The Cheesiest Moment

To the Editor:

As Jackson Baker wrote in your August 5th cover story ("Margin of Error"), the Democrats really do believe the Kerry-as-Vietnam-hero issue is a Stromile slam dunk over W's AWOL-in-the-National-Guard. However, it may be that they have overplayed their hand.

"My name is John Kerry and I am reporting for duty" (with a snappy salute) had to be the one cheesiest moment of the convention, so much so that my 14-year-old daughter started laughing uncontrollably. Me too, but I suspect for different reasons, as I had a vision of Kerry being told not to do that by Hanoi Jane or Abbie Hoffman in the heady days of the antiwar movement. But we should have been prepared for such by the Kerry team's film effort: There was Kerry the military leader, based on his own 8-millimeter re-enactments sprinkled with splashing bullets complements of 21st-century graphics. So now we know being the commander of five men on a boat the size of a Boston whaler is the stuff presidents are made of.

Apparently the Kerry camp has gone ballistic regarding anyone daring to point out that their purported hero did not spend one day in a hospital and "gamed" the system. Maybe he does have injuries, but it is easier to look at a Max Cleland or a Bob Dole and see what they left on the battlefield. I have a solution: Let's get Kerry to show off the scars. It could be seen as an "LBJ moment," and it would shut everyone up.

R.F. Hine



To the Editor:

Thank you for Martin Booe's article on parents' lack of discipline towards their children ("Brats." July 29th issue). I am British and I can tell you that brats exist in equally nauseating ubiquity over here. My partner and I have long lamented the decline of children's behavior in public, but we feel this is something we can only discuss with each other, for fear of being ostracized as child-haters.

About a year ago, we went to a restaurant and saw three boys out with their parents. They were quiet, remained in their seats, and appeared to have a good grasp of the ability to use cutlery. Most parents today would probably look at those children and think there was something wrong with them. ("Their parents are obviously too strict!") Once again, thank you for presenting such a seemingly-taboo case so well.

Anne Marie Greenslade

Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Special Thanks

To the Editor:

Thanks for the article on James Williams' funeral (Local Beat, August 5th issue). As a friend and peer from his days at Memphis State, I can truly say that he will be missed. God gave James the gift of music which he unselfishly shared with all. A special thanks to Charlie Wood for sharing his gig with all the musicians who came from near and far to celebrate James' legacy. This act of kindness will not be forgotten and King's Palace will be remembered for two nights of celebrating one of Memphis' legendary jazz musicians. Memphis and the world has lost a great jazz pianist.

Berneta Farmer Miles


A Wake-up Call?

To the Editor:

The recent visit to Cordova by Judge Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument was sponsored by the fundamentalist group American Veterans in Domestic Defense. It should be a wake-up call to all Christians. Jim Cabaniss, the group's co-founder and president, states that the group was formed to "search out and identify the many domestic enemies."

His enemies include the U.S. judicial system that ousted Judge Moore, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Council of Churches. Now some people may have problems with these groups, but "domestic enemies"? When did another Christian group that pushes Christian ideals become an enemy?

This country's forefathers were mostly Christians, but they feared that individual rights would be steamrolled if religion was used to justify rules. Christians must start to face this fundamentalism within their ranks and fight it. Or they may wake up one day and find their religion has been hijacked.

Aaron Prather


How Big Was Elvis?

To the Editor:

According to your review of Pamela Clarke Keogh's book, Elvis Style (Books, August 5th issue), Elvis wore size 12 shoes. Everywhere else his shoe size has been discussed, it has been listed as a size 11.

And the book states Elvis' inseam was 31 inches. I have a pair of Elvis' pants from the movie Speedway, and the inseam measures 31 5/8".

Diana Magrann

La Palma, California



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