Letters: Porridge-pourri

Porridge Request

Re “Graveyard of the Godforsaken Gringos,” September 26 cover story. This Bukowskiesque opus is the most evocative writing the Reader has published in decades. More porridge, please.

  • Sue Garson
  • Clairemont

Kid of War

I’d like to make a small correction to page 20 of Mr. T.B. Beaudeau’s cover article, “Graveyard of the Godforsaken Gringos,” in the September 26 Reader. He mentions a ditty from his childhood, “Whistle while you work, Hitler is a jerk...” He calls it a “bit of musical doggerel from the post-war era.” That’s wrong.

I lived in the wartime era. I was 9 years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and that ditty was around even before then, starting in 1938, 1939 thereabouts, whenever Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie came out. The dwarves had this little song, “Whistle while you work, hum a merry tune...”

So, then, what we had was “Whistle while you work, Hitler is a jerk, Mussolini eats his wienie, whistle while you work.” We were pretty innocent kids and we didn’t quite get the meaning there. It probably implied that Mussolini was performing fellatio on Hitler, but we didn’t quite understand it. All we knew was that a wienie was a hot dog, and that it rhymed with Mussolini.

Anyway, that’s the way it went and it was that way from around 1939 all the way through the end of the war in 1945. I don’t know where Beaudeau gets off calling it post-war doggerel. It was definitely a wartime ditty. If he’s that old, maybe his memory is starting to go bad. Who knows?

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Gifting Public Land

Regarding the September 19 cover story, “Did Sunroad Pay to Play?” Am I to understand that the City Council could just vote to make a gift of public land to Sunroad rather than sell them the city land they needed for setbacks?

Was the lane of C Street by City Hall that goes into C. Arnold Smith’s hotel a gift too? How about the land where Sixth Avenue joined Washington Street to University Avenue before the theater-medical-shopping mall was built in Hillcrest?

I get that the city has an increased tax base from development, but why doesn’t the developer have to buy the land from the city?

  • Name Withheld
  • Mission Hills

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