My Friend Jay
Having known Jay Hamburger for a number of years and having been involved with a few of his philanthropic endeavors, I feel the need to comment on Steve McVicker's recent article. [Ana's Angel, April 4].

While much (not all) of what was written is true, why the slant or the innuendoes? There are not many who are willing, or able, to work the system to provide such luxuries Ana has been afforded by Jay's tireless efforts. The fact that she will be walking around on prostheses, and not whittled wooden dowels, is impressive to me!

The references to what must be a difficult father/son relationship were unnecessary and unneeded in this piece.

As for Ana, I suggest all her medical bills be paid off with the moneys so generously donated by the Houston citizens and Ana sent home, away from this feeling of lack of control for her life, to the freedom of Nicaragua.

Vicki Meredith
Toluca Lake, CA

Editor's reply: Ana Prieto Canela is from Honduras, not Nicaragua -- but you would have had to have read McVicker's article closely to grasp that fine distinction, as well as the writer's mostly sympathetic rendering of Jay Hamburger and his efforts on Ana's behalf.

Searching for Surcease
"In the beginning there was baseball, and baseball was it," Javier Lara writes in his recent letter to the Press [April 11] about disenchantment with the Astros because of uncaring players and owners, along with high prices. What was once just baseball has become just another advertising medium. It is no fun to be clobbered with shouted selling messages between and during every inning, even after paying ever-higher prices for what is supposed to be entertainment.

This same insidious money-grubbing has increasingly perverted other entertainment venues as well. Our ears and wallets get no rest. Then they kvetch because people don't show up. Dumb.

J. K. Hillstrom

Whining for Cheese Steak
I've read your cafe reviews in the past, and on the whole they've been fairly accurate. As an expatriate Yankee living in exile in the South, though, I must take exception to what you consider "the holy grail of" Philly cheese steaks ["Philadelphia Story," by Brad Tyer, April 4].

You seem overly concerned with how the sandwich is wrapped and its pedigree (i.e., are the owners from Philly?). As for Jake's pedigree, it is the meeting place for both the local Penn State and Villanova alumni associations, which I think speaks for itself. Also, Jake's "appeared unexpectedly" over five years ago, while its competitors have probably been in business for about a year combined. Additionally, only a heathen would put banana peppers on a cheese steak -- that's like putting mayonnaise on a taco.

It is irresponsible, in my opinion, to recommend a restaurant in an area of town where it would be unwise to leave your dear old grandmother at night sans an escort without mentioning it in your review. This is especially true when in the same review, you complained about having to go the Rice Village (The Village is in New York -- only originals get the The treatment. New York is The City, while Houston is just a city.)

As a native Texan you're about as qualified to pass judgment on Philly cheese steaks as an orthodox rabbi is to judge who makes the best baked ham. Then again, being uninformed has never prevented the Houston Press from expressing an opinion.

Name withheld by request

Editor's reply: Damn straight, and if you don't like it, we suggest you get on The Greyhound and hie your in-exile butt back to The City. This is Texas, sport, and we leave our grandmas in any neighborhood we please.


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