Three Lost Virtues

What an illuminating article about lost arts that may not be completely lost. Thank you, again, Reader. (“Chivalry Is Not Dead,” Cover Story, March 27).

I’d like to add a few more to your list. Number one, line drying clothes. My husband and I use the local Laundromat to wash clothes, and then we hang them on clotheslines in our back yard in the sun. The smell of freshly sun-dried towels and sheets is like no other. It amazes me that with all the talk of global warming, we still seek out high-tech solutions rather than looking to the past for simpler, more economical answers to saving energy. I’d like to note that I’ve not seen one other family in Normal Heights that line dries clothes like we do. The process itself can be a very Zen-like task, definitely not disagreeable.

Number-two lost art would be pen pals, and I don’t mean email pals. It’s not the same! For years I’ve corresponded with four or five people from around the country, most of whom I haven’t met in person but who have become very good friends. Email could never compete with the sound of a letter dropping into the mailbox. There’s the lag time in conversation by mail, which can only breed patience, a quality so sorely needed nowadays. Often a very personal letter will be accompanied by photos, postcards, stamps, or other treasures. To handwrite a letter is to slow down and practice patience.

Three. Another lost art, a landline telephone and answering machine. Yes, these are now almost lost items due to the new high-tech cockroach, the cell phone. I have no cell phone because (1) I despise them, and (2) I simply don’t need one. And how many people really do? Any message I can retrieve within hours on my trusty answering machine, purchased for $20 at Radio Shack about five years ago. My whole low-tech setup costs me $5 a month for the phone with AT&T. I can actually enjoy a walk in my own neighborhood without a machine glued to my ear.

Thanks for everything, Reader.

Phyllis Hordin
Normal Heights

Eco-Mindless

Barbarella’s story about trying to fish at La Jolla Shores made me sad (“Shore Stop,” “Diary of a Diva,” March 27). The area is an ecological reserve. Her friend with the fishing license needs to learn more about his city and do his part to protect our amazing natural resources. But Barbarella just shrugs and pretends it’s just another funny little story to share with us. Please read some more about the tragic state of the fish in our oceans, starting with the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation cmbc.ucsd. edu/Ocean_News_Room/Commentary/sea_bass.

Carrie Schneider
via email

Matt? Hey, Matt!

Wondering about Matthew Alice. Has he moved on? Is there a reading on this? Can we find out?

Becker
U.S. Navy, Ret.

Matthew Alice returns today. — Editor

Too Much Information

I just got a chance to read “The Rocket Pop Street Artist” (Cover Story, March 20). I’d like to say, insanely irresponsible of you to print something like this, telling people how to deface our city that you live in. For this guy to go on and put this crap up that he considers art, that just defaces other people’s property and is a blight and costs us money to remove — totally irresponsible. How would you feel if all he wanted to do was put it on Reader boxes?

Even though I agree with the stuff that he says about public art — some of it’s crap — a lot of it gets turned over. Like the things that are down by the airport, those big stupid rings, was before a big stupid ship thing. But somebody paid for it, somebody did it, and it comes up, comes down, and it’s approved by the City, and it’s not vandalism.

The guy knows it’s wrong; it’s against the law. For you to print the recipe on the paste makes me feel like making up a bunch of posters and just putting them all over the stupid Reader boxes that you bolt illegally all over the sidewalks of our city. Talk about defacement, that’s a bunch of s***, and I’m sick of it. Maybe I’ll start making my own posters and start putting them all over your boxes.

Name Withheld

The Reader has paid permits with the City of San Diego for all of its street racks. — Editor

Just Pretty Pictures

Thanks for publishing insightful and entertaining articles that cast a critical eye on San Diego and its public art. For all of the civic beauty found in San Diego, little is in the form of public art, and of that which is beautiful, an even smaller portion is of any significance. But then, little private art produced in San Diego is worth mention either.

Artist communities? Please! Retirement communities, if anything. Regardless of age, San Diego artists are little housepainters, happy with a pretty picture and the fact that the title of “artist” elevates the stature of cognitive laziness. San Diego artists are either retired or hiding, and the art establishment, museums and galleries, the institutions that are supposed to play interpreter between artists and the average citizen, are doing little to help inform the public or encourage any kind of debate over art’s validity, much less local art’s validity.

I’d also like to thank the Rocket Pop Street Artist for taking the time to think and to write. Although I see the connection between graffiti and street art in its illegality, the difference between the two must be discussed and defined in much the same way the integrity of public art must be debated.

J. Rieger
via email

My Best Coach

I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up the latest copy of the Reader and read your story about Coach Teagle (“Couldn’t Be Better,” Feature Story, March 20). I was born and raised in Imperial Beach and lived about three blocks away from the Mar Vista High School. I attended MVHS from 1967 to 1969. I played football, wrestled, and ran track for Coach Teagle (100- and 220-yard dash and the 440 relay).

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