Letters 08-24-2000

Bayousphere: A quinceaera, and Alex Barboza is the star.
Deron Neblett

A Ring of Reverence

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.

Valerie Roe

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."

Miss Jan
Promoter, Warriors of Wrestling


Early-Warning System

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.

Being a third-generation Mexican-American, I know about being called a wetback, thug, thief and so on even though I've never been convicted, cheated anyone or been a gang member.

I feel for Tracy. I think this was a tragedy full circle. But those facts should not convict the millions of other Latinos in America who abide by the law, are respectful citizens and contribute to society in many positive ways.

Danny Perez

Tracey's travels: Your story on Tracey Deel was very good. Thank you for writing it. I do not live far from where Ms. Deel was hurt, and I remember being amazed at how far she traveled for help with such severe injuries. Please tell her that there are people out here who continue to pray for her. She is a very remarkable person.

Diane Bowman

E-mail therapy: Thanks for the article and the fact that you show that this could happen to anybody. I would suggest that Tracey consider working with a therapist who will work with her using e-mail if that's what she's comfortable with.

I had a very close friend who was abducted, cut up and left for dead. She too walked to get help and survived. She is one of the most gentle souls I have known. It became apparent that she had dealt with as much of the trauma as she could, but it is not resolved for her. With a trauma this big, I believe the only way to deal with it is to break it down into smaller parts.

Sherry Ainsworth

Footing the bill: I was so moved by her story -- I can only hope that I would be so strong if faced with a similar situation. Thanks for telling us about it.

She mentions wanting to begin exercising. I'd like to invite her to Nia, a mind/ body/soul barefoot dance-to-music program. I've been doing Nia since March, and it has completely changed my life. I'd be happy to pay for her first class.

Genevieve Kitterman

Expanded horizons: I was not aware that anyone other than a right-wing, white, racist, sexist homophobe could commit a "hate crime."

John L. Anders Jr.

Sand and Toilet Seats

Save the beach: The letter from Brooks Porter [Letters, August 10] is a perfect example of what is wrong at the coast ["This Sand Is Your Sand," by Brad Tyer, July 13]. Shortsighted people who have made bad investments are trying to trick the public into "bailing" them out for their poor decisions. Brooks Porter and other investors own a number of rent houses on the beach. Is it strange that those same people are yelling the loudest?

Porter called me a liar, and those are fightin' words in Texas. Here are two sections of the Open Beaches Act he should read: "The Attorney General shall strictly and vigorously enforce the prohibition against encroachments on or interference with the public beach easement." The law also states that as of October 1, 1986, the transfer of coastal land must include the warning that structures seaward of the vegetation line "are subject to a lawsuit by the State of Texas to REMOVE THE STRUCTURES" (emphasis mine). Porter's houses were purchased AFTER that date!

As for cleaning up messes, Surfrider Foundation provided three days of labor (over 400 man-hours) to help protect the dunes in front of his houses! We joined the Texas Adopt-A-Beach Program two years ago and have regular organized cleanups.

As for the infamous Porta-Can, Porter states it "has been verifiably cleaned every two weeks this spring, starting May 26." On April 2, 9 and 16, the SAME turd was on the seat lid! (Disgusted, I photographed it on the second and third week if you would care to see.) A vendetta against property owners? Ridiculous! I'm a property owner. I'm just not stupid enough to buy property on a historically eroding PUBLIC beach and then expect the taxpayers to bail me out.  

To be fair, like Porter, Surfrider Foundation urges the State to begin a beach nourishment program to protect and rebuild eroding beaches.

Ellis Pickett
Chairman, Surfrider Foundation
Texas Chapter


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