Letters: wednesday, August 22, 2002
Mad about Maddog

To the editor: Hey, great job on the Jay Milner piece (“Maddog In Winter,” Aug. 8, 2002)! I love the man. He was and is my teacher, my mentor, my friend. I went to SMU from 1970 to 1974, during which I reveled in his heyday and then grieved over his unjust, untimely [academic] demise. Great guy. He meant the world to me. Thanks again for writing it.

Michael Granberry

The Dallas Morning News


To the editor: Great job on the Jay Milner story. Congrats. Jay’s version of getting the hearse is substantially correct, I now remember. Circus Face, Jay, and I were planning to go to Mexico. By the end of the day, Circus Face decided not to go. So he gave Jay money to buy plane tickets, anyhow, and Jay went and bought a hearse instead and kept the change. Circus Face got a big laugh out of it. Jay did take Circus Face for a ride in William Randolph Hearse. Best regards,

Bud Shrake


To the editor: I read with interest your article on Jay Milner, and your reporter admits that most of his sources were contradictory and perhaps unreliable. I would like to add a few simple facts that also somewhat contradict Milner’s account, but could have been easily verified, had the reporter taken the trouble to look inside Texas Music Magazine. Milner is correct that he did not have an editorial staff, and he is not totally incorrect when he says that he wrote stories under different names to obscure the fact that he was the magazine’s sole staff writer. However, he did employ freelancers, and I was one of them. Certainly when I was spending months eating chopped meat out of cans and trying to chase down Milner to get paid for my stories, I had no idea he’d go on to become a professional victim while I went on to become a professional writer. You would think that a feature profile of a journalist, by a journalist, with all the mutual respect involved, would be pretty meticulous. Don’t assume nuttin’!

Michael Pellecchia

Fort Worth

Editor’s note: Milner, in his interviews with reporter Jeff Prince, made it clear that he employed freelancers on Texas Music. Our article did not make that clear.

Still Vexing

To the editor: In reference to the “Annexation Vexation” article (July 11, 2002), I would like to clarify the conversation with Mr. Elton Hyder. I did not call and specifically ask for legal representation. The purpose of my calls was to find out if he would be willing to help us in the fight against forced annexation. It was suggested by a neighbor that I call him because he was an attorney who owned land in the area. He was never asked to represent anyone in legal proceedings against the City of Fort Worth.

Stephanie Pivec

President, Citizens Against Forced Annexation

Unincorporated Tarrant County

In Black and White

To the editor: Congratulations to your newspaper and to your writer Samuel Hudson on the very excellent article about Peter Feresten and his photography (“Peter Feresten’s Fort Worth,” Aug. 15, 2002). This is the kind of reporting that makes your newspaper such an asset to Fort Worth. I’m quite certain that the Star-Telegram would not have been allowed the in-depth look at this talented man’s life and his work. In fact until the ’60s the Star-Telegram would not have allowed Mr. Feresten’s subject matter (black people) on their pages. I certainly hope that with the help of your newspaper Mr. Feresten can find a permanent home for his outstanding work. I look forward to seeing more of his photographs and am only sorry that that I had to see the ones in this article on newsprint. Thank you again for such a good job.

Lynne Urbel

Fort Worth

To the editor: Sam Hudson’s article “Peter Feresten’s Fort Worth” was excellent. This kind of informed and interesting writing is rare anywhere in this country, and certainly that is more true here in Dallas. The old saw about the best museum in Dallas being in Fort Worth (Kimbell) will have a companion saying that the best writing in Dallas is in the Fort Worth Weekly if your paper keeps to the standard of quality that Mr. Hudson’s work carries. With so much visual stimuli in front of our eyes every day, it takes a special kind of discipline to stop and go somewhere to look at a great photograph in person. It will take foresight and a deep appreciation of art on someone’s behalf to provide a place for this experience. I hope Mr. Hudson’s article finds the right listener. Keep this guy writing!

Art Rogers



Lifestyle Lament

To the editor: Since your Static column is so preoccupied with the morale in the features department of the Star-Telegram, I thought you’d like to know: My morale is fine. Great even, and has been for the last seven years. It is no coincidence that this time of my greatest professional happiness coincides with the arrival of Julie Heaberlin as our features editor.

In a conversation just last week, a colleague and I agreed that Julie is the sort of editorial talent rarely found in journalism outside of New York or Washington, D.C., a person with the highest standards of both reporting and storytelling, and one with a passion for the full gamut of stories which appear in our section. Yes, we write about pop culture. Yes, we write about families and children, who might make up our most important constituency. But the writers here are also proud of the fact that many of the major investigations (intimate partner homicide; the story of serial killer Sharif Sharif, to name just two) undertaken by our paper in recent years originated in our department, with Julie. We are lucky to have her. About that, I know for certain that most of our writers agree.

Is she demanding? Of course. I, for one, would want it no other way. But Julie is also one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known, a supervisor who has always cared about her employees as people first and above all. As such, we find your ongoing (and completely bewildering) campaign to assassinate Julie’s character (always on so-called anonymous sources at the paper) incorrect, unprofessional, and bordering on immoral.

Tim Madigan

Senior writer, Features

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Editor’s reply: As we have pointed out, there are some fine writers in the Star-Telegram’s features section. But Fort Worth Weekly stands by its portrayal of that section as being overly enamored of first-person puff pieces and trivial stories.

Curious Question

To the editor: The obvious question I have regarding the Aug. 15 article “Curiouser and Curiouser” is that although the company seems to have an expensive ammonia system, a video surveillance system, and employees to watch the monitors, they seem to have neglected to purchase a $49 VCR to record the video camera signal. Is there video proof of Mr. Cole’s alleged crime?

Mark Moore

Fort Worth

Editor’s note: Reporter Dan Malone wanted to ask just that question of the monitor operator and the police officer who wrote the report on Cole’s arrest. Neither returned his calls.

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