Answered Prayer Rug
I saw the cover on the rug that was found in the Dumpster (Cover Story, January 20). Well, that actually happened to me. I was working on a jobsite by University and 805, and someone actually threw an Afghani Baluch pray rug into the Dumpster. When we pulled it out, I thought it was a Persian rug. About a week later I took it to La Jolla Rugs and got it cleaned and appraised. They told me that it was probably made in the 1940s and probably took someone a year to make. It was appraised at $950.
My husband reads your paper. My job on Thursdays is to stop by and get it, because he’s one of the crossword puzzle wizards who always sends in all the right answers. What caught my eye was “That Rug You Found in a Dumpster Is Worth $125,000” (Cover Story, January 20). Now, really, it’s an Indian rug, and I really wanted to read the article, even though I never read your paper. I read the whole god-darned boring article about that guy trying to get on the Antiques Roadshow and never did find the article about… My God, the woman’s on the cover, for crying out loud! You couldn’t have put some little thing in there?
You devote a cover to somebody, sweetheart, you should have them in the book.
via voice mail
Jay Allen Sanford responds: The woman on the cover was part of the San Diego 2010 Antiques Roadshow taping. Behind her is an asmalyk rug from Turkmenistan, circa 1900. The Turkoman nomads wove asmalyks for both utilitarian and ceremonial purposes, and examples from this time period are extremely rare. Rescued from a Dumpster, the rug was valued by a Roadshow volunteer at $125,000 to $150,000.
Other San Diego 2010 high-ticket items included a 1907 portrait of one guest’s aristocratic grandmother, painted by Ashcan School artist Robert Henri, valued at $250,000 to $350,000, and an original Hortus Eystettensis book, a groundbreaking collection of oversize botanical illustrations published in 1613, valued at $250,000 to $300,000.
Don’t Cross Me
Re “A Bloody Sunrise,” “SD on the QT,” January 20.
The power of wit to cut through an issue to make a profound point is no better illustrated than in this short satire. Its writer, Walter Mencken, suggests that we solve this church-state standoff by rebranding the Latin cross back to its pre-Christian meaning, which was a warning of the gruesome consequences to any who would challenge the power of the Roman Empire.
Atheists really don’t have problems with religion in itself but only when it becomes entangled with government. And what could be more so than this cross on Soledad Mountain, which now is not only on federal property but is controlled by the Department of Defense.
This Latin cross only became widely associated with Christianity when Constantine saw the symbiotic benefit of merging empire and church to advance his goal of national aggrandizement. He was onto something, as seen by the avid defense of such an alliance by those with such a nationalistic militaristic bent to this very day.
The satire concluded with words that could have been expanded upon by academicians steeped in the history of religion and of empires, but not as succinctly as printed, “Trust us — it’s not about Jesus.”
I am very disappointed that the Reader saw fit to reward a member of Village Woods for admitting that he doesn’t pay dues and that he wants to be noisy (“I Live in Linda Vista,” Feature Story, January 20). We are a small, low-income condo. We live very closely in small units and need to enforce quiet. As well, we are struggling to pay our bills, with many members who do not pay dues and are foreclosing. It’s good that you flushed out one source of his income, which we will go after, but it’s questionable whether you should be rewarding people for admitting they break rules and cause havoc in our community.
As well, I would like to make a correction to Walter Mencken’s column in which he intimated that Sunrise Powerlink is a green energy project (“SD on the QT,” January 20). It is a greenwash project that will increase fossil fuels and global warming by shipping liquefied natural gas from Indonesia across the ocean in fossil-fuel-emitting vessels, which are unregulated, bypassing our ports and jobs to a Mexican port, and bypassing our clean air laws to produce the power in Mexico. As well, it will greatly increase our fire danger. Many, many people came down to the board of supervisors meeting against the Sunrise Powerlink and filled the room to overflowing when it was heard. What we want as an alternative is a solar roof project by SDG&E to outfit all of our homes with solar roofs. We are willing to pay monthly for that but not for increased fire danger and increased global warming, which will eventually destroy our food and water supply.
Name Withheld by Request
What happened to “Straight From the Hip”?!!! The column, written by Matthew Alice, has always been the place I turn to first when I see the Reader (and it’s the reason I make an effort to find a copy of the Reader). It is humorous, entertaining, and edifying. But the last time I saw it published was January 5 of this year! Why does it frequently disappear for weeks at a time??? It should be in every issue!
Matthew Alice responds: The research elves wandered off, and it took us a week to find them — would you believe — drinking mojitos at the Hotel Del. After that, Grandma grounded them for a week. But now we’re back on schedule.
Two Swans A-Swimming
Is there more than one movie named Black Swan? There must be because the scathingly negative review that David Elliott wrote surely couldn’t have been about the movie that I saw. While I wouldn’t put it in a top-five list, I thought this story of a career-obsessed young woman, still an emotional child, descending into the depths of her own personal hell, driven there by her also obsessed mother and the demanding choreographer (in my opinion, played perfectly by Vincent Cassel) was well told. I have always enjoyed Natalie Portman’s performances, from her early days in The Professional through adolescence in Beautiful Girls to her more recent adult roles such as The Other Boleyn Girl, and to demean her performance in Black Swan is way off the mark. Sorry, David, I couldn’t disagree more with you on this one.