O U R R E A D E R S W R I T E
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Thanks for unveiling a treasure
I was delighted to find the painter Richard Sober in your
column "Your Other
Life" [September]. While there are echoes of Ryder, Van
Gogh, and Dali in Sober's work, this is an artist whose
style and vision are entirely his own. His genius is
enthralling, complex, and wry. I have 13 of Mr. Sober's
paintings on my walls and confess that I am perpetually
greedy for more. In my opinion Richard Sober is a treasure
that Baltimore has too long hidden. Thank you for bringing
Bravo! It's about time somebody rebelled against the Authenticity Tyranny ["Up From Authenticity," September]. Actually, everything is authentic something. (Not that I like some of the cheaper imitations.)
I wonder how the Good Taste Police view centennial antiques, made to look like the furniture of the century before? And hand-painted faux marble woodwork? It's "real" hand-painting, but "fake" marble. Hmmmm. A dilemma.
I'd love to hear the debates that occur on the restoration committee for historic old houses. Which is the "authentic" restoration date? The 1850 version? Or back to 1800? Or farther back to 1750? Or as originally built as a two-room cabin? Who decides? And how do they justify it?
Trends in antiques and historic styles have their seasons of
popularity. What's restored today will be ripped out
Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson's article on the safety of drugs during pregnancy was informative and important ["Pregnant Pause," September]. However, she neglected to mention the use of statins--the popular, powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed for people with high cholesterol levels. Women who must temporarily stop taking lipid-lowering statins while pregnant or nursing, but who need to control their cholesterol levels until they can resume drug treatment, should know about H.E.L.P. therapy.
H.E.L.P. is a safe, FDA-approved non-invasive treatment that
uses a machine similar to kidney dialysis to selectively
remove cholesterol from the blood. The Boston Heart
Foundation, a non-profit clinic and research center, is one
of a handful of sites in America that offers H.E.L.P.
therapy. For more information, please call (617)
The September issue
contained several especially interesting articles, and the
illustrations were excellent. However, I found the black
background of pages 27 and 48-49, while artistic, made
reading the print a challenge. I hope this is not going to
become a regular feature of the magazine. Perhaps younger
readers did not react in the same way, but I suspect you
have a lot of senior alumni readers out there.
Your exaltation of Brooklyn Museum curator Arnold Lehman (MA
'66) for his "courage and fortitude" in the name of art
serves no useful purpose other than to expose the prejudices
of the editorial board of Johns Hopkins Magazine
["What's All the
Fuss?" June]. Desecration of important religious icons
does not constitute art, and those who subscribe to this
hypocrisy in the name of free speech just lend credence to
the fact that certain prejudices remain acceptable in
America--anti-Catholicism foremost among them. I am deeply
"I read Amy's column because it's witty, in its way..." ["Getting Personal with the Web's Gossip Diva," September]. I've damned a few former students with faint praise in my time but Professor Kenner did it in spades! Because the professor said he read it, I went to salon.com and read Amy Reiter's September 6 contribution to the literature of the 21st century.
I did not bookmark the site.
I would like to respond to Robert Torretti's letter in the September issue [p. 10] concerning U.S. governors who are Hopkins alumni.
Mr. Torretti is correct that Albert C. Ritchie qualifies for this list; Ritchie earned a BA from Johns Hopkins in 1896. Spiro T. Agnew attended Hopkins in the late 1930s but left without earning a degree. He also may have attended in the early 1950s. While we have student records for most individuals who attended Hopkins, Mr. Agnew's record is missing. It may have been removed from the files for safekeeping when he became Vice President (Hopkins had no Archives then), but it hasn't resurfaced.
I checked a list of Maryland governors and found no others
who had been Hopkins students. There may have been governors
of other states who are Hopkins alumni, but I am not aware
Dr. Edward D. Miller, Hopkins Medicine CEO and medical
school dean, needs some cultural change of his own. A
24-year-old woman is not a "girl"
[September, p. 15]. Would he refer to a 24-year-old man
as a boy?
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