Letters to the Editor for Jul 05, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
THROUGH THE FIRE<>
I would like to take a moment to thank you for the cover story featuring Monterey County’s local heroes [June 28-July 4]. In particular, I was touched by the story of Pat Dowd of the Carmel Valley Fire Protection District. My father is also a retired firefighter, so I have an idea of the many challenges the men and women in this field face every day of their lives. No one can really understand the burden these individuals have to bear, whether they are fighting fire, responding to car accidents, or simply trying to help someone in need.
I am especially appreciative of Pat’s efforts because it is my father whose life he helped save when he responded to that call at the Carmel Valley home a few years ago. It is my father who he sees driving down the road on occasion. It is for Pat’s efforts that I am forever grateful.
<>All of the men and women in this field should be applauded and acknowledged. There are so many of us out there who cannot express enough the appreciation we have for their efforts. Thank you for sharing his story.—Stefanie Cooke | Waikoloa, Hawaii <>
A BEACH BOY’S MENTORS
It has taken a couple of weeks after returning from a great vacation in the USA to get around to writing to you. I read the well-written article on Brian Wilson [“Beach Boy Forever,” June 7-13] with great interest.
I was born October, 1942, so my formative rock and roll years were Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Everlys—the class of ‘57, I guess. I also knew and loved close harmony groups like the Crew Cuts, The Penguins, The Moonglows and mainly The Four Freshmen, who heavily influenced Brian.
You may know that “A Young Man is Gone,” the Beach Boys tribute to James Dean, was deconstructed by Brian from a song by the Four Freshmen, Bobby Troup’s “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.” I can recommend the double-CD The Beach Boys, Hawthorne, CA, where you can find a version of the Four Freshmen song put together by Brian for his teenage band members to sing and it is as sophisticated a piece of harmony singing as you are likely to hear.
I really do believe that Brian selected the Four Freshmen as a major source of influence in what is known as “stacking the chords” in his arrangements and I wish that more credit is given to them in informing the way that Brian developed musically.
<>I now read your paper electronically and look forward to keeping up to date with events in and around Monterey. —Roger Turner | Lake District, England
GOOD SUMMER READING
<>Your take on Brian Wilson was both perceptive and informative, conducted under less than helpful conditions for an interviewer. Good on you for keeping your cool and not getting rattled. It was just exactly what readers expect from their MCW.—Dennis Renault | Salinas
WHERE’S MY AMERICA?
I grew up in a small town in Ohio. Like many of my fellow baby-boomers, I attended a well-funded public school and went home to a modest but comfortable home. My father, a factory worker, enjoyed job security, health care, and the peace of mind that comes with sense of community. I knew nothing of that era’s casual racism, sexism and general intolerance of nonconformity, so each year when I attended the Fourth of July parade with my father I had no reason to doubt his assurance that I lived in the “greatest country in the world.”
This Independence Day my son and grandson stood along the same parade route. But their America is different. At home, the bonds of shared purpose have been replaced by worship of bare-knuckled competition, and “self-reliance” has become the rationalization for selfishness. Abroad, moral leadership has been supplanted by a bellicose gunpoint evangelism.
<>This year as fireworks burst in the sky I remember the pride with which my father spoke to me and wonder if that greatness can yet be reclaimed. Will leaders emerge to inspire a new generation to restore the ideals which were once the hope of the world, or have we, like others before us, gone so far down the dark path of empire that we have come at last to that place where only brute power and empty riches remain? —James Tulip | Pacific Grove<>