Week of February 23, 2005

Scholar Choler
There's private, and then there's private: I appreciate Ben Westhoff and the Riverfront Times investigating which city officials send their children to public schools ["School Ties," February 16]. However, as some of the officials said, there is a substantial difference between private and parochial schools. As a south-side gal who attended an Archdiocese-run grade school, there is a huge difference between that school and Mary Institute/Country Day, for instance. Grouping schools like Saint Joan of Arc and MICDS as "private" is inaccurate and does injustice to the role of the Archdiocesan education system.

St. Louis was the first Catholic diocese west of Ohio and built the first college, Saint Louis Academy, in 1818. The presence of parochial schools has allowed the city to keep residents.
Mary Homan
St. Louis

Here She Is Again
Here I am again: Here I am again [Letters, February 9]. That is, me, Irmgard Spirk-Ceney and my problems with Rose Martelli's hateful "review" of the St. Louis Gast Haus. And, more importantly, I'm here again because the RFT's readers do not know someone at your paper transcribed my telephone message into "my" Letter to the Editor. In short, you plainly (and I KNOW THIS. I may not know much, but I do have that degree in English.), and most stridently and strongly not only implied, but insinuated, and, if proper English is to be read here, SAID I believe all Italians to be dunces whom are entirely incapable of worldliness, the normal thinking process beyond the everyday realm of regular simple human life on earth, etc....! I do not loathe Italians. In fact, I rather like them. And, I do not desire Rose Martelli's job. That statement of mine was my humor attempting to squelch my anger over the very real sins of omission in Rose's presence but also emotional absence at The St. Louis Gast Haus. I do not know why she was so abject. Obviously Rose was very uncomfortable. At this point I am not calling her unworldly. I'm saying she was uncomfortable in the one St. Louis German eating and drinking establishment, which most subtly prides itself in the best of its culture. For some reason Rose Martelli hated everything about The St. Louis Gast Haus the moment she stepped in the door, or before she stepped into the door. It is most obvious her mind was totally made up in negativity, perhaps even hatred, before she began to write. Truly do I wonder that which transpired at The Gast Haus for Rose Martelli to not give this restaurant even one, that's right, NOT EVEN ONE, positive comment in her review...The fact remains, The St. Louis Gast Haus runs neck and neck with the finest restaurants anywhere. Because, let's face it, if one has eaten in approximately the number of three times in expensive, exquisite restaurants, this person needs not be noted as a food and drink connoisseur in order to judge with accurate palatability!
Irmgard Spirk-Ceney
St. Louis

Editor's note: Ms. Spirk-Ceney's Feburary 9 "letter" did in fact arrive in the form of a voicemail message, which we transcribed, inserting nothing but commonly used punctuation marks. That said, the English language is sometimes ambiguous, all the more so when it has been "translated" from spoken word to written sentence.

For the record, the above correspondence from Ms. Spirk-Ceney is reproduced 100 percent verbatim.

Bob to the Surface
¡No más! I had promised myself I wouldn't respond to any more missives sent in by my detractors, however I cannot let Jeff Hirsch's outright scandalous lies about me go untouched [Letters, February 2].

First, let me say that in all my years of dancing I'll admit that I've accidentally elbowed and stepped on some people's feet and trod on their territory, but never have I made any sexual advances to any woman dancing next to me. Anybody who's ever seen me at a show can testify that I'm usually in the front row, facing the band, and dancing completely oblivious to those around me. There has never been a single club owner, or anyone on their security staff, who has had to throw me out or warn me about getting promiscuous with a woman during a concert.

My question to that sleazoid Hirsch: If I was clearly lurching lustfully toward this lady repeatedly in front a crowd of witnesses, why didn't this poor girl report me to the security staff? Even more puzzling is why the chivalrous Mr. Hirsch, or those around him, didn't intercede on this woman's behalf. I talked to a number of my friends about your letter, both men and women, and they voiced the same questions. All of the women I talked to would have either reported this incident to security or given the aggressor a slap in the face or a swift knee to his groin.

Upon further review of Jeff's letter, I have come to the conclusion that the reason for Hirsch's unwillingness to come to aid of this woman was not cowardice, but rather a perverse primal fetish to get off witnessing my lecherous misdeeds. True, he called my actions toward this woman as crude and distasteful, but then many of the letters to the "Savage Love" column (featured in the pages of RFT) are written by those who also consider their own personal fetishes to be distasteful and crude but nonetheless seek further sources where they can continue unabated.

Therefore, Jeff, you bloody wanker, I'll simply forgive you for writing that unvalidated accusation about me, and suggest that you write a letter to Dan Savage and ask him and the readers of his column where the dance clubs are in St. Louis that feature the real dirty dancers.
Beatle Bob
St. Louis

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