Backtalk

Letters to the Editor




THE COST OF LIVING

When I received my October Memphis magazine, I was not surprised to see the striking fashion layout, "Back in Black," featured on the cover. I've grown accustomed to your fun lifestyle pieces and I enjoy the cutting-edge fashion photography. What did surprise me was Marilyn Sadler's powerful story, "Unwired," about the tragic and life-changing brain injuries suffered by our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and the struggle they face in returning to "normal" society.     It's all too easy to find articles about "stuff" in the media — the watches, clothes, fancy cars with which we so often amuse and divert ourselves. It's truly unusual in these times to find in-depth reporting on subjects that aren't so pleasant to read about.     While we all will eventually pay the price economically for the wars this president has led us into, those who truly have given their all for our country are too often overlooked. Ms. Sadler deserves our gratitude for bringing their stories to light. This is the kind of reporting that may cause our leaders — and ordinary citizens — to think twice before allowing another "preemptive" war to happen. The human cost is simply too high.

Congratulations on a great piece of reporting.

~ Les Wilson
Covington, Tennessee
 

GONE TO THE DOGS

I enjoyed your recent article in the November issue that featured the bronze dogs in front of the Juvenile Court building. I did not know about Judge Kelley saving them from the WWII scrap-metal drive. It's always good to learn more details about local history.

With that in mind, I write to pass on a few more details which you may already know but did not include in the "Ask Vance" article.

As I understand it, when Captain William Decatur Bethell bought the dogs in Europe, he had them shipped to his home on a sugar plantation in Louisiana. He later moved to Memphis and brought the dogs with him to his house (originally built by E.M. Apperson) that stood at Wellington and Linden.

When he later moved to Denver, he left the dogs with his first cousin, Mary Bethell Sneed (McCann) Neely, wife of Hugh M. Neely. Mary's parents were William Morgan Sneed and Mary Louisa Bethell, sister of Captain W.D. Bethell's father.

When the Neely mansion was torn down, Mrs. Cynthia Edrington Symes, a granddaughter of Captain Bethell, wanted the dogs given to the Woodruff-Fontaine House. You already know about the battle to keep them at Juvenile Court.

~ Hunter W. Johnson
Memphis

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