August 2007 Backtalk

Weighty Matters

Preston Lauterbach's excellent article on obesity hit home in more ways than one. I have witnessed friends and family in Memphis suffer incredible pain and anguish over weight issues. Whenever I return to Memphis from L.A., I am always astonished at how difficult it is to find healthy options, and I have often laid blame with the church. Memphis' religious institutions seem to forget that the body is the temple of God, instead choosing to ignore the problems out of embarrassment or financial necessity. Just flipping a few pages back in the magazine revealed charity events that offered pan-cakes and spaghetti — much like the bake sales and pasta dinners that fill your churches every night or the buffets that pack them in following services. Memphis is suffering an epidemic, and if the churches continue to close their eyes to the problem, then their parishioners will continue to suffer the consequences. Lauterbach made astute observations on how change occurs. Unfortunately, the psychological trauma leaves most feeling overwhelmed and out of control. If this isn't a problem for the church to take on, then I don't know what is!   

- Dan Cox, Los Angeles, CA

Dumping Ground

Thanks so much for the "Last Stand" that you wrote in the June issue about the "sick practices" of some pharmaceutical companies. You are so right on! I wasn't totally aware of this, but am not surprised. Thank you for telling us about it and also recommending a solution.

- Wayne Ferguson, Memphis


I left Memphis 20 years ago, but maintained my subscription to Memphis magazine. Eugene Pidgeon's article ["Made in the Image of God?"] in the last issue made the cost of the subscription all those years worth it. My family lived down the street from his, and although I never met Eugene, I knew of him. My father, Berl Olswanger, a musician, sometimes mentioned Eugene's parents (apparently they attended the parties my father's orchestra played for). And when I read the article, I realized that this person I had never thought much about all the years I was living on his street was a person I would have been richer for knowing. Thank you, Memphis magazine, for letting me finally meet Eugene Pidgeon, and thank you for all the other Memphians you've introduced me to in the pages of your magazine. 

- Anna Olswanger, Fair Lawn, NJ

Boats and Beer

I just read my first issue of Memphis magazine and was quite impressed. However, I wanted to point out that in the "Summer Bummers" article [June's "Fine Print], John Branston says the BUI [Boating Under the Influence] standard is often lower [than that of a DUI]. In fact, the maximum blood alcohol level for driving a car in Tennessee (and all states in the U.S.) is .08 percent — the same as for boating. Just a technicality that I wanted to share.

- Kara Lee Ford, Little Rock, AR

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