Digging in the Dirt
In the November 18 Press, Jim Sherman wrote an article on community gardening ["And in the city's desolation..."] in which he refers to Seymour Schwartz as a curmudgeon-around-town.
Schwartz went to considerable trouble to find someone to grow food on his vacant lot to feed the hungry. His plans were presented to the area civic-club president and architect, and he received approval from both. With the construction almost finished, some of the other club members decided to oppose it. Schwartz attempted to appease them by giving up his source of a tax deduction for donations (and therefore the donations) and his source of helpers. He was forced to fight or betray all the people who had donated money and labor. The club brought suit using attorneys from one of the largest law firms in town. Schwartz spent his full time for two years and considerable funds, all his own, only to see the suit dropped just before it went to court.
He has reorganized the garden under the auspices of a doctor of horticulture with most of the work done by master gardeners. All the food has and will continue to go to the Salvation Army. Schwartz receives absolutely nothing from the garden and has no way to recover one penny of the money he has spent.
This hardly has been a description of the curmudgeon. Rather, this man has very generously given of his time and money to provide food for the hungry. I feel that Sherman should research a man more thoroughly before blaspheming him publicly. You hurt a generous, considerate and caring man.
Editor's Note: The Press profiled Seymour Schwartz and his garden in "The Guerilla Gardeners," May 20, by Jeff Tomich.
A Tribe Called Best
I have to admit, Brad Tyer gave his review of the Crash Worship show a unique perspective when he criticized them for not being phony enough [Pop Moment, "Tribal Scam," November 18]. Too white, he complained.
For me, this was the most pleasant surprise in a show I'd initially regarded with cynicism. I'd presumed they'd tried try to come off as otherwordly tribesmen from the deep jungle here to bestow their message of transcendence through rhythm upon us spiritually lost hicks. But instead what I got was a bunch of goateed, jeans-clad, cigarette-smoking white guys using amplifiers and fireworks and opccassionally taking time out for smartass remarks to the audienece. In short, they were obviously working out of their own culture.
Perhaps Tyer would've been more impressed had they performed nude in body paint or in togas or pretended to be aboriginal shamen, but I give these white guys from San Francisco big points for coming off as exactly who they are.
We're Not Pap Yet
When I heard that the Press was to be sold to an outside chain, I feared that it might turn into the sort of homogeneous pap I've seen in too many cities. It's a little early to tell, but I have to confess that so far, the changes seem to have been all for the better.
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Is that cluttered mess you call Press Briefs -- your day-late, dollar-short attempt to keep up with the dailies -- gone for good? Good riddance; make room for more in-depth reporting about things nobody else will tell us about, from disappeared dildoes to grizzly-wary gun shows.
I'm also strongly encouraged by your better use of photographs to illustrate your stories. And a photo essay! My eyes, what's next! I'm watching.