LONG DISTANCE INFORMATION, GIVE HIM MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Regarding the story "Memphis Blues Again" by Todd Anthony (October 21), we all thought the article was very fair, with the exception of the cartoon, which only seemed to make more of a joke out of it than it actually was. The attention this incident has gotten is like the equivalent of the New York Times reporting a fight between two neighborhood kids.
While his article was pretty much on the mark, Anthony neglected to mention the fact that Big Bob was the one who stuck out his hand in friendship as well as in an apologetic manner. And when the Blue Tornados took the stage to perform, Big Bob also congratulated Piano Bob and the Snowman on winning the award. Big Bob admitted he was wrong in his timing concerning the incident, and we have yet to hear anything from the Snowman, except how he wants to "put it all behind him." I'm sure he does, as I would if it was my petty attitude on a radio show that started it all! Well, boys will be boys, I guess.
But I cannot believe the things Kay Haseloff of the Blues Foundation in Memphis said about us in your article! We find it incredible that this woman said these things to Mr. Anthony, not to mention that our feelings are extremely hurt by somone we thought to be a friend. The foundation took our sponsor's money, made us out to be pariahs, and then lied about the whole situation, including how great we did at both the awards show and the jam afterward. I will go on the record saying the following: The Blue Tornados will pay Kay Haseloff's round-trip air fare from Memphis to Miami, and we would like her to repeat her statements to our faces.
EDIE'S MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE
When the profile of Edith Beale by Tom Austin appeared ("Mad About Edie," October 14), suddenly a flash of recollection jogged my memory of the part she played in my life some ten years ago, when I fearlessly conducted a bilingual Spanish-English class in my own living room. One day somebody telephoned in a timid, feminine voice. She sounded a little fearful. "I'm calling about that Spanish class. Is it really legitimate? Can't believe it's possible -- only two dollars a lesson. Is it safe to come?"
"Of course," I replied, "and after you take four lessons, it's free. Please come. Don't be afraid."
And Edith Beale did come, and she looked as she does in the pictures accompanying Tom Austin's article: a stately, attractive girl, and one who impressed me with her Spanish. I was proud to have her in my class, not necessarily because she is Jackie Onassis's first cousin, but because she was cultured and appreciative of higher things.
Once, after the class, she joined another friend and we went to Big Daddy's on Lincoln Road. They had a special kind of doughnut, two for a quarter. Edie mentioned that she was a professional singer and I pleaded with her to render a song for the class. Maybe I was too insistent, because she dropped out and disappeared from the scene. She did send me some literature about her mother, Big Edie, and the Grey Gardens mansion.
Now I address a few comments to Edie herself: Why don't you come back to the class, now being held at Biscayne Elementary School, at 866 77th Street. You'd be welcome, and it's a shame to waste a mind like yours without some kind of intellectual activity. Class is every Monday afternoon at 3:30.
SEND IN THE CLOWNS...UH, REPORTERS
Jim Mullin's "Andrew: The Videos" (October 14) should have been titled "How to Capitalize on Human Tragedies." How disgusting a display by our local TV stations to further try to enhance this totally lackluster group of ineffective "reporters." I am surprised Mullin actually states, "The tapes will undoubtedly be saved for future generations." Saved for what? Evaluating poorly educated people posing as reporters?
Please continue with your usual high standards and absent us from these local clowns called reporters. Too many of these people with our local stations try to make the news and not report it. Egomania is not one of their shortcomings. Humbleness, humility, and modesty are not words in their grasp of understanding. Don't encourage them.
SALSA LISP RELIEF
Cheers to Todd Anthony and Greg Baker on their articles regarding Live at the Square, Square/Talkhouse Relief Benefit, and the big Gloria bash at Joe Robbie Stadium ("How Do You Sell Relief?" and "Square Deal," October 7). The only argument I have with Todd's article is that a picture of the overpublicized Estefan accompanied it. Would have rather seen a pic of some of the "regulars" who participated. The lack of Ms. Estefan's presence or support at any of the local entertainers' relief-effort functions comes as no big surprise. God forbid she enter the doors of the clubs on the "real" South Beach.