Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Justice & the Ramseys
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Justice & the Ramseys

Shirley Murray - September 7th, 2006
“I want to have only very limited comment on today’s arrest because I feel it is extremely important to not only let the justice system operate to its conclusion in an orderly manner, but also to avoid feeding the type of media speculation that my wife and I were subjected to for so many years.“
-- John Ramsey, on learning of the arrest of John Karr

If only that had happened 10 years ago when his cherished daughter was murdered. Instead, a Boulder detective and the governor of Colorado decided that the parents were guilty, and tunnel-visioned the investigation.
The media assault has been relentless. When Patsy Ramsey died two months ago, the Record-Eagle ran a terse AP obituary reiterating that “Boulder police said early on that Patsy and John Ramsey were “under an umbrella of suspicion” in JonBenet’s death. The Ramseys said an intruder killed their daughter.” Patsy was described as the mother of “6-year-old beauty pageant contestant, JonBenet.”
I first met the Ramsey family in 1995. My daughter worked with Patsy on school projects at a Boulder elementary where their children were classmates. We attended a Christmas party at her home. Patsy’s son, Burke, and my grandson, Woody, became great friends, and they included JonBenet and another grandson who was her age.
Patsy was easy to love, as my husband commented several years later, “the least pretentious woman I’ve ever met.”
My daughter and her family moved to Seattle. The Ramseys owned a home in Charlevoix, and the four kids were able to stay in touch when my grandchildren visited. While the boys were busy building things and flying kites, JonBenet and her mother enjoyed their visits at our Long Lake home. Patsy always included me when we took the grandchildren to Charlevoix. When my grandson developed childhood diabetes and my daughter needed family support, John Ramsey flew them to Traverse City.
How did JonBenet, an intelligent, fun-loving, thoughtful child become a “6-year-old beauty pageant contestant?” Is that her legacy? I watched four kids creating plays to perform in the garage for the neighbors, something I remember from my childhood. When my friends trot out their children or grandchildren to sing or dance, I remember JonBenet was not subjected to this, though she might have enjoyed it. JonBenet was a natural born performer, but Patsy kept the lid on.
And how did this warm and generous family become the heinous creatures of tabloids and talk shows? Even some of our friends believed the media image. Nothing could stop the pariahs and the piranhas. My daughter would turn the tabloids around when she took her children through the grocery checkout.
After JonBenet’s death, it was our turn to give support. Over dinner at our house, Patsy said the only time she could relax was when she was with people like us who knew her before JonBenet’s death. By then Patsy was battling cancer.
In June, Lin Wood, the Ramseys’ attorney, eulogized: “I think people will remember Patsy as someone who was falsely accused in connection with the death of her daughter, when she should be remembered for being an incredibly loving mother, a wonderful wife and a person who showed great courage in fighting a vicious disease.”
Whether John Karr is the killer is immaterial. It’s time to give this family the sympathy they so deserve. And perhaps the next time we see or hear media sensationalism, we might remember the Ramseys, and reserve judgment until justice is served.

Shirley Murray is a resident of Traverse City and was a friend of Patsy Ramsey.
 
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