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Ropin' and Ridin'

Letters from the week of November 3, 2005

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Rodeo queens: I can't believe that I wait all week to read the Pitch, only to find the cover is about queer cowboys! (Ben Paynter's "So You Wanna Be a Cowboy?" October 20). Was I expecting some more of the trials and tribulations of Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields? No. But an honorable mention regarding the Kansas Board of Education's new appointment of conservative think-tank leader Bob Corkins as education commissioner would have been nice.

Come on, Pitch, have some feel for what your readers want — and know that queer cowboys ain't it!

Levi Henry
Pittsburg, Kansas

A load of bull: I don't normally waste my time by reading the Pitch. My time is much better spent reading things like the National Enquirer. (That was sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell.)

That being said, I would like to respond to "So You Wanna Be a Cowboy?" You managed once again to reduce the gay community to a stereotype. It was obvious that Ben Paynter didn't do his homework. If he had, he would have known that the camp events that he mocked began in the straight rodeos.

I grew up around rodeos at county fairs and such, and they all had their share of camp events. I can't tell you how many times I saw my dad and uncle putting a pair of underwear on a goat or competing in an event while wearing a dress. Mind you, this was all over 30 years ago. They did these events because they were fun and always a crowd pleaser. There were not many events that were dangerous, such as bull riding.

The Missouri Gay Rodeo Association is not about being a cowboy but about helping others. They have raised thousands of dollars for local charities. People like Jack Truman do it on a rare occasion because he's secure enough with himself and is able to raise a ton of money by doing so. It's not about "refuting stereotypes"; it's about charity. And I'm sorry, Shorty, but if it's not what you expected, then perhaps you should be in the straight rodeos.

It's time the Pitch took responsibility for what it prints about the gay community. Or better yet, leave us the hell alone!

Russell Keith
Via the Internet

Get Shorty: I thought Ben Paynter's article was really good, although at times I wasn't sure if he was making jabs at the gays or the way some things are in the gay community. But overall, I enjoyed it very much.

But I was furious that the whole thing revolved around Shorty. I suppose I should let you know that I am the "guy in his late twenties who said loudly that he hoped Shorty didn't win." Which, after reading the first page, I am more than outraged at his attitude toward the community that will have to "support" his ass should he win the title. What wasn't mentioned in the article was that, should he win, he will have to raise a certain amount of money from the community in order to keep his title.

I'm not the only one who is furious with his comments. What a sad person to focus on!

Anyway, loved the article.

Name withheld by request

Motivational Speaker
Golden snitch: Regarding Nadia Pflaum's "Speak No Evil" (September 29): I was blown away at the depth of insight achieved by this article. Congratulations on a piece of exemplary work. It certainly ought to be another award winner.

Steve Young
Lee's Summit

Dot Dot Dash
Sixth sense: I am thrilled that Charles Ferruzza made it to Rincon Colombiano (Café, October 27). His reviews make me read an entire food column, learning and laughing as I go. (The anecdotal and historical references are verbose but well-researched and never dull.)

Two things not reviewed which are a must are the empanadas (meat only), smothered with the aji pique (salsa from the gods), and the Cuban coffee (rot-your-teeth sweet).

I have told everyone in all parts of the city to come over to this joint in the 'Dot because I want Sixth Street to be the next "restaurant row," with options like the pastries by Susan Welling (formerly at Honeymoms) at the Corner Café YWCA, Jones Barbeque (just open next door to Rincon) and Amy Renee's Bakery (cheapest and best cookies and doughnuts in the city). It might give 39th Street a run for its money someday.

Oz McGuire
Kansas City, Kansas

Blue Note
Broken record: Just who are you to determine a "bad record" (Wayward Son, October 13)?

I read Jason Harper's article, and I was with him 100 percent up till he totally dismissed Gino Vannelli. I doubt he's even heard any of his albums. If so, he'd realize how incredible and underrated he is as an artist.

Even at the age of 55, Vannelli still has his voice and is creating amazing compositions. Just because he's not an overexposed, headline-grabbing drama queen (Bono and Michael Stipe) doesn't give Harper the right to knock him as an artist.

If this is the attitude at Music Exchange and Recycled Sounds, then they deserve to go out of business.

Larry Jackson
San Francisco

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