Bersin Bared

I’m calling to compliment Matt Potter on his great, great article on Bersin that I read today in the Reader (“Obama Taps Alan Bersin to Oversee the Border,” Cover Story, November 19). It’s fabulous. I would just like to thank him for pointing out facts about the history of what went on. Congratulations on a great piece of investigative reporting.

Barbara Henriksen
La Mesa

Hodad's Lives!

Some members of our beloved Hodad's community have expressed concerns that a new development of unit condominiums will be taking over our current building. That is not true.

We here at Hodad's would like the opportunity to clarify that our current location at 5010 Newport Avenue is not in jeopardy and is not slated to be demolished. I believe there was some confusion with regards to the article by Stephen Scatolini published Monday, November 16, 2009 [on the Reader’s website], when he said that the City plans to develop the parcel of land at Abbott Street and Saratoga Avenue, “including the old Hodad's restaurant at the beach” (in the 1970s, that is). Many people were concerned that the current Hodad's was scheduled for demolition. The area slated for demolition has been vacant for so many years that it’s probable that people may not get the reference to Dempsey’s or Larry’s Sandbar, let alone Hodad's, which held the real estate at Abbott Street and Saratoga Avenue over three decades ago.

Although Hodad's was delighted to have honorable mention in the “Coastal Commission Omission” article, we felt the need to clarify the facts.

Celeste Abbott
via email

Culture Clash

Letter writer El Gabacho (Borracho), writing about Mexico (November 19), appreciates “the people and the culture down there more than my own, because, well, the U.S. completely lacks a distinct/identifying/unifying culture.”

Which explains why it is emulated in every corner of the world. Not to mention the tens of millions who have moved here because they, unlike you, understand what makes America, well, America.

If you love Mexico so much (I’ve been to TJ several times and deep into Baja more than once — and I do love the people), why don’t you move there and try to do something about “the woes of its government”?

Or would “mañana” be a little too close to culturally incorrect?

via email

Grimms Not Grim

The article “Annual Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving Dinner” (Cover Story, November 25) was typical of most Thanksgiving dinners: way too much to digest and most of it not very good.

It’s not hard, guys. Thanksgiving is a self-defining event. No need for smug, wordsmithed tales of angst and dysfunction.

For my money, Ernie Grimm (“The More the Merrier”) nailed it with his simple account of a decent family meeting in thanks — thanks for each other and for their bounty. A finer tradition could not be sought.

“There’s no happiness without gratitude.” (Not my line; heard it once on the radio.) It seems to me that the Grimm family has recognized that simple truth and follows its inexorable path.

I’d be proud to be invited to Ernie’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. An invitation from any of the other contributors would garner a “regrets” RSVP.

E. Dunne
via email

Don’t Fritter

I was very surprised to not see many comments regarding the story of “Ex Pros” (Cover Story, November 5), because the story was as interesting as it was sad. A lot of these ball players deserved better than what they ended up getting, and I thank Ron Mix for trying to help them.

I have, in fact, previously met Ron Mix, and years ago we ran laps and did sprints together at Point Loma High School track after-hours. He was and is a gentleman and a scholar. And a good and faithful husband to his lucky wife, darn it!

I have also suffered the deleterious effects of past overindulgences in athletics, and just like a lot of the people in the story, I limp too. After years of pounding the pavement running, my knees are whacked. But there are ways to manage the pain, which may include regular cortisone shots, exercise therapy, and doses of hyaluronic acid injections, which rebuild the synovial joint fluid. With proper pain management, medical care, and a good attitude, it is possible to get around all right, despite the past.

These up-and-coming stars should be careful and make sure they are taking care of themselves financially too. Have a trusted professional guide them; seek financial counseling and advice. Try and get a grip on all the women who will throw themselves at these guys. Just like these players are disciplined athletically, they also need to keep their fly zippered up too. Unfortunately, there are a number of gold diggers out there just looking for a vulnerable target (and wallet). This is an unfortunate fact of this kind of life — so many players get played.

Not to end on a gloomy note, because there is so much innate talent here, and that’s a glorious thing. It may sound clichéd, but to one to whom so much has been given, so much should be expected. The hard part is just making sure it all doesn’t just go to waste or get uselessly frittered away.

G. Powell
via email

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re: Don’t Fritter

so, where was YOUR comment, G. Powell? you could have made it 3. just sayin.

Re: letter from E. Dunne, who claims that the article “Annual Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving Dinner” (Cover Story, November 25)

"…was typical of most Thanksgiving dinners: way too much to digest and most of it not very good."

She goes on to object to the writers's use of a few big words, while yet hastening to show us she too can use a few:

"It’s not hard, guys. Thanksgiving is a self-defining event. No need for smug, wordsmithed tales of angst and dysfunction."

Thanksgiving is a self-defining event, Dunne? So...the contributers should have stuck to exclaiming over the size of the bird, and saying grace? The usual clichéd list of ‘stuff for which I give thanks?’ Yawn. That’s tired-er than a tryptophan-laced turkey belch. Me? I prefer the more varied buffet offered by these writers, who in some moments managed to treat this drowsy topic in some fresh and even surprising ways. I’d be proud to take a seat at any of their tables, but something tells me no one’s crying over your ungrateful toss of an imagined invite.

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