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Yay for Durham

I have lived in three major cities, been to many venues and even worked at a few. Why does it seem like in Durham, venue owners are unhappy when they should be, well, happy? I know that running a venue that mostly hosts live music is hard work. I was naive enough to start a small record label myself, so we really are in a boat together, although my paddle might be even smaller. That said, how could you (venue owners) ask us (patrons) to support you more? Really pointing the finger at any one person, place or thing is not the answer ("The last night at Kings," by Grayson Currin, April 11).

Look at the success of Joe and Jo's as an example. At first, owner Joanne Worthington was not sure about the live music thing. We raised funds to buy a PA for the place. She moved the music from room to room, night to night and then bam, it just happened: good cold beer, good food, people and music.

The biggest shows in Durham to date have been held at 305 South. Will this become the place you go three nights a week? Maybe. Will they serve the fries Joanne did? Then there is the Bull City Headquarters—there is always a need for a smoke-free, alcohol-free, all-ages venue. When I was in my teens, my haunt of choice was CBGBs, a playground for me and my underage friends. So I see the need and see it being filled in my city. Yay for Durham!

So when we use statements like "Raleigh is really far away," "all the good stuff is in Chapel Hill" and "Durham feels like an ugly sister," we hurt patrons and venues in all three cities. There might be some truth in these statements—however, we the patrons will come ... if you have what we want.

Melissa Thomas, 307 Knox Records

No apology necessary

What does John Hope Franklin have to complain about ("Apologies are not enough," cover story, April 18)? He has lived a life of the elite, better than a great percentage of whites. His father was an attorney in 1920. Of course slavery was terrible, but no people living today had anything to do with it and owe nothing to anyone. Would all of the blacks whose ancestors were brought from Africa be better off today if those ancestors had never left Africa?

Dudley B. Stallings

  • "We the patrons will come ... if you have what we want." —Melissa Thomas

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