With the death of Ethel Ennis, a big chunk of Baltimore's heart has been lost as well (“Ethel Ennis, Baltimore’s ‘First Lady of Jazz,’ dies at 86,” Feb. 18).
Ethel was a Baltimorean and proud of it. She believed in her hometown and in some ways sacrificed her career by being in love with, committed to and comfortable in Baltimore. Had she wanted to go on the road more, booked appearances everywhere, she and Earl Arnett could have done it. They were often quite happy around that faithful fan base that spent time at King of France Tavern in Annapolis and in the 1980s at their own Baltimore club. She never turned down requests for autographed photos or for appearances with community fundraisers and events.
One of the most amazing images I'll always remember was when she and Earl agreed to visit inmates in a county jail and spent an hour talking, listening, singing a capella to them as if they were old friends. Ethel’s voice was a gift nonpareil, but the loss of her loving generous spirit will be missed more.
Linda Sullivan Schulte, Selbyville, Del.