As soon as the Skowhegan Fair is over, families with children make ready for school sports. Uniforms, practices, games (home and away), bottle drives and supporting the Boosters.

From kindergarten until graduation, our son was a Skowhegan Indian, one of many, and still is today, as are all of our family. Football, basketball, baseball — we represent our town’s spirit; we are the Skowhegan Indians, Indian Pride. We helped sell the hats, shirts, sweatshirts, etc., that had the Indian logo on them. The many games, the long drives, cold rain, snowy fields and bleachers, and every time our boys came out on the field or on the court, we all stood up and yelled Go Indians! We were the Indians, with Indian pride, and we let everyone know it.

The NAACP has asked us to change our Skowhegan Indian name to help it “eradicate all forms of racism.” The Indian is not a mascot, as referred to so many times in their criticism in the newspaper. The Indian is the symbol that represents the Skowhegan teams, their spirit and their pride. The NAACP knows nothing about our school or our town, or cares; it’s just another notch in its belt.

They come to our town, trying to point out a problem when there isn’t any. And who would pick up the cost if we did change it? The education budget is already stretched to its limit. Would our magnificent downtown Indian statue be next? Indian Point? Indian River? Indian Pond? Remember Squaw Mountain.

The only thing that would be degrading is if any of our town officials actually fall for the NAACP’s “road show” and change our beloved Indians name. If this happens the new name should reflect our town politicians and educators, maybe we could call ourselves the “Skowhegan Squirrels.”

Harold Bigelow, Skowhegan