Dear Rhonda,

We differ in that I probably would have aligned myself with the Beatles camp-that's not to say that I don't appreciate The King. Times are different and I figure it's okay to admit I'd rather not be forced to align at all (truth is, I love 'em all).

Like you, I showed up for Johnny Cash (at The Fillmore in '94). I know just what you mean about making shows before it's too late.

Ted Hawkins opened the show with nothin' but his guitar, the voice of a street angel and the signature milk crate upon which he sat. Shortly thereafter I learned Hawkins had died. I can still hear him singin'. Without question his performance was one of the purest (and, obviously, best!) I've ever seen. I hope you know his work.

If not, check out The Next Hundred Years (Geffen Records, 1994).

By the way, Cash wasn't bad either!

Jeanette E. Morris

It's regrettable that so many fans came to Hawkins post-mortem (Ace ran a memorial on the first anniversary of his death, but regrettably it pre-dates our electronic archives). Thanks for sharing the tip with the readers. I can also personally recommend Happy Hour, circa 1986. ~editor

On the Other Hand

Elvis is still deadand who cares? If you should ever tire of the endless Sha-na-na tribute acts that the minor velvet deity inspired, step out and away from the Holiday Inn lounge and buy a Jerry Lee album and hear what real rockabilly sounds like. Or better yet, give some modern rockabilly bands like the Phantom Chords and Empress of fur a try.

Robert Brammer

Letters Policy: Ace LOVES to publish our mail (250 words or less please); please include name and daytime phone. No photocopies. No bulk mail. First come, first served. We may edit for space and grammar; we will limit frequency; and, on popular issues, we may print one or two letters to represent a segment of public opinion. Private correspondence should be labeled “NOT FOR PUBLICATION.”

Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507

Smoke if you got 'em

Every day, the tobacco companies get about 3,000 new customers-kids. That fact was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. With that in mind, Exxon Mobil has embarked on a campaign to slow the sales of cigarettes to children. It is believed that almost half of underage smokers get their cigarettes from gas stations. As a result, clerks are now required to ID anyone who appears to be under 27, and self-service displays and free samples will be banned in Exxon Mobil gas stations.

Grades will not be curved

Kids are back in school this week. Along with the start of the new school year, the state will have a new website as well. This website, called MAX, will allow parents to gather information about their child's school. The system, which will be up and running by September, and will include information such as school test scores, enrollment, funding, teacher quality, and teacher certification. Other info will be added later. Those of you that took a statistics course, can calculate the correlation between the amount of funding a school receives and its students' performance. The website is an effort by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Education Professional Standards Board.

Ring around the Rosie

Distribution of the new Rosie recycling bins started this week. On your designated collection day, just leave you old Rosie on the curb, empty or full. The new Rosies (60-gallon roll carts), will be left in its place. The distribution will start downtown and expand outwardly. If you don't already have a Rosie, you may request one at 859/425.2255. You'll be notified by mail when the new Rosies will be delivered.

Walk it off

With our kids becoming fatter and fatter due to lack of physical activity, in part to bad dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle, one way to get them in motion is to let them walk or bike to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hoping to increase the number of kids who live less than a mile away from the school, to walk or bike. Letting them walk or bike to school, not only saves you on gas, but will help take off those pounds they put on this summer sitting in front of the television playing Playstation 2 games and eating pork rinds.

Although their impulse may be good, unfortunately, with the recent news of child abductions escalating daily, their timing may be off for many parents.

You can check out the CDC survey for yourself at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk/fact_sheet.htm

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.


Truth is...
By David Fitts

Thanks for your guest opinion piece on Bruce Springsteen & Steve Earle. Steve's sister, Stacy, has graced Lexington twice this past year. Stacy isn't quite as controversial as her brother. To both Steve and Bruce, I say: "Rock on!"

The truth is not necessarily an easy commodity to come by, not when there are spinmeisters and PR firms doing their million dollar best to "paint reality."

As an avid student of history (minored in college), I almost cynically resigned myself to the notion that the average American pretty much doesn't care unless someone starts to fly airplanes into buildings. When that happens, the average joe is ready to kill.

Recently in the Herald-Leader, a Vietnam vet wrote in to once again berate the war protesters who spit on those vets, calling them "baby killers." For those who fled to Canada, he had only derision. My older brother, a Marine, died in Vietnam in '68. By the time my number came up, I was ready to head north myself, convinced that our government was being run by liars and thieves, Vietnam being their latest ploy. In the vet's eyes, I suppose I would just be viewed as a "chicken shit."

What he doesn't realize is that I never spit on a Vietnam vet. I couldn't look one in the eye without seeing my brother. I knew they were lied to; we were all lied to and I wasn't buying it; wasn't willing to go to jail for it. I was willing to go to Canada. My dad told me I was a traitor. We had a serious falling out for several years. My position was: "what, exactly, does patriotism have to do with following liars and thieves?"

I lucked out, in that Congress passed a law saying that if any member of your family was killed in an undeclared conflict/police action, no one else in your immediate family could be drafted. With my dad and me, the damage had been done.

I went to college at the University of Louisville, majoring in Political Science.

Someone back then had done an experiment in some large city in the U.S. They typed up the texts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, without headings, took them out into the streets and asked "citizens" to read them. "What do you think of these?" they asked. The typical reaction was: "This is subversive, communist crap and what are you trying to palm off on me!?!"

Yes, this was the reaction of the common citizen to the founding documents of our nation. Our everyday citizens are vastly ignorant of our nation's history.

Just like now, most of us are vastly ignorant of how corporate-driven foreign policy has quite a few people pissed at the government of the good ole USA. I know how they feel. You see, this is a nation where the vast majority are grossly ignorant of how we got to where we are. You and I, with our tax dollars, have helped to overthrow democratically elected governments that wouldn't do business the way the corporate interests wanted, more than once.

Obviously, you don't have to be a democratic nation to do business with the U.S. I want to ask that Vietnam vet if he shops at Wal-Mart, where much of the stuff is made in Red China. Yeah, my brother died fighting the communists and now people buy their products, produced by cheap prison labor.

I don't know John Walker Lindh, Osama bin Laden, George Bush or most of the people on this good, green earth. I do know that our government lies to us more often than I'm comfortable with. Many questions remain around what happened on 9/11. Far too many for us to go rushing into Iraq to overthrow a dictator. The true patriots want the truth and aren't so willing to risk the killing of innocents, particularly when you realize that thieves and liars are playing major roles in what goes down. To our young people, I urge you to take your citizenship seriously. Dig a little deeper into your nation's history and, by all means, keep asking questions.

Ace occasionally prints topical guest essays from readers. 500-600 words. Submit to editor@aceweekly.com.