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TEXAS A&M AND THE AGGIES do not need “saving” from anything [“Agent of Change,” November 2006].
A&M SHOULD CONTINUE TO IMPROVE ITSELF, as any viable enterprise must. The question really becomes this: Beyond things like student-faculty ratios, number of minority students, and the quality of faculty credentials, what changes are necessary? Non-Aggies always feel the need to point to changes in Aggie culture as requisite for us to gain greater respectability.
I disagree with them. As other campus cultures have degraded under the burden of political correctness, Aggieland stays a unified and truly uplifted community because of ideology. It may sound ironic, but anyone who truly appreciates diversity would beg A&M to remain a unique and important intellectual alternative.
YOUR NOVEMBER CAPTION “Can This Guy Save the Aggies?” was appropriate for the past. Now it should read “Can This Guy Save the Nation?”
Let Them Eat Fruitcake
I’M PROBABLY NOT THE ONLY born-and-bred Corsicanan to cry foul over Patricia Sharpe’s omission of the Collin Street Bakery—our hometown’s international success story—in her list of favorite mail-order foods from Texas [“The Chop Is in the Mail,” November 2006]. Okay, so the bakery’s most famous product is the DeLuxe fruitcake. And yes, fruitcakes have become a semi-hilarious joke. But more than three million pounds of the DeLuxe are shipped around the world every year, so somebody out there must really, really like it.
New York, New York
MY WIFE AND I WERE interviewed for your article “Acting Up” [November 2006]. Our daughter, Katy Nesbit (age sixteen), and a friend, Michael McEachern (age seventeen), were senselessly murdered on August 26, 1995, by two teenage boys over a car stereo. Since our daughter was murdered, our lives have never returned to “normal.” We have chosen to use our heartache to attempt to heal and help those selected by the Giddings State School staff to participate in the Capital and Serious Violent Offenders Treatment Program. We believed up until we read your article that we were helping the incarcerated youth who were the stars of your article. I feel the article overemphasized the violence in the kids’ lives and the violence from their crimes and grossly understated what works and what heals them. From what we see on the inside of the program, it changes lives and offers hope to young lives that would have otherwise been written off by the “justice system.”
Field and Stream
GREAT PHOTO ESSAY [“Open Season,” November 2006]. But as an avid fisherman and conservationist, I urge my deer-hunting brothers to follow the example set by fisherpersons: We “catch and release.”
Setting the Record Straight
I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OSCAR Casares’s feature on Porter High School’s winning the state championship in soccer [“Ready for Some Fútbol?” November 2006]. As a former Valleyite, it is always heartening when David smites Goliath, so to speak. However, his statement that this victory marked the first team championship in 5A history for any Valley school is incorrect. In 1981, the first year for class 5A, the tennis doubles team of Enrique Temkin and Kevin Kelly won the state championship for McAllen High School. I would know. I had the privilege of being their coach.
Editor’s Note: You are indeed correct. Porter’s soccer championship was the school’s first 5A title, not the Valley’s. We regret the error.
SARAH BIRD WRITES WELL, but remembers less so [“Neck and Neck,” November 2006]. The “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” articles that she remembers reading since her childhood have appeared as a regular feature in Ladies’ Home Journal, not Good Housekeeping.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Editor’s Note: We’ll certainly never forget again. “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” belongs to Ladies’ Home Journal. We regret the error.
In Good Faith
OKAY, I ADMIT IT. I WAS … wrong. When Texas Monthly began running “church reviews,” I was less than enthusiastic. As one of the half-dozen (give or take) self-avowed atheists in Texas, my initial reaction was understandable: Et tu, Evan Smith? Wasn’t it bad enough that the nation already slouched toward theocracy? Did you have to drink the Kool-Aid too? But then I recalled the words of journalist Peter Sussman: “When we are all in agreement, no one is offended, but no one is enlightened either.” So rather than cancel my subscription in a fit of high dudgeon, I forced myself to read William Martin’s Faith Bases feature.
I still found the subject matter largely distasteful, but I had to grudgingly acknowledge Mr. Martin’s evenhanded approach. His articles are informative and well written.
By the third issue, though, I began to notice something unusual about the feature. The position Mr. Martin took toward his subject seemed almost … subversive? Could it be? Was this a wolf in sheep’s clothing? It quickly became clear that this writer was no one’s fool. He knows the Bible and isn’t afraid of calling a spade a shovel. How utterly refreshing.
I AM AWARE THAT I AM A LIBERAL in a conservative state, but I hadn’t realized to what extent Texas Monthly had become a Republican magazine until I read Hollywood, TX in the November issue [Reporter, “Err America”]. I was thoroughly shocked and disgusted at how Christopher Kelly failed to see beyond his big red nose. His reviews of the “Bush-bashing” documentaries made them sound like underground hate-mongering propaganda films with nothing but lies. When I saw those same films, I found them to be a ray of truthful light in this otherwise murky administration. I’d say that Mr. Kelly must be nursing a large wound to have reviewed the documentaries with such vitriol.