My very first thought upon viewing the opening page photo of pronghorns crawling under barbed wire was, to paraphrase a former president: Mr. Landowner, take down those fences! “End of the Road?” I sincerely hope not.
Mark D. Blitzer
The basic idea of our national parks is that their permanent scenic, wildlife and cultural assets outweigh the short-term business profits that could be derived from exploiting the land. Saving the Grand Teton National Park herd of pronghorn antelopes by making an additional commitment of land for a narrow southern migratory corridor would be a minimal sacrifice compared with the 310,000 acres of the park that have already been set aside. Unfortunately, this logic seems beyond the comprehension of the crowd in Washington.
Malcolm G. Balfour
As a longtime resident of western Wyoming, I looked forward to the article about Wyoming’s antelope debate mentioned on the cover of the issue. However, your article was one-sided at best, and did nothing to contribute to a solution. I hope we can find a way to balance the needs of the pronghorns, the people living here and our nation’s energy demands. Unfortunately, a National Migration Corridor will only wrestle the last property rights away from the residents of western Wyoming. Remember, we have already had to give over control of our land to wolves and grizzly bears.
the answer to the question posed in Joshua Hammer’s “Peace at Last?” is a resounding “not this time.” The Basque separatist group ETA’s recent bombing of the Madrid airport left hope under a pile of rubble. I hope that Basques and Spaniards may put on their respective berets and flamenco dresses and give each other dos besos (two kisses). But this won’t happen until the two main parties—the Socialists and the Popular Party—retire their verbal arms and try to understand the oldest and most volatile region of Spain. Together, they can empower the Basque Country to use its democratic voice, while maintaining its culture and eliminating ETA’s bombs.
“time after time,” on the photographic work of artist William Christenberry, really moved me. In travels around my home state of Florida, I recently began to despair at the loss of the kind of “vernacular architecture” that Christenberry has sought to capture on film. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who misses some of those seemingly insignificant buildings that make a place different from everywhere else.
what a delightful article on mug shots by Katy June-Friesen (“Arresting Faces”). Is this not schadenfreude on a broad scale? Are we peering into these scofflaw faces, thankful they were apprehended and we are not their victims? Is this that anxious, unsettling urge to gaze at the terrible car wreck as we pass by unscathed? Or is it the vicarious pleasure of being a witness to their suffering, laughing and snickering at the misfortunes of others? A base, mean-spirited, but irresistibly addictive behavior? A darkly whispered vox populi? Give us more, eh?
M. Tucker Brawner
My heart goes out to the young boy pictured at the bottom right of page 63. He was way too young to have a mug shot published for all the world to see.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Dava Sobel is a wonderful writer, and her article about sundials, “The Shadow Knows,” was entertaining and informative. Still, for my money, the best lines about a sundial were written many decades ago by the British poet and essayist Hilaire Belloc:
I am a sundial, and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch.
New York, New York