100 Percent Marjoram-Free
Zowie!! What a treat that was -- the return of Alison Cook ["Year of the Rat," December 26]! And what a mad coincidence that La Colombe D'Or was featured on your Cafe page simultaneously. ["Seriously French," by Joanne Harrison].

But tell us, o food gurus, did any of the entrees still taste of ... er, marjoram?

Mike Peters

The Year That Spoke for Itself
Alison Cook's year-end summary was great. She did a terrific job of combing through '96 to come up with the best examples of the human comedy, and she was confident enough to let each item speak for itself. I happened to read Newsweek's similar effort at the same sitting and found yours to be decidedly better. Good work!!

Bill Sadler

Take It to the Yard, Boys
I am a frequent reader of your paper, which I hold in much regard. Your articles are a much-needed source of information that this city is lucky to have. In a recent issue, Jimmy Fowler wrote an article called "Two for the Road" [January 2] in which he describes his adventures with several ladies on a political mission. Upon reading of three of these ladies' experience with two disc jockeys in our city, I felt I must respond.

I was appalled at the undignified and rude behavior these ladies received at the hands of these over-grown juvenile delinquents. I am quite sure that these boys' mothers would have dropped in a dead faint if they could hear it. And trying to excuse rudeness by blaming the producers for the "request," which was a demand, only added further insult.

I credit Miss Kayla and Miss Sofia with having the good manners to be generous and accommodating to their hosts. They have obviously been brought up not to disregard hospitality, even if the host is being seven different kinds of fool. I do also give high respect to Miss Vanity to put those two in their place for their uncivilized behavior.

There are many in the world who do not approve of some people's choice of occupation. That is only natural in a world as diverse as ours. But good manners exist so that we can conduct ourselves in a civilized manner, even when we are at odds. To have someone abuse the gift of hospitality to conduct an act of rudeness is distressing. The image these ladies have of our city is now, by far, a poorer one. I, for one, apologize for their treatment and hope they know that not everyone in this city holds them in such poor regard.

If Mr. Stevens and Mr. Pruett hold little respect for these ladies' careers, they are allowed to. Then they should not invite the ladies into their company. If they do, they should behave properly. Always remember, with any woman you meet, whether a dancer or a nun, she is someone's daughter, mother, sister or wife. She is loved and respected, so treat her how you wish your own relations to be treated. That is common courtesy.

If they would rather be ill-mannered boors, well, as my grandma used to say, "If you gonna act like trash, you get yourselves out into the yard!"

Kate Keene

Theater Critic
I was horrified by the information displayed on your December 19 cover ["The New Jesus," by Randall Patterson]. Half a million dollars for that self-aggrandizing, overhyped, poorly done, excremental "pageant"? It's bad enough when these people misuse their own mythology (reenacting the crucifixion at Christmas?) ... but to have wasted so many resources -- money, time, effort -- merely to appease one's sense of needing to feel "holy"?

How many could that have fed, clothed, sheltered? How much could that have supported medical research? How far could that have gone to end the suffering that the ChristaNazis have inflicted upon my own Native American people?

Or would it be asking too much of these "followers of Jesus" to do something that he might have done?

Tristan MacAvery

Who's Next
Meet the New Jesus. Same as the Old Jesus.
Bruce Lewis

Big Problem, Man...
I often read the Houston Press because it is the only newspaper that will give me the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I especially enjoy reading Michael Berryhill's articles. I believe he is an honest and no-nonsense reporter who is on the cutting edge of journalism. However, I was slightly offended by Mr. Berryhill's statement in his story "No Problem, Man..." [January 2] about the troubles faced by Texas Southern University: "Dependent on a combination of direct federal and state grants and federally subsidized loans, some students had come to expect the subsidies as a form of welfare."

Mr. Berryhill, what are you trying to imply by this statement? Are you really saying that some students of color are on welfare from birth to death? The last I had heard about financing higher education, most students, regardless of color, ethnicity, religion or creed, are on some type of financial aid at whichever university or college they attended. Everyone in America is on some type of welfare, from corporations to the elderly.

I admit that Texas Southern University has many problems, but can you actually expect all the problems incurred over the years to be solved in a relatively short period of time? TSU was never created to be on par with UT or Texas A&M, but the university has produced outstanding individuals -- federal judges, state judges, attorneys, statesmen and humanitarians. TSU is the only place where many individuals have a chance for a decent life.

I met one young woman at TSU who had been a member of a notorious gang. She has completely changed her life and is now making plans on attending law school. Everything that comes out of TSU is not bad -- the university is also a place for wayward souls to grow, change and become good citizens.

V. Bastone
via Internet

In Alison Cook's story "Year of the Rat" in the December 26 Press, it was erroneously stated that a letter circulated on behalf of state representative candidate Dwayne Bohac claimed he was a "pioneering member" of St. Ambrose Catholic Church.The letter actually stated that Bohac's parents had been pioneer members of the church.


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