By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Heartfelt choke holds: Jesse Washington did a wonderful job on the article about Texas All-Star Wrestling ["Ring Dings," August 10]. It was great.
I've been watching TASW for only a short time, but I thought the interviews were awesome. If I could pick a favorite, it would have to be the one with Bob Murphy, mainly because he is a great man inside and out. He is called Humongous not for the size of his body, but for the size of his heart.
He is truly a wonderful guy, and so are the other TASW wrestlers. I don't go to events just to watch two guys beat the tar out of each other, but to see who is the best athlete. Even though that's fun to watch, I also go to see how the guys react to the fans. Even if the fans don't treat the "workers" with respect, the fans still get respect in return.
That's why I like TASW better than other promotions. They have the heart that no other organization has. They have even toned it down a bit for the younger viewers. That is just too cool that so many people care so much about people they hardly -- or don't -- know. You brought the best out of TASW, and you did it in such a manner that anyone could understand. Thanks.
Holly J. Vittorio
Mat maven: I loved the article on TASW! I've been going to their shows since '97. I drive from Huntsville for every show. It's nice to see them get some well-deserved publicity.
Expose Miss Jan: I was amazed at the lack of research and professionalism exhibited in your article. There are other federations in the Houston area. Warriors of Wrestling is one such federation. It is not run by a wrestler but by a businesswoman. Yes, I said woman. Some of its wrestlers have also worked for WWF, WCW and ECW and know what the major companies do and do not pay. They do not have to guess.
Their trainer, Tugboat Taylor, has trained some of the best wrestlers in the Houston area, including Hot Stuff Hernandez and Bob Murphy. We are the next level of professionalism.
I would appreciate equal exposure for a federation that has boys who seriously want to make it big, whether in Mexico, Japan, the United States or South Africa. We have shows running August 25 at the Last Concert Cafe and September 22 in Texas City.
Mr. Washington would be most welcome to come see matches where 11-year-old girls do not yell, ""Kick 'em in the nuts."
Promoter, Warriors of Wrestling
Felony failures: I just read the well-written and remarkable story of Tracey Deel ["Left for Dead," by Wendy Grossman, August 3]. I found the story all the more interesting because I am a first-grade teacher. I was not surprised to read that the two young men who were convicted had both failed first grade.
My colleagues and I regularly observe -- sometimes flippantly but almost always with solemn sincerity -- that we can predict what will become of our students when they reach adulthood. Those who fail to function productively with their peers at any significant social level and fail first grade seem fated to an adverse future.
Intervention at that point is essential. Perhaps failing is not the best intervention, but it is among the most accessible and practical. However, educators agree that family influence is more critical than anything a school can offer.
An indifferent family dooms a child. To be sure, these young men are fully accountable, but one must wonder about the deep-rooted culpability of parents who do not know where their teenage children are at five in the morning.
Unfortunately it is a tragic history now. Those of us who do not personally know Tracey Deel can only hope and pray that she is soon able to enjoy moments and even perhaps days when she does not think of the past or alternate ("what if") realities.
Name withheld by request
Don't blame Latinos: I loved the article you wrote. It was very disturbing to know that people like Kevin and Robert can just play God and attempt to take someone's life. I am a Latino, I grew up in southeast Houston, and I know the plague that many young Latinos have to face every day, but that is no excuse. There are many factors involved, but I just believe they are sick and twisted.
I wish you had touched on those factors that make these kids behave like vicious animals. My wife works for an alternative education program, and I've noticed that some of these kids -- white, black and Hispanic, and mostly poor -- come from environments that don't teach any kind of respect or morals. Either the parents are degenerates themselves or the kids are essentially raising themselves because the parents are working two or three full-time jobs.
In my opinion your story was well written, but it was slightly slanted. Tracy was this girl who came from a good family with dogs, stability and lots of love. On the other hand, the boys were poor Latinos with family problems.