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GOOD KINGS

When I met Mr. [Jorge] Cornell, I changed my whole perspective on gangs [“Latin Kings indictment stuns supporters”; Dec. 14, 2011; by Jordan Green]. I saw how “gangs” can be a positive force for kids who have not had loving and stable home environments — to give them something to connect with and aspire towards. I am also interested in the evidence — I know my life would have been very different if I was born of a different culture and in a different place.

Gail Bretan, Greensboro

FROM THE FRINGE

Everyone’s favorite political errand boy for grocery store clerks, Dick Morris, says Ron Paul is a dangerous left wing radical whose foreign policy views are left of the current president.

“Left of Obama” is now apparently defined as not supporting the ongoing right-left political assault on our civil rights most recently through the National Defense Authorization Act that lists the United States as a battlefield with citizens subject to indefinite detention without due process or potentially subject to targeted killing without any hint of a trial.

I’m not interested in finding out what’s “right of Obama” which is why I support Ron Paul and given the historical significance of the civil rights museum, citizens of Greensboro need to as well.

Michael Norbury, Greensboro,

FROM THE PAST

Jordan, In your article on Tate Street [“Tate Street: An oasis in a concrete desert”; May 17, 2005; by Jordan Green] you mentioned Friar’s Cellar and my Dad, Dave Jackson. Friar’s was a landmark on Tate Street from ’71-’93 when it closed. The characterization of Dad as a stern, straight-up person is accurate. I was disappointed with the part where Hawes was quoted as saying it was a dirty store and he had a bad cup of coffee there.

I’m not sure where the characterization of “dirty” came from. We handled pastries and were meticulous about how we prepared them for storage. I’m not saying there may have been a little clutter after a breakfast or lunch rush, but we always cleaned the store thoroughly before closing.

Also, Friar’s was noted for our outstanding coffee. We used a brand called “African Blend” which was made by Atlanta Coffee Mills. There was probably only one business in Greensboro that used that coffee, and it was owned by a guy who had it for personal use in his business. Dad happened to go in there once and the man asked him if he’d like a cup of coffee. After drinking it, he asked the man about the coffee and found out about Atlanta Coffee Mills.

I’ll admit that Dad would leave a pot on too long if it was after lunchtime, but from 8 a.m. at opening to 2 p.m. or so, we generally sold it fast enough that it couldn’t sit for long. I remember making pot after pot as fast as I could many mornings as customers knew we opened at 8 and had to have their java to get their day going. He also sold coffee beans of many different flavors and we would grind them for customers who were interested. Occasionally, we would surprise customers by using one of these “exotic” flavors as a way to familiarize them with our other coffees that were available for sale.

I also have many fond memories of working for Dad there. He moved into the location where Tate Street Coffee House is located in ’76 from a smaller space across the street. I worked there for holidays and summers when I was home from school, then worked there steady from December of ’77 to August of ’78 when I purchased my own store, separate from Friar’s. I met my first wife there among many other people.

Friar’s was going great until late ’88 when Dad fell ill and had gall bladder surgery. The surgery took quite a bit out of him and my Mom wasn’t able to pick up the slack as she was having health issues at the time as well. Friar’s kind of fell apart at the end as no provision had been made for succession in the ownership and Dad sold it at a very reduced price. The owner couldn’t pull it back up and it eventually closed.

At any rate, I thought you should have a more complete picture of Friar’s. We really tried to provide good products, a homey atmosphere, and excellent customer service. I can’t speak to events that may have taken place after ‘79, but I know that the first 8 years Dad used the sales experience he had for 30 years in a previous career, and had success with it. I learned by watching him and gave my best effort to provide the type of service that I expect in a place of business.

Andy Jackson, Greensboro,

KUDOS

Congratulations on seven years with YES! Weekly. I have enjoyed your articles since at least 2008 and have respected your approach, attitude, and aptitude in providing an honest voice. Keep it up!

Chris Adams. Greensboro

Congratulations Brian on your book and seven years as YES! Weekly editor.

Abe Jones, Greensboro

ANOTHER SIDE OF HARRISON

I am writing to you today about your recent article [“Government: Unpaid payroll taxes diverted for personal benefit”; Dec. 14, 2011; by Jordan Green]. I want to ask you how much you truly know about this situation. Someone like me, who worked for these companies, saw a much different picture than the one you’re portraying of Greg Harrison.

All I want to say here is that if you truly want to report the news fairly, that you to research a little more. Greg Harrison’s has more support than you can imagine and in the end we will see how this plays out, but in the meantime, I would greatly appreciate if you would report stories that you know “more” about and stop listening to the media channels and all the other sources about Greg, that are not excactly repesented fairly or accurately. Harrison has done more good for people than you could ever know or probably believe!

Randy Howell, Greensboro

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