Week of August 17, 2005

Attribute This
Gentry Trotter, not the Shadow: In the past, an RFT reporter called me to confirm if I ghosted the controversial Shadow column in the St. Louis Evening Whirl [Unreal, August 10]. For some reason amnesia took hold of this clever reporter, because he obviously didn't pass on to the editor that I flatly denied it. I would never use the word "Jew" or "faggot" in written form.

It is not for me to question or critique the editorial content of any published column, as long as I am not wrongly typecast, or if someone decides to use humor at my expense. I and others are assuming that there is a misinformation campaign by some potential political and racist radicals looking again to besmear my professionalism or character. Being an outspoken and expressive black man in a conservative red state environment keeps me in the frying pan. I am used to the heat.

If you thought I was the Shadow, then there are no talented women or men, gays or straights, rich or working-class writers out of a population of 2 million-plus who are considered off-beat, witty and oftentimes unacceptably vulgar and as far left as China. I hate to disappoint you, but again, I am not in that group, no matter what I did 30 years ago on television. I may have worn a skirt or two in my campy heyday, but I never hid behind one.

You've heard it first from the horse's mouth -- a Trotter, no doubt.
Gentry W. Trotter
St. Louis

All About Minnen
Jess, Jess, Jess, Jess: Jess Minnen's "interview" with Trey Anastasio was the worst piece I have read in the Riverfront Times in three years since moving here ["Hero Worship," August 10]. It read worse than one of those personal ads in the back. There is more copy devoted to Jess' words than Trey's, and 90 percent of the article focused on Trey's past band, Phish.

Did I really need to know that Jess is moving? Save that shit for your family or your diary. The article said there was a 40-minute interview, and I just hope the rest of the time wasn't Jess telling Trey more about Jess. The RFT should reprint the interview but omit Trey's answers and replace the picture of Trey with one of Jess. In fact, I think Jess should write a blog and the RFT can just scrap all their content to be replaced by Jess' blog. I'm sure readers are really excited to find out more about Jess, Jess' friends, Jess' diet and Jess' obsessions.
Ron Gubitz
St. Louis

Light Railing
Missed the train: I read with interest Kristen Hinman's article on Larry Salci ["Metro Messy," August 3]. I work for Mr. Salci and I can tell you the man is brilliant. He's got a ton of great experience and a charismatic personality that inspires people to give their best to their jobs. He works long hours for a fraction of what he would make in private industry. He's not popular with politicians because he's a straight shooter, incorruptible, and he's not good at tolerating incompetence.

Your story really missed the mark and did a disservice to the community.
Debbie Erickson, vice president and chief information officer

Rose-Colored Nostalgia
Jersey memories, Part 1: I had no idea there were so many fellow Garden State transplants in St. Louis! Trying to explain to St. Louisans the beauty of Jersey pizza is almost as hard as convincing them that no, we don't pronounce it "Joy-zee," and yes, believe it or not, there are indeed quite a number of gardens in the Garden State [Rose Martelli, "Slice of Life," August 3].

Can't wait to relive some memories of late-night slices in Hoboken at Feraro's.
Sara Howard
St. Louis

Jersey memories, Part 2: Seeing Rose Martelli's pizza article on topix.net was a strange St. Louis moment for me. I went to journalism school at Mizzou and moved to St. Louis right out of school to work for The Sporting News, and almost twenty years later I live in Maplewood, New Jersey, with my wife and two young daughters. We regularly eat pizza at Roman Gourmet and at Bunny's under protest.

I had a blast living in St. Louis, eating thin-crust pizza and reading the Riverfront Times.

Thanks for the memories!
Craig Calder
Maplewood, New Jersey

Ode to the Wedgewood: I would venture to say I am one of the few people who read Rose Martelli's article who has actually been to the Wedgewood Cafeteria in Montclair, New Jersey ["A Farewell to Fabarre's?" June 15]. I am a displaced Jersey boy out here in St. Louis but have fond recollections of meals at the Wedgewood, circa early 1970s. To an eight-year-old kid, the most memorable part of the interior was the Old King Cole mural on one of the walls. The Wedgewood was my family's ritual stop on the way back from visiting my grandmother in Nutley. Years later I lived one town over in Bloomfield, but by then the Wedgewood was long gone.

I never expected the RFT to trigger such a Jersey-specific recollection. I think what I need to do is take my two young sons to Papa Fabarre's, to establish their own Papa Fabarre's for old time's sake.
John Eagleson

Obviously Nichole ain't from Jersey: Every week someone invariably complains about Rose Martelli's restaurant reviews. I can only conclude you retain her services because you enjoy the bad pub so much. Martelli is mean-spirited, vicious and petty if she doesn't like the restaurant, and suspiciously cloying if she does. I haven't referred to your rag whenever a new restaurant has opened in town for years now, if it's been reviewed by Martelli. You can have her, and I will continue to ignore her. She provokes loathing wherever she goes, and still you retain her. Go figure!
Nichole Young
St. Louis

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