Those scary readers' picks
Reading the Observer's staff picks for the 1998 Best of Dallas issue [September 24] makes me not want to move away from here so much.

Reading the readers' picks does.
Via e-mail

I saw the mention of Burger's Lake in your "Best of Dallas" issue [see "Best Place to Beat the Heat"], and I was wanting to ask you guys a question: Do you realize that the locals call that place Pee Lake? That has got to be the most vile place to take a swim. There is only one set of bathrooms on one end of the lake, and you never see anyone from the opposite side of the lake ever make the trek to them. No lie. Spent a great deal of my childhood there--just thought I'd let you know.

Hell, I'd swim in White Rock Lake before I took a dip in that "golden" pond.
Benjamin D. Davila
Via e-mail

Thank you for the kind mention in your "Best Place To Be Gored By A Longhorn" award. The Dallas County Sheriff's Posse is made up of approximately 50 certified peace officers who volunteer their time as a mounted "reserve" unit of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department. As part of our duties, we often assist with Western-themed functions staged in the Dallas area. This provides an excellent opportunity for us to meet and speak with children, local citizens, and tourists from around the world. Had your writer taken the time to speak with us, he or she would have learned that we donate our horses, time, and expertise to the sheriff and citizens of Dallas County. I agree that had the regular mounted unit been assisting with the Longhorn "drive," perhaps their time could have been put to better use. As to "getting gored" by a paranoid longhorn...you are eating way too much red meat.

Capt. K.C. Henry
Dallas County Sheriff's Posse

Palomino might have the "Best Wait Staff," but I would like to point out that you missed the point. It's the management that created that, not the wait staff. In the final analysis, it's the management that sets the tone, designs the "steps of service" (including the infamous "by the glass" pour), and in general does a job that everyone sees and no one recognizes.

So please, for the sake of the underpaid, early to arrive, and late to stay, give credit where credit is due. Besides, if you were wanting to get better work out of the waiters, don't give an award to the best wait staff, give it to the best waiter. The only way to fan the flames is to feed the ego.

William Cortelyou
Via e-mail

The fact that Dallas recognizes an urban environment in which a cultural foundation and true urban characters are goals to which it should aspire is heartening to a recently transplanted Houstonian [see "Best Day Trip"]. That Dallas doesn't seem to know how to get there is telling of why that city always seems to be more about chest beating and less about substance. Houston is just a few hours away down Interstate 45, not Interstate 35, as mentioned in your article.

Now that you know the right directions to a city that has undertaken a successful downtown revitalization, does Dallas have the grounding in cultural heritage and love for the urban experience to find its own way?

Dallas Baker
Via e-mail

Beat on the brat
I read Robert Wilonsky's article on John McEnroe ["Bringing up baby," October 1] in complete disbelief. To write an article about a sport one clearly knows nothing about takes serious gall. It is grossly apparent that Mr. Wilonsky has not watched a professional tennis match for years, because if he was a fan of the sport, he would quickly realize that John McEnroe's career is actually on a major upswing. Ask any serious tennis fan who the finest commentator in the sport is, and they would undoubtedly respond, "John McEnroe."

I was never a fan of McEnroe when he was a player. In fact, I found his complaints and stunts too distracting and sometimes offensive. But when he is calling matches, McEnroe shows himself to be a true student of the game. He understands the players and their strategies far more than anyone else in the press booth. In this role, he has demonstrated himself to be a mature gentleman with a deep respect for the sport and the players.

Further, Mr. Wilonsky overlooks the major flaw in his argument. John McEnroe does not need the senior tour to keep him comfortable. Mac's endorsements and commentating salary should provide all he needs and more. But he plays because lots of fans out there want to see him play.