out and said she was glad to get it out of her hands and turn it over to someone else because all it was to her was a headache!
The schmoozing that went on in that room toward me that day was pitiful! I was told: “We can make this memorial all about your mother,” forgetting all about the hundreds of others found and not found on Marsh property.
I wonder if Bebe thinks that I want this Memorial just to honor my mom! I thought I had made myself clear I wanted all the names listed, the “Lost” and the “Found.”
Well, she turned it all over to Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery, and they have begun the memorial, and once again the families’ loved ones have come out on the ground!
When I saw what had been done and that our wishes once again had been thrown to the wind, I called Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery to ask questions and was told they could only talk to the commissioner about the memorial.
So last night (July 25), when Bebe was doing her Wednesday show on television, I called to ask her some questions; she told me she was not talking to me about this anymore and that it was a done deal, then hung up on me. Then, she made a few comments that were untruths, so I called her back and let her know she was a liar!
Now I doubt this will ever get into the Walker County Messenger because all the letters to the editor have been for Bebe all the way, but if you want to know the real commissioner, then get someone to get you a copy of the show from Bebe’s Walker County government segment on July 25 on UCTV.
This memorial means a lot to me, and all I wanted was for it to be done for all our loved ones and for it to pay the respect the Marsh family took away from our loved ones when they should have been treated with all the dignity and respect possible.
So if Bebe was the only name on the ballot for commissioner, I would not vote for her.
Leatha McKin Shropshire, LaFayette