Although bound by the settlement terms in the matter of Ben Read’s estate to refrain from comment on the murder case or the will’s contestants, it is not out of line for me to correct a couple of errors in your story (“Entertaining Bryan,” February). First, Ina Kuteman Chandor was the sister of Mary Kuteman Read; the Weatherford contingent is maternal and the Randolph, Nixon, et al group is on the paternal side. (Douglas Chandor was English to his diphthongs and spent only the last twenty years of his life in Texas.) Second, Allard Kuteman is my brother, not my wife. (I’ve advised him to sue you for an unauthorized sex change.)
A few other discrepancies I cannot (by agreement) set straight, but on the whole your piece was extremely well done, tasteful where it might have been sensational. Thank you for that.
The fact that Ben turned against all relations speaks for itself. No one on either side wished him harm.
H. W. Kuteman
Your trivia quiz in the February issue was a great reminder of the way things once were. I noticed only two obvious errors. In question 6, the correct spelling of answer A is Reinhardt, not Rinehart. Question 18: As any movie lover knows, the first 3-D motion picture shown in Dallas was a forgettable jungle epic called Bwana Devil, which opened in early 1953. House of Wax came several months and several 3-D movies later. Anyway, it was fun. Thanks.
Tom Peeler replies: Only as distinguished from a still photograph could Bwana Devil be called a movie. One of the worst productions in any dimension, this fiasco featured no accomplished performers and a script which must have been written on a paper napkin. The “plot” concerned an effort to build a railroad through an African jungle inhabited by man-eating lions; frame after frame showed lions leaping out to snatch up hapless natives and spears sailing out at the audience. Besides, if you want to be even more technical, there was a 3-D Pete Smith Special shown in 1936, called Audioscopics.
Your nostalgia quiz is the only test on which I’ve made a higher grade than our children could-or my husband, either. I’ll bet some of your readers don’t even know what a cinnamon toothpick is.
Rowland Stiteler’s piece on Capital Cities’ use of Star-Telegram staff members as strike-breakers (“Labor Pains,” February) was excellent and, for me, timely. In January I resigned, ending my 21 years with the Star-Telegram.
I regret that CapCities’ actions have focused attention on low wages and scabbing, which may tend to mask aspects more insidious. Let’s face it: Anyone who goes into journalism solely for money is not bright enough to be in journalism. Greater rewards traditionally have lain in: 1. a professional environment that encouraged a certain independence of thought, 2. the license to extend public knowledge (along with one’s own), and 3. the frequent, solid satisfaction of accomplishment. These basic elements are what I found woefully lacking in Cap-Cities’ regimentation.
I cannot resist filing a protest to Mr. Spurr’s sideswipe at Chilean wines in his article “Buyers and Cellars” (March). According to such luminaries as Alexis Lichine and Harold Grossman, Chilean wine “…is everywhere appreciated, for although not a great wine, it is good-and usually an extraordinarily good buy at the price (Lichine).” Grossman goes even further to state that “Some of the Chilean Burgundy I have tasted, I have considered great wine.”
To this I will add my own opinion, based on having had many a meal that was enhanced by a bottle of Chilean Burgundy. I’ll grant you they lack snob appeal, but in terms of dollars expended for quality received, they are in the top rank.
Elmer Spurr- replies: My reference to these wines as “oddities” was not meant to imply that they were all bad, just risky. As Mr. Brown notes, Chile produces some nice wines, but I have found that the best are rarely exported. When experimenting with good, cheap wine, it’s best to stick with the old reliables, such as California jug wines. Better safe than sour.
Out of Fashion
In his attempt to be clever, David Dillon (“A Big Pencil Goes to Market,” March) is guilty of specific and general er-rors in reporting his one-day exposure at market.
I am a sales representative for R. & M. Kaufmann, the first showroom visited in his article. We are located on the second, not the first floor of the Apparel Mart. We have never served M&M’s or Karmel Korn to our customers.
Our salesladies are professionals and not the bored incompetents he portrays. They are compensated by salary plus commission and are required to attend sales meetings before each market.
To paraphrase Dillon in the opening statement of his article, I must conclude that “where fashion is concerned, he is to be considered totally unconscious!”
Two of our contributing editors, Jo Brans and David Dillon, were honored recently by the staff of the Southwest Review for articles published in the Review during 1977 and 1978. Mrs. Brans received the 19th annual John H. McGinnis Memorial Award for “Common Needs, Common Preoccupations: An Interview with Saul Bellow” (Winter 1977), judged to be the best work of non-fiction for the two-year period; Dillon’s “Gains Made in Isolation: An Interview with Richard Hugo” (Spring 1977) received an Honorable Mention for the same award.