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Letter: A Total Lack of Responsibility

To the Editor:

I was struck by the total lack of responsibility with which Andrew Button has faced the future since October 2006, when he chose to file for personal bankruptcy (“Left in Bankruptcy’s Wake,” July 28 Sunday Valley News). Button is quoted as saying he “learned a lot” and is “not happy with what I’ve done.” He also says he has gained the wisdom that money is not everything. I presume that Shelley Gilbert, Roland St. Sauveur, Carolyn Cole and Howard Myers do not feel the same way.

My late father-in-law lost all he had in a textile business back in the 1950s. Ad Blum, however, was a man of the highest ethics and morals. He did not declare bankruptcy, which we might have done. Rather, he spent the rest of his life paying back every penny he owed to everyone. It took years and years of hard work and much sacrifice, but he could not live with himself unless he did the right thing. He learned lessons as well. He learned that the community respected him for what he did. He learned that no one ever hated him or felt used and abused by him. He learned that he could remain a civic leader because he dealt honestly and fairly when he was at his lowest point, not merely be a “big man” on a stage of comfort. He learned that he could sleep at night not merely tired from working hard, but because he had a clean conscience. It took years, but he paid everyone every dime owned. Sadly, he died six months after that accomplishment, but he died a good and decent man, loved and respected by all.

Button appears to have learned none of these lessons or we might have found in this article some mention of the payments he has made to those he harmed and whose trust and respect he squandered. Gilbert and the others have lost a fortune, but Button is indeed the most impoverished man in the Upper Valley.

Karen R. Blum



Left in Bankruptcy’s Wake: Some Who Loaned Andrew Button Money Now Lament Trusting Him 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to find a bigger golden boy in the Upper Valley than Andrew Button. He was on his way to owning five car dealerships. He accumulated real estate like he was playing Monopoly. Mascoma Savings Bank was loaning millions to his business ventures. Individuals were writing him six-figure checks. He flew airplanes and …