To the editor:
Most days I prefer something a little more bland than a “Naked Lunch,” but I do like the “crazies.” For decades, the author of the Saturday Column has enriched my appreciation of our population with colorful descriptors, e.g., “mossback, lard butt, frequent negative vocal critic, back slider, small minority, anti, smarty, martyr, professional gadfly, KU type, dedicated highly vocal naysayer.” Many of these, I’m told, fit me to a tea.
These folks, along with its bright denizens, eccentric professors, young folks with strange body art and piercings, profuse advocates of peculiar causes, keepers of eclectic shops, imaginative restaurateurs, and its unique history, vibrant downtown, diverse and tolerant population, homes both historic and funky, progressive university, and basketball, are the life blood of River City.
Sadly, Thomas Frank’s (author of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”) description of Johnson County as a “happy, humming confusion of freeways and malls and identical cul-de-sacs and pretentious European street names … and oversized houses constructed to one of four designs” has increasingly come to describe Lawrence.
But, despite the best efforts of the George Follanbee Babbitt crowd to turn us into West Lenexa, Lawrence still retains much of its magnetic quirkiness. That attraction has surely never been fueled by the proliferation of strip malls, retail chains, fast-food franchises, ticky-tacky “McMansions” and willy-nilly sprawl. You can find those most anywhere.
Here’s for keeping Lawrence crazy — Saturday Column and all.