No Joking Matter
To the Editor:
I would like to strongly object to the frivolous and patently stupid remarks of Mr. Bunny Matthews regarding the controversial cartoon that involved the concentration camp ("The Bunny Pages," March 12). Let me tell Mr. Matthews that the killing of 6 million Jews plus approximately 4 million Gypsies, homosexuals and people who opposed Nazism is no joking matter! Having lost my father's entire family, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, I don't feel like it is a joking matter either, from a very personal standpoint.
And his comparison to Hogan's Heroes is even more stupid as that television program was about a prisoner of war camp in Germany, and not a concentration camp. Mr. Matthews is a bright young man but he should get his facts straight and learn some humility, plus some history.
St. Charles Health Care Center Responds
To the Editor:
St. Charles Health Care Center must address the inaccurate characterization leveled against it by Mr. Delaup in his "Understanding Ruthie" letter of March 12, which opines that St. Charles Health Care is the "real villain" and is not concerned with Ruthie's well-being. Nothing could be further from the truth. St. Charles is a progressive health care provider, and enjoys an excellent reputation in the community. It is simply untrue for Mr. Delaup to assert that St. Charles is improperly restricting Ruthie's social interactions, as St. Charles abides by all laws and regulations governing its operations.
Ruthie has been a resident at St. Charles since 1999, and the decision for her to live there was made -- with the assistance of friends who had realistic concerns about her health as a result of living on the streets of the French Quarter -- by Ruthie. Since arriving at St. Charles, Ruthie has always had all the rights to visit and be visited and has exercised those rights regularly. In fact, St. Charles actually assisted Ruthie's attendance at her annual birthday parties hosted by Mr. Delaup, by providing transportation to and from the parties in 2000 and 2001 and by providing a staff member for support in 2001 free of charge. The decision not to attend the 2002 party was made by Ruthie, not by St. Charles, who has neither the authority, nor the desire, to inappropriately restrict Ruthie's activities.
Mr. Delaup's assertion that Ruthie is not well adjusted and constantly complains about her living arrangement is also a bit out of focus. According to St. Charles' sign-in records, Mr. Delaup has actually visited Ruthie less than once every two months for the past few years. Given that St. Charles interacts with Ruthie every day, versus every few months, it is in a better position to assess her overall demeanor and satisfaction.
Although certainly sympathetic to Mr. Delaup's interest in Ruthie's attendance at the annual birthday party, St. Charles suggests that perhaps the best way to avoid a "flap" in the future would be to write St. Charles management sufficiently in advance of the party to allow everyone to coordinate their respective social calendars. The partygoers would thus be able to enjoy her company, if she chose to attend, rather than be limited to an impromptu post-party visit and the possibility of having their feathers ruffled. That way, everyone could be one of Ruthie's fine-feathered friends.
Administrator, St. Charles Health Care
To the Editor:
In his article titled "Remembering Tex" (Set Break, March 5), Scott Jordan writes to the effect that Tex Stephens did the remote from the cocktail lounge of the Gladstone Hotel on Draydes Street because WJBW was an all-white radio station and would not let him work inside the station.
While I know nothing of WJBW's segregation policy during the late 1940s, I do not believe this was the case. I think some research will show the station's remote broadcast contract with the Gladstone Hotel pre-dated Tex and that he was probably hired with that particular job in mind.
The reason I say this is because Tex did not originate the Gladstone remote. Prior to Tex's stint, the remote was done by a high school chum of mine, a white teenager named Chuck Lynch, a very junior employee or, in all probability, an apprentice at WJBW. While I do not remember all of the particulars, I know this to be true because on one or perhaps two occasions, I accompanied Chuck to the Gladstone Lounge and kept him and his turntable company while he did his gig. Spending a couple of hours in a segregated black drinking establishment is not something a white teenager would easily forget.
Although everything ran smoothly and there were absolutely no problems for us with either the management or the patrons of the lounge, it was obvious to me at the time that a black DJ would have been more appropriate.
Obviously, the folks at WJBW must have thought so, too, because they put Tex on the job and so began his long and illustrious career.
Thomas D. Freeman