Letter from Linda Mertle

Dear Mr. Haulman;

I just wanted to express to you what a relief it was to finally have the Jonestown Plaques complete. I have come up often to spend time with the ones I lost so long ago, it has been a healing process for me through out the years and now I will be able to touch the names of the ones who will never be forgotten by me. I sometimes come to the graveside before or after the Anniversary day so I don’t have to hear a stranger preaching and that circus that follows her while she carries on with her hatred and pushing her god on anyone who happens to be around to hear it. I know its a free country but I would rather sit quiet and cry with out a bunch of strangers around. I grew up in Peoples Temple from age 9 to almost 18 and lost everyone I knew every friend that became a family member, every senior that became a grand parent to me, the child that I cared for as my own and my first Love these are the ones that I come to talk with when my heart starts to hurt. I planted the tree and rose bush tree up there but I couldn’t come up and water them often enough so they are not doing very well.

I guess what I am trying to say is first I want to Thank Evergreen for taking everyone who was unclaimed when no one else would. And I am so grateful Mac, Johnny and Jimmy got everyone who was a survivor or friend of a survivor together to get the money so this project could finally be finished. I have to admit it makes a difference to me knowing that we all pulled together and got this done after all the years each and everyone of us has tried to live with our pain and live in a world that is so different than the one we shared so many years ago. It feels like a bit of closure that has been missing.

This is in memory of Cynthia and Francis Davis, Tiffany Garcia, Grandma Christine Bates, Don Bower, Vicky Dover, Searcy, Ollie, Najah and Newhuanda Darnes, Mary, Janet, Ruth and Larry Tupper, Barbara Hoyer, Ronnie James, Marilee Bogue, Joe Wilson and so many more. I hope to see you one of these days when I am up visiting old friends and family.

Sincerely, Linda Mertle