Alas, I was left with one channel, the local NBC affiliate. Of course, it was a shock to my system — at first. Then I began to read more, write more and visit with my neighbors on a more neighborly basis.

When Hurricane Katrina let loose her fury, I honestly didn't feel as if I needed anyone other than NBC's Brian Williams. We became close, Williams and me. True, he was all I had, but he was more than enough.

His eloquent manner and his gentle, thorough style allowed me to get a good night's sleep. I hung on to the last words from him at night, confident that whatever transpired between dusk and dawn in New Orleans would keep until Williams could tell me about it the next day.

While Katrina raged, and during her aftermath, I didn't feel the least bit underprivileged with one little television channel to my name.

Actually, I felt empowered.

But best of all, when Tommy Lee went back to school, I went to bed.

Lynda Firth Raines

Hardly Run-of-the-Mill,/h3>

Dave Timberline's article in the Sept. 7 issue ("Theater: Universities Deliver the Spice," Season Previews) has me puzzled. I am pleased that a picture from the Swift Creek Mill Theatre's production of "Lucky Stiff" accompanies the article, since I am a member of the cast — and happen to be featured in the picture! The article itself is a bit more disconcerting.

Mr. Timberline's characterization of the Mill's season as "tried and true" is, at best, inaccurate. The two shows mentioned — "Lucky Stiff" and "Das Barbec�" — can hardly compare with, say, "The Sound of Music" and "My Fair Lady" in name recognition or box-office confidence. In fact, other shows he lists in the universities' seasons — those that provide his "spice" — are far more conventional, in my opinion: "The Fantasticks" holds the record for the longest-running show in the United States; "The Glass Menagerie" has been done (and overdone) in countless high-school, college and regional theaters in the last 60 years; "Amadeus" is a Tony Award winner — how much more "tried and true" can you get?

I am also puzzled as to why Style Weekly no longer sends a reviewer to the Mill's productions. If the answer to that question lies in geography, then yes, it must be conceded that the building is located in Colonial Heights. But the pool of talent from which it draws is the same as every other theater in town, including the Firehouse Theatre Project, Richmond Triangle Players, Theatre IV and Barksdale Theatre (which technically resides in Henrico County). It has been considered a part of the Richmond theater community since its founding.

The Mill is one of the oldest theatrical establishments in the Richmond community, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It is steeped in tradition and history, a trait that continues to draw some of the greatest talent in Richmond to its stage. Its mission is not to produce the most cutting-edge or controversial theater in town, but to entertain — and to do it well. Like all theaters, it has seen its share of financial hardships, and it has weathered many storms — both literally and figuratively. But numerous steps have been taken to rebuild this glorious space: A new parking lot with improved lighting and reupholstered theater seats have already been installed, with a plan to refurbish the stage itself in the very near future. Now more than ever, the Mill needs the support of its community.

Joe Pabst

"Easy" Doesn't Do It

OK, Style, it's up to you — again ("Slogan Showdown," News & Features," Sept. 14). Time for a slogan contest!

My entries: "A nice place for a rest cure." (Actual quote from Rabbi Steinsaltz, internationally known Talmudic scholar.)

"Richmond: No left turn. No. Not ever."

"Richmond: One stoplight at a time."

More to come.

Mary Garber


We incorrectly listed the date for "An Evening With Stu Gardner and Friends," with master of ceremonies Bill Cosby (Jazz, Fall Preview, Sept. 7). The correct date is Sunday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. Style regrets the error.

Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@styleweekly.com


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