Come on, Lessenberry! You must have some wires crossed to talk about your fine street, wonderful neighborhood and school, and then imply that Detroit doesn’t measure up because it lacks the ability to tax your safe, liberal, comfortable ass ("They don’t want you to ask," MT, Jan. 10-16).
Become a radical like St. Francis, who once said in order to change the world, you must begin by changing worlds. So, move your "color" back to the city. Or, at the very least, mercifully shut up and stop passing the buck about Detroit’s viral, post-war problem of deserters. Coincidentally, my wife and I are looking to own a nice house. Let me know when you list it. —Patrick Dostine, firstname.lastname@example.org, Royal Oak
Jack Lessenberry responds: Send in $5,000 now and I'll move your name close to the top of the list. The money, of course, will be donated to a fund to keep Coleman A. Young's grave properly maintained.
Tale of theft
Jack Lessenberry's columns have been one of the few bright spots in these dark days of media pandering and senatorial rollover. He is willing to accurately depict the theft of the election by the Shrub and the Supremes; virtually no news source is willing to do that in the face of their Republican corporate ownership and control. This reminds me so much of Germany in the 1930s, when the populace turned their heads as Hitler rose to power. It's a sad, sad day for our country. —Nancy A. Jackson, email@example.com, Monroe
Jack Lessenberry responds: Er … could I sell her my house instead?
After all the hype and build-up surrounding Ken Burns’ "Jazz" ("Tribute & post-mortem," MT, Jan. 10-16), I was unusually optimistic about how it might be. I was encouraged after viewing the first episode. I thought the information and presentation was remarkable. I even enjoyed Wynton Marsalis' comments; he can be quite profound at times and added quite a bit to the presentation.
It appears that you are right about the pacing of the entire thing. They are spending way too much time in the swing era. I can appreciate Benny Goodman's contribution to popularizing jazz, and integrating his band, but not at the expense of other players who are being omitted. I hope I'm not disappointed with the relatively little amount of attention paid to Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and many other's from the later years that were tremendous contributors to the growth of the music. I feel that Burns could and should do an entire 10-part series on the Miles Davis "family tree" of his career and all the musicians that he was associated with. His influence was nothing short of monumental from 1948 to the present. Thank you, Richard C. Walls, for even paying attention, and congratulations on being able to write about jazz. —Lincoln Apeland, Plymouth
Thanks for bringing greater attention to Abraham's wretched environmental record ("Hee’s baaack," MT, Jan. 10-16) . Voters need to be far more aware of the values (or lack thereof) of the candidates they choose. If they had been more enlightened in November, he would've lost by a far greater margin. Perhaps I'm simply naive, but it absolutely astounds me that a politician so blatantly bad for the environment — and for the state, nation, and the "average citizen" for that matter — can be elected in the first place. Far too many voters seem to vote for whichever name looks familiar on the ballot, without taking the time to read the newspaper (or between the lines) or watch "real" TV news (local channel "news" is light enough to rise higher than helium and numb your brain far faster). A little self-education of the masses is needed. With that accomplished, it's hard to imagine a thinking person ever casting a vote for a GOP/big business stooge again. But again, maybe I'm simply naive? —William McCain, PineWoods70@aol.com, Westland
Vote for Owens
When Keith Owens first started his column, I was prepared to be unimpressed. You know, Detroit black guy with all the usual laments.
Wrong I was! Keith, some of the things you have written in the last three months are not so much poetry but solid affirmations of thoughtful citizenship. At times I have lingered over your words. Other times, I have finished with real resolve. Twice I tore out your column to read to my mother.
I would vote for you, and in your own way — on your good days when not mucking about in the "entertainment" world, you are an equal to Lessenberry.
More. I will catch you when I can. —G.M. Ross, Lowell