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Issue Date: March 2009


Please, not on the magazine
No more cutesy bimbos on the cover, please! After January and February’s covers, I may puke!
Christine Martuch

Echoes of war
The headline alone of Michael D. Roberts’ “Tet Project” story (February 2009) startled me and almost made me shudder, as just the word “Tet” brought back frightening and painful memories as a draftee serving with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam, 1967-68. I was about six months into my tour of duty there when the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong launched their historic offensive. One of my superiors, Lt. Billy Joe Blacksten, 23, of Versailles, Mo., was killed a few days into the attack on Feb. 4, 1968, and it seems like only yesterday morning that Sgt. Wilson told me and some of my fellow soldiers of the ghastly point-blank death from mortar shrapnel. Lt. Blacksten’s passing is my most painful but still-fresh memory of my year in that country as a reporter, then editor, for the division newspaper. He was a great guy.
Louis H. Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

What the tech?
I started to read Andy Netzel’s article “The Big Disconnect” (January 2009) but stopped when it was apparent that Mr. Netzel did very little research on the items that were available to us old folks before 1980. He lost all credibility when he stated that ATM cards and air conditioning in automobiles were not common before 1980. Please! I had an ATM card (with a PIN number) in 1976 when I was attending the University of Akron. And I haven’t even been in a car that did not come with air conditioning for 45 years. Next time, Mr. Netzel, do your research. The article was dead to me after the second paragraph.
Mary Ann Consolo
Sagamore Hills

Andy’s response: I based my rules on when items were in common use. I used data to make that determination when I could find it. For example, ATMs couldn’t even communicate with other banks until the 1980s, and they did not reach a critical mass until they could. When I couldn’t find data, I relied on familial and personal experience. Granted, until 2007, I was still rolling down my car windows by hand when it was hot. So maybe I’m just cheap.

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