Hats Off
Being a great fan of the BBC import Chef!, I was happy to see the article by M. V. Moorhead ("One Toque Over the Line," September 25) about this largely ignored show. During the first two seasons, I told everyone I know that Chef! was my favorite show on television. Unfortunately, the third season was a disappointment, but I'm glad to see reruns of the first two seasons now.

Irina Hynes

Thanks to M. V. Moorhead for his article about the wonderful show Chef!! My husband and I love the antics and verbal barrages from the character and his crew. It is quite irritating to be interrupted by PBS fund drives and other activities from our local network, but we beg on bended knees for more! Gareth, Everton and Janice would be welcome in my home anytime! Three cheers to Lenny Henry and BBC for this wonderful show--wishing there were more like it.

Michele Staples

Since moving to the gastronomy challenged Valley, I look forward to M. V. Moorhead's restaurant reviews like the Bible of local cuisine. If Moorhead recommends the joint, I'm running, not walking, to it. The critic took his godlike review status to another level when he wrote about the television show Chef!.

Not only am I also a die-hard fan of the show, but I probably could go sauvignon to sauvignon regarding favorite dialogue and scenarios with Moorhead. I'm glad that another fan came out of the pantry and admitted that the English really do have one of the best shows on the tube.

A. Evonti Anderson

Editor's note: We're sure M. V. Moorhead will appreciate these kind words. And, for that matter, so will Howard Seftel, New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past five years, who was on vacation when Moorhead's Chef! article ran.

Wholly Holy
Was the letter regarding the Blessed Mother a "plant" by the editors to inspire reader reaction, or does a person of such colossal ignorance actually exist (September 25)? No wonder he asked to have his name withheld.

Shucks! All my years of looking forward to heaven only to learn it is to be peopled by misogynists having a stag party!

Anne Connolly

To print a letter which reflects completely erroneous impressions of what Catholics are really taught about the Virgin Mary is unfair and irresponsible. We do not "worship" Mary or statues of her. We honor, cherish and love her as the mother of Jesus Christ. To do anything less is an insult to Him. He spent 30 years with her, being "subject to her." He gave her to us to be our mother also. What a gift!

As the most perfect of mothers, it is her greatest joy to gently and sweetly guide us and lead us to Him, to Jesus Christ, our brother. This is what informed Catholics believe.

Lorie Futch

This is in reply to T.J. Gibson's letter (October 2) implying that the Catholic Church "encourages idolatry through the worship of statues." I am not impressed by Gibson's selective use of Biblical citations taken out of context. For the record, I am now a practicing Catholic, and previously belonged to nondenominational Bible study groups (similar to Gibson's) and conventional Protestantism before coming home to Rome.

Throughout my instruction in the Catholic faith, and at all the masses I've attended, I have never once been instructed to worship statues, any more than Bible thumpers encourage idolatry by worshiping a book. Catholics worship God alone, and recognize Jesus Christ as the only savior. Meditation and intercession of Mary and the saints are entirely different. It is more akin to Christians praying for one another. Those who have achieved heaven can and do continue to pray for us.

Space does not permit a reply to every charge, but T.J. Gibson is either too ignorant or too prejudiced to portray Catholic beliefs accurately.

J.S. Dunmire

Stardust Memories
Tony Ortega did a wonderful job with his article about Robert Burnham Jr. ("Sky Writer," September 25). Over the years, more people than I can count assumed that Bob Burnham Jr. and I were the same or related. I always set them straight when the confusion arose, but at least several people a week needed to hear the explanation. I debated with myself about using a pseudonym when I started at Astronomy magazine, but I saw that that course would end up producing more weirdness than just simply giving the explanation as needed.

I'm glad to know what happened to Burnham even though the story is quite a tragic one. I had heard bits and pieces over the years from various people (at Lowell Observatory and elsewhere), but they seemed disjointed and hardly credible. Actually, from Ortega's story, almost all the strange rumors about Burnham's life after leaving Lowell were true. I'm so sorry for him and his family.

I did a book this year for Cambridge University Press about Comet Hale-Bopp, and have several others in the works. So the question of identity still remains, and I suppose people will continue to confuse us. At least, with Ortega's story made public, there's somewhere to go to get the facts about a wonderful and profound man whose great book inspired so many of us.

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