Letters to the Editor

Dear Heather of the Secret Order of the Shaking Fist:

You made me laugh so hard as I read your spiel about TFL. A great piece of service. Even we who are working here on the TFLJournal or TFL have not captured the essence of it as you have.

Might we quote you? Dear one.

Of course I don’t need to say this, you already know this — you are welcome here anytime …Come visit us.

I am a full time volunteer here at TFL (for about five months now) and absolutely enjoyed your write up and will talk about it to the team here. Although every one else is well-adjusted here with the exception of possibly me, I will speak very positively about my experience here. ;-)

You sound like you came to Wichita, you saw TFL, and conquered it in your article. Good show, Heather. Here’s to you.

“Whatever You’re Comfortable With. It’s All Good.”

Best regards,
Saraswati C.
Assistant Managing Editor
Trees for Life Journal

Heather Egland replies:

I’m so glad you enjoyed the article, and you may absolutely quote me. I think what TFL is doing is truly inspiring and I’m so happy that our editor found you guys and recommended you for an Activism piece. Although the thought of increasing the jungle factor in my backyard is a bit frightening to me, as I am entangled by rogue tomato plants every morning on the way out to my car this time of year, one of these days I’m going to try that Microbe Tea. When I do, I will definitely contact TFL and let you know about it. It’s so nice to have friends in Wichita. Here’s to YOU!

Please forward this email to Carter O’Brien.

I am the developer of the Roscoe Flats building photographed and put in his last article. We are proud to be bringing a great new construction building to Avondale. The use of a picture of property is misleading, because our website and advertising material specifically states the building is in Avondale, not “West Roscoe Village.” As a side note, I used to live at Leavitt and Addison, and am not sure that even that is considered Roscoe Village proper.

Nonetheless, please call me; I’d love to discuss Avondale and your website.

Thank you,

Ron D. Abrams

Carter O’Brien replies:

While speaking with Mr. Abrams, I mentioned that I discovered the building on Craig’s List. He recalled that although he didn’t advertise his building as being located in “West Roscoe Village,” one of his agents apparently did. Mr. Abrams, while not placing a lot of importance on a neighborhood name, did agree that that name was a stretch, as Roscoe Village itself is a rather modestly sized neighborhood.

Editor’s note: “Thirty Two Seconds,” Patrick Russell’s article regarding the Hindenburg disaster and his contact with survivor Werner Franz, was published in Issue 20, Summer 2005. Since then Patrick has received a few e-mail requests for information regarding his expertise on the subject. Here are two of the more recent requests:

Dear Mr. Russell,
Dear Mr. Bishop,

I just read your very interesting article about the Hindenburg disaster and Mr. Werner Franz. I saw that you have used in your article a group photo of the survived crew members, taken on the 10th May 1937. Is it possible to get a larger scan of this photo? From where did you get this photo? I won’t use it for no website or other printed media without your permission. I am researching about the uniforms of the German Zeppelin Reederei and photos of crew members are very rare.

My best regards from Germany and excuse my bad English.

Florian Wuest


I came across this web page and I wondered if I could get in touch with Patrick. I want to find out where he got this information from, and if it’s entirely accurate. I really enjoyed reading it!

Look forward to hearing from you.


Vicky Matthews

Patrick Russell replies:

In the past few months since receiving these e-mails, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing numerous exchanges with both Florian Wuest over in Germany (via my rather rickety ol’ grasp of the German language) and Vicky Matthews in London.

In addition to clearing up some of Florian’s questions about the naval style uniforms worn by the Hindenburg’s officers, we’ve exchanged photos of a few specific crewmen, and I was also able to provide some detailed information about engineering officer Eugen Schäuble, one of the crew survivors in the group photo. It’s always great to be able to share this info with folks who are truly interested, as Florian is.

I have also had quite a bit of correspondence with Vicky Matthews over the past few months. Vicky is producing a docudrama about the Hindenburg disaster in association with Pioneer Productions in London, and I’ve been contracted to work on the production as an historical consultant. It’s been a unique challenge for me to answer the numerous questions the research staff has posed to me in the course of their efforts to bring the Hindenburg story into focus in terms of writing a script for their program, as oftentimes they’ve asked questions that I myself hadn’t yet thought to ponder. Of course this tends to aid me in my own ongoing research as well, so as challenges go, it’s been an awfully fun and educational one for me.

I’d like to take a second to thank both Florian and Vicky for contacting me. I’m flattered that my Hindenburg article caught their interest, and I’ve been more than happy to share my knowledge on the subject with them. Obviously, history only persists if the stories and information on various historical topics continue to be shared and spread around as the years go by. I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to do so where the story of the Hindenburg and those of its crew are concerned.

Free Kittens

Dearest Assbag Fucking Douchebag Riders of Bicycles and Pedestrians,

Fuck you.

You know what? Let’s keep this more civil. Allow me to start over.

Dearest Assbag Fuckstains,

So, you’ve figured out that riding your bike or walking is a wonderful way to get around this great city of ours. Riding your bike is great exercise, it allows you a little breathing room from the monumental ass-raping of Big Oil, it cuts down on the pollution generated by our already too-numerous automobiles, and it’s just nice to get out in some fresh air and make a journey as opposed to just getting wherever the fuck it is that you’re going in such a god damned hurry.

Before I continue on with this rant (and I will fucking continue), I’d like to take some time to distinguish those for whom this letter is intended and those bicycle enthusiasts whom I think have the right to live.

Many or most bikers in the Land O’ the Onion obey the traffic laws and are at least moderately courteous to the cars with which they share the roads. I have no problem with these individuals. Sometimes they’re kind of pricks, but just about everyone on the road makes at least one completely dick move every time they get behind the wheel of their mode of transportation. This can be forgiven.

But then there are your complete assholes. And many of them drive cars as opposed to riding bikes. These stellar examples of common courtesy and safety include, but are certainly not limited to:

1. The guy who needs so desperately to make a left-hand turn that he feels the need to block traffic coming the other way until someone finally just takes one for the team and lets him in. Prick.

2. The ignorant slutbucket driving her pristine fucking Lexus whatever-the-fuck-it-is while talking on her multi-million-dollar cell phone, blissfully unaware that the 75 people behind her are waiting for her to make that left-hand turn that she could have made four motherfucking times by now if she’d shut her fucking herpes-laden mouth and fucking turn already.

3. The polesmoking jackoff fucking piece of monkeyshit that’s in such a hurry to get where he’s going that he’s going to pass you in the nonexistent left-hand lane and then swerve in front of you because he’s sure that you have enough common sense to know that speeding up to block him in is going to end up as an accident and that’s not really worth your time regardless of how much you’d like to teach this fuck a lesson. Fuck.

But this isn’t about them, is it? No. It is not. I apologize for getting off the subject a little, but as a person for whom driving is the predominant mode of transportation, I’m trying to present a somewhat unbiased point of view here.

Remaining unbiased has never been one of my strong suits.

This is for the bicyclists and pedestrians. The bikers to whom I refer are the ones who are either unaware that bikers are bound by the same traffic laws as motorized vehicles, or they’re just complete dicks making things more difficult for everyone else and biking is their weapon of choice. The pedestrians are those to whom a walk in the city is like a walk in the park, forgetting that in a park you probably don’t have to worry about getting fucking hit by a fucking car.

Every day — every fucking day — I see some dipshit pedestrian or biker blatantly disregard common sense and the good old rules of the road, which results in them almost getting taken down by a much bigger object: a moving car that is obeying all of the applicable traffic laws.

Don’t get me wrong here. I would fucking love to see such an event come to fruition one of these days. I want some person driving a car like a total asshole to kill some dipshit whose biking or brisk stroll through the city mustn’t be interrupted by something as trivial as a red light and the imminent threat of oncoming traffic. And I want to see it. And I want to totally jack it all over the accident scene like I was that dirty guy with the paraplegic girlfriend from that Ballard book and laugh hysterically while doing so. Then I’d want someone to take a picture of me clubbing a baby seal all over myself while dipshit biker/pedestrian lies bleeding in the road. Then I’d have my personal photographer take a few action pixxx of this all going down so that I can make that into a Christmas card and send it to the dead guy’s mother the week of December 25th with an inscription reading “Santa doesn’t bring presents to dead kids.”

And here’s where it always happens: a main thoroughfare meets a smaller side street, and the intersection is clearly dominated by the busier of the two roads. Generally speaking, these lights are on timers and therefore the intersection gets considerably less busy when the side road is tagged in — not unlike Macho Man Randy Savage tagging in George “The Animal” Steele in a tag-team match against Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. Actually, Savage and Steele were both completely kick-ass wrestlers and therefore that’s a horrible analogy. What if it were against the Bushwhackers? No, still no good. The point is that the fucking light changes and anyone on the side (i.e., less busy) street has their turn to go about their merry way.

And that, my friends, is when it happens. Some jackoff on a bike or their own two stupid fucking feet just casually crosses right in front of you, forcing you to lock up the brakes and/or swerve to prevent teaching them the lesson that they so richly deserve to learn.

I’ve seen it more times than I care to recount. One time it was some biznitch on a bike with her child in a baby seat on the back of the bike. She may have been a total MILF. I cannot recall this potential MILF. She was probably a MILF.

But here’s the main point of this letter: You’re fucking stupid. Even if you were to get in an accident and the car is deemed to be at fault, you’re the one who’s dead or crippled.

Were Macho Man and The Animal ever on a tag-team together? They would have been fucking unstoppable. Fuck Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. Fuck the Bushwhackers. Fucking pussies compared to Savage Steele. I just came up with “Savage Steele” right there. It’s completely tits. I know this.

As a motorist, you have the responsibility that goes along with controlling a giant contraption that could easily kill someone if handled improperly. As a biker or a pedestrian, you have the responsibility to know your place in the transportation food chain and not ruin someone else’s day by getting your stupid ass run over. If you want to end it all, the least you can fucking do is return all of those midget porn tapes to the video store and then liquefy your assets and go to Amsterdam and die like a fucking man. If you’re a chick, I guess you could bake some cookies and then take too many sleeping pills. I don’t know, whatever a proper chick suicide consists of. And would it kill you to put on some fucking makeup before you do it? The cops and coroner are already going to think you’re a complete fucking heifer when they find your bloated corpse. And I don’t want those guys thinking that I married a chick who was fat and ugly.

So the point is this: If you get hit by a car and end up maimed or killed because you ran a red light on your bike or jaywalked without even looking for oncoming traffic then, seriously, fuck you. Unless it was the result of a genuine mistake in lieu of a general disdain and disregard for the traffic laws regarding intersections.



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