Not Fade Away
Worth a thousand words each: This is an amazing collection of photos ["Scenes from a City's Soul," by Richard Connelly, May 23]. My mother and father were born in Houston (the Sixth Ward and Third Ward, respectively) in 1925.
When I was growing up, my parents spoke of the old Houston: trolley cars from Washington Avenue to downtown, the underground penny arcade, Princess drive-in, Kirby Theatre, city auditorium, etc.
Seeing these photographs brings the old stories to life. I'm 43 now, and both of my parents are gone. Thanks for posting the photos on the Web. It means a lot to me.
Felony dumb: In regards to the political/ police action of May 4 at Fitzgerald's ["Doobieous Bust," by John Suval, May 16], it would behoove each of us to question the intelligence of both the police and those busted.
On the police side, what a scandalous, wasteful allocation of manpower and scarce resources to bust a couple of potheads. How much real crime went down on May 4?
How much animosity was spread across the community with this immoral act? If stupidity were a crime, those busted would be doing life without parole.
Police presence was as thick as purple haze. Dude, when you know there are cops around and someone much older, whom you have never met, seen or talked to, keeps bugging you for weed, are you really surprised when they're narcs?
Are you sure the cops didn't have doughnuts, because the bustees sound like a bunch of Homers.
David J. Welch
Abusing power? If the readers of the article about the police activities during the "Million Marijuana March" would look closer, they'd discover that they have a police state on their hands. What the police did is exactly how they do things in totalitarian states: They infiltrate meetings of all kinds and try to get people to incriminate themselves. Then they make mass arrests. This is how the police acted in communist and fascist dictatorships, and it's surprising to see it in Texas, of all places.
The arrest of the participants of the party is a misuse of the law, and the sole purpose of the raid was to terrorize the participants and to screw money out of whomever they arrested, the penalty being 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Since when has it been accepted in the United States for police to storm peaceful assemblies and rough up the participants, as if we were a communist dictatorship? It's shameful that such things go on in places where people pride themselves on their love for liberty, as in Texas. It does not speak well of you that you allow ordinary people to be brutalized for no reason.
Harry D. Fisher
Woodland Hills, California
Buy Bye: The event in Texas must have been done by the same police that live in our tiny town.
My wife and I are casual users who are not into dealing. An acquaintance came over looking for some pot, but we told him four or five times that we didn't have any. Finally we were becoming upset that he wouldn't take no for an answer and sold him our little bit, 2.91 grams.
Two months later, my wife and I were handcuffed in front of our children by two city cops and a guy from the metro drug unit. It seems that this so-called friend was wearing a wire so he could get a lesser sentence for something he had done.
It almost seems that the police want to create a crime so they have something they can boast about cleaning up (nothing like a little job security). We have an 18-month probation and have spent over $9,000 in fines, lawyers and drug assessments. We even had to pay so that the guy who set us up had safety, all for 2.91 grams of marijuana. We are business owners and never had any run-ins with the law before.
We will do everything we can to help legalize marijuana and put an end to the government destroying more families for such a ridiculous crime. I read somewhere something that said, "If I'm going to jail for pot, I wonder who they're letting out to make room for me."
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Listening to the Lord: I am a single mom and have lived most of my teenage and adult years identifying myself as a lesbian. I became a Christian 15 years ago and began attending the Houston Vineyard ["God Only Knows," by Margaret Downing, May 2]. I didn't understand it, but even then God was beginning the powerful transformation in me that he longs to see in each of us.
After awhile I began to doubt that my life was changed and that I was even really a Christian. I drifted back into the twisted comfort of my sins: addiction to drugs and alcohol and sexual relationships. After several years of this, I began to be desperate for God again. The Lord spoke to me, and I sensed that he was telling me to go back to the Vineyard. I began to pray earnestly for him to reveal to me and my partner his will for our lives. We decided to attend a class in church about pursuing sexual and relational wholeness through Jesus. He was faithful and revealed to each of us individually his true design for our lives.
In his kindness we were drawn to repent or turn away from our sin, and he is faithful to restore us to the right relationship with him and with each other. It boils down to being obedient and willing to lay down everything I am and everything I have, and asking God what he would have me pick back up.
Driving ahead: Having spent 20 years as an openly gay man, I am particularly sensitized to those "five or six 'clobber' passages in the Bible" against homosexuality. As an attendee of the Vineyard Church for eight years, I can vouch that the pastor, Michael Palandro, occasionally uses them. But "gay-bashing"? Never.
Well, at least no more than he bashes anything else the Bible clobbers as sin. He is particularly ruthless with unkindness. Personally, I get squirmy in my seat when he wallops those who spend too little time in prayer.
And as for civil rights hero Rosa Parks, she never tried to hijack the bus to make it go wherever she wanted. Those of us in the Vineyard who wrestle with the decision to leave our homosexual lifestyles behind are grateful to have a driver who not only steers with compassion but knows how to navigate the "narrow path" that Jesus said we must take if we are to follow him.
A Musk-See Film
Manly about the movies: I highly disagree with your review of Unfaithful ["Flat Lyne," by Luke Y. Thompson, May 9]. You apparently haven't had a relationship where, no matter what's going on in your life, you cannot say no in the presence of that person.
During the times when Constance was not committing adultery, there was the suspense of waiting for her to, because it was so hot. You can't tell me you weren't squirming in your chair after the first encounter.
I'm a male, and for me to watch a "chick flick," there has to be hot sex and some form of action. This had both, while at the same time allowing the female viewer to feel as if this were a movie about a torn love affair. To be honest, for me it was on the edge of soft-core porn. Hey, works for me. So watch it again -- this time as a man.
Neighborhoods To Go
Move it, Mockingbird! Since 1960 my family has lived on McDuffie Street near Welch. We have seen the single-family brick homes with trees and yards destroyed by successive waves of "zero property line" town homes starting in the late 1980s and continuing to this very hour. One of the outcomes of this construction (or destruction) has been a reduction of curbside parking.
Unfortunately, for people who have to live here, the success of Mockingbird Bistro has increased local headaches tremendously. The Houston Press's Robb Walsh gave the cafe a glowing review ["Inside Baseball at the Bistro," March 7]. What you didn't learn is that the cadre of Mockingbird employees dominates curbside parking. To its credit, the cafe has instituted a "valet parking only" policy, so now I have to compete for parking with only their employees or my town home-dwelling neighbors whose two-car garages are full.
If my 82-year-old grandmother didn't need to come and go freely, I would be content to park in my driveway, but the curbside space in front of my house is essential. To all Mockingbird Bistro employees: I don't park in front of your house, so don't park in front of mine. Welch is a long street, and the whole block east of Hazard could easily hold your customers and diners. Stay off McDuffie.
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The Big Enchilada
Still fans: Loved your article about Larry's ["There's Something About Larry's," by Robb Walsh, May 23]. I too have eaten there since I could walk. I remember getting my own booster seat when I was little, and I always go back there to eat the best cheese enchiladas that can be found. No others can compare.
There is many a weekend that my husband and I make the drive of over an hour just to eat there and come back. It was nice to see them get some recognition.