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Letter to the Editor: Wayside Inn and Wayside Theatre


In regards to your Page 1 article of Dec. 4, "Wayside Inn on market," the other building in Middletown that the late Leo M. Bernstein dedicated a half-cenbtury of his life to, the Wayside Theatre gets short shrift from Ami Aronson, Leo's granddaughter who heads up the Bernstein Family Foundation. Aronson calls the Inn "an incredible gem in America's history and he (Bernstein) subsidized (it) for many years to keep it open." I agree.

But Bernstein did similar for the Wayside Theatre, and there's been a board of directors in place that did keep and struggles to keep this other "gem" of a building open as a tribute to him. I am one of a handful of proud recipients of the coveted "Leo" medals named by this board for Bernstein during his lifetime, and to perpetuate his name.

Sadly, while lamenting the unpredictable future of the historic Wayside Inn, Aronson makes no significant reference to her grandfather's other great passion, the Wayside Theatre, even though her foundation is dedicated, among other things, to the furtherance of arts and culture in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. That, in fact, is what the "Leo" medals are all about.

As a former executive member of the theater's board of directors, I would like to see the Bernstein Family Foundation interest itself in helping keep the other half of Bernstein's vision intact. The Wayside Theatre's future is unpredictable, too.

Malcolm Barr Sr., Front Royal


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