Plus: No Foolin', HGO Curtain Call, Shooting Gallery

As far as employees working on Christmas night, Gallery is closed on that holiday. If employees were working on Christmas Eve, I can guarantee you they were working voluntarily and were being paid very well.

As someone who works for Mac, I can speak with more authority on these matters than the person who wrote the letter. A year ago, I was suspicious of his motives, but I have been fortunate to get to know the man on a personal level. You'll find an introspective, spiritual, almost introverted man, who is sincere in his charitable endeavors. That is matched by his treatment of his employees. He is a stern but compassionate boss; give him your effort and loyalty, and he will return it without question.

Dale Gadbois

Jilted by Jones

Students deserve better: Your recent article about Jones High School really hit home ["A Fixer-Upper," by Margaret Downing, May 30]. Recently I was unsuccessful in obtaining a copy of my child's transcript. (The registrar would not, of course, provide it to me on my first visit -- I had to return.)

The most important statement in the report from the Continuous School Improvement Team was its observation that "children and their needs do not appear to be at the heart of the school's culture."

Here is one typical example: Last fall I was waiting in the counselors' suite (a visit necessitated by the staff's refusal to process my daughter's routine, approved request for a schedule change). Most of the other counselors were gathered around the reception desk laughing at reasons listed by students for why they wanted to drop a class. This was in front of three or four students who were trying their best to pretend that this violation of confidentiality was not occurring.

Thanks so much for speaking out for the Jones students. How many other students in HISD face these same problems? This is the one chance our students have to receive a high school education, and improvements cannot be made soon enough for their benefit. Jones students deserve as good an education as the students at Bellaire High, but that won't happen unless major changes are made.

Name withheld by request

Biggers and Better

A home for art: "Unmasked at Last" [by Jesse Washington, May 9] is a nice, palatable discussion on the division of commerce and culture that will always have race as an unclear issue. The statement was made that John Biggers's preference not to work with dealers and galleries was a contributing factor to his lack of national recognition. That might better be explained as a comparison to New York-based artists Roman Beouden and Jacob Lawrence.

With respect to Biggers's mainstream affiliation, I am aware of numerous gallery showings here and elsewhere. For more than 25 years, my company has enjoyed a lucrative dealer/artist relationship. I continue to work with the estate and am committed to finding a home for Biggers's art legacy, one that will afford him the true global recognition he deserves.

E.L. Foney

Hell No

Fundamentalist ways: I have learned not to go to places where I do not belong ["God Only Knows," by Margaret Downing, May 2]. I gave up long ago trying to fit into the narrow mold demanded by fundamentalist churches.

By the time I left fundamentalism (a Southern Baptist church in northwest Houston), there were five basic tenets of faith: 1) gays are going to hell; 2) abortionists are going to hell; 3) Democrats are going to hell; 4) non-Christians are going to hell; and 5) fundamentalist Christians who vote Republican will be the only ones in heaven.

I also found out that questioning their version of Christianity in any way was not welcomed.

There are too many good churches around that are interested in spiritual growth and love to waste time on those who want only to make and follow rules.

Sam Davis

Praising Pam

Washington Avenue wonder: As someone who has spent a little time on Washington Avenue, I'd like to salute Pam Robinson and her endeavors along that interesting little street ["Pamland Central," by John Nova Lomax, May 30].

The ambitious and farsighted young lady has put her money where her mouth is and rolled the dice to try to provide Houston with some viable entertainment alternatives. I really believe her motives are altruistic as well as pecuniary. She has loved and supported music (read: paid the dang cover), and her growing involvement in the Houston music scene will only benefit its fans and artists. And as you can see, she gives good quote. It will be interesting and fun to watch what happens.

I'm a displaced Houstonian and pine for the town greatly. I describe the city this way: New York City is great to visit, wouldn't want to live there. Houston's a great city to live in, wouldn't want to visit. It's people like Pam and her crew at Walter's who make it such a dynamic town. Can't wait until Donna and Pam work up their Washington Avenue Hoo Ha Parade, or whatever they end up calling it. Sara Fitzgerald needs to be involved in it so another of the dynamic women of the Houston music scene (the original?) gets a chance to show her stuff.

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