Week of April 11, 2001

Where Credit Is Due
I may yet destroy the thing: Eddie Silva's article on the People Project was basically right on target, and St. Louis should thank its lucky stars it has a critic that doles out the thunder ["Street People," RFT, April 4]. Patrons, artists and critics are the blood of any scene that hopes to make anything of merit. Let's rephrase that: good artists, hard critics and benevolent patrons.

I did find it odd that a picture of my sculpture "Three Sheets to the Wind" had no indication that I made it. You know, something like "Even though we hate this piece of idiotic sentimental junk, it was made by artist Charlie Moser." Or something like that. Of course, since I signed away all rights to reproduction when I volunteered my ideas to the project, all I can really do is complain here. I would have gladly told Eddie that I had authored the work, but the half-price tickets to the gala would have been $100 for my wife and I, and since I ended up making about $1.50 an hour completing the thing, I decided I wouldn't pay to attend a show I'd contributed to.

So, Eddie, a little consideration for authorship next time, keep up the hard talk and keep tuned -- I may yet destroy the thing with baseball bats before the show is over.
Charles R. Moser
Hamtramck, Mich.

Programmed to Fail
City residents should be heard: One of the major problems with St. Louis 2004 is that it's set up to fail [Ray Hartmann, "2004: A Wasted-Space Odyssey," RFT, April 4]. Why would the guy with the big house on a hill want to change his surroundings when he lives on the biggest hill? It's sad to see most of the organization's money going to payroll and not to the issues.

I was born in the city, grew up in the city and currently live in the city. I have a lot of pride in the city. I have a hard time trying to understand why people who live and breathe in the city are not on the board of 2004 and that the spoon-fed babies are on top. The year 2004 could be great if they'd listen to the people who matter.
Ronald Fleshman
St. Louis

Pack up your troubles: The regional centerpiece for 2004 has always been a reopened Kiel Opera House, not the three sporting events we have already lost. The waste of the Opera House is the glaring indictment that should send Dick Fleming, Bob Bedell, Tom Reeves, David Darnell and others all packing.
Ed L. Golterman
via the Internet

Taking the Cake
Sinking to a new low: The Riverfront Times has, amazingly, been able to sink to a new level. D.J. Wilson's "Short Cuts" column ["In a Class by Itself," RFT, March 28] describes Francis Slay's introduction of three gay siblings at the Pride St. Louis open house. Wilson writes: "Just because Slay was an altar boy and a soccer player doesn't mean that every papist is a product of a Catholic cookie-cutter that churns out social bigots whose world is confined to fish fries and bingo and school picnics."

Is it your contention that if one doesn't happen to have three gay siblings to introduce at a Pride festival, then they must fit Wilson's description of a Catholic?

I have seen numerous anti-Catholic references in your newspaper, but this one really takes the cake. For a newspaper that pretends to be liberal, you sure expose your own biases and bigotry when it comes to being tolerant of another person's religious beliefs.
Patrick W. Maloney
St. Louis

His life seemed sad and bereft of any kindness: I am one of the psych nurses who took care of Donald Thweatt last year [Bruce Rushton, "Hard Luck, Hard Times," RFT, March 28]. The first time I saw him, he was being beaten by the fists of a new psych admit, a young male admitted for sudden violent acts. Mr. Thweatt fell on the floor and was crying his heart out. I felt terrible! We were never sure what the real story was -- did he accidentally spill coffee on the young guy due to his size, trying to go around him to return his breakfast tray, or had Donald thrown coffee on the new guy?

Other events that happened included a young lady in her 20s who threw her breakfast tray in his face and another time beat him with the telephone. Both times, Don seemed the victim and cried his heart out. He could cry in the most heart-wrenching way I've ever seen. It would break your heart! It seemed as if his previous head injuries contributed to his uncontrollable emotions.

Investigation revealed that Donald had quietly called the young female perpetrator a racial slur in a quiet voice that no one else heard. I talked to Donald about this. He would say he was sorry and would try not to do it again. Again, he had a way of making you feel sorry for him. The life he used to have was gone, and all he had to look forward to was his return to jail.

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