letters from the week of September 20

Martin: “Scoop of Poop,” September 6

Garden Variety

I just became a Pitch reader. I found the article about the struggle to create a dog park in Waldo of interest, since I just moved here from a city that is filled with dog parks. The dog I live with doesn’t have any complaints about Kansas City thus far, but then again, she doesn’t live near a group of people who prefer to keep her on the streets and shitting on sidewalks and lawns rather than in a more private, safe and designated area that offers people bags for disposal.

Holly Beal, Kansas City, Missouri

Feature: “The Search for the Garden of Eden,” September 6

Bumpy Ride

I’m such a fan of Justin Kendall’s writing. As a recovering Mormon, I especially loved his recent piece. All I can tell him about the elusive goose bumps is that he’s probably not trying hard enough. You really have to suspend your disbelief (and your logic, reason and sanity).

Thanks for the great article.

Michelle Allred, Kansas City, Missouri

State of Independence

I am sick and tired of Independence being made fun of by pretentious people who do not live there or have any facts about it. It is an older city that spans nearly 80 square miles. Like many older cities, there are some parts of town that are older and occupied by residents who are in a lower income bracket. They are part of the whole of Independence, which is a beautiful, fun place to live. The majority of the people in Independence are nothing like the cover of the September 6 issue, which perpetuates a 20-year-old stereotype. This leads me to question why the Pitch feels its contempt for Independence is cover-worthy. This city is full of working-class people who are more worried about putting food on the table for their families than being hipster snobs that meet the standards of the Pitch.

The Community of Christ Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are vital to the city. They work very hard to keep up the curb appeal of the more economically challenged part of the city where they are based. They are one of the few Christian churches that actually encourage their followers to seek information about other religions and question their church. Mormons are kind people who deserve to have their beliefs without a joke being made of them and the city that is of much importance to their religion. Independence appreciates their presence and would appreciate some more respect from the too-cool Pitch.

Leslie Moreland, Independence

Just Like Heaven

Although obviously meant to be a humorous piece on the order of Mark Twain’s account of visiting the Mormons in Salt Lake City en route to the gold fields in California, Justin Kendall’s article included some serious information about the Mormon experience in Missouri, including the extermination order that finally expelled Mormons from the state. The fact that the Garden of Eden has left no traces should not be surprising; after all, Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden as part of the fall into the mortal state, and it would be contrary to the program if you could get back into the garden through some kind of Frommer’s travel plan.

The point of Joseph Smith’s program was that the Latter-day Saints assemble together at that location and, through care of the land and care for each other, build a society that would be a worthy place for Christ to dwell in. So the aspiration about Jackson County, despite the really nasty things the other inhabitants did to them, was to build a community that would be a fit place to live with Christ on His return. Whatever you think of the background, doesn’t that sound like an appealing goal? The missionaries who were so overwhelming in their enthusiasm are also people who would make sure you got food if you were hungry and clothing if yours was worn out. Maybe in a while, you can revisit your article and consider that the project to change the people of Missouri from the inside out, and then build Independence into a veritable Garden of Eden, is still far from achievement but still worthwhile.

Raymond Takashi Swenson, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Stormin’ Mormons

Thanks for your article. I really enjoyed it and smiled all the way through it. Mormons are funny people, and you captured a wonderful glimpse of our foibles and intensity.

Thanks — you made me laugh today!

Marilyn Springgay, Redmond, Washington