Letters from the week of July 8, 2004

Sure Shot 

Letters from the week of July 8, 2004

Skoal: I recently read Patrick McCahon's scathing letter to the editor regarding Jen Chen's Night Ranger column (Letters, June 24).

I might be mistaken, but I am not under the impression that Chen is a shameless drunk who is incapable of enjoying life without drinking. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) she writes a column reviewing local clubs and bars, which naturally entails sampling their products. This does not necessarily mean she's an alcoholic.

To call someone a disgusting human being is simply uncalled for, regardless of the circumstances. If you disagree with drinking, fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But your lack of respect for your fellow human beings makes me very sad.

Lydia Fultz
Kansas City, Missouri

On Track
Burning up the track: I applaud Sean O'Byrne's efforts to acquire the railroad collection in Milwaukee (David Martin's "Full Steam Ahead," June 24). The plan to bring a railroad-themed display to Kansas City's Union Station is long overdue. Many people visiting St. Louis' Union Station spend time looking at the dinner train there and want to see what a vintage train looks like on the inside. (It is not open to the public.)

Since Union Station already has tracks on the west side, perhaps Kansas City could have an excursion or dinner train like the one in St. Louis. This would enhance Union Station's draw as an attraction to both residents and visitors to Kansas City.

Mark S. Bucol

Creve Coeur, Missouri

I choo-choo choose you: I don't know which is more flabbergasting: the Pitch's ad hominem swipes at Turner White or its slobbering, schoolgirl crush on a slick, self-promoting salesman. It was hard to tell if the characterization of former CEO White as "imperious and indecisive" came out of successor Sean O'Byrne's mouth or David Martin's editorial pen.

How much of Martin's interview with the congenitally ambitious O'Byrne was wasted bemoaning his terrible sacrifice in moving to the "windowless office in the basement" to be with his troops (instead of, like White, "perched in the mezzanine, preferring a view of the Great Hall to being near his staff")? Puhhhhl-leeeze! I'm sure this transparently calculated gesture of style was announced and played up with quite a flourish, and your reporter slurps it up and then trumpets this empty little ploy like it's real news or says anything about the future fortunes of Union Station.

Not that Martin's piece didn't show some solid investigative legwork, and it did rightly question O'Byrne's wildly optimistic projections used to justify the $2.5 million cost of buying and rolling out the new exhibit. But rather than expending so many words spinning such strident, unbridled hubris into "decisiveness" and bold leadership (yeah, and Reagan brought down the Berlin Wall), how about asking the real questions: What next? What happens when, inevitably, the wet dream of 250,000 new visitors beating a path down Pershing to see this five-car streamliner never materializes? What qualifies this quick-deal real estate broker to manage, much less "save," the operational and financial affairs of the huge, complex morass that has become Union Station?

Tim McBride
Kansas City, Missouri

Pot Roast
Weed whacker: Sorry I missed picking up the issue that featured the drug dealer Land Grant getting killed (Allie Johnson's "A Bad Trip," June 10). Johnson's story was right on, for I personally bought drugs from Land Grant in Topeka, where we both went to the same high school (Topeka High) from 1980-83. It was a well-known fact all over the school that Land was selling pot then. (I am 12 1/2 years clean and drug-free now.) Looks like the bad side of dealing drugs caught up with him.

Also, Jen Chen's piece on the party she attended in which she followed around the "clown" for laughs (Night Ranger, June 10) brings to mind our Senior Skip Day in 1983. Almost the whole senior class went out north of Topeka to partake in 100 kegs of beer. There was this "clown" named Mike B., whom two friends and I followed around just for laughs. His drunken antics made us laugh so much that we couldn't stop laughing. One reason why we cracked up so much was because the weed we were smoking that day came from Land Grant.

What a jacked-up full circle of events.

Ed Hendricks
Kansas City, Missouri

Caesar Cut
Oh, the Horror: In regards to Steve Walker's review of Julius Caesar ("Toga! Toga! Toga!" June 24), I think he may have me confused with someone else. I felt my performance was more Barry Bostwick than Tim Curry.

Stephen Milton
Kansas City, Missouri

Editor's note: Milton is correct. The actor Walker complained about was Scott Cox. Walker regrets the error.

Kiss Off
Gene pool: Thank you for voicing the thoughts and opinions of Kiss fans all over the nation (Geoff Harkness' "Kiss, Me," June 24). Harkness has spoken very realistically and truthfully of all the Kiss blunders of the past that have turned the stomachs of so many of us die-hard music lovers.

The past 12 years of Kisstory have proven an utter embarrassment for all of us who follow the once "hottest band in the world." I, for one, thank you for putting reality and truth out in the open.

Ryan Saunders
Walnutport, Pennsylvania

Kiss and makeup: OK, I read Geoff Harkness' article, and I'm sure he's going to get an onslaught of Kiss die-hards taking all of this much too seriously. As a lifelong Kiss fan, I hope this doesn't sound like one of them.

Frankly, I agreed with and enjoyed the entire article. There was one point that is constantly misrepresented by media types: Kiss did its farewell tour in 2000, not eight years ago. It's not that I feel they aren't rippable on this point; I just think the truth is enough of a rip without inflating or distorting it. His point would still be valid if he just said the truth.

Not that the greedy bastards deserve any slack. I'm just a stickler for accuracy.

Jason Bakken
St. Paul, Minnesota

The long goodbye: While most of Harkness' story was very funny and well-researched, here are a couple of pointers I thought I should mention as a die-hard Kiss fan:

(1) The 1996 Alive/Worldwide Reunion tour was just that -- a reunion. Kiss never said the word farewell until 2000. When they first got back together in 1996, Kiss spelled out a 5-year plan for their fans, which actually was pretty true to what followed. But after the farewell tour never ended (and two more tours ensued) -- that's where we can start to poke fun.

(2) Paul Stanley's time as the Phantom in Toronto was quite spectacular -- just ask any of the thousands of Kiss fans who traveled to Canada to see him show his stuff in a different setting.

(3) Harkness failed to mention that that drummer on the current Kiss Rock the Nation tour is Eric Singer, whom most Kiss fans know and respect because of his well-regarded tenure with the group from 1992-96. I agree that having the ex-guitar tech or part-time road manager playing Ace is a bit lame, but at least Peter Criss' replacement is a well-known drummer who actually was in the band previously.

Jon Rubin
New York City

Tongue bath: Geoff Harkness got it exactly right. I couldn't agree with him more. The Kiss we all once knew and loved is long gone. It's about time someone wrote an article about Kiss that tells it like it is. Good job.

Scott M. Lull
Sterling Heights, Michigan

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