The Grim Rapper
White prejudice? I know that you look at Carlos Coy as a bad guy because of what happened ["South Park Monster," by John Nova Lomax, June 6]. Deep down inside, I believe Carlos is innocent. I met him many times in Dallas, and he was a great guy. It seems to me that this little girl was confused, as if the parents had a lot to do with her imagination. You probably think I'm a thug or a low-life because I'm supporting Carlos, but I'm a college student majoring in MIS.
Carlos should never have been convicted without evidence, and that's what gets to me. You should look past his appearance to see that he is a talented person. Now he is ruined because of others. Hispanics are always being shut down by the white community. There is something that they should keep in mind, though: Hispanics are expanding, and soon the whites will be the minority. Give SPM a break -- he didn't do anything to harm that little girl.
Carlos the good: Look, I'm a very big fan of South Park Mexican. I don't think he deserves to be portrayed like that "South Park Monster" article. That man has changed me in so many ways. He gives me inspiration to be a good and successful Hispanic American. He may have touched that girl (which I really doubt), but he's not a monster. He is always thankful to God and everyone who has supported him.
I do not think he is guilty. If I lived in Texas, I would have protested against that family who accused him of such a crime. I can almost guarantee it was a setup so he wouldn't make any more money or become more successful.
Juan C. Escobar
Silver Spring, Maryland
Just verdict: I'm glad you wrote this article. Besides showing SPM's good points, you showed his bad points, which he totally brought upon himself. I feel no sympathy except for the young children.
Our judicial system sends a clear message: It doesn't matter about your celebrity status -- you play, you pay. Now SPM has paid by ruining his life, which will be spent in prison.
I hope the parole board never lets this predator out again. He deserved everything he got.
Name withheld by request
Money motives: I can't believe you wrote this. How could you? This is all a lie that hurts SPM and his family and says to me that the judge and half of America is prejudiced.
This country has made people kill for the green. What makes you think they aren't willing to lie to put a man in jail just for the green? Putting him in prison for 45 years is like killing him and his family and friends and fans. There was no evidence; get it in your head that he's innocent. To quote him, "Whatever you do, don't curse innocent children; they deserve to be happy."
No hero-worship here: This is a great story on the "South Park Monster."
To me, any dopehead, dealing pusher -- or one who once was that -- will never be a hero in the Hispanic community. He's just another Spanish apple gone bad. Hispanics who make a positive difference for our community are the ones who count.
Hispanics who started out doing honest work from the get-go are the heroes in the barrio, not former addicts or drug dealers.
Seeing dots: I certainly hope John Nova Lomax was paid well for last week's feature, so we'd know someone benefited from the Carlos Coy tragedy. The readers certainly gained nothing from Lomax's uncritical rehash of weeks-old media reports and conjecture that tried Coy largely on his rap persona.
One piece of advice: If you're going to play connect-the-dots journalism, at least package some crayons with the paper.
Seeing depth: I was really impressed with your style of writing and was unable to put the paper down once I began reading. I found the article to be informative as well as entertaining. I will be looking for more of your articles, so keep up the excellent work.
In the pokey: I read your article and just don't know what to think, because in one of his songs Coy says, "The girl gave me the pussy, so I took it."
He really messed up this time. He should have asked how old she was? I guess what comes around goes around, and he got what he deserved! Loved your story on him.
P.S. -- SPM (Stop Poking Me)!
A Deserving Katie
HISD's unfair: I recently read your article regarding Katie Gallagher being denied a scholarship because of an administrative error ["A Fixer-Upper," by Margaret Downing, May 30]. I believe HISD made a serious error in this case and should reconsider her application. There is no excuse for this blatant unfairness.
Ronald W. Beers
Suffer not: Katie Gallagher works for me on a part-time basis. I believe something needs to be done on her behalf; she deserves the $12,000 scholarship. These kids need an education, but when the school's adult counselors cannot do their jobs, it is our children who suffer.
Junk School Junk Food
Paying the price: I don't think the vending machines should be in schools ["The Big Deal," by Margaret Downing, June 6]. Kids do need to make their own decisions sometimes and within guidelines set by adults; that's part of growing up. But when it comes to basic health and nutrition, adults should still be in charge. If the schools (adults/parents) provide the vending machines, the schools (adults/parents) are giving their blessing to the intake of foods with "minimal nutritional value."
The kids are given a mixed message. As for kids leaving campus, I have two teenagers, and they leave campus regardless of whether there's junk food in school. Bellaire High School students are allowed to leave campus for lunch if they're a junior or senior and have signed releases from their parents.
As for exercise, have you sat in on a physical education class lately? They don't do anything but have a study or social hour. I've had situations at Bellaire where the coaches left an entire class of boys to themselves, while they left campus for a baseball game. Physical education is required curriculum in Texas, but rarely is there anything physical about it. Obviously, the real "problem" is the procurement of money; children's health is the cost.
Memory lane: Well, I'll be damned -- Frank Davis, huh ["Small Wonder," by John Nova Lomax, May 16]? In the early '60s, during the folk revival, Frank and Kay Oslin performed at a folk club, the Jester, located at what was then the end of Westheimer, near Post Oak. Where now is bustling Westheimer lay Tanglewood, an area of fields, woods and solitary dwellings.
Frank and Kay often had fights on stage, fights that were as interesting as their songs. Frank had just constructed his "daddy banjo," made from that colorful snare drum to which he attached a banjo fingerboard and a metal extension with a harmonica. It had a small metal shelf for a lit cigarette. I heard Frank sing "Plastic Jesus."
Many folkies sang at the Jester. Some, such as Guy Clark and Kay, made big careers in Nashville. Among others I remember were Jim McConnell, Howie Proper, Ed Badeaux (who shook his mane like a lion and roared like a mouse), the Gardners, Peter and Isabel (to whom, incidentally, I have been married for 36 years) and John Lomax.
And white whine? My family lived in small Southern towns where white and black cooking styles merged ["Okra Worship," by Robb Walsh, May 30]. I recall Sunday dinners at my grandma's in Sampson County, North Carolina, and all her vegetables were fresh and seasoned with fatback. Not to mention her biscuits were made with lard.
My poor mother pretty much gave up trying to replicate Gramma's biscuits. She also made the best okra and tomatoes and onions. Alas, now I live in the big city and have a terrible time finding what Houstonians call soul food. I'm confused -- I'm white, and I grew up enjoying the same foods.
Thanks for the article, and keep reviewing "soul food" eateries.
Club Death Count
Lethal Main-line: I think you should add a feature to the Nightfly column, a small box with a Main Street head count of the establishments whose cause of death is in part the poorly executed Metro rail line ["Draining the Main Vein," by Craig D. Lindsey, June 6].
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Indian musical greats: Thank you for the well-written, informative article about Anoushka as well as the clever pun in the title ["Sitars in Her Eyes," by Bob Ruggiero, May 16]. It's good to see some of the world musicians who pass through Houston get some attention.
Another notable Indian musician, Ali Akbar Khan, was scheduled to play at the Wortham Center in June. He's as accomplished as Ravi but not as well publicized. But with all due respect, I would like to differ with you on one point made in the article: I really don't think Ravi appeared in the Last Waltz concert.