Just Do It

About Dorian Hargrove — courage to pen that story (“Broken Skull, Broken Heart,” Cover Story, April 22)!

No, you will never be the same, you’ll be better! Different, in a very unique way.

Twenty years ago my brother was at the same hospital in the burn unit. I had a lot of conversations with God. My brother had 29 skin-graft operations. Dr. Dominick and Dr. Hansboro saved his life. He still has hundreds of staples in one leg. He wears a bandanna on his head because they grafted off his head so many times. The eagle tattoo on his upper arm is now on his butt.

He worked on the energy windmills in Tehachapi. One morning he swerved to miss a deer and flipped his truck. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt. He flew out of the truck, but he ended up underneath it, and the truck caught on fire. A Vietnam vet came by in his Chevy Blazer and pulled the truck off him. The EMTs said he would never make it. The hospital in Bakersfield said he would not make it. They said he wouldn’t make it here to San Diego to the burn unit. He did.

Your story is an inspiration to all. Realize that. And you have some important things to do. You have touched adults and children with your story.

And never underestimate the power of love. Keep on keepin’ on!

God bless you!

B. Koch
via email

Give Pills A Chance

Wow! I always read “Diary of a Diva.” I really appreciate her wit, if sometimes she does make me crazy. Nevertheless, I was totally caught off guard by the vulnerability and honesty that she shared in this last issue (April 22). As someone who encountered those same questions when faced with antidepression drugs a few years ago, my heart broke for her and that scary first step. I’m med-free now, after getting through a little rough patch, and happier than ever. I just wanted to give her some hope that a lot of us have been there — and just being willing to give that little pill a chance to help is a great step in addressing whatever is in your life. Good luck, Diva.

Name Withheld
via email

Let’s Go!

In response to a so-so review of their restaurant, the owners of Indigo Café responded by calling Ms. Wise a racist, drunk, ignorant woman who is seemingly out to ruin small business owners (Letters, April 29). Wow! Sounds like the kind of hospitable establishment where I want to take my family and friends to eat!

Name Withheld
via email

Doggie Bag Reviews

I would first like to say that I have not read Ms. Wise’s initial review of Indigo Café (Restaurant Review, April 15). However, I did have an opportunity to read “A Family Offended” (Letters, April 29), the rebuttal written by the Indigo Café’s owners and management. I also read Ms. Wise’s response to this rebuttal. Her response is where my issue lies. Ms. Wise states, “I had ample doggie bags of every entrée to reheat very gently, retaste at length (at least twice each), and examine visually in a strong kitchen light over the several days after my dinner, before signing off on the review.”

Is this the manner in which your publication encourages its food critics to base their opinions? “Several days after [her] dinner.” I am astonished if this is indeed the practice. I should hope any serious food critic would take the time to dine in at the establishment they are reviewing. It seems preposterous and insulting to any dining establishment to do otherwise.

Any person who has taken food home in a doggie bag knows that even “gently” reheating a food item will compromise the initial taste and flavor of the dish. And it’s revolting to learn Ms. Wise continues to take “several days” after the initial meal to visually “examine” her “ample doggie bags.” In my opinion, a published food critic shouldn’t be allowed to take food home for further inspection or review.

In light of Ms. Wise’s response to the Indigo Café’s rebuttal, I am inclined to believe this is standard practice for her food reviews. Correct me if I am wrong. Please tell me this is not typical of all your food critics. Your publication is highly regarded in the San Diego community, and Ms. Wise’s approach is unfair to the restaurant she reviews and the public who reads these reviews.

I encourage your publication to hire more food critics with the skills and ability to offer a fair and balanced critique based on their dining experience at an actual restaurant rather than reheating the leftovers at home and writing a piece about it.

Audrey Stone
via email

Naomi Wise responds: I do savor the food at the restaurant. I developed the doggie-bag habit during the years while writing my four published cookbooks. One way to discover the secrets of ethnic recipes was to eat at good ethnic restaurants, take home leftovers, and inspect them closely under a strong kitchen light, tasting bits to confirm that the herbs, spices, and condiments I thought I saw were present in the flavors.

Def Jam

Although I did not read the review of Ms. Wise on Indigo Café (April 15), I found the letters on both sides amusing (April 29). Both sides present a plausible stance. In her response, Ms. Wise uses the word “deracinated.” I looked it up in my Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary, and I could not find this term. I’d like to know the meaning.

Don Hinds
Bay Park

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, deracinate means “to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; esp : to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from.” — Editor

An Order Of Ignorance

Dear Ms. Naomi Wise, I recently read your review of Indigo Café and Catering that was published on April 15, titled “Upside Down in the Crescent City.” As a restaurantgoer, a big fan of Indigo Café, and an active community member, I have to say that your review could not be further from the truth or filled with more racial and cultural ignorance — messages that I am sure the Reader would not stand by!

More from SDReader

Comments

mbeck May 15, 2010 @ 5:02 p.m.

Dorian Hargrove is my brother. After reading several of the letters that were sent regarding the cover photo and article that my brother wrote I find myself compelled to respond. Yes, the photo was disturbing. I also found the article to be equaling as uncomfortable for me to read. In fact it took me several days and lots of tears to get through the piece. However nothing is as disturbing as getting a frantic phone call from your mother telling you that your baby brother has been in a horrible accident. Nothing is as disturbing as rushing to the hospital only to find your brother in horrible pain and not in his right mind. Nothing is as disturbing as being told that he might not make it through the ordeal and if by some miracle he does he will never be the same. That is the definition of disturbing.

It seems that many have missed the point of my brother’s article. I believe what he was telling us is that we are all just one little bump in the road away from having our lives as we know them changed for ever. That we must think before we act, that we should not take anything for granted, that we should be thankful everyday for the love of friends and family. But most importantly, it is never too late to change.

I am so proud of my brother and so incredibly thankful to the Doctors and nurses who saved his life and by doing so saved the lives of his family. For those of you don’t know Dorian he is an immensely talented, thoughtful, crazy witty guy. He also plays a mean game of Trivial Pursuit although he has yet to beat me.

For those who responded to Dorian’s story with kind and encouraging words I thank you. For those who found the story to be self serving, Dr. Shiny Shoes, I feel only pity.

Michelle Beck

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David Dodd May 15, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

Michelle, I emailed Dorian after I read the story, and I told him that he need not reply, I simply wanted to thank him for sharing his ordeal and wondered encouragingly how he would ever top something so beautifully written. Of course, Dorian replied and thanked me anyway, because that's how he is. Self-serving is the last attribute that comes to mind when I read Dorian's stuff.

I was quite astonished at the number of people that responded negatively, especially the people who took issue with the cover. To them, I say this: remove your eyes now, because you are bound to be offended by whatever you see, wherever you look. All of us have had accidents and all of us have scars. I am more prone to see a compelling human being when I see the scars rather than the clothing that hides them.

And, Michelle, don't let the few who think otherwise get you down, I think that most of us know better.

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