The pain within: If you could only relate to the pressure and pain of being forced to grow up in a household with no father, then you would know how sad it really is ["Don't Free SPM," by Olivia Flores Alvarez, November 2]. While it is true that Carlos Coy, a.k.a. South Park Mexican, has very explicit lyrics in his music, it is also true that he is heroic to so many young Mexicans because they know and understand the pain.
I am 15 years old, and I feel that I've been "grown up" for so long now because without that father figure to follow and learn from, I've missed out on so much in life. My mother is very loving, but it still is not and can never be the same as growing up with a father. Like Carlos's, my father left when I was three, and I was always filled with a hate that I couldn't ever understand or release. I started listening to SPM when I was about eight, and even though I had very little knowledge of drugs, sex or hustling, I could relate to him because I knew how much the pain could cripple your mind.
Carlos Coy could never in my mind have really molested that little girl. He had his own daughter, and I know he would have thought about his little girl, and even if he wanted to molest the girl, that alone would have stopped him. He is so influential because he speaks street "gospel." He is not fake, but he is not necessarily the hardest either. I think that the alleged charges are bogus and without DNA and other forensic evidence, the case should never have been tried.
Please take this letter into deep consideration and put yourselves in the place of so many children who live without growing up with their fathers. It is so painful, but there is always a good way to go, and I thank God for showing me the right way to go.
John Michael Salinas
Seeing the Lightman
We're smart: Add two more to Toby Lightman's brigade of fans, per your current article ["The 50 Smartest People in Houston," by Olivia Flores Alvarez, October 26]. My husband and I went to see James Blunt at Verizon Theater. None of us standing there were particularly thrilled when Toby took the stage. "Oh boy, another girl singer-ish person, who is probably the little sister of James Blunt's promoter..." Groooaaan.
And then Toby began to sing. It quickly became a "James who?" kind of moment, as we all -- male and female -- became enthralled with this cute, warm, friendly and talented young lady. After the concert, I wanted a Toby Lightman T-shirt, which my husband gladly bought me -- it is too cool and I wear it lots. We caught Toby again at the Woodlands Pavilion and are sure that one day soon, we'll be lining up at Ticketmaster online, hitting the "buy tickets now" button the moment they go on sale...or we won't get tickets. Yes, we think she is that good, and we are so glad to see there are more smart people out there.
Thanks for a great article. We hope it brings her the fans she deserves.
Joan Leigh Strejc
Now that was a story: If there's any particular stretch of Houston that symbolizes everything this city is, it's Westheimer ["The Sole of Houston," by John Nova Lomax, October 12]. The idea of making this journey by foot and writing about it is just awesome. It's interesting to see the amount of detail in our surroundings that we ignore every day; your story definitely demonstrated that. Following your journey and seeing the different, abrupt changes of our city along the Westheimer stretch was very interesting. It's funny how sporadically we section our city off and change the entire atmosphere of it. It's as if each section is individually owned and operated and designed in a specific and, very often, tacky way. This story was a very unique and realistic look at Houston, and that's what made it so enjoyable.
Cruel and inhumane: Hey, you've got to be kidding! Are the Houston Press, Robb Walsh and Indika ["Montrose Vindaloo," October 12] so unenlightened as to serve, eat and write about foie gras? Don't you know that the ducks and geese are confined in crates and brutally force-fed with a metal pipe? Do you realize that many conscientious chefs, restaurants and cities refuse to serve foie gras because of this cruel and inhumane treatment? Can we have a heart and a conscience here in Houston? I will not be patronizing Indika or any other establishment that serves foie gras. Tell your food guy to get a clue!
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The real stuff: Thank you for finally setting the record straight on Polish kielbasa ["the Measure of Kielbasa," by Robb Walsh, November 2]. The crap they try to pass off in the grocery stores is an insult to all of us of Polish decent. No one in my family would even consider eating that; only the real stuff will do. So thanks for telling those who don't know any better the truth.