Falling down

I'd feel a lot worse about the demise of Leaning House ("Leaning over," July 13) if I thought they'd really given it a shot.

Until a year or so ago, I had a jazz show on a Berlin radio station. I played their records all the time, and my listeners responded. I went to SXSW that year and met with the Leaning House guys. Did they have European distribution? I asked them. Were they going to tour any of their artists in Europe?

"Is there a big jazz scene in Europe?" was the reply I got.

That was a very disappointing answer. It was also indicative of their whole approach: enthusiastic but not very well-informed. I found it impossible to get records from them to play on my show, and never got replies from them to the e-mails I sent. Meanwhile, my listeners kept asking me where they could get the stuff I was playing.

Ah, well. I was fired in March '99 for not agreeing to adhere to the station's new computerized playlist, and now Leaning House has bit the dust. I'll try to find the releases I don't have in the used CD shops next time I'm in Texas. It's a shame, but I can't say I'm surprised about what happened to them.
Ed Ward

One deluded man

I have a better question. Can the Dallas Observer find "One honest man?" (June 22). You have Mr. John Fullinwinder's picture in the same context as finding an honest man. Is it credible to assume that someone publicly documented as supporting "Big Daddy" Al Lipscomb has our best interests at heart? Maybe he can swing a deal with his esteemed colleague by paying us back some of that bribe money. DISD can always use a little extra cash.
Travis Bush

Stuff about comics

Is it possible Robert Wilonsky could write about something other than comic books? Yeah, I read them when I was a kid, and I'm losing interest at the constant focus. I can only imagine what people who don't like comic books must think. Alternately, you could retitle the column "Stuff About Comic Books" or "Comic Books, The Column."
Andrew Hime

Family matters

Your informative story about the disappearance and presumed murder of atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair ("Victimless crime," June 15) had one item which needed correction. Robin Murray was not Madalyn Murray O'Hair's daughter but granddaughter. She was the daughter of William Murray, Madalyn's oldest son who is still alive and was shunned by the family since becoming a Christian.

It was during the trip to re-enroll William back in the public school in Baltimore when Madalyn noticed prayer going on in a school assembly. She had recently returned from Paris, where she had been rejected by the Soviet Embassy in Paris for citizenship to the Soviet Union. They did not want her in their country. They had told her she could help their cause more by going back to America.

Hoping her attempt had not been recognized by the U.S. State Department, she was in the process of enrolling William when she was outraged at the public demonstration of prayer. William drifted for years and had Robin stay temporarily with grandmother while he tried to straighten out his life. Grandmother made sure Robin stayed with the movement and forbid contact with William after he became a professing Christian. To William, becoming a Christian was not joining a Christian church or organization but from receiving the spirit of Christ into him. William says Robin became very overweight due to his mother's attempt to keep her unattractive so she would stay with her and her half-uncle Jon. She had become so overweight that she had to buy two airline tickets when traveling.

William also says on his Web site, which is quite interesting, that his mother delighted herself in surrounding herself with unrepentant ex-cons--especially those who had "taken out" someone. This atmosphere gave her a feeling of power until it backfired on her. The big news, however, is Madalyn Murray O'Hair herself. Since her disappearance and most certain death there is no doubt she is no longer an atheist.
Mike Murray

Editor's note: Robin Murray O'Hair was, indeed, the natural daughter of William Murray. Madalyn Murray O'Hair, however, legally adopted her, as we have noted in earlier stories on the family's disappearance.

The Stick Man speaks

Your story about Russell Hobbs and the Theater Gallery was interesting ("The preacher and The Prophet," June 17). I still to this day do not know what he had against Stick Men With Ray Guns; maybe it was our friendship with Charlie Gilder of the Twilite Room. I actually think that it may have been more his obvious desire to control the music scene in Dallas.

There was no controlling Stick Men, though. He certainly seemed to be bent on taking credit for anything and everything he could think of while acting as sanctimonious as possible at the same time. It was too big a target for us. People like Hobbs and Shaggy (does anybody actually remember her?) just ended up as song fodder for Stick Men With Ray Guns.

We did eventually play there with our friends the Butthole Surfers on January 31, 1987. Oddly enough, this was to be our last show for over a year. We had had enough of each other and of the scene for a while and took a break.
Clarke Blacker
Lantana, Florida

How to spell Britney

I am writing to comment on the remarks made in the June 15 article "Hit her. Really." I am a 20-year-old fan of pop, but I enjoyed the writing style of the author. He was wrong to say that pop's audience would never read this kind of material, because he writes like a twentysomething and the audience feels they can relate. I found it incredibly witty and I enjoyed the sarcasm. I have to admit, I also enjoyed seeing someone spell Britney Spears correctly--BS. That is all I enjoyed, though. I don't think it is fair to group all of pop music's audience into one teeny-bopper brainless category. I am an undergrad student and I like to think I am somewhat intellectual and worldly, and my love for pop music does not change that. I am not a Britney fan, but I am a pop fan, especially 'N Sync (which I am sure you will have lovely comments about).

Everyone has their own opinions, along with the right to voice them. All that I ask is that next time you think before doing so. Not all fans are stupid, and we certainly do not utter the word "duh" every other second when speaking. Is it not possible to be a young, intelligent fan of pop music?
Jessica DeLuca
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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