Ask a Mexican

I was reading Gustavo Arellano’s “Ask a Mexican” and noticed his usage of the Spanish word chanate. My Mexican wife from Oaxaca says it’s zanate. Who is right?

I’m also curious about Sr. Arellano’s background. (I am German and Filipino.) Did he learn his Spanish from his mother, like most Chicanos, or is he a real Mexican? Newly arrived here from Oceanside, California, we find his column refreshingly honest and highly entertaining.
Thomas Pauley,
Overland Park

The Mexican replies: Your wife is right, and so am I. Now can she make me some mole negro?

Kansas City Strip, September 28 Reemed

I am the real Harry Reems! You thought I was dead. Well, I am not. I am a 60-year-old real-estate broker living the clean life with my wife of 17 years.

The Kansas City Harry Reems sounds like he needs a new porn palace. Let the City Council know I am all for it … as long as it is not in my neighborhood.
Harry Reems,

Feature: “Jay’s Anatomy,” September 14

Doctor Who

“Jay’s Anatomy” was a good article overall — a balanced, if quick, look at the work done at the Jay Doc Free Health Clinic and the larger health concerns into which it fits.

As a medical student (not at KU) and also as someone who has known the students running Jay Doc for many years (undergrad at KU and still visit every six to eight weeks), I have one major complaint: the writer’s one-sided portrayal of Lase Ajayi. She’s one of the most hardworking, most compassionate people at Jay Doc, and this came through only in a poorly framed quote at the end, next to the scatology. Add that to the beer joke, the failed actress (in contrast to speculation about Adam Obley’s future academic career) and the “everybody’s dying” quote, and you have quite a portrait. This might distribute (I would say sell, but you know) a few more copies of the Pitch, but it’s misrepresentative and it’s shallow journalism, and I believe it’s unfair to Lase.

I think there is considerable interest in the Pitch readership about health care. Thanks for bringing the Jay Docs some deserved attention. These students and doctors work very hard, and the situation that they and their patients are in should be more widely discussed.
Jonathan Power,
St. Louis

Night & Day, September 21

Easel Does It

As an artist exhibiting in the Plaza Art Fair, I thank you for mentioning it in your Night & Day section. However, I am most offended by Annie Fischer’s comments. I can’t imagine anyone becoming so jaded with art that they consider one of the highest-quality art festivals to be “predictable.” Because of this high quality of work, it is one of the hardest festivals to get accepted into. It took me five years of applying to be accepted. I know many artists who have never been able to exhibit at the festival.

Also, regarding Fischer’s comment about overpriced watercolors and jewelry: Are you kidding? Have you been to a gallery lately? When a person attends one of these festivals, he or she is buying directly from the artist. We have to cover supplies, hotels, gas, food, replacement costs, taxes, etc.

And last, she mentions that the show began the day before. Is she and/or your publication able to leap 48 hours into the future? She could have just mentioned the times and whereabouts of the festival. Instead, she throws in her snippy, unjustified opinions about the art, even though the event hasn’t even begun! Shame on her. How lazy is that? Chris Bruno, Jacksonville, Florida

Stage, September 21

Stages of Grief

Alan Scherstuhl’s review of Everyman doesn’t serve anyone — not the actors, director or readers.

It seems to me that Everyman was written at a time when the purpose of art was to educate and entertain — educate in the sense of moral education. For Philip blue owl Hooser to update the play so as to be more palatable and more understandable to a modern audience, adding contemporary music and modern interpretations of characters allows a modern audience to find the characters to be more meaningful. Brad Shaw provided an insightful, three-dimensional interpretation of Death, and George Forbes was elegant as Everyman.

I could go on and explain what in their performances made their performances “good” in terms of the elements of drama or why a production rises to the level of “art.” Your reviewer thinks he’s clever and just rants opinion, on and on.
Mary Dreher,

Wayward Son, September 7

Reminders of Ron

I worked at the Music Exchange for five years, from 1999 to 2004, and I was there to see the ship going down. There were days when I just wanted to bury Ron Rooks in a pile of vinyl and set it ablaze. But then would come a good day and inevitably one of his longtime employees would come up to me and say, “That’s why we love Ron! ‘Cause he used to be like that every day!” The Ron I knew had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the store on some days — then, I’m told, you used to have to drag him out of the store every day, kicking and screaming!

The last line of your article was what really motivated me to write you an e-mail. You didn’t know Ron for a long time, but you knew about his knowledge of music. The beauty of the Music Exchange was Ron’s knowledge, but also that he surrounded himself with people who knew more than he did about particular genres. If you went to work at the Exchange, you were expected to learn.

Mostly, I want to thank you for that last line and remind you how lucky you are that you got to see a glimpse into the good side of Ron.
Dennis Royer,

Wayward Son, August 31

Spinning Jenny

Spot on! Jenny Carr and the Waiting List were hands down the best display of talent by a local artist that I have seen. Not that I really have a life and get out to see very many local acts. Anyway, I don’t need to. I’ve seen the show I’m gonna continue to enjoy for a long time, I’m sure.

Christopher Hull,
Kansas City, Missouri

Correction: Information contained in last week’s capsule review of the art show Whoop Dee Doo was incorrect. The public screening of the opening night’s videotape is at 8 p.m. Friday, October 6, at the Greenlease Gallery, 1100 Rockhurst Road, 816-501-4407.