Letters for October 16, 2003
The homecoming queen's death lives on: I would like to thank Bob Norman for his October 9 story about Georgia Roberts ("Georgia Got a Gun"). I was in that circle of friends that Angela introduced Georgia to. Angela was a very close friend and a wonderful one at that. Seventeen years later, I have not forgotten one moment of that horrible tragedy. I have always had the firm belief that Georgia did what she did on purpose and with malice. Maybe this article will bring things a step closer to Georgia's finally having to pay for what she did.
Via the Internet
Is a prep school's shame: As a Pine Crest graduate and boyfriend of a former gay male porn star, I enjoyed Rebecca Meiser's October 2 article about Mary Carey, née Mary Ellen Cook, one of our many gubernatorial candidates here in California. However, I would like to question a couple of the facts in "Mary Does California":
1) "Cook's name as been stricken from the school's e-mail contact sheet, the alumni database..." As I understand it (if you are referring to the website alumni e-mail list), those addresses are submitted by the students themselves, and not being listed is an indication of apathy on the student's part, not censorship by the school. Did the school specifically tell you that she was "stricken"?
2) "(stricken from) ... even the newest issue of Pine Crest Previews." While I have no problem with Ms. Carey, her career choice, her platform, and what she has been able to accomplish, if I were in charge of the Pine Crest Previews, I would not be doing a feature article on her success. Nor, I am sure, would you. Pine Crest depends greatly on donations from its alumni and parents, and I am not sure how spotlighting Mary would further that end. The PC Previews is not part of the free press: It is a publicity arm of the school and, as such, is slanted to make the school out to be a fabulous faultless place.
But thanks for a fun article. I wouldn't want to be Ms. Cowgill right now. She is a lovely, articulate, and very qualified woman, but this is not something they prepare you to deal with in Headmistress Camp. Neither was the time two years ago at a PC fundraiser here in L.A. when I asked her what she was doing for Pine Crest's gay students. I don't think she knew they had any, but by the end of the dinner, I know she did.
P.S.: I voted for Mary.
Pine Crest, Class of '72
Via the Internet
Becky Meiser responds: Indeed, it's unclear whether Ms. Cook's name was on the e-mail list. The school declined to comment about this famous alumna. But her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah, but is that his real name: I was surprised to find out that a personality like Mary Carey was educated at Pine Crest. However, after reading the article, I can see how a very average-looking adult star became a household name. She clearly has done a great job of promoting herself and her business, and I bet that education at Pine Crest had a lot to do with it.
Via the Internet
And the writing fellow: I have really enjoyed Rebecca Meiser's articles thus far. They are extremely well-written, with wonderful imagery and interesting facts. Her September 18 article, "Rise Up for Recess," piqued my interest. What child doesn't need a break? This issue definitely deserves the attention she gave it. Keep up the good work -- I look forward to reading her stories each week!
Via the Internet
And the idea guy: Thanks for doing the recess story. I hope, one day, you will consider a story on diversity issues, the differences in schools in the western suburbs and eastern suburbs. I have some interesting insight, and so do lots of other people.
Dr. Marvin Silverman
And tell Miami too: Congratulations to Tom Bowker for his excellent article on Juan Montoya's new band, Panda Bite ("Biting Pandas," September 11). I am elated to see some kind of recognition to these very talented musicians. On the other hand, I was disappointed to see that the article did not appear in your Miami edition. It would have been a tribute to Miamian Juan Montoya. Remember, his former band, Ed Matus' Struggle, was chosen in the past as best band in Miami New Times' "Best of Miami." And Juan was named best guitar player in the Broward edition. I think Miami should start acknowledging its very own talent!
But was it miraculous? Susan Eastman's September 4 article on Rosa Lopez was illuminating and significant. I would love to visit her for some health challenges. Thank you!
And she just wants to visit: Thank you for the wonderful article in New Times regarding Rosa Lopez and the Virgin Mary.
I have just moved to Florida from Canada and would like to visit the private shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Via the Internet
And lighten up, free weekly: In response to Edmund Newton and Rebecca Meiser's August 14 story, "Plop Art": Educating the public is the key to helping them understand and appreciate the positive influence of the fine arts. Just because you do not understand the meaning of the artwork on public display does not mean it is not good or valuable.
Your "unplopular" opinions and disrespectful attitude toward the artists and their artwork has not been well-received by those who collect it. The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida Atlantic University, and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art are cultural institutions. These institutions exist to support education and outreach programs for people of all ages in our community.
The nonprofit fine arts industry is the third largest in the world behind construction and national defense. The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach has an annual operating budget of $50 million; that's taxable income and a thriving economic engine in our community. Popular, or "plopular" art, as you put it, imitates life and vice versa. So the artists should receive our respect and credit. Just because you do not like something does not mean it is ugly or not art.
Duane Hanson created groundbreaking works that took photorealism to another, more-exciting, three-dimensional level. His piece titled Vietnam was much more graphic and had a much greater impact on me than Oliver Stone's movie. Motorcycle Wreck is another piece that comes to mind. Hanson taught workshops at the Broward Art Guild that educated people of all ages. He supported our community and our cultural institutions. Many wealthy patrons who collect his artwork also support the Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science.
I curated for the Downtown Development Authority's "Art-in-the-Downtown" program for two years. I feel this educated the general public and improved the cultural amenities of the downtown landscape. John P. Downs Co. installed the so-called "Rice Cake" piece near the courthouse, which is actually a conceptual sculpture about time and space. John P. Downs is one of the world's largest marine fabricators and a huge U.S. military contractor. The company also saved Fort Lauderdale Beach from a horrible biological disaster by off-loading a few million gallons of crude oil from a Ukrainian tanker that ran aground in the middle of the night less than two miles off the beach a few years ago.
I feel you have a certain responsibility to educate yourselves about art before you enlighten your readers. Try to understand the intellectuals in our community that support art and pay for it. Tearing down well-respected artists and their patrons serves no one. To express your own lack of education and knowledge of the fine arts is no accomplishment.
I just thought you came off looking really ignorant. It seems nothing positive was said and no one escaped your negative wrath. If you have a cross to burn, why not ask the Museum of Art in an open letter to restore the "Hortt Competition" for local artists?
J. M. Dimitriotous, President
A.N.E.W. Foundation for the Arts
Via the Internet
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