Letters to the Editor

From the week of 9/20/2007

Off Limits, September 13

The Light Stuff

It appears that you neglected to Ask a Mexican about the word güera for your little commentary on the Budweiser billboard. Güero and güera don't necessarily refer to gringos. They actually mean "light-skinned," or having light hair and eyes. For example, there are Mexican güeras.

That doesn't make that billboard any better, since lighter skin is considered more attractive in most of Latin America, but I just thought I'd let you know.


Annaliese Calhoun
Denver

Editor's note: Credit eagle-eyed Adam Cayton-Holland with spotting the billboard, which he found, well, funny. We did ask Gustavo Arellano about the slogan; here's the Mexican's reply: "Adam totally got it right. Güera does specifically refer to a light-skinned person (my sister is güera), but in the context of the billboard ad, it does mean gabacha."


"On the Edge," Sheridan Boulevard, September 6

Street Dreams

"On the Edge" was a great and informative read with a good mixture of perspective, but Sean Cronin could have written his piece on the pawn shop from a foreign country. The picture alone conjures up the stereotypical sleaze and depravity usually saved for movies like Trading Places and Pulp Fiction. 

I have owned a pawn shop on Larimer Street for the past five years, and I have been in the business for over two decades. People who use our services are neither thieves nor drug dealers. We work closely with the pawn detail of the Denver Police Department to ensure that merchandise is registered with a state and national database to deter such dealings. Most of my customers are working people, from musicians in need of some cash between gigs to laborers who must pawn the very tools they need for their craft so that they can keep the lights on and feed their families. The majority are pawning items that they wish to have back, which accounts for my less-than-10 percent forfeiture rate. We even go so far as to call customers to remind them that their monthly payment is due. If they don't come in, we simply keep the collateral.

A pawnbroker operates as a non-traditional lending institution. Anyone, even those in dire straits, can come in and secure a trustworthy, thirty-day personal loan using any valuable item they own. I only charge 10 percent on that loan monthly, so it is much better than most pawn shops and quite a bit better than some of these high-interest check-cashing operations. Second and third generations of the same family have used my services because they know they can trust me to protect their prized possessions until they have the money to redeem them. Those from all walks of life have had the occasional rough period; believe me, I have seen it firsthand.

God forbid Sean Cronin ever finds himself in a situation where he needs some quick cash, but if he does, I will give him a good, honest loan on his laptop.

Josie Koontz
Denver

As a Colorado native currently living on Sheridan Boulevard, I took great interest in "On the Edge." I also took issue with Adam Cayton-Holland's section on Home Sweet Home. Where did you find this guy, and how did he find his way to our side of town? Home Sweet Home is a great head shop, but by no means any sort of "headquarters" for the Juggalos of Denver. The real reason for all the Juggalos in the area is Primos, at 4948 West Alameda Avenue. 

Any Juggalo within 500 miles knows the name. Primos has been the home away from home for Juggalos in the Denver area for several years now. At any given time, you can find Juggalos just hangin' out and swillin' Faygo (the Juggalo drink of choice). It is a place where any Juggalos can find what they need to live "their impossibly trashy lifestyle," as Adam put it, everything from cheap pop to used T-shirts and tires. Primos has been sponsoring Juggalo-related events from Fort Collins to Pueblo since 2004, everything from BBQs to local concerts to autograph signings, and we are now bringing hardcore wrestling (a Juggalo favorite) to the area. All in the name of Wicked Shit and poor scrubby kids who still manage to keep their head up through all kinds of adversity.

Westword is a great local mag, and I assume you take pride in your knowledge of the city. We're a little out of the norm down here, but this was clearly an oversight (or lack of research) by your writer. Try and get it right next time.

Ken Abrahamson
Sheridan

Judging by Adam's name and article, he must listen to Sum 41 or Blink 182. Or perhaps he's one of those emo kids. Had he pulled his bangs aside and tucked 'em behind his ears, maybe he would have noticed things other than pipes and Hatchetmen stickers; they hardly sell any ICP merchandise. Last time I checked, no one drove from South Dakota to buy Faygo from Home Sweet Home.

Flavio Arellano
Sheridan


"The Unfunnies," Michael Roberts, September 6

Diesel Fuel

As a cartoonist and an editor assigned to find new cartoonist talent for United Feature Syndicate, one of the nation's biggest syndicates, I read a lot of comics. So I won't take issue with Michael Roberts's thesis that "the funnies aren't anymore": Most comics do suck. As do most movies, and books, and presidents. He got the basic story right.

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