Breaking Par Big-Time

More than a mere game: I would like to thank Wendy Grossman for the wonderful article on Lee High School's golf team ["Tee Time," November 13]. I have a friend who teaches at Lee and I hear about the diversity and hardships of many of the students and their families.

The fact that there are teachers and a principal who care enough about the students to help them succeed and who are willing to go that extra mile for the students is heartwarming.

And the fact that the students want to succeed as well and are trying hard to do so is evidenced in the article. These are not students from an affluent background -- just kids who want to better themselves. Thanks for the refreshing article.

Janis Frank

Pigskin past: I enjoyed reading your cover story. I attended Lee High School back in the days when we had a football team.

When I picked up the paper I was surprised and thrilled to see the article. I just had to e-mail all my friends and family who attended Lee as well. Great story!

Danielle Dalati

Defending the Deer

Birth control's better: No one has ever loved meat more than I -- be it pork chops from the Cracker Barrel, burgers from Tookie's, or chicken from Café Michael. Even now, every cell salivates at the thought of my son's marinated rib eyes sizzling on the grill, and no one prepares venison as deliciously as my son-in-law. So no one could ever mistake me for one of Robb Walsh's sentimental vegetarian, yuppie types ["Shooting Bambi's Mom," November 6].

Then I read Matthew Scully's book, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy. It has been lauded in the media as life-changing, and it is for anyone brave enough to read it.

Let's call a spade a spade. Walsh's nice little word, "harvesting," means killing and slaughtering. And "wildlife management" means that somewhere in the world today, anyone with a fat enough wallet and an empty heart, can do whatever he wants to any animal -- whether for pure profit or pure pleasure. That goes for anything from hanging cats in cages, to skinning dogs alive while they lick your hand, to auctioning polar bears at a safari club convention in Nevada. And "factory farming" here means raising chickens or sows in cages too small for them to even turn around in, and never setting foot on the good earth or feeling the sun on their backs.

Many of Walsh's sarcastic references to "Bambi's mom," coupled with his pictures of so many "wild" creatures gathered in one spot, makes one wonder if it was the reason he was "in no hurry" to bag his third doe of the morning. He kept her deliciously in sight for a full, mouthwatering five minutes, while scrunched down on the passenger side of his pickup, his rifle resting on the outside mirror. He is one of those brave hunters who baits his venison stew with road feed or the manmade sounds of "yearling distress."

And if Walsh is really so all fired up about deer overpopulation and the car accidents they cause (which increase five-fold during hunting season), next time he aims for the thick of Bambi's mother's neck, let him move it a bit and bang her in her big fat butt with a little birth control instead.

Oh, but then what would Robb eat for supper?

Jonnie Yeatman-Micheletti

Shooting himself instead: "…only the few, the proud, the gourmet environmentalists, will shoot Bambi's mom."

And only one idiotic, doe-killing food writer will be brazen enough to brag about it in print. No doubt, this leaves the many, the irate, the totally turned-off readers of Walsh's column to browse elsewhere for their restaurant reviews.

Bert du Plessis

Madonna's Good Side

OrchestraX gratitude: Thanks for the article and your wit ["Papa Don't Preach," by Greg Barr, November 13]. I enjoyed it, and I think Madonna would have approved of you.

John Axelrod

High Seas Fidelity

Music on the main: It is not absurd that the captain and the good doctor play violin and cello ["Shakedown Cruise," by Gregory Weinkauf, November 13] in the film Master and Commander. Extended ocean voyages often meant long stretches of the same horizon, the same ocean. Many sea captains played instruments, or read the classics, or had other hobbies to pass the endless days.

Have you read the books? It is all explained there much better than I ever could. Steven Marturin was a much more complex character than Jack Aubrey. Jack was "in his element" at sea but easily taken advantage of on land, though the movie doesn't touch on that.

Jack dearly loved to make witty statements and puns, and got more enjoyment out of the least wit than most men. Vulnerable? To women, I suppose you mean. "Jack Aubrey" and "fidelity" are two concepts that don't go together -- in the books!

Thanks for the review.

Charlotte Proctor
Birmingham, Alabama

Ever Neverland

Michael's the man: You should be ashamed of publishing an article like that ["Hail to the Freak," by Craig D. Lindsey, November 13]!

Michael Jackson is a human being and deserves minimum to be treated with respect! You didn't even talk about his numerous engagements for charity!

At least you are such failures with not a minimum of journalistic dignity! I feel so sorry for you guys!

Mechthild Böttger
Essen, Germany

Twisted Talent

Quit praising Kelly: So it is, we ignore the crime in order to acknowledge some sort of "talent" ["O.J. All Over Again," by Craig D. Lindsey, October 23]. What exactly are we labeling the talent here? R. Kelly, now known to me as a child predator, always settled uneasy with me. It had always been my sixth sense. It's as though he's getting away with murder. He has romantically buzz-killed his career for some.

Kelly has proved that as long as you have the money, it can buy you damned near anything. Had he just been some everyday joe, he'd already be halfway underground. Regardless of the full extent of the circumstances, he should have played the role of the adult, and he didn't. Maybe this was his plea for help; maybe he is a disturbed individual.

All I know is people are encouraging the behavior in all the wrong ways. It is depressing to see so many praise this event. Should we question ourselves? Better yet, what if she had been your daughter?

A. Seals


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