When I lived in the Washington, D.C., area, I used to take all Sunday morning to read the Post. You can "read" the AJC about as fast as you can turn the pages.
After moving to Atlanta from Nashville in 1993, one day I innocently bought the Constitution in the morning and the Journal in the afternoon, as I was used to reading the Tennessean in the morning and the Banner at night. Much to my surprise, the Atlanta papers were almost identical!
-- Walt Miller, Duluth
Jon Waterhouse's nostalgic tribute to Atlanta's forgotten watering (and dancing) holes brought back warm memories to one who remembers the '50s and early '60s staying out late and nursing a headache the next day ("Ghosts of hotspots past," April 23).
But where was a mention of the Black Sheep Club, Atlanta's own key club precursor to the Playboy in an old mansion across from the Biltmore; the Plantation Club sitting high on a hill on the west side of Peachtree (now replaced by a high-rise) with its dwarf doorman; Hank & Jerry's near 10th Street, an oasis among the era's thronging hippies; and Robinson's Tropical Gardens, the great dance club where Canoe now serves river-view dinners?
There were probably more.
-- James L. Waldron, Atlanta
So much more
Jon Waterhouse's very brief coverage missed much depth and diversity of Atlanta's music scene in the 1960s and the 1970s ("Ghosts of hotspots past," April 23). Even though there was a significant recording scene in Atlanta (principally Bill Lowery's recordings of Ray Whitley's music as well as Joe South and Tommy Roe -- Phil Walden was in Macon with the Allman Brothers, James Brown and Otis Redding), the music scene in Atlanta was about live performances. You could see Mack Davis at a strip joint called The Penthouse in old "tight squeeze" neighborhood. You could hear The Hampton Grease Band at the 12th Gate. If you were an African-American and wanted the sensation of a Cherry Hill nightclub, you could drive out Bankhead Highway to a former bowling alley that featured sit-down dinners, a dress code and entertainers like Jerry Butler and Dionne Warwick. Every motel and hotel worth its salt had a live band five nights a week. Atlanta's musical diversity gave it life and place for all of the musicians in the Southeast to play. You could actually make a living in Atlanta playing live music.
It's too bad that you didn't have the space to cover the entire scene.
-- Rick Devaney, Atlanta
Burritos going bye-bye
(In response to breaking news online, "Tortillas calls it a wrap," April 23): Tortillas is -- and always will be -- my favorite burrito joint. For nearly 13 years, I have eaten a bean and cheese burrito at least once a week. Sometimes more. Sometimes a lot more. Like the time my friend said, "I bet you can't eat there every day for an entire month." So I did. And on the 32nd day, he took me to Tortillas to celebrate my accomplishment and offer my reward: another burrito.
I have come to love the indifference of the Tortillas staff. You know, the whole "what the hell do you want" attitude. It will be a long time before I accept that crazy-shouting-welcome-ritual at that other place.
Charlie Kerns, if you ever get that meeting in your parking lot, let me know. I'll come fight for your bean brigade.
-- Jill Redman, Atlanta
Punishing the wrong ones
I am the owner of an Atlanta restaurant which has "France" in its name.
I am neither French nor of French descent. I employ U.S. citizens and legal residents.
The restaurant has received recently "hate" phone calls suggesting that there is a connection between my restaurant and France's failure to join our coalition in the Iraq liberation war. Nonsense! Think about it!
I remind readers that I import nothing directly from France. My meats, vegetables, breads, wines, etc. are purchased right here in metro Atlanta.
My style of cooking is really "continental" and you will find items here based on the cuisines of many countries.
I realize that the callers are very small in numbers and chose not give their names, blaming "someone else who has access to my phone" in every case after we found their numbers.
By boycotting French restaurants and other French establishments with French names or connections, you are only punishing honest, hard-working U.S. citizens, and not helping our economy to make a prompt recovery.
-- Tony Spinucci,
South of France restaurant
I have been a member of the ASO Chorus since 1993. I want to thank you for the wonderfully perceptive article by Tom Bell (Vibes, "Me and my shadow," April 23). I found it a most accurate, appreciative description of the history and experience of Mr. Shaw, Norman and the chorus from my point of view as a volunteer singer.
We loved Mr. Shaw and miss him greatly. He was not only musical, intelligent and skillful, he was a deeply spiritual presence. Thank you for your care in writing about him. We love Norman. We could not ask for a more dedicated, passionate, skillful director. And that Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony CD is just stunning.
Another word about the Sea Symphony. It is an interesting Anglo-American marriage of Vaughan Williams' musical setting of texts by Walt Whitman. Interesting at this time with the Anglo-American coalition pursuing Bush's war. It calls to remembrance "brave captains and intrepid sailors and mates. And all who went down doing their duty." But far from being "patriotic" or imperialistic, it is a deeply spiritual work that recognizes the sacredness of creation and the unity of all nations and peoples. It calls for us to "sail for the deep waters only." Mr. Shaw would have loved that. Yet, the Sea Symphony is the first Grammy-winning CD we have done without Mr. Shaw's involvement.
-- Andrew H. Gee, Marietta
Times like this
Thanks for your words in Fishwrapper ("War and peace and God," April 23). You helped to straighten out my sometimes ambivalent, often confused feelings and thoughts about this war. Most of all you pointed out the situation ethics and morality that people like Stanley use during times like this.
Stanley has gone from being a spouter of bad theology to a pathetic example of power and ambition corrupting virtue. He started to earn my respect when he suggested he would retire when he divorced, but lost it when he and God decided that would be a bad idea. I get tired of people like Stanley feeling like they have a mandate to spread their badness due to the fact that they have taken advantage of the universal truth that a fool and his dollars are soon parted.
But as John Prine once put it, "Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reason's for and your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore ..."
While I see the truths that 1) Saddam hates us and is a bad dude, 2) Iraqis may be better off without him and 3) the world may be better off without him as well. War is tragic and bad and sometimes, unfortunately, a necessary evil, but it is always evil and bad.
I like what my priest said in a recent column -- that to take God's side is to take every side and to pray for everyone involved in a crisis, Saddam included.
-- Tim Black, Atlanta
Your Earth Day selections for the Green Team and Dirty Dozen remind us all that the responsibility for promoting a clean and healthy environment falls on the shoulders of people from all walks of life, from journalists and doctors to activists and business leaders ("Georgia's Dirty Dozen and Green Team," April 16). Here at the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), we have our own Dirty Dozen that focuses attention every two years on the 12 congressional candidates who have failed in their responsibilities when it comes to protecting clean air, safe drinking water and wilderness. We run Dirty Dozen campaigns to defeat these candidates and remind voters that members of Congress have tremendous responsibilities when it comes to keeping America's environment clean and healthy.
In addition, we run Environmental Champion campaigns to elect candidates who will fight for the protection of this country's natural heritage. Highlighting the environmental achievements or infamy of Georgia residents in your Earth Day edition holds members of the community accountable for their environmental actions. LCV helps voters hold politicians accountable at the polls on America's other day to champion protection of the Earth, Election Day.
-- Dan Vicuna
League of Conservation Voters
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