EITHER SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH WAS DRUNK from his advance from the Cadet Murders script or he’s just plain stupid—Farrah Fawcett in the back seat of his car changing her clothes and he didn’t look [“Vanity Farrah,” February 1997]? I don’t buy it for a minute. I would have had a wreck and died with a broken neck from my rubber-necking at her pulling off her clothes. Skip, get a grip. You missed your chance.
FARRAH WAS A STUDENT IN THE University of Texas at Austin anthropology class I taught in the fall of 1965. As a teaching assistant, I was only slightly older than she was and, like most other young males on campus, totally smitten. She received an A in the class. Smiling at me from the front row of desks may have helped, but I treasure my 32-year-old class record book that shows her high grades and prompts my memories of her sincere interest to do well in the course.
Dudley M. Varner
MR. HOLLANDSWORTH’S ARTICLE captured the mystique Farrah holds over all men who grew up hoping she might mysteriously show up at the McDonald’s in their town.
I ENJOYED THE PUFF piece about Farrah. It is nice, in a way, to know that some things, and people, haven’t changed over the past twenty years. But I think Mr. Hollandsworth missed the real story. Greg Lott’s tragic story about losing his football career, his girl, and his freedom to drugs and his eventual and continuing unglorious comeback would make fascinating reading about a Texan’s real-life struggles.
E. Gordon Whyte
WAS THERE A GROUP LOBOTOMY performed at the editorial meeting for your February issue? Farrah at Fifty? Oh, please—I get more intellectual stimulation out of clipping my toenails.
Remembering The Kickapoo
I RECALL A DIFFERENT KICKAPOO from those Jan Reid wrote about [“The Forgotten People,” February 1997]. I remember the presence of the Kickapoo in regard to my family and the respect they had for my grandfather Don Amarante Falcon. He had helped them with their everyday problems in Múzquiz, Mexico, and as a result, when he ï¿½ed Mexico during the revolution, they continued to seek him out. When I was seven years old, the Kickapoo would gather in our front lawn in Eagle Pass, and as my grandfather sat and listened to their problems, the Kickapoo children and my brother and I would play games with each other. Whenever they visited, we would receive gifts from them—beads, arrowheads, and moccasins. I also remember the name of their chief, Papíquano, and when we would call his name to his people, they would smile and thank us for the recognition. These are the Kickapoo I remember.
Leticia R. Hall
IT WAS WITH GOOD REASON that the citizens of Quemado opposed the location of the Kickapoo Inhalant Abuse—Detoxification Center in our community. From the onset, we saw the $2.6 million federally funded project for what it was: an opportunity for do-gooders like Dr. Eric Fredlund, along with his band of merry men at the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) and at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in far-off Washington, D.C., to siphon off more of our hard-earned dollars.
At its core, this program is a pious experiment that will never work because it is set up to exploit precisely the people it purports to help. Instead of spending the money on the patients, most of the more than $1 million spent thus far has gone to upgrading the Bunsen Farm, where it was located, and for salaries instead of helping the patients. At one point, there were twenty staff members and twelve patients.
The promoters of this project have had to admit in their own reports that they have not rehabilitated one patient, even after three and a half years in operation. I find it shameful the TCADA has decided to throw another $500,000 into this project, given its track record.
WOW! MIMI SWARTZ’S GENERATION created our current sexualized culture [“Brenham’s Paradise Lost,” February 1997]? It’s about time someone came forward and hogged all the blame for that. Interest in sex and the availability of sex is not generational; it’s part of the human experience.
Good or bad it has always been here and will continue to be a big part of our lives. Consensual sex in Texas is age fourteen. In other states it can be age fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. Is it our belief that teenagers across the country are sitting around waiting for some arbitrary midnight gong to ring so the games can begin? What has changed in the current culture is the need to define a victim and out of that construct a perpetrator for every situation. Beyond routine traffic laws, do teens have a good working knowledge of the consequences of other actions? Not likely.
Although the teachers interviewed for the article appear to have given up on teaching morality—a questionable endeavor at best by a government system—perhaps some meaningful curriculum changes would help: programs by experts on ethics, personal property rights, assault, sex offenses, negligence, child support, community property, divorce, common law marriage, retail crime, and other confusing and potentially life-changing situations. If they can’t teach or legislate morality, teach the consequences.
Ronald J. Moran
Lake Forest, Illinois
WHY IS SHAILA DEWAN straining so hard to give Houston’s Alley Theatre a “Mixed Review” [Theater, February 1997]? She gives voice to the Alley’s detractors, but their complaints ring hollow, given her acknowledgment that “its financial picture is decidedly rosy,” its “productions often rival Broadway in quality, thanks to its cracker-jack resident acting company,” and its Gregory Boyd is “a great artistic director.” Its plays, its people, its resources, and its audiences are what make or break a theater. Veteran actress Bettye Fitzpatrick often quotes Alley founder Nina Vance as having said that the Alley exists so that a resident company of talented actors can produce plays of merit for a subscription audience. This mission has been magnificently achieved. Perhaps money does not make great art, but it can make great art possible. While every performance of every play may not be all things to all people, the Alley enjoys a mix of human chemistry, supported by sound finances and commercial success, which often results in Art with a capital A.
D. Brent Wells
Alley Theatre board member, Houston
Editor’s note: In the March issue the photograph on page 113 appears courtesy of Gulf Publishing from the book Native Texas Gardens: Maximum Beauty Minimum Upkeep, by Sally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski, which was published in March.