Love-Hate Mail 

Letters from readers.
Help wanted Sarah Kelley’s article “Denied” (Sept. 21) brought to light a longstanding problem for Tennessee’s disabled population. Many people do need help to navigate this complicated system. Non-attorney disability advocates form another group of professionals who specialize in representation for Social Security disability claimants. Recognized by the Social Security Administration, non-attorney representatives assist disability claimants with application and appeals through the Appeals Council and come from backgrounds that include past employment with Social Security, Disability Determination Section, Social Work and Rehabilitation. VICKI DUNHAM Disability Advocate vdunham@eckmanfreeman.com (Nashville) People pleaser The writer of “Denied” (Sept. 21), Sarah Kelley, did a great job, but she just scratched the surface of what goes on at Tennessee Disability Determination Services. You need to investigate more for the people of Tennessee. I have 28 years of employment doing Social Security Disability evaluations. I would like to see more investigation into Tennessee’s DDS.

CLARENCE J. HANEY 207 Berrywood Dr. (Smyrna)

Scene stealer

I’ve been a reader of this paper for many years now, have weathered the lapses in judgment, taste, etc., changes in format (color in a newspaper, who needs it?), the giving into and, then again, resisting sensationalism—all the stuff those of us who actually do read love and hate about a newspaper. At times I have sworn off this rag, but I have always come back, knowing the next issue would be at least different from the last and mostly entertaining. But this time you have really done it. Every page, no, every paragraph of the Sept. 14 issue was a gem. From the harsh, but fair, review of the NSO opening night (really, “a heinous science experiment?” Poor Bela and Edgar are probably still sobbing in their beers), to the absolutely stupendous miniatures on the issues of the season, to every last one of the Love/Hate Mail letters, I can’t remember when I have enjoyed reading the paper so much. Base flattery, I know—nothing wrong with that if it’s true. Whatever you do, stay unpredictable. STAN LAWRENCE stanjoy1@comcast.net (Nashville) Past considerations I would like to start by saying that we truly enjoy your publication. We valued it enough to advertise in the Scene. We at Past Perfect value the opinions of all of our friends and clientele. It is unfortunate that we believe that the review we received in your dining section last week was not just a bad review; it was malicious (“Faux Pas’t, Sept. 14). We hope you and your staff will stop by to judge for yourselves. The overwhelming response we have received since the review has been positive. Thank you for your time and consideration. RYAN MECUM Past Perfect rmecum@hotmail.com (Nashville) Insult to injury In response to the offensive article “Barbie Girls” (“Suburban Turmoil,” Sept. 14), I am completely and utterly appalled that your paper would allow a grown adult to publicly bash preschool-aged children. How dare she call these children “harlots.” It is utterly distasteful to imply that these children or any child would ever idolize the likes of John Mark Karr. What kind of hatred and bigotry is she teaching her own 2-year-old “Baby” by calling these children “crazy.” One has to wonder what is wrong with Ms. Ferrier if she feels the need to stoop to insulting small children. As a mother, I have chosen not to participate in “glitz” pageants such as Dixieland Dolls and Darlings, but I know many wonderful and loving mothers and daughters who do, and I take personal offense to these attacks. What’s next, Ms. Ferrier? Are you going to kick puppies for fun? Maybe tease geriatrics? Or will you just stick to bashing small children? CHERI ESPERON cesperon@wi.rr.com (Kenosha, Wis.) Mama’s girl I just wanted to say thanks for the “Trophy Wife” article (“Suburban Turmoil,” Sept. 7) of a few weeks ago. It came at an opportune time for me and my Mama. I am the baby of the family and the product of a “trophy wife.” My Mama and my half-sister went to high school together; they were one year apart in age. My Mama was 17 and my Daddy was 39 when they married. He had been married to his first wife for 15 years and divorced for one when he met my Mama. Everyone said they were doomed. Well, seven kids, 13 grandkids, six great-grandkids and almost 50 years later, they proved everyone wrong. My Daddy died of pancreatic cancer May 14, leaving my Mama alone for the first time in her life. Your story came out on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a hard day, but your story gave me my first smile of the day. My Mama was proud to have married my Daddy and grew weary of explaining the 22-year age difference. When I tell people she had seven kids in eight years, they immediately ask if we’re Catholic. To my Mama’s horror, I always reply, “Nope, just horny Baptists” or “My Daddy was 39, my Mama was 17—what do you think they did all the time?” I’m a firm beleiever that love doesn’t pick and choose. It happens when it does and is indiscriminate—you have no say about it. Hang in there and stay tough, Trophy Wife! P.S. I’m a Bellevue mom too. I can relate! LISA KINKEL 8414 Hwy. 70 (Nashville) Ridley mania! After reading Jim Ridley’s insights into the offerings at the Toronto International Film Festival (“Bushwhacked,” Sept. 21), there’s no other way to say it than to say how lucky we are to have a lover of the art form like him. Truly conversant in the language and history of film, he brings some breadth of understanding of international cinema to our town. ANDY VAN ROON AndyvR@FilmNashville.org (Nashville) Home schooled Thank you for Walter Jowers’ article, “Buyer Beware” (“Helter Shelter,” Sept. 14). He dispels a lot of the myths about new home buying. New homes can be quite defective and codes are not routinely enforced in many areas of the country. Even if a house does meet codes, it can still be junk. Imagine what it’s like when they don’t even meet code? As someone who’s been through a construction defect case, and now as a volunteer for a consumer organization, I can certainly attest to the lack of quality in many of today’s new homes. A buyer now needs their own team of experts: a good inspector, a good structural engineer and a good lawyer too. A competent attorney would quickly reject most builders’ standard contracts. But, many buyers sign the contract and even close without anyone really on their side, and with little understanding how weak their recourse is if things go wrong later. It’s a shame, but we can no longer assume the industry and the code officials are going to make sure things are right. The buyers now have to do that themselves. CINDY SCHNACKEL cschnackel@fourteen.net (Norman, Okla.)

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