Letters for Feb. 13, 2008
While working in the Street Maintenance Department for the City of High Point, I experienced firsthand, in my opinion, the functional illiteracy of some of it’s employees [“Why can’t High Point read?”; Feb. 6, 2008; by Amy Kingsley]. For example, at some of our safety meetings, there were low-level supervisors who could barely read the text for the class without mispronunciating [sic] the majority of the words. Some of those individuals came from backgrounds similar to Mr. Wilson’s. Hard-working men just trying earn a living until a tragedy strikes and they are no longer able to perform their job by rote. Pride on one hand, I think, is the greatest enemy of literacy because it holds a person back from acquiring the reading skills needed to improve their lives while on the other hand, pride of being able to read well can be the antibiotic for the disease: functional illiteracy. I wish Reading Connections much success.
From the Clinton/Overman faction
Some disclosures before I get to the point of this e-mail: I am a good friend of Ogi’s and, with my wife, an active member of his “Sizzling Seventeen.” I thought that your exposé regarding Jerry Bledsoe’s quasi-journalism was excellent [“Reckless disregard”; Jan 9, 2008; “Sensational omissions”; Jan 16, 2008; by Jordan Green]. I am also a supporter of Obama and have serious doubts about Hillary Clinton’s being the Democratic candidate for president. All that being said, I have to say that you, Jordan, have clearly sunk to Bledsoe’s level with this latest article [“The ghosts of Clinton past in Mena”; Feb. 6, 2008; by Jordan Green]. Your story relied heavily on Mark H. Swaney as a source without providing any reason whatsoever why this guy has even a shred of credibility. From the article, I gather he was at an Arkansas school, headed up a vague committee and after 16 years has managed to achieve the entry-level position of research associate, one that is usually relegated to new graduates with no experience or people who for whatever reason cannot find a job of substance. I have worked at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College and Bennett College (12 years in all) so I have some expertise in low-level academic jobs. The other sources that you cite did not provide any substantive back up.
As I have indicated, I have serious problems with Clinton’s candidacy, but I have an even greater problem with an attack that offers no proof and merely repeats innuendos from someone who, when Googled, doesn’t really emerge as a potential candidate for a Nobel Prize. I expect better from YES! Weekly. And, Mr. Clarey, I expect so much better from an editor. Where were your challenges to the flimsiness of Mr. Green’s sources? If you are going to sink to the Rhino’s level, you are going to alienate readers like me who expect the forthright honesty of Ogi’s column – he is up front with his prejudices and dubious sources. I am disappointed and will be much more diligent in reading future articles to see if they rise above tabloid sleaze. If they don’t, my love of Ogi’s work notwithstanding, I will cease to be a regular reader. That is not a major threat to you, but I have to believe there are more people like me who expect YES! Weekly to live up to its previous reputation This article is a disgrace to Mr. Green and to YES! Weekly.
Our dear David has died and I have been so touched with your grief and shock from your phone calls, e-mails, text messages and visits. As long as we can remember, David Sommers was an intrinsic part of theatre communities throughout the state. Like you, I have cried, mourned, been angry, frustrated and reflective. Now it is time to honor David for the love, talent, volunteerism and wonderful spirit he brought to the Community Theatre of Greensboro and the theatre community as a whole.
If you are an actor or singer that would like to participate in the memorial service, there will be one meeting/rehearsal on Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in CTG’s classroom, located on the 4th floor of the Greensboro Cultural Center. It shouldn’t last more than a couple of hours. You must be able to attend this one and only rehearsal if you would like to participate. If you cannot make the rehearsal, please try to attend the service. The family would love to see you there.
If you are planning to participate, be prepared to be part of a couple of company numbers. Craig Richardson has graciously volunteered his time to help us vocally, and Cynthia Layell Hartis will be the accompanist. I might ask some of you to work on some solos, duets, etc. dependent on who shows up at the rehearsal, what music we have decided to do, etc. Please be flexible during this rehearsal in the spirit of putting together this important service in a very short period of time.
Also, I would really appreciate it if you would ask all and any questions about David and this service at the rehearsal on Feb. 18. I, like you, loved David very much and want to be responsive, but it will be impossible for me to do my work at CTG and prepare this service with all of your inquiries. It will all become clear when we meet. No need to RSVP; just show up to the rehearsal if you want to participate. Otherwise, we hope to see you at the memorial service on Feb. 21.
Thanks so much,
Sommers is Executive Director of CTG