Dem’d If You Do . . .

It is great that the Democrats don’t have anybody on the Worst list [“The Best and Worst Legislators 2011,” July 2011]. Or is this really just a case of the liberal media bias covering up for them as usual?

Milton Partain

Legislators like Leo Berman stand on principle—a “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” kind of principle—and it is obvious that this is not the kind of leader you appreciate. You would prefer a somersaulting appeaser to a steadfast, solid leader, and for that, I pity you.

Jamie Scott
via email

Into the Mystic

My prayer, and the prayers of thousands of Texas women from age 9 to 99, is that all parties involved in the family fight over Camp Mystic come to a peaceful agreement [“The Not So Happy Campers,” July 2011].

Suzie Dyer Bacon
San Antonio

I am struck by the fact that we live in a world that will apply any measure to preserve and protect an endangered snail darter from encroachment. Yet what protection is in place to ensure that the people and the place that have so profoundly affected the lives of thousands and thousands of young women at Camp Mystic will live on?

Martha Maynard
San Antonio 

If only money is required to settle the Eastlands’ conflict and preserve Mystic for future generations of Texas women, I’ll gladly contribute my share.

Mike Vickers

It is never pleasant to have your family’s dirty laundry aired in public, especially in a magazine as widely circulated and carefully read as TEXAS MONTHLY. Mimi Swartz has done a commendable job of presenting a thorough and lucid account of a complex conflict. We offer four simple facts for correction and clarification: (1) We, the cousins George and Philip Stacy, have never sued or countersued anyone involved in this case. (2) Dick, Tweety, and James Eastland sued us in Kerr County in March 2007. By law, we had to respond to their lawsuit, even though we had urged repeatedly that the issues not be taken to court. (3) We have always cared deeply for the Mystic traditions and ideals our grandparents Ag and Pop Stacy and many others fostered through the decades of Mystic’s existence and for the generations of young women who have been enriched by its values. (4) Our greatest hope is that the Mystic tradition will endure many more decades into the future. Our faith is that the Mystic Way will triumph.

Philip and George Stacy

While it was difficult to see our family’s disputes aired so publicly, your article got the facts right for the most part. But it’s easy to understand how an article that covered so much ground could have some mistakes, and there were some that need correction.

First, we did not get any additional interest in other Eastland properties to compensate for Dick’s getting more of Camp Mystic. Dick eventually got close to 52 percent of the Natural Fountains Properties stock, but he still received one third of everything else under our parents’ will, as did we.

Second, any implication that Stacy built his house “perilously close” to Natural Fountains without Dick’s permission is inaccurate. Dick and our mother approved the location. Stacy used Dick’s builder, and Dick reviewed and approved the building plans and costs.

Third, when Stacy sent the November 2006 letter to Dick raising the questions about NFP’s tax status, he had not already alerted the IRS, as the article states. Stacy didn’t notify the IRS until late 2009, long after Dick was aware of the potential tax problems.

Finally, our cousins Philip and George Stacy never sued Dick. Rather, Dick sued them and us, and we, not Philip and George, countersued for rent underpayment.

It is a shame that our family could not resolve our disputes privately, as we repeatedly attempted. But if our disputes must be public, we think it’s important that the facts are correct. We continue to hope and pray for a fair resolution that will allow this family to heal.

Nancy Leaton and Stacy Eastland

Editors’ note: The online version of Mimi Swartz’s story has been updated to include corrections on all of the above points except one: Swartz did not imply that Stacy Eastland built his house close to Natural Fountains without Dick’s permission, only that its location raised eyebrows among former campers. We regret the errors.

Peaches and Screams

You may have saved my eight-year-old daughter’s future dining experiences. Until I read “Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?” I thought my firstborn was just trying to destroy dinnertime [July 2011]. But she is exactly as you described yourself, and with each page I read, I felt smaller and smaller. I had flashbacks to each dinner that ended with her crying in her room and a plate of food on the table. No more! We will explore her palate in new ways and embrace her tastes from now on! 

Jack Barcroft


Cleveland Rocks

I would hate to live in a town like the one Jan Jarboe Russell describes in “The Worst Hard Time” [July 2011]. Luckily for me and my family, I don’t. The Cleveland, Texas, I live in and where I currently serve as mayor is, admittedly, far from perfect. But at least we’re progressive enough to realize that what nineteen or twenty people do (or are accused of doing) doesn’t define who the rest of us are or limit what we are able to accomplish in the name of decency and community spirit.

And, yes, Cleveland is “bracing for another round of bad scrutiny” that will naturally surround the upcoming child rape trials. None of us are looking forward to it. But we know who we are, and we know where we come from, and we know we can handle it.

And that, folks, is what it means to live in Cleveland, Texas!

Mayor Jill B. Kirkonis