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BEST PICKLED MEMORY

Among the many responses to last week's "Best of L.A." issue was this from J Greagrey: "Seeing the picture ['Best Pickled Eggs: Joe Jost's,' by Willy Blackmore, Oct. 8], I suffered a 40-year flashback. Summer 1968, a friend and I walked into Joe Jost's. Wide-eyed, I noted the hot dogs cooking in beer, and I ordered a special. A hot dog on rye with mustard, pretzels, and also asked for a pickled egg. Of course, an ice-cold beer. Then it was to the back room, where I observed some of the best pool shooting, shortest games and smoothest exchange of money in town. Truly a landmark and a memory-maker."

PATCHING INTO ALTADENA

Tibby Rothman's story about the arrival on our shores of AOL's hyperlocal news site Patch ("Patch, the Walmart of News?" Oct. 1) hit a nerve with readers who follow Altadena blogger Timothy Rutt. "Patch has a tough road ahead, competing with Tim Rutt," writes Laura Monteros. "He's the best — and I write news for Altadena as well, so I know! He was our lifeline during the Station fire, not because he was making money on it but because he is totally dedicated to the community. Tim earned the trust and loyalty of Altadenans, and we aren't going to give it over to Patch anytime soon."

"What a shame," says Jackson. "He would have BEEN THE LOCAL editor with a paycheck and benefits ... now Patch just found another person in the community to take his opportunity. BTW, see Patch.org, set up specifically for underserved communities. Don't hate, just join up or work together to make your community more informed."

AH counters: "Jackson says Patch is 'set up specifically for underserved communities.' Really??? That is news. Wonder why there's no Patch in Lennox, Compton or Inglewood? From the looks of things, Patch is set up specifically to serve middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Just saying."

And reader D adds this: "I interviewed with Patch. The recruiter told me specifically that Patches are launched in wealthy communities of 10,000 or more. I declined, not because I love my job but because I don't see Patch lasting too long."

"Altadena is hardly wealthy," points out the intrepid Laura Monteros. "There are some very wealthy people here, but there are also some extremely poor ones. Altadena is an integrated community throughout its eight square miles, both racially and economically. If we were wealthy, we would have gotten more TV cameras up here when the wildfires were burning in our backyards."

Last word goes to Ken Rowland: "BUBBLE BLOWS PATCH ... Who? What? What? Where? Where? When? When? Why? Why? Exactly? How? How did it happen? This too, er, also(?), ahhh, nezzermind!"

BANGING HEADS

Our story on former USC and pro football lineman Chris Brymer ("Head Case," by Peter Jamison, Oct. 1) riled up reader Adam, who finds a subtle racism between our lines. Brymer, on the streets and apparently suffering from a CTE-type degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma, is being tried for an alleged hate crime against a black man in the Bay Area. The inclusion of quotes from some of Brymer's erstwhile black teammates, testifying that Brymer is anything but racist, evidently got Adam's goat.

Says Adam: "This guy reveals you all. You have such convenient excuses, such as 'This guy is a head case,' or 'I have black friends.' You put a ceiling on what you think black male success should be, you continue to stereotype, and you protect the Lance Armstrongs while not protecting the Barry Bonds. You go searching for a white example of 'being fair' but have myriad blacks that you strip, unfairly. And it's so non obvious, that you make it a taboo subject. And in that, you are blatantly obvious."

A reader calling him- or herself Excuse Maker thinks Adam doth protest too much: "If Adam had a pedophile loose in his neighborhood he'd want the news to report his race, except if he's black, 'cause then it breeds 'racism, separatism and bigotry.' But I'm sure he's going to doubt the story, since it is probably planted by the media to make black people look bad, and as a result 'put a ceiling on black male success.' I guess because this paper isn't condemning Chris Brymer as an evil, horrible 'racist' or dwelling on the fact that he [allegedly] used the word nigger, then there is a conspiracy. Good grief."

Meanwhile, reader Gino responds to Brymer's ex-wife's assertion that she won't let their son play football: "Ms. Brymer, you are absolutely correct in being concerned about the athletic direction your son might take. Keep this in mind: Football has no 'carryover' value for most adults. I was a defensive lineman for seven years; it's not like I can go out and sack quarterbacks as a hobby. I predict that within a generation, the evidence of CTE will be so overwhelming, football will be relegated to the margins, the way boxing is now. Hard to believe, given all the money that flows to schools like USC, and the NFL, but what's the choice if it means the stars end up pushing shopping carts and fighting on train platforms?"

CORRECTION

A story published August 20 about the life and death of former L.A. Times sportswriter Mike Penner incorrectly spelled Amy LaCoe's last name as LeCoe. In addition, the story should have said that Penner's father died 12 years ago, not when Penner was 12 years old; that Penner met his future wife, Lisa Dillman, when she worked at the Detroit News, not at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; and that the couple wed in 1986, not 1987.

LETTER-WRITING 101

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