By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Cheers for Larry
Now that you have printed Holly Mullen's article ["Feeling the burn," April 3], allow me to tell you about the real Larry North. She interviewed him for a few hours. I have known him for 15 years.
In July of 1995, I was struck by a devastating case of Guillain Barre Syndrome. For months I was totally paralyzed, and as a result, my muscles atrophied to the bone. I was in intensive care for months, my breathing was done by a respirator, I couldn't speak, I couldn't swallow food for months--I was helpless.
The great people at Baylor Hospital helped me in every way possible. Jesus Christ saved my life. My wife was Christ's angel in charge. However, when I returned to society, I was skeletal, weak, and scared, and my self-confidence was history.
Then Larry called and subsequently went to talk with my doctors, and with them he designed a special program for me. He then convinced me to meet him in the gym. He personally worked with me for months and then turned me over to two highly qualified trainers--Peter Keesing and Tony Magee.
One year later, I look like I did before the disease nearly destroyed me and am back in excellent physical condition. This would not have occurred if not for Larry North and his staff. They literally rebuilt my crippled body.
This is the Larry North I know--a genuine, sincere, kind, thoughtful, and loving friend. His clubs are great, and so is North-South.
Larry's members haven't suffered. He is not a public official. His enterprises are privately owned--not public corporations.
Larry North has never hurt a soul. What gives you a mandate to attempt to destroy his hard-earned image and reputation?
Charles T. Terrell
I enjoyed "Feeling the Burn" by Holly Mullen. The Sylvia Plath-like style is excellent.
Holly Mullen's piece is a prime example of why the American people mistrust the press! Why can't we cheer a person like Larry North, who has pulled himself up by the bootstraps and overcome adversity, rather than ridicule him? Mullen's sarcastic tone throughout the article clearly showed her bias. I would suggest that, if Mullen worked only half as hard to produce a great work product as Larry North does, the Dallas Observer might get its money's worth.
As the attorney for Larry North, I wanted to make you aware that there is one additional piece of information we were unable to provide your reporter with at the time she interviewed us. A complaint has been filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. It is a civil action. As your article made abundantly clear, Larry is very proud of his name, and the central issue of the complaint is the use of the name "Larry North Total Fitness." For strategic reasons, we had delayed the filing of this lawsuit until April 9, 1997.
James F. Sadler
Your recent article "Treed Off" [April 10] is right on target. Not only are we robbing future generations of close access to beauty and nature by destroying existing trees, but we are turning the Dallas area into a South Bronx look-alike. The old historical records of New York describe the Bronx as a vacation spot with clear streams, tall trees, and great air. Thanks to weak laws and greedy developers, this paradise became a concrete hell. Will Dallas be another one?
As this ordinance exists today, we are heading in that direction. It's weak and not working. Every time a stand of trees is destroyed, we move closer to the South Bronx model.
Many cities have planned communities with greenbelts mandated by law. This is where we should be heading. Developers should have to justify the number of trees they want removed. They should not only have to replace trees, but should be mandated to create vest-pocket parks in the same neighborhoods where they can plant the old trees. And they should have to pay for these parks.
People want to live near trees. Real estate becomes more valuable when trees are preserved, not destroyed. Look at New York's 5th and Park Avenues: Both became posh addresses when trees and park land were created. So why should Dallas be any different? We don't need a future concrete slum. Let's pass an ordinance that really makes a difference.