Schutze Scores

Schutze Scores

God's work: You have a very fine journalist in Mr. Jim Schutze ("The Orphan Chronicles," August 29). I apologize for scaring him with my sternness, but having dealt with his father for a few years, I know he was familiar with sternness before he met me!

His father and mother and siblings were and are fine people, and it was my profound pleasure in having them under my nursing care for the years I did and for getting to know Jim and his brother and sister.

Thanks for featuring Buckner's in the article. Few people in the world have done as wonderfully and furthered the great name of our Lord Jesus Christ in his care of orphans as the founder Robert Cooke Buckner did. He was a beloved father to many orphans.

Lois W. Lillico

Tough times for orphans: "The Orphan Chronicles" was wonderful reading. Those were very difficult times for those in the care of orphanages. Many survived and thrived. Others did not, and that is why the system has changed nationwide.

Buckner's is a leader in child care in Texas and in making certain that adoptees are not denied their own history. They appear to be in a minority, as most adoption agencies in Texas are not actively supporting legislative changes to restore to adult adoptees the rights they lost in 1973 to their own complete birth records.

Shame has no place in adoption. Buckner's knows that. Sadly, most other adoption agencies still have that lesson to learn, and adoption suffers because of that.

Please address that issue in an article. Adoptions for $30,000 and more are a crime, and children pay the highest price. Why do high-dollar adoption agencies want to keep current Texas laws unchanged? Please shine light on this issue.

Bill Betzen

Free of the millstone: Jim Schutze's "Crossing Division Street" (August 22) was a great piece and a personal examination for us all.

I was raised in a lower middle-class Irish Catholic family, in a mill town--Lawrence, Massachusetts. Our hatreds were cultural, religious or economic, since we had only six black families in a city of 86,000.

I was brought up by my father and his family to despise and look down on, in this order:

1. Limeys, Scots, Orange Irish (Protestant). They came over in droves to build and manage the mills from the 1890s on. They were our Episcopalian and Congregational upper-class rich people--the bankers, the business owners or their lackeys. A standard drunken toast was "The Irish will never be slaves!"

2. Italians, French-Canadians, Poles and Lithuanians. All contesting for entry-level and menial labor work with the Irish.

3. Jews. First- and second-generation middle Europeans, succeeding, in spite of our hatreds, with their tight community support and belief in education and excellence. The Jewish kids were always the smartest, and we were frustrated, since we all went home to ignorant parents while they went home to striving, learning parents.

4. Syrians, Lebanese, Armenians. They came and built family restaurants, established vegetable and produce farms, got rich!

5. Germans, Swedes and Norwegians.

6. Other Irish Catholics! We were taught always to think of our family as "Lace Curtain Irish"; everyone else was "Shanty Irish."

I am amazed today to find myself fairly able to deal with these triggers instilled in my childhood. I think I was saved because I went away to World War II. I traveled the world for the next 10 years as a Merchant Marine officer and saw the truth--the good in people and the bad in people, which had nothing to do with origins and labels. It takes work every day to be free of the millstone of racism that could pull us down to the level of those stupid kids in Massachusetts so long ago.

Thanks, Jim.

Jack McNulty
Via e-mail

Liner's One-liners

I do not like them, Sam I am: Reading the article that critiqued 42nd Street and The Misanthrope ("Razzle Dazzle 'Em," August 29) caused me to seriously doubt the credibility of Elaine Liner.

I have worked as a stage manager for several shows in the metroplex that have been reviewed unfavorably by Ms. Liner, but the review of The Misanthrope bothered me like her other reviews did not. Now, a critic is not required or expected to admire every show he/she attends. However, critics do have the responsibility to be honest in their criticism. For starters, regarding sound, while a boom box was present onstage and used in the performance, it was a prop. Should Ms. Liner also complain that candles are used (as props) in the Broadway show Rent and ascertain as a result that Rent is too low-budget to light the stage? Props should not be confused with elements of production.

As for the theater space, yes, it is small and not liked by everyone, but have you ever tried to find affordable theater space in Dallas? I am also a board member of Rover Dramawerks. In the years since Rover was founded, our primary goal has been to find a space to perform in. The simple truth is that Dallas has a shortage of performing arts space that is both available and affordable, and many production companies jump at the chance to be able to produce, even in less than perfect conditions. I believe that these companies should be applauded for their creativity and willingness to work in sub-optimal conditions, not put down for something that is completely out of the scope of their control.

In the future, Ms. Liner may want to take the time to collect all the facts before writing reviews. Only then her criticisms have merit. Of course, this may prevent her from writing witty Dr. Seuss-style closing lines, and we wouldn't want that now, would we?

Rebecca Ann Bremer
Via e-mail

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