Rubber Ducks and a Real Goose
I am distraught that Lisa Gray ["Some Things Never Die," May 6] does not consider the "real estate guy" who co-founded and single-handedly financed the Houston Press important enough to mention by name (or that of Chris Hearne or John Wilburn, whose concept and creation it was).

She is correct that the paper never broke even during my ownership. But where did she get the idea that "the start-up money ran out?" If that were true, the Press would have folded long before New Times came along. In that case, the images of hardship available to her might have been more poignant than the forced performance of alternative journalism without adequate air-conditioning.

If our business plan was so flawed, why do you think New Times paid me several million dollars for the Press? The new management obviously knows their stuff, and I wish them continued success. I am sure they are earning a nice profit. If they were not, however, and thought it would help, Lisa would be doing a personal profile on the winning rubber duck.

I do agree with her that Tim Fleck is nowhere near macho enough to send on a trail ride.

With all good wishes (honest),
Niel Morgan
via Internet

Canvas of Caffeine
Thank you for the wonderful article "La Dolce Vita" [by Brad Tyer, May 6]. It brought back lot of good memories. Ah! The countless hours of playing chess, drinking coffee and checking out women. Ah! So many beautiful women, speaking so many beautiful languages!

I would bring my mother's Indian cooking to my friends working there, and in return they would give me free coffee and ice cream. For students making a few bucks an hour, such a barter system was perfect!

Somehow it's not the same there today. The coffee doesn't have the aroma that it once had. The pedestal cups are gone. The friend I spent so much time with playing chess is now dying of MS.

I always said to myself that one day I would like to make a painting of this place, like Renoir or Cezanne or Van Gogh would have painted one their favorite places in Paris. Perhaps I will.

Murli Rupani
via Internet

DMP Dumped
If Tim Fleck wants the real story on Model-Netics and DMP [Insider, April 22], he should inquire about its current use at American General, the company from which Harold Hook retired as chairman.

The current CEO of American General is Robert Devlin, Hook's successor and a charter student of Model-Netics. Guess what? American General has said good-bye not only to Hook but also to his beloved Model-Netics. Maybe it's time to cast Rod Paige into the "cruel sea" and name a new captain to the USS HISD!

Shelby Costina
via Internet

Decade of Raves
Bravo for Ms. Briggs's refreshing critique on Jalapenos restaurant ["Beating the Rep," May 13]. As a loyal customer for ten years, it is exciting that this "Cheers kind of place with a Latin twist" is receiving the kudos it so deserves.

Becky Harris
Sugar Land

Tundra Tourista
Great article on a great restaurant. Here's something not many people know: The only fajitas ever served in the former USSR were from Jalapenos on Kirby.

Shortly before traveling to speak at a seminar in Soviet Latvia in 1990, I decided it would be great to introduce Mexican fajitas to that part of the world. The restaurant packed a huge container with flash-frozen fajitas, chips, tortillas, guacamole, jalapenos and lots of dry ice.

Just as the last of the dry ice evaporated, we had a real fajita cookout in a little town south of Riga, Latvia. Judging by the comments I heard, if Jalapenos ever wants to open a franchise on the Tallinn-Riga highway, it'll get a lot of customers.

Richard L. Miller
via Internet

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