A Nostalgic Trip Back to Ruxton Avenue
I read over the past few weeks most of the reports on the festering debate between Sun columnist Michael Olesker and Daniel P. Henson III on what was or was not said about Jewish and other white homeowners leaving Baltimore's Park Heights area to blacks and the ensuing demise of this once beautiful community.
I also listened to various opinions on talk radio as the city at large expressed collective indignation, and accusations were hurled over which group is responsible for the sad plight of Park Heights today.
Lately, I have found myself visiting the neighborhood where as a young man I lived after moving here from New York before entering the Navy during World War II.
That neighborhood, Ruxton Avenue, near North Avenue and not far from where Coppin State College is located, was lovely back then.
The 1700 block was a place of fond memories, good times, familygatherings, neighbors and friends who have remained close to this day.
Yes, the area was memorable in the 1940s and 1950s.
And yes, as was the situation in the Park Heights corridor, Jews moved away and blacks moved in.
It has been a half-century since I lived there, and I am pleased to report that the neighborhood today is every bit as beautiful and well-kept as it was when I lived there.
In fact, unless my memory had become blunted by the years, I have to say that it looks better now to me than it did then.
It is evident as I drive through that the residents take great pride in the care of their properties. The streets are immaculate.
My old neighborhood is the very antithesis of the area Messrs. Olesker and Henson found it necessary to go to war over.
I am saddened that the question of Jews leaving a place and blacks moving in should cause such ill will and should become the platform for so much hostility.
Instead of focusing wrath on Park Heights, perhaps it would serve the city better if those in the public eye -- representatives of media and government especially -- would look with pride at the Ruxton Avenues of Baltimore.
Surely there must be many more neighborhoods like the one where I once lived.
I willingly acknowledge that Park Heights in microcosm isn't all of Baltimore.
Nor is Ruxton Avenue.
But we really should attempt to have a perspective on this.
After all, there are many areas where one group left and another bought homes that are as beautifully maintained.
The critics, who profess to love Baltimore unabashedly but are always ready to jump in with a negative perception, should know better.
All the Children of the World
In spite of the dark and miserable weather conditions, there shone a bright light on the editorial page, July 2. In spite of the usual news of murder, cruelty, assault, robbery and the cruelty between the races, before my eyes shone a glorious announcement.
The greatest sermons that may have been given that Sunday will include the letter to the editor written by Andrea Smith. She wrote a message regarding her children that brought tears to my aging eyes.
The children are her own natural born daughter and a recently adopted 22-month-old son, native of the Republic of Korea. These youngsters have been blessed with wonderfully appreciative parents.
A beautiful line is the onewhich reads: "Our daughter adores him and he lights up when he sees her." (What? No interracial hatred?)
I do not know the Smith family, but I do realize that here is a great human couple whose touching, and sometimes tearful, story has been given publicity by a great human newspaper.
May God bless the Smith family and the fine newspaper which can spot a really touching story.
The words of a childhood Sunday School hymn lighted up my failing memory like a lighthouse on the shore of a raging sea: "All the little children of the world, red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in his sight . . ."
Fred W. Gruhn
Marines on Job
Re the rescue of Air Force Capt. Scott F. O'Grady: The Marines landed and the situation was quickly in hand. Enough said.
Arthur J. Gutman
I am writing to you in reference to the article by Colleen Pierre appearing in the "To Your Health" section June 5.
I am chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at the Union Memorial Hospital, the same institution where Colleen Pierre works as a registered dietitian. I am also one of the "sold local doctors" who recommends Interior Design Nutritionals (IDN) products to some of my patients.
In addition, I and my entire family have been using these these products for the past several months. Before I began using the IDN products, and especially before I began recommending them to my patients, I thoroughly reviewed the available information regarding nutritional supplementation, chelated minerals and other data relevant to the application of this program.
I became convinced that there was much merit to this approach. However, what really sold me on these products were the very impressive personal results which I have experienced.
They have changed my life in more ways than one. I am definitely leaner, my performance has improved measurably with a distinct increase in energy levels of at least 20 to 25 percent, which I am enjoying very much.
I recommend these products to some of my patients, and well over 90 percent of those who have followed my recommendation are very happy with their own results and continue to take them.
It is unfortunate that Ms. Pierre would use such strong language and unqualified condemnation of these products and nutritional supplementation in general. I believe that she is wrong, as do many physicians and top-notch researchers in the nutritional field, both in the United States and worldwide.
I would agree that there is no definitive scientific proof regarding theeffects of antioxidants, phytonutrients and other components; however, I would like to point out the fact that well over 80 percent of therapeutic gestures and other treatment strategies which physicians and other health professionals use on a daily basis are not based on hard scientific proof of efficacy.
Medicine is also an art, and patients' reliance on and trust in physicians' integrity and sound advice are and should continue to be the cornerstone of the system.
To suggest that some doctors would become involved with this program simply because of the economic opportunity is wrong, untrue and personally offensive.
Frank J. Criado, M.D.
It was entirely appropriate that the article placed next to the obituaries in The Sun June 21 related to Gov. Parris Glendening's cutting funds to people with disabilities.
The deadly consequences of his decision to end the Disability Assistance and Loan Program (DALP) cannot be buried in rhetoric about a commitment to end homelessness.
Without a doubt, people with medically certifiable disabilities will die because of the governor's decision.
His weak new program offers no more housing than a $50 monthly voucher will buy, and only for a limited number of recipients.
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke is correct in asserting that crime will increase sharply, as will homelessness.
Top this off with the need for emergency health care, since the governor also made deep cuts in health care funding for this population.
People with disabilities who struggled to endure DALP's $157 monthly benefit now have no means of survival. Better plan to expand that obituaries page.