Letters

The enigma of John Wiley Price
Re: your notice on the Rev. Zan Holmes' appearance at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal church ["Buzz," March 14]. in which you implied an Anglo fixation with the enigma of John Wiley Price.

In fact, the prominent clergyman, who happens to be African-American, received more than 20 written questions from the audience of around 300 whites. The question was selected for Rev. Holmes, amd much to general interest and surprise of many of the listeners, he felt compelled to spend an inordinate portion of the question-and-answer session answering the query about how citizens of Dallas (black and white) should understand the motives and activities of the county commissioner. Incidentally, his lengthy response was appropriately sympathetic to and supportive of his church member.

As Wick Allison, publisher of D magazine, recently observed in speaking to the Dallas Assembly, Dallas is being subjected to an outrageous barrage of Al Sharpton-style hucksterism and demagogic antics. Many of us do understand the phenomenon in the way that Laura Miller acurately and mordantly describes it in her incisive article on Townsview ["The truth about Townsview," March 13], but there is a permanent and erosive conspiracy of silence in Dallas, a viewpoint Ms. Miller also amply supports in her article. While much of the community does support many of Commissioner Price's professed goals, it is naive on the Observer's part to suggest that most citizens, ethnicity notwithstanding, do not have an accurate and unanimous understanding of what is going on here. Thanks to Laura Miller for helping break the conspiracy of silence.

Bob Penn
Dallas

We know Bo
Your article on Bo Pilgrim in the February 22 issue ["Bo? Hell no!"] failed to present a true picture of Mr. Pilgrim. There are a number of us in Dallas who have known Bo Pilgrim for many years and could have presented the real Bo Pilgrim to your readers. You note that Mr. Pilgrim is "a favorite of the state's rich and powerful, who gathered 1,500 strong at a black-tie dinner last November in Dallas to bestow on Bo Pilgrim the Russell Perry Free Enterprise Award." As a participant in the dinner, I can assure that most of those in attendance weret there to honor Bo, and not because they were rich or powerful.

Mr. Pilgrim was selected as the Russell Perry Free Enterprise Award honoree because he epitomizes the success of the free enterprise system in America. Bo's success as a businessman did not come easy. He earned it the old-fashioned way. He worked for it. He took an idea of how to better market a product and turned it into a multimillion-dollar business. We on the selection committee believe he fully merits being listed with our past honorees, which include John Stemmons Sr., Trammell Crow, and Tom Landry.

Uncounted thousands of Texans have and continue to benefit from the jobs his business creates, and a host of people earn their living selling goods and services to Pilgrim's Pride.

Mr. Pilgrim's problems are not so unusual compared to those of other large companies. Any industrialist with more than 11,500 employees and 19 facilities in two countries will have problems from time to time. His problems seem to draw more attention because he is such a high-profile business leader.

None is us is perfect, and neither is Bo Pilgrim. Still, as one who knows him well, this land is a whole lot better because he came along.

Forrest Smith
Founder and former chairman,
Russell Perry Free Enterprise Foundation

Deep Mall-um
Are you nuts? The term "Deep Ellum" evolved from post-Civil War times and is based on an Indian word for "shopping mall?!" ["Buzz," March 7.] Where'd that come from? You should be ashamed of yourselves, especially since your publication is a Dallas one! Every real Dallasite knows that "Ellum" derived from the way blacks pronounced "Elm" back in teh heyday of jazz and blues clubs on that street. And it's "deep" because it's away from downtown!

Another thing: The first shopping mall was built in Dallas, in Highland Parl. It was built after the Civil War, yeah - but nearly a century later! I doubt Native Americans who lived in Dallas back in the '50s coined "Ellum" then to describe that new blight on the land.

Steve Beavers
Dallas

Editor's note: Sure. Next you'll be telling us Las Colinas isn't Portuguese for "What monorail?"

Molly's lament
Too bad that the only apparent responses in my beloved Observer to Molly Ivins' departure come from the right-wing, Pat-Buchanan-Rush Limbaugh-conservative neo-Nazi types. In their usual irrational behavior, I suppose, they are compelled to read the Observer, all the while whinning about "liberals" taking over the world. The truth, as I see it, is that Molly is a wonderful woman who cares about the human condition, and who has the courage to speak out about the injustices and corruption that permeate our political system. Goodbye, Molly. You were a breath of fresh air in this reactionary area of the country.

Ron Patterson
Dallas

 
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