A lost soul
Thank you so much for the incredibly sad story on Terry Southern ["Odd man out," January 28]. I just had to dig out my copies of Texas Summer and Red Dirt Marijuana and reread. Hopefully, this article will open up a new audience and get him the attention he so richly deserved. To his son, good luck with the Hollywood types. As desperately as they need quality material, someone should pick up Texas Summer for a movie. Matthew McConaughey, are you listening?

Via e-mail

It just so happens that I grew up in Texas. Your article implies similar circumstances surrounding the author and playwright Terry Southern. I found that the most interesting aspect of his life, despite his many contributions to '60s culture, was his removal of himself from the great state of Texas. Was this a conscious choice?

What probably happened, or is still happening, are the facts about the law, or Lauwww!, in Texas. He might have felt his fame would have made him a target in Texas, and with all the drugs and boozing, he probably would have been busted long ago. He maintained his problems were money, which might be the case, but what went wrong was he left place, roots, the red dirt of West Texas, and lost his soul. I feel sorry for his son having to assume his debts, as in the sins of the father falling upon the son, but hey, he lived that life where you aren't judged by your actions, you just suffer the consequences in your brain and liver.

I don't regret what Southern represented--the Southern rebel and the radical anti-cultural schism of his upbringing. I share it in some ways. It just seems Terry Southern was riding the rail all this time, and he just came down to earth after the money wore out.

John Howze
Via e-mail

One can only hope Peter Fonda has the conscience to make up for the travesty of his and Dennis Hopper's actions so long ago. Thanks for the great story that will hopefully enlighten the masses as to what happened to Terry Southern.

James Cook
Via e-mail

Sold down the river
Everybody else sold out the Little Mexico neighborhood--from the city to the inhabitants ["On holy ground," January 28]. Now they feel guilty and want to leave the Catholic diocese holding the bag. Thanks for some good reporting.

Dennis Novak
Via e-mail

Spinning the spin
The February 4 letter to the editor from Martha Gallier of Gallier and Wittenberg, Inc. attacking both Rose Farley and the "people opposing Albertson's"--a broad-based group which includes myself, countless individuals, and more than 20 other national, citywide, and local community groups--simply serves to underscore, yet again, the lengths to which this corporate giant is willing to go in attempting to bring its national supermarket war, and one of its huge mega-stores, into the living rooms of East Dallas.

As a professional mediator, a longtime East Dallas resident, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, and a citizen who opposes Albertson's rezoning request, I greatly resented Ms. Gallier's implication that I, or any of my colleagues, would mislead Ms. Farley or anyone else about Albertson's actions. Ms. Farley is a seasoned and skillful investigative reporter, and I doubt that anyone ever misleads her for long. Her prowess has proved a problem for Albertson's, which has attempted to obscure the serious land-use and transportation issues involved in its upzoning effort with a number of dubious public relations efforts.

Had Ms. [Christy] Morrow (the employee Ms. Gallier was ostensibly defending) written the letter to the editor defending herself, she would have been forced to tell the truth--which is that members of the neighborhood team were asked not to talk to the press during the "mediation" process, an instruction that was later modified for "Team Albertson's" since Ms. Morrow was already distributing a press packet. Our neighborhood team members learned of this modification only at the second "mediation." Ms. Morrow would also have been forced to report that I, personally, in the presence of the mediators, had a discussion with "Team Albertson's" about press use of the mediation process--something that is never in the best interests of mediation. As a mediator, it pains me to have to put the word mediation in quotes, but in this case, because our team originally agreed to come to the table only if other sites were to be discussed and because Albertson's announced at the second session that it had never had any such intention, this process cannot be put in the same class as a true mediation in which all parties are operating in good faith.

It is Ms. Gallier and her public relations firm that have been badly misused by Albertson's in its attempt to manipulate the public image of this project. Albertson's has not provided her firm with all the facts. Albertson's had Ms. Morrow and Gallier and Wittenberg design and distribute to the public a four-color piece that clearly shows and labels a "Community Park." The firm also arranged and conducted community meetings in which this "Community Park" was presented. The truth is that the planning documents that Albertson's provided to the Dallas planning department did not provide for such a park. This is just one tiny example of Albertson's smoke-and-mirrors misrepresentations throughout this rezoning.