Annoying in life, Parisi should be honored in death: I really hope the last I read about the great local legend Pete Parisi isn't last week's article about his personal troubles [D.J. Wilson, "Dead Man Talking," Feb. 27]. In 1998, Mark McGwire did wonderful things for the spirit of our town. And during a span of a few short months, he earned his place in St. Louis history -- receiving the now-out-of-place-looking Mark McGwire Highway. Mac's a great guy and all, but he didn't even live in St. Louis. So I'd like to think I am not asking for much when I turn to the good people of this town and offer them a challenge: to keep the memory of Parisi alive. I don't want the last I hear about Parisi to be an article about his financial and medical problems. It's time to honor him. My ideas: (a) Since McGwire was more popular than Parisi, I understand it if you can't name a highway after him. Fine. At least name a MetroLink terminal after him or something. It could be called the Parisi Public Access. (b) Joe Edwards -- please push to give the man a star on Delmar! He's done more for this town's spirit than some of the other honored individuals. So he never achieved national greatness ... who cares? It's the St. Louis Walk of Fame. That New Jersey transplant oozed with more St. Louis spirit than Kevin Kline or anyone else can shake a stick at. Show a little balls, Joe. By the way -- love the hamburgers. People love talking about how St. Louis hasn't lost its spirit or appreciation for its local history. Prove it. Prove it to Pete! Give us crazy bastards a reason to wake up in the morning.
Reckon With This, Buddy
But he's an editor -- he has no soul: As my Korean friend Ji-Su used to say, "Spear me, please!" Apparently the rumors of Jim Nesbitt's capacity for self-aggrandizing navel contemplation have not been much exaggerated. His "Day of Reckoning" [Feb. 20] was the most painfully overlong (1,500 words to say, what, exactly?), overwrought piece of prose I've read in some time. Memo to Mr. Nesbitt: If a few folks freaking out about God and football did that much psychic damage to you, I fear for your delicate constitution if you or the RFT take on a topic that matters. In the meantime, from one backslidden Southern Baptist to another, save the public soul-searching for bigger battles: You're not Daniel, and this sure ain't a lion's den.
It may be legal, but it ain't right: Why all of St. Louis is not outraged at Rennert and Doe Run is beyond me [Roland Klose, "Herky Jerk," Feb. 20]. I think the lead-contaminated lawns that need to be replaced should be stored in the many bedrooms of Mr. Rennert's multimillion-dollar home.
Ashley Smith Johnson
The Merchant of Myth
Sniveling curs need not apply: Thank you, Eddie Silva, for perpetuating the myth that St. Louis theater companies using St. Louis actors are petulant children who can only be tsked over and patted on the head indulgently while the "adults" decide what's best for them ["Loop Hole," Feb. 13]. After an entire paragraph depicting local theater companies as hapless canines and whining victims, I found few facts to support the comparison. Issues such as the amount of rehearsal space, the cost of the renovation and time in the theater to build sets all strike me as legitimate concerns. Perhaps I'm naïve, but doesn't it make sense to bring these topics up early in the process rather than later, when changes will be to physical structures and thus more expensive? I found it equally distressing that none of the so-called cute little stray dogs were apparently contacted for their input or to defend either the analogy or the allegations that they had been unreasonable in their requests. It is difficult enough for many companies to present themselves as legitimate competitors to venues such as the Rep and the Muny, with a far lower budget for marketing and far less attention from the mainstream media. This is unfortunate, since they frequently present material that is professional, well produced and well performed. Far from promoting these companies who both need and deserve increased support, articles like Mr. Silva's make it easier for the public to continue to dismiss them.
GOP is walkin' on her fightin' side: It is anti-democratic and borders on jingoism for the Republican Party to wrap themselves in the flag and tell the American people that if someone does not agree with them, he -- or she, in the case of Jean Carnahan -- is unpatriotic or not "doing their job," [Ray Hartmann, "United We Slam," Feb. 20]. President Bush should be ashamed to be associated with such tactics. It belies his promises of bipartisanship during the campaign. He should ask that his image not be used to distort the records of Sen. Carnahan and her fellow Democrats. It belittles him and the office to condone such juvenile attack ads.