MUSIC LESSON

Your headline 100 Years of Seattle Music (December 2008) inspired me to buy the magazine to find out if you included Paul Tutmarc. I was happy to find you did. I was in his first Hawaiian band, which included Paul on Hawaiian guitar, myself on lead Spanish guitar, Jack Gress on ukulele, and Wes Coatney on the bass.

When we first started playing gigs, the Musicians Union found out and ordered us to join if we wanted to continue playing. As none of us had the $75 dollars, we disbanded. Paul had done most of the financing of our band and apparently didn’t feel he could also pay our union dues.

I’m 87 and still here. Thanks so much for the article even though there are so many you had to leave out.

Doyal Gudgel
Covington, Washington

MISSING NOTES

Thank you for the coverage you gave Dave Lewis (100 Years of Seattle Music, December 2008), a brilliant musician whose contributions over the years have been all but buried. But I wonder why the omission of Floyd Standifer and Donald “Woody” Woodhouse? Both were leaders in the Seattle musical community for years and played seminal roles in the development of young musicians while maintaining a high standard for themselves in the development of their craft.

Douglas Q. Barnett
Capitol Hill

SCHOOLED

Juliette Guilbert’s Urban Brawl article Special Ed Ghetto or a Seat in the Class? (December 2008) hit home. I have a son who was, for a while, at the same school as Noah, the student featured in the story. I am still battling the redlining, too: The Seattle School Board recently voted to close Cooper Elementary. We haven’t even been with the special ed program at this school for a full year, and this will make five times in barely four years that my son has been forced to transfer.

It looks as though he will have a whole new set of kids and teachers to get used to again. My current thought is to home school him, but autistic kids need social skills work. It seems to be unlikely he will develop the social skills he could if the program continued the same as it is. I am sending the article to the board members to see if they have any response.

Karen R. Moore
Skyway

NO HORSING AROUND

I just bought the January 2009 issue, happily anticipating the cover feature, 52 Great Weekends. I dog-eared at least a dozen pages of fabulous suggestions for events and activities I’ll be adding to my to-do list this year, but I was shocked and appalled to see number 49: the Omak Stampede, one aspect of which is a suicide race. This “race” is a death sentence to many of the defenseless horses forced to plummet down a ridiculously steep hill at breakneck speed. The Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations have been trying to put an end to this horrifying spectacle for years. I find it deplorable that you would suggest that the people of this fine city engage in the perpetuation of cruelty toward animals. I will never purchase your magazine again—you can count on that.

Sheri LaVigne
Capitol Hill


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