By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Listen to the Music
Director's cut: Bravo, Houston Press! At least one Houston newspaper realizes that the Houston Symphony deserves a cover story ["Can the Band Play On?" by Marene Gustin, September 7]. The orchestra is important not only to the concertgoers but also to the community at large.
The symphony, under the leadership of Christoph Eschenbach, added fame and luster to Houston's claim as a city of culture. The level of musical quality, so esteemed by local and foreign audiences, has risen and remains at new heights. The musicians are determined to keep it there.
It is unfortunate that the quality of administrative performance did not keep pace, and it was refreshing to see that discussed in the article by Gustin. The lackluster efforts at fund-raising and the ineptness of public relations have been all too evident for years. One can only wonder if board members would have tolerated such incompetence within their own organizations.
Hopefully the current board will seek the best music director and the best executive director to restore the level of excitement audiences felt during Eschenbach's tenure. Houston deserves nothing less!
Legs, lungs and liberty: Regarding "Live Free and Die" [by Wendy Grossman, August 31], Dave cannot objectively discuss the issues surrounding smoking because he is addicted to cigarettes. Of course Dave says, "it isn't about smoking." What it is really about is the huge costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses.
I cannot be objective about smoking either. The doctor said my father would die if his leg was not amputated. Horrified, I asked what caused this condition. "Fifty years of smoking" was the simple reply. After the second leg had to be amputated, he just asked for a cigarette. His body was screaming for some nicotine. My husband held his father's hand as he died from lung cancer. My mother-in-law quit at age 62 without a program or even nicotine patches. It can be done.
Good foundations: Now, thanks to Brad Tyer, maybe no one else will feel the sting of David Allen Zovath ["Home Sweet Cell," September 7]. Moral of the story: Don't build until you get a performance bond signed and sealed! Frances Kenyon
Waller Strip Tease Paint peeler: KPRC is "caustically conservative" [Insider, by Tim Fleck, September 7]? And I suppose KPFT is "soothingly liberal." The voice of Amy Goodman (host of KPFT's Democracy Now) would strip the paint off a barn.
Home to Roost
Crock-a-doodle-doo: Not George W. Bush -- George Polydoros! It seems my friend George is having trouble with crowing roosters at the Wabash Feed Store on Washington Avenue ["Room to Crow," by Melissa Hung, August 24]. I like roosters and the Wabash. So I bought every crowing rooster they had. Wabash has agreed to call me when the next group of young roosters starts crowing.
If you would like to help George, please make a small contribution payable to True To Texas and mail it to 14501 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079.
As a bonus, upon receipt of your contribution we will forward George's recipe for fried chicken.
Cinch for the Grinch: I can't believe Mr. Polydoros missed his chance to audition for the Grinch! The Wabash Feed Store is a wonderful place, and both my girls love going there every chance they can. It seems like Mr. Polydoros is trying his best to change a wonderful place that holds many happy memories for many children. If he took some children there, I bet he would have a change of heart, kind of like the Grinch, since he would see how much they would love the place.
Bonnie C. Sheeren
Dallas or Downtown?
Zoned out:People have zoning in Dallas, so when they move to Houston they freak out ["Murphy's Law", by Melissa Hung, August 3]. Get a life or move. How can you move into a bohemian neighborhood and expect it to change because you coughed up a quarter-million dollars for some generic town house. Stop the madness.
Move to the burbs: Seems that Mr. Murphy got more than he bargained for when he moved from the Dallas suburbs into the Heights. It should be readily apparent to anyone who has spent time inside a city that what makes a city a vibrant place to live and work is the diversity of the people who surround you.
If he wants to be surrounded by people who look like him and think exactly like him, and where the riffraff go home each day after mowing his yard and cleaning, and where there are no neighborhood joints to give it character, he should move to the suburbs. Hell, I live in the burbs and can't wait to get out.
Head job: Apparently someone on your staff was dozing in journalism class. They misheard the statement "headlines should jump out at the reader" as "headlines should jump out at the reader, club them, drag them off to a cave and scream at them until they wake up and beg for mercy." What's up with the big fonts?