10 August 2008

gannett/town talk still ignoring hotel bentley homage website

wst... note: the below letter was sent to the gannett/town talk's "your mail" on 01 august 2008. as of this date it has not been published. also, in july 2008, kalb did post a short video interview clip of mr. genius regarding the historic bentley website to kalb.com (since removed) as far as we know, kalb never broadcasted the interview or made reference to its existence on any over-the-air broadcast.

August marks the 100 birthday of the Bentley Hotel.

Several month's ago I contacted a good friend of mine, Ken Freeman, who lives in Tyler, Texas with the idea to establish a web site that pays homage to the history and legacy of the Bentley Hotel here in Alexandria. He agreed to do this free of charge for the Louisiana History Museum.

Ken's company is one of the best in the south for designing web sites. I gathered together all the original photographs in the museum's archive on the Bentley. Took photographs of the remaining artifacts we have on display. Gathered together all of the postcards that contained images the Bentley. Digitized everything into my computer, arranged it in correct order and sent it to Ken in Tyler, Texas.

I asked another friend, Carl Laurent to write a short history of the Bentley and how Joseph A. Bentley had an effect on the growth and economy of Central Louisiana. He kindly agreed to do so.

Now all this was done in about a months time.

No grant money was used, no business or corporation put up any monies. No studies were done.The only expense for processing was absorbed by the Louisiana History Museum.

Ken Freeman and I were very proud of our creation. It was done out of love for Central Louisiana and nothing more.

No one is making money off this web site. It is and will always be for historic preservation. There has been a lot of conversation on historic preservation lately but very little has been done about promoting it. That is why historicbentley.com was established.

We assumed that because the month of August was the 100th birthday of the Bentley, that we would have no trouble at all getting the web site publicized. I emailed and called the news editors of the two major television stations in Alexandria. I emailed and was interviewed on the phone by a reporter for the TownTalk. Several of the news blogs on the Internet jumped on it and did stories the day I informed them.. Their comments were very positive.

Three weeks after everyone was contacted I spoke with the news editor of the Town Talk on the phone, he assured me they would do a story. To make a long story short the only story that was done was on KALB-TV.

Negotiations are under way with the city and a Baton Rouge company on the Bentley. We have seen repetitious story after story on what they might or might not do. But notice no story has been done on what the Bentley once was and how it came to be. That's part of what I and the Louisiana History Museum support, historic preservation.

Even though the major media outlets do not consider it important, please check it out. www.historicbentley.com.

Take time to register on our forum and tell your memories of this once grand lady. Perhaps the news media might reconsider.

Dale Genius
Executive Director
Louisiana History Museum
503 Washington St.
Alexandria, La.
(318) 487-8556