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“THE KILLER NEXT DOOR” [TM, April 1992]? I thought someone had sent me a copy of True Detective instead of Texas Monthly. The title and cover illustration are definitely out of character for the magazine we subscribed to the last time we lived in Texas. Once the reader gets past the cover, though, the contents are still good.
REGARDING SUGGESTIONS BY RICHARD LYON’S attorney of other suspects, including myself, in the death of Nancy Lyon, no denial I could offer would repudiate these egregious claims as thoroughly as did Richard’s swift conviction by the jury. However, I wish to dispel any remaining questions about the basis for those spurious claims—my involvement in an unrelated civil suit in which Nancy was a potential witness. The fact is that Nancy never was called as a witness in that suit. Furthermore, after all the evidence was presented, the judge determined that the claim against me, about which the other side could have called Nancy as a witness but didn’t, was without merit, and he dismissed it by a directed verdict two months before her death.
Nancy Lyon was a wonderful person whom I enjoyed knowing very much. Her death is awful, and I grieve over the very great harm that has been done.
DAVID S. BAGWELL
AFTER READING ROBERT DRAPER’S “The Blood of the Farentholds” [TM, April 1992], I admire Sissy Farenthold even more than I did last July, after the publication of her article in the Houston Chronicle and my “Viewpoint” column praising her. Through all her personal loss and sadness she has managed to inspire and strengthen women like me, women she probably does not recall, women who love her.
PAUL BURKA’S “THIS IS THE ALAMO!” [TM, April 1992] may have left many landowners in East Texas with the mistaken idea that higher hardwood prices will result only from export demand from Pacific Rim countries such as Japan. As the largest buyer of hardwood fiber in East Texas, we at Temple-Inland have watched hardwood prices escalate steadily—since long before the exporters arrived. Once considered an inferior commercial species, hardwoods have suddenly become the preferred fiber source. Though demand is increasing, hardwood supplies are shrinking for other reasons also. Environmental practices to protect water quality have rendered many hardwood sites off-limits to harvesting. And some of the hardwood cut is simply not being replaced. Some 60 percent of East Texas forestland is owned by individuals who, according to state foresters, regenerate only one of every seven acres harvested. Investments other than tree farming offer greater returns much faster. Financial incentives are needed to motivate landowners to replant cut-over forestlands.
CLIFFORD J. GRUM
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
IN KATHY LOWRY’S “OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY” [Crime, TM, April 1992], there appears to be a noticeable lack of remorse on the part of Paul Adams Rush. His reasoning that “most of my motives were good, but some of them were self-serving” is quite an understatement next to the fact that he knowingly stole $500,000 just to be accepted by the “in” crowd. Mr. Rush needs a strong dose of reality. Taking things that do not belong to you is a crime. It is past time for the social-climbing business-banking set to be harshly convicted of white-collar crimes against society.
Beefing Up the Facts
ELMER KELTON’S “HAVING A COW” [Books, TM, April 1992] is outstanding! J. R. Ewing faded into the sunset, but now we have another J.R. to worry about—Jeremy Rifkin. Having spent my first 20 years in Manhattan and its suburbs and the last 29 as a farm and ranch wife in South Texas, I’d suggest that J.R. doesn’t have a clue as to the realities of raising cattle. Cattlemen and ranchers have dedicated their lives to caring for their animals and our environment. Our family ranch was awarded a Texas Century Ranch plaque for having land in continuous agricultural production by the same family for one hundred years. We sure as heck didn’t earn it by engaging in destructive practices like overgrazing! As a member of Texas CattleWomen, Farm Bureau, Texas Women for Agriculture, and the newly formed Texas AgriFood Masters, I know these groups welcome the opportunity to present programs backed by current facts, scientific evidence, and common sense to any consumer, civic, or school group. Consumers can aid small family farms and ranches immeasurably—at no cost—simply by hearing both sides of the story and making wise decisions.
DANA RUBIN’S DESCRIPTION OF CAROL COLLINS’ visit to Randolph Air Force Base in her article “Alone With a Ghost” [TM, March 1992] is misleading. Ms. Rubin knew, but chose not to mention, that the Air Force didn’t handle the case of Captain Donald Carr. He was a member of the U.S. Army, and the Army handled his case. She also failed to mention how George Atkinson and Lieutenant Colonel David Geraldson were able to decipher the “indecipherable government papers” for Carol Collins and teach her how to read map grid coordinates. It’s unfortunate that such a productive and well-intentioned meeting was taken out of context simply to make the story sound better to the reporter.
ANDREW T. GILROY, CAPT., USAF
Chief of Media Relations
Randolph Air Force Base
Ms. Rubin replies:
Captain Gilroy is correct that I did not explicitly point out that the Air Force did not handle the Carr investigation. The Air Force did handle the case of Carr’s pilot, who was in the same plane, disappeared at the same time, and was in the Air Force. The two cases are essentially the same, but were handled by two different services because the two missing men were from different services. The point was not to discuss the different agencies Carr’s ex-wife had to deal with but to shed light on the turmoil that she experienced as a result of her loss and the sudden appearance of the photograph after twenty years.