LETTERS  PCR #402      (December 3--9, 2007)

  • Ward Smith communicates about legendary newscaster father, Hugh Smith
  • Reader comments on Mike Smith's review of "The Golden Compass"
  • The Final Fate of the Kapok Tree Inn

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    Itís with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of my dadís ill health.

    He was diagnosed with stage four melanoma this past February and as undergone Chemo treatments at Moffitt ever since.

    Although he did respond to the treatments, dementia has set in, so much that he barely knows that youíre in the room with him.

    I took him for treatment last week, the doctor did not like his look; his feet were and still are swollen; he has great difficulty in walking and a deep cough that hurts to hear. His heart is not functioning properly which explains the poor circulation and has been in the Hospice unit at Palms of Pasadena since last Thursday.

    All they can do is manage his pain while we wait.

    Please include him in your prayers

    Highest Regards,
    Ward G. Smith
    Senior Media Editor
    USSOCOM/Joint Psychological Operation
    Support Element PDB
    Team Jacobs/Lockheed Martin

    Ward, my deepest sympathies go out to your and your family over this unfortunate situation. Hugh Smith is a legendary newscaster, one of the greats, and a pioneer in local television. Of course we will be thinking of him in our private spiritual moments and in our prayers. Good luck. --- Nolan


    To Mike Smith,
    I read your reviews every week and use that as part of the criteria whether or not I want to see a film. I enjoyed your review of The Golden Compass. I have been looking forward for months for this release, and lately Iíve heard all the hoopla over conservative Christian groups to boycott the film. Not being one who likes to do what sheís told, I decided to read the trilogy for myself to see if indeed Mr. Pullman is trying to indoctrinate our young people. I just finished the third book, and I have to admit that although the main story lines were wonderful, I did find some things out of place and quite offensive.

    The premise of all 3 books is that the ďCreatorĒ, who once he found himself in existence, let everyone else believe He had created them, and put into motion this thing called sin/original sin to control people though guilt and punishment. Thus, the goal of the main character is to find the Creator and kill him so as to get rid of original sin so everyone can live in a Garden of Eden type world. The Creator (meaning God, he assures us) does indeed get killed in the third book. (I didnít believe this until I had read it for myself.) When they found him, he was an old, decrepit, weak, weary man who had put control over everything in the hands of someone else (who also gets killed, geez, I hope Iím not ruining this for you!) The story goes on and on, but in the end we find sin is okay and desirable and remains intact. Very strange books. Good appears to be bad and bad good. The whole time I wasnít quite sure who the good guy was and who was the bad guy. Iíve decided Iím not very fond of Phillip Pullman and for a man who claims to be an atheist, he sure is obsessed with the world of spirits and spiritual issues.

    Anyway, after all is said and done, my personal opinion is that other than the other-worldly influence, itís a really good story of the girl on a quest. Iím afraid The Golden Compass is going to end just like The Fellowship of the Ring, where they embark on another part of the journey, not having solved the problem in the first place, which opens it to a sequel. Weíll see how deep the story line goes in the next 1 or 2 movies to follow, if they do.

    Iím looking forward to the movie and have no regrets reading the book. Would I allow my children to read it? If they were still teenagers I would, because they arenít real impressionable (weíre pretty religious). If I had a 12 year old? No, I wouldnít let him/her read it. Itís difficult reading for one thing, and the atheistic phrases which appear to jump out from the middle of nowhere are quite offensive. Iíve already returned the book to the library or Iíd give you some examples. But itís really weird.

    Thanks for all your reviews. Keep it up! Iíll keep reading every week (The Leavenworth Times)

    Angela Meadows

    Angela, hello, and thanks so much for writing such a thoughtful letter. I have forwarded it to the review's author, Michael A. Smith, for comment. ---Nolan


    The following exchange is from the Lettercol to PCR #350 roughly a year ago:

    I have read the response on your blog about the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater (Likely Letters to the Editor, PCR #266 from 2005. --Nolan), but our family remembers it in Fort Lauderdale around the same time period (1970's). Can you please tell me what happened to that establishment?

    Thank you.

    I'm afraid I cannot. I inquired around to the staff and came up blank. Readers? ---Nolan

    This was torn down in the early Eighties and is now a beautiful 165-acre Nature Center run by Broward County Parks and Rec.

    Itís actually just outside Ft. Lauderdale in Davie.

    Jim Silvestri
    Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
    CB Smith Park

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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