Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 11, 2001

Box Score

Bloom service: What a masterful job Harrison Fletcher did of capturing the beauty and spirit of a most amazing woman, Jodi Jill, in his October 4 "Out of the Box." I'm grateful that he was the reporter who wrote about her: He was very thorough, supporting through others' eyes the insanity of a child's growing up in such dreadful circumstances. Thanks for capturing a glimpse of this most incredible woman.

My image is of the beautiful flower that makes its way through the cracks of the sidewalk -- just to bloom.

Paula Phipps
via the Internet

Shed some light: Many readers will be keeping their eyes open in anticipation of the feature interview with Mr. and Mrs. Storage Shed.

Tom Wolf
via the Internet

Past imperfect: Jodi Jill's story is absolutely mind-boggling -- and more so because this young woman has chosen to surge forward in life and not be bitter about her past.

The one thing that I do want to say to her is that you don't need to be ashamed of your childhood. It was not your fault. None of us have any control over how or where we were brought up, but we do have control over how we choose to live our adult lives. Jodi, you have so much to be proud of! You have prevailed! You didn't have any of the advantages that most children have. You didn't even have the basics. Still, you taught yourself to read and you have chosen to help others rise above their circumstances. That, my darling, is truly something to be proud of. You are amazing!

Linda Ridding
Arvada

Mom's the word: Tell me where Jodi Jill's mother lives, and she will wish she had not been born.

And we think terrorists only come from the Mideast?

Nick Werle
Colorado Springs

Prize patrol: Harrison Fletcher deserves a prize for "Out of the Box," and I hope he receives it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is so touching, and I will forward it to others. What a truly wonderful, brave young woman.

Melanie GeBron
via the Internet


The Case Isn't Closed

Hospital zone: I was very impressed by Alan Prendergast's well-written, thorough and enlightening article, "The Strange Case of Dr. Schmidt," in the September 20 issue. The roughshod politics and backward mentalities that prevail at UCHSC are indeed alarming.

I would like to know how I can best make an impact, to state my concern over 1) the fact that university chairs are not overseen or reviewed for their conduct, and 2) the university's troubling attitude toward new and experimental therapies.

Georgia Cotton
Denver

Striking a nerve: I would like to thank you for the article you wrote regarding Dr. Schmidt. I was one of many fighting to keep him on at the University of Colorado, one of many with a sacral nerve implant. Alan Prendergast may have read my letters to CU in his research for the article; after receiving no replies, I'd wondered if our voice would ever be heard. So, thanks!

Megan Hooker
via the Internet

Give him a hand: What a sorry-ass outfit the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center is! Dr. Schmidt is much too good for them. Any other UCHSC staffers reading this letter should voice their opinions with their feet by finding kinder circumstances far, far away from office politics.

UCHSC hospital is nothing but a hand job. Good article, Alan Prendergast.

I'd also like to comment on the "Mideast War" -- a touchy subject these days. What's going on in the world is like a body with a diseased part, a part you would like to make well again, not sicker! The body cries out for attention; something's wrong! Dis ease (sic). Harmony needs to be restored. Where did all of these enemies come from? Well, inequalities in the world -- fighting over money, land, power, disenfranchisement, not just politics and religion. From unfortunate and unhappy, many Arabs and Islamics have gravitated into fanatics and then into terrorists. When we see and address the larger issues of inequality, the painful cycle of exacerbation will gradually circle back to fanaticism, to unrest and then to balance.

This is not to absolve the souls of those who planned and executed the bombing. (Fat chance you'll catch Bin Laden.) But observing and addressing the behavior is not enough; what about the cause of the matter? Bomb now, ask later? No way. The many-headed hydra of injustice always finds its own level. So seek justice for the behavior, but also seek justice for the cause. Shallowness, fear and insecurity must give way to a vision and remedy of the larger issues. Else a bloodbath of martyrdom will ensue, such as the world has never seen the likes of, until truth is found.

Gene W. Edwards
Colorado Springs


Situation Normal

Ignorance is bliss: As the "loyal" opposition, I have to say that John Casella's letter in the September 27 issue was enlightening. Sorry, America is programmed to be an arrogant and ignorant society. I support my view with these facts: America represents less than 5 percent of the world's population and consumes over 40 percent of the natural resources. This confirms that it is a totally indulgent society. To make it even worse, a third of our consumption is pure waste.

We are "programmed" to believe that America can buy special privileges. For instance, how different is our military presence in the Mideast than Russia or China patroling the Gulf of Mexico or the Hamptons? We want it our way -- and we want it both ways. Military intelligence?

At the risk of sounding un-American, frenzied patriotism is naive in this new world. You and I did not write the new rules. Millions of Americans could die before our leaders, big money and private interests get it!

Bombing embassies in Africa and the terrorist actions in New York and Washington, D.C., did not get our leaders off of their deadly position. Just what is it going to take, a dose of anthrax? This gullible society will not even talk about the root cause of our international problems -- which will not just go away until we use some common sense.

Naive 1941 bravado is demanding retaliation. We don't have a vote. The immediate danger in this country must be "handled" -- but it should be handled not like a John Wayne movie, but a John Gotti movie. No media, no hype -- just quietly get it done.

H. Matzen
Denver


A Real Gift

The brains of the operation: Please accept my belated congratulations on Harrison Fletcher's "Touched by an Angel" in the September 6 issue. Even though I do not have children, I appreciated the profile of Linda Silverman.

But I especially enjoyed the accompanying story, "Playing Doctor," about the eight-year-old surgeon. What are those parents thinking?

Lesley Ridder
via the Internet

A family affair: I just want to thank you for Harrison Fletcher's wonderful article about Linda Silverman. My family is one of the many that she has touched peripherally but affected profoundly.

My daughter was eleven when we chanced to meet Linda at a conference of the Florida Association for the Gifted. We felt like aliens there until we encountered Linda. That weekend Linda insisted that my daughter's IQ be tested, despite her advanced age. A few months later I consulted with Linda about the results of that test. (It had been done in New York in order to avoid the expense of a trip to Denver.)

When Linda Silverman uses the word "impossible" to describe a child's abilities, most parents cry. Indeed, she handed me a box of tissues along with her opinion. I argued instead. Her calm response showed her extensive experience with gifted children and ex-children.

We live in New York now and see Linda only occasionally. Still, her research and her writing allow us to view ourselves as "normal." This is a priceless gift that Linda has given to us and to so many other families like ours.

Sherry Pittle
Hartsdale, New York

The good doctor: Thank you for writing a wonderful and balanced article on Dr. Silverman, the person responsible for my son's happiness today. But for her, we would never have understood him.

Dr. Urmi Ashar
Imperial, Pennsylvania


Treat Dreams

You dumb biscuit! I think it is a travesty that Melanie Haupt, the author of your article about the Disco Biscuits ("Tasty Treat," September 20), insists on stereotyping their fans. While many people who do watch the Biscuits may use illegal substances, there are also many of us who are completely drug-free. I, for one, am a high school counselor who is drug-free and always telling my students about the fun you can have without drugs. Many of them know that I see the Disco Biscuits a lot. What if they were to read such an article and become convinced that their role model was a drug user? That would be horrible for all involved.

Anyway, generalizations are not so bad when you're not accusing people of being pacifier-chomping ecstasy heads. There are plenty of us who are real people, with real jobs and responsibilities. Music just happens to be our passion and a release/focus of our energy. There is no reason why we should be labeled as drug users for that.

Name withheld on request

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