Man who left threatening note at Homewood hair salon sends apology letter

Local News

(Courtesy/Salon U Facebook)

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Several months after leaving a threatening note taped to their doors for displaying a pride flag, 83-year-old James W. Wood sent them a new letter with a change of heart.

Friday, Salon U posted a picture of the letter to it’s Facebook expressing forgiveness for Wood. The salon wrote, “There is nobility in compassion, and beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.”

The letter from Wood states the following:

I respectfully ask that you, your employees, your patrons, and your friends, accept my apology for the note left at your establishment. There is no excuse for what I did it was inappropriate, meanspirited and cowardly. The reaction I have received thereto are justified. I am an 83-year-old navy veteran who loves our country. Unfortunately, I suffer from having a big mouth and, at times, very poor judgment. During the course of my life, I have attempted to serve my nation and neighbors faithfully with honor. I have failed to live up to the standards I set for myself. This experience has been humbling and has made me rethink the assumptions I have about our world. The times have changed while I have not; however I am now trying. In an effort of goodwill, I have made a $300 donation to Birmingham Aids Outreach. I hope this contribution leads to something positive from the mess I made.

James W. Wood

On July 1, staff at Salon U in Homewood reported to have found a letter taped to the back door of the building, which read, “This is not San Francisco or downtown Birmingham. This is Homewood which is a religious and family city. We suggest that you remove that flag before it’s too late. We are concerned citizens. Goodbye.”

The day before, the salon owner Issam Bajalia and 11 employees were in New York City for World Pride Week. To return to work after celebrating the LGBTQ community was disheartening.

“It hurts your feelings, but then it made us really strong,” Salon U employee Elizabeth Poellnitz told CBS 42 at the time.

In August, Wood turned himself into the Homewood Police Department and he was charged with a misdemeanor harassing communications. His bond was set at $300.

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