December 2007 Backtalk

Letters to the Editor

I read the Emily Fisher ["A Murder in Central Gardens," Marilyn Sadler] piece with great interest. It is a marvelous piece of journalism. I hope Kathy [Klyce] and the family feel some kind of satisfaction. It really is a tragedy, in the Greek sense of the word. I have reread the piece now at least three times, trying to take the whole thing in. It is almost too much to bear.

~ David Lohrey

Edgewater, New Jersey

Marilyn Sadler's article on the Emily Klyce Fisher murder was one of the most intriguing I have ever read. Adrian was in my carpool and his mom often drove us to school, so we knew the family well. Although this is obviously a very sad story, I am not shocked by what happened. This story is fascinating to me on many levels and I look forward to the next issue. Thanks for the great job you did bringing this story to light. It would make a wonderful book.

~ List Underwood III

Mountain Brook, Alabama

Thanks for using the magnificent photo of our home on the front cover of the October issue. It is a truly great shot.

Yes, we were aware of the murder when we bought this home seven years ago. It always seems to surface in a conversation when we least expect it. Someday, we'd like to see a magazine like yours do a history of the house in its entirety. Are you aware that this house was built in 1905 as a private home, was the original location for the Lausanne School from 1926-1953, was a fraternity house for the Southern School of Optometry, and even a recreation facility for a local church for a short period?

Now it is our home. We have allowed the Memphis Chamber Music Society to perform here, had a commercial for Gamma Knife surgery filmed here, hosted a Le Bonheur Club Tasting Tour, and have been on the Central Gardens Home Tour. All this in addition to the many private parties we have hosted to share this wonderful home with others.

Maybe it would bring some closure to the Fisher family if they knew that this home is well cherished and cared for, as we try to create many good memories here.

~ Peggy and Dr. Laverne Lovell

I wanted to thank you for such a straightforward Last Stand in the October issue ["Sorry Excuses," Mary Helen Tibbs]. I work as a school counselor, and I can tell you that teaching our kids skills to perform well on TCAP is not the biggest struggle we face. The concepts most difficult to convey are empathy and personal responsibility, two character traits that are, at best, mocked in the media with every swept-under-the-carpet celebrity or political scandal. It's hard to express to kids the dangers of drinking and driving when celebs do it, only to become more famous than before. I can only pray that the High School Musical and Hannah Montana kids don't follow in the paths of their older cohorts — I'm not sure we will be able to recover.

Middle school kids are far more savvy than we'd wish them to be, and they are in a constant state of analysis. The real aggravation comes when, in addition to chalking up their transgressions to substance use, childhood abuse or neglect, ignorance, or mental illness, people in the spotlight reject their identity as role models — a total cop-out. If you are in the public eye in any capacity, you have signed up to be a role model. Kids are desperate for a solid identity, and, thus, they emulate anyone who has the kind of life they wish to achieve. This national refusal to take responsibility for one's actions is wreaking havoc on our kids and teaching them that it's okay to do whatever you want, because there's always an out. Excuses are far too widely accepted, and our kids are paying the price. In the future, it will be those of us depending on the very kids that we crippled, paying the price for our blatant refusal to teach accountability and empathy.

Your article was fantastic. So good, in fact, that I renewed a long-lapsed subscription. You're doing a great job with your publication.

~ Wendy Willingham

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