I would just like to say to Mr. Nguyen, he should acknowledge that with such a large group of people that there are going to be elements that are making a political statement and very determined to make their point of view heard, and even on unsuspecting people like myself and others. It was unfortunate to see what happened to that rider’s finger, but I would say he should have done more research — just like the police officer said — he should have known what he was getting into. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the passenger who assaulted him, but to say that anyone can come out and be a child or that law-abiding adults participate in Critical Mass isn’t exactly the safest statement.
Your article on the Critical Mass cyclers (“SDPD — Got an Attitude?” “City Lights,” December 4) brings up an interesting point, although having a fingertip bitten off à la Mike Tyson is too much. Why is it that groups like this think they have even a marginal right to inconvenience the public? Not entirely a San Diego phenomenon, but more prevalent here. These people have no parade or event permit. They feel entitlement by numbers to block off streets, run red lights, and ignore stop signs, a typical cyclist habit, and then they want the police to validate their lawlessness. If they had the courtesy to get a permit, the police could clear a legitimate path for them. Their actions are no different than rioting thugs burning and looting after an athletic event and should be dealt with accordingly.
This attitude leads to other events such as closing the Coronado Bay Bridge and busy streets downtown for various runs and walks. And what about closing the main highways when some idiot pretends to want to jump off the Laurel Street bridge or commit suicide on the interstate during rush hour to get their names in the news. What about Street Scene, the annual fiasco that inconveniences both residents and customers necessary in the dying downtown?
This inconsiderate behavior is very closely related to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, although the latter examples have somehow received appropriate sanctions.
When did it become a rule that minimal numbers of people (singly or in groups) have the right to inconvenience literally hundreds of thousands of others?
Re “Tin Fork,” December 4.
One day I was early for an appointment at Sharp Rees-Stealy Orthopaedic Pavilion, and I had “cawfee” at the Sharp hospital cafeteria. Absolutely foul! I didn’t drink it and never ate there. Better coffee in the orthopaedic waiting room. Mercy Hospital has the best coffee, urn-brewed Boyds Coffee.
Bobby, Ramona, The Pilot, The Emos
Unbeknownst to me, I was the woman in the picture that went with the article “Dog Is My Copilot” (“Crasher,” November 26). Although the article was quirky, casual, and a fun little read, I wanted to straighten out some facts because no one talked with me to confirm any information about Bobby Gordon and/or me, so let me just state the facts:
1. Bobby Gordon is a famous clarinet player who lives here in San Diego. World renowned.
2. I sing with Bobby Gordon on a regular basis, and we perform music in the classic jazz genre (jazz from teens, ’20s, and ’30s) all over San Diego.
3. I don’t know the song “My Funny Valentine.” Wrong era. I was probably singing the song “Sugar,” written in approximately 1918, during the dogfights. Real dogfights at the hangar, that was true.
4. My grandfather was a famous pilot: Max Conrad. He set many world records and was well respected among military pilots and commercial pilots. The fact that he was a famous pilot and I was performing at the hangar was merely a coincidence. And he died in 1980, so if he was at the hangar party (as noted in the article), he would be approximately 110 years old. Plus, I better let Mom know that her dad has been hiding out in a San Diego hangar all this time. Ha ha.
5. Bobby Gordon is 67 years old.
6. My name is Ramona DeRyan.
Now, if you want to do an interesting article, you should come hear Bobby and me rehearse on Wednesday evenings at Albie’s Beef Inn, one of the oldest steakhouses and piano bars in San Diego. The piano player, David Timothy Smith, lets some of San Diego’s great musicians come in and jam with him. Albie’s is what I call God’s waiting room, because the decor is exactly the same as the day it was built and the clientele have planted themselves on the barstools for at least 40 years now. But it’s also now become such a quirky place, full of characters, young and old. Oddly enough, Bobby and I have a following of the very old and the local emo scene. Seriously. You should come in and get a feel for this landmark, the characters who frequent it, and the musicians who drop in.
The Reader And A Beer
I was pleasantly surprised today when I got off work and headed to the little market for a sixer and a sandwich — the Reader in its usual rack a day early on Thanksgiving Eve. I really look forward to Barb the Diva’s diary every week, and this latest column on her inner child was one of her best — read it twice! She and her husband live a great, interesting, and cultured lifestyle, and she expresses herself in a way that isn’t bragging or condescending. She also pokes fun at herself, her foibles and misadventures, which I think is tremendously appealing.
It’s amusing when she gets the occasional critical letters (almost always women except for that geek who I’d bet my life is a Republican — he had his own ideas a couple of weeks ago on how Barb should conform to his standards of anal-retentive, conservative values. That guy probably thinks Bush is getting a bum rap from the “liberal media.” I suggest the guy should stick to the Union-Tribune) from writers who are obviously jealous/envious of her diva’s world. Keep those delusions coming!