Pasadena Story
It seems eerie, growing up in the Pasadena area for 20-plus years and hearing all of those stories that you know couldn't possibly be true, then reading them from the source ["Sherwood's Rules," by Randall Patterson, May 15]. Good job.

A. Fuller
via Internet

Everybody Digs That Dinosaur Thang, Peter
I just had to write in response to a comment made by Peter Rainer in his review of The Lost World [Film, "Spielberg's Lost," May 22]. For one thing ... no, thang, black people enjoy a good dinosaur movie just the same as whites, thank you. I thought Jurassic Park was an excellent movie, and I am looking forward to seeing The Lost World.

Now back to Rainer's little unnecessary comment. He wrote, "Kelly, incidentally, is black, which either signals a welcome bit of colorblindness on the part of the filmmakers or blatant attempt to woo African-Americans to a movie otherwise almost entirely devoid of them." Who in the hell do you think contributed most of the hundreds of millions of dollars Jurassic Park grossed? Also, you must have forgotten about Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park. I don't think Spielberg was trying to woo African-Americans by adding one black character. If he wanted to woo me or other African-Americans, the entire cast would have had to be black.

All things considered, I strongly believe that The Lost World will do very well at the box office and attract many African-Americans, based solely on the fact that Spielberg has established himself as a very brilliant movie director -- not because the cast consists of one black individual. Period!

Peace, my brother.
Brandon Evans

Real American
I would like to thank you for your story "One-Man Mob" [by Steve McVicker, May 8] as a display of courage and a commentary on society. My interpretation of the reason for John Shike's marriage to Saba Hameed was primarily to take care of his sons. I noted there were no daughters, considered virtually worthless in the old culture of Pakistan.

Shike regarded Saba as cheap labor, and perhaps there was a dowry, common in the culture, although you made no mention of it. Under conditions where an American-born woman would balk, John counted on the dictates of her society to keep her quiet. It may have worked, except for three factors his scheming, brilliant mind did not consider. The first: Even a dog will bite when treated too cruelly or if her young are in danger. The second: This is America, and our culture abhors his type. Being an educated woman and forced to work to sustain her family, Saba became privy to this facet of our culture. However, the third factor was their common gene pool. Where another woman would have bent or broken, she proved as strong as he. This last provides the greatest irony of all.

Saba exhibits what it takes to be a "real" American -- spunk and courage. As a woman, I thank her. Lawyer Stewart Gagnon showed not only courage by representing her, but that nobility of the law has not died. Lastly, knowing how vindictive this man was, you still had the courage to write this story. I thank you again. I am very tired of "blood, guts and crime" journalism that reminds me of format fiction. It is refreshing to read something with depth.

Jane Foster

Back to Pakistan?
Like the district attorney who said John Shike's relentless abuse of the court system took her breath away, I am flabbergasted. It is behavior like Shike's that perpetuates negative stereotypes of Middle Eastern nationalities, but more than that, the negligence of the justice system that allows him to abuse the entire system for free makes this case seem commonplace. I am so appalled at every phase and facet of this story that I barely know where to start.

The part of the story that stuck in my craw throughout is the fact that neither of these people are American citizens! I would question whether Saba is even legal, given that her marriage was upheld only by common law. Did she ever get her own visa? What about her family?

Nonetheless, Saba's saga arouses sympathy for abused women. However, for all of Shike's antics, your story did not give the impression that he wanted her to stay. The fact that he has supposedly remarried would lead one to believe he was finished with her. Why doesn't she go back to Pakistan? There was no indication in the story that she has any reason to stay, and she had a good life at home. Her children were not born in the United States; her mother would no doubt be happier to be in her native clime in her old age. There was no mention of a job that offered great reward, as anyone who has worked retail and/or substituted (I've done both) will tell you. She does not even have to be present when he finally does sign the divorce decree, if he ever does. In fact, would the marriage be upheld in Pakistan, minus the crucial second ceremony?

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