Thanks to C.J. Janovy for her column on Anne Winter. It showed how deeply Anne touched our community and just how many people cared for her on different levels. Most importantly, I would like to thank Kurt von Schlemmer for sharing why Anne took her own life. Many of us live with mental illness within ourselves, a family member or friend.
I did not find out that my father was schizophrenic until I was around age 12. I wish my parents had been more open with me because it would have explained certain episodes and his struggles with alcohol a little better. My dad didn't take his own life, but many problems were compounded due to his illness and caused an early death for him. I loved him greatly, but there were many tough times. I appreciate Kurt's openness because too often people are ashamed to speak of mental illness and the stress it places not only on the persons themselves but also everyone close to them.
I'm so sorry for the family's and friends' loss, and for the city's loss of Anne, but I'm hopeful that it will inspire people to keep her causes alive and to open up dialogue about mental-health issues.
Kansas City, Missouri
Thank you for publishing Peter Rugg's article on counseling for first responders. I have spent the last 20 years in emergency medicine, partially as a firefighter/paramedic and partially as a physician assistant. I've seen my share of messy things. Some bothered me; some didn't. The events that brought about the mandatory Critical Incident Stress Management weren't always the ones that bothered me, but the requirement to be touchy-feely — especially with people who have no clue who we are or really understand what we do — usually did.
We're an unusual breed. What we find challenging or fun most people abjectly fear. That sets us apart in many ways, including how we cope with those events. In general, firefighters — the brotherhood — take care of their own. When we need outside help, we'll ask. Otherwise, leave us to do what we do best.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Hello! This is Jerry Fetzner from the Grisly Hand. I'm writing to thank you for the super kind words about our band (the Grisly Hand) in this week's Pitch! Also, my name was misspelled, so if it's possible, could you run a correction in next week's edition? Thanks a bunch!
Jerry Fetzner, the Grisly Hand
Editor's note: OK, you guys, we know that the letter above is a hoax, and that the name of the Grisly Hand's guitar player is Jimmy Fitzner, not Jerry Fetzner — or Jimmy Fetzner, as we spelled it a couple of times (along with the correct spelling) in last week's music section. We feel really stupid, and we regret the error. But thanks, "Jerry," for giving us such a witty setup for this correction.
Wanted: Music Editor
The Pitch has an immediate opening for a music editor. Chief qualifications: strong writing voice, sharp line-editing skills, a wide range of musical interests, and a passion for covering the vibrant and varied Kansas City scene. Responsibilities include assigning, writing for and editing the print music section, and running the Pitchs music blog. Send a cover letter, résumé and clips to:
C.J. Janovy, editor
Kansas City, MO 64108
No phone calls