Margaret Wilson Reckling
via Internet

Armour, Not Amour
It never ceases to amaze me how one jealous man with lies, innuendo and misrepresentations can subvert a great sport, so falsely portray a fine gentleman, and do his best to alienate a city against an otherwise charitable and well-meaning group of people. I am referring to Randall Patterson's piece on John Goodman.

This character assassination was hardly the topic on which Patterson led the members to believe that he was writing when he interviewed us. Ever the optimist, I was hoping that we might get a fair article on the sport and the Houston Polo Club. Patterson could have included some of the positive contributions that the club and the sport have made to this community and the public in general. For instance, the funds raised by the club through charity matches for many nonprofit organizations.

Patterson had the opportunity to take the high road; sadly, he chose not to. Unfortunately, I should have known, being the Houston Press, that it would be just another of your whining, hack, tabloid efforts.

Steven S. Armour
Director, Houston Polo Club

Grapes to Champagne
A good journalist uses intelligence and objectivity and checks his facts. I think Randall Patterson's article is greatly lacking in all these areas. His obvious sour grapes bias against anyone more fortunate and talented than he is in poor taste, especially since he is supposed be a professional writer.

I hope someday Randall owns some property large enough to park his car where he wishes.

Yvonne R. Victery

Breathless Over Venom
I have known meanness for its own sake, but your article about John Goodman left me breathless.

I hope that your effort brings profit or joy to someone, because it is so seething with hatred for a man who is nothing if not unfailingly kind, overwhelmingly decent and almost painfully shy. The spoiled, imperial image you seek to create doesn't fit even remotely. In all the years that I have known John Goodman, I have never seen him be abusive or overbearing with anyone ever -- not the Queen of England, not a rookie stable hand. He was born into good fortune, appreciates it and has pursued his personal goals successfully.

Class satire is fair enough, but the repeated use of a person's physical description in an attempt to humiliate is hard for me to fathom. I don't understand what John did to deserve your venom, and I never will. This letter may make me the next target, but so be it.

Paul William Hobby

Randall Patterson replies: The writer is president of the Houston Polo Club. "The Patron" was not intended as satire but as a forthright look at a sport and at the owner of the sport's top-ranked team. Since the owner in this case chooses to play on his own team, his physical condition was relevant to the story, as it would be in any story about any athlete.

Read On
Congratulations on a fine article about Houston polo. It is not entirely true about no HPC players being members of the Bayou Club. The portrait of Goodman as a good guy is dead on. Total Ralph-bashing. All the best.

Andrew Hobby
via Internet

Below the Belt
What the hell has Goodman done to incite the vitriolic wrath of writer Randall Patterson?

The guy obviously has a lot of dough, which Patterson may be understandably jealous of, but what is the harm in this guy spending his money the way he wants? I found Patterson's article to be a really cruel expose for reasons I can't understand. If the article's theme was to be the lawsuit with Ralph Lauren, that's fair game, and however he chose to slant that information I would understand.

The elder Goodman had four children, not five as stated.
Goodman is simply a really nice guy who happens to have a fat wallet. He has done no harm to anyone. The guy didn't deserve the personal attacks. They really were below the belt and served the article no purpose. I hope Patterson is laughing all the way to his office in his Chevy, wearing his $120 suit to pick up his $400-a-week paycheck so he can go put $2 to show on some nag out at Sam Houston Park.

Doug Roach

Randall Patterson replies: Harold Goodman's children were listed incorrectly in his Chronicle obituary. I regret repeating that error.

Former Mayor Speaks
I want to thank Shaila Dewan for her extraordinary story about the city of South Houston ["Under Siege," November 12]. I know that it was the result of her conscientious effort to get the whole story and examine all sides. It is an unsettling feeling to see all of these things in print, compiled and verified by a independent third party. It is an accurate description of what I faced during my tenure as mayor of South Houston.

If anything positive came from the injustice of overturning a democratic and free mayoral election, it must be the realization that attention must be paid to what the "fight at city hall" is really about.

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