Letters to the Editor

Making war wasn't all the only thing on the minds of troops, portrayed here by reenactors, during their winter encampment at Valley Forge.
Making war wasn't all the only thing on the minds of troops, portrayed here by reenactors, during their winter encampment at Valley Forge. (File)
Posted: February 15, 2014

Campfire passions

Many think of the soldiers at the 1777-78 Valley Forge encampment as being miserable, hungry men wearing ragged clothing and huddled around meager campfires. But many soldiers burned with passion for their country - and for their wives. As 21-year-old Maj. Samuel Ward Jr. of Rhode Island, a newlywed, wrote to his wife Phebe from camp, "The frequent opportunities that offer of conversing with you and the expectation of soon holding you again in my arms makes me very happy. . . . I am, and ever wish to be, yours." That was a valentine from a place and time long before the modern Valentine's Day.

Nancy Loane, Valley Forge

Sweethearts' tale

After the first couple of sentences, I couldn't avert my eyes from the page until I had consumed the entire delightful and obviously autobiographical Valentine's Day love letter by Art Carey ("When Cupid's arrow winds its way back," Feb. 9). To find such a personal, genuine narrative with no editorial intent other than to stir the heartstrings is rare indeed in today's journalistic scene. Kudos for spreading a quiver-full of sparkling sunbeams across a gray, chilly Sunday morning.

Tom Giacoponello, Warwick, grdgiacopot@verizon.net

LOVE Park vision

It may be the winter of LOVE in City Hall as Mayor Nutter and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke congratulate themselves on reaching a compromise to redo JFK Plaza ("Harmony on park plan," Feb. 11). But it is surely the winter of discontent in the public schools, which are going begging for basic supplies and funds to afford part-time nurses and counselors. It's appalling that we can commit $15 million to finance the park makeover yet no money to educate children. Perhaps Council needs to pass a law mandating that every development project commit 5 percent to education, akin to the 1 percent requirement for art. On the other hand, we could be thankful that our uneducated and therefore unemployable citizens will have a lovely park in which to sit around during their ought-to-be-working years.

Jean Haskell, Philadelphia, Jean.haskell205@gmail.com

Building affection

By using a great architect for his latest residential building on Broad Street, Carl Dranoff has come up with a design that is sophisticated and timeless ("Dranoff's newest continues S. Broad's transformation," Feb. 7). Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron gave due credit last week. Philadelphia needs new architecture that reflects the world-class city it has become. But just about all of the new architecture is either gimmicky (e.g., the pink concrete on Symphony House) or uneventful. Unfortunately, the uneventful examples are exceptionally tall landmarks like Comcast's building and the St. James residential tower.

Bill Pelle, Philadelphia, wjpelle@comcast.net

Wallflower voters

Will Camden County Democrats ever have real choices? U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D., N.J.) announced his resignation, and within minutes we knew who would likely replace him ("Assessing Andrews," Feb. 5). Is it any wonder so many citizens fail to vote when these decisions are already made for us by a small group of politicians?

Michael Dunbar, Barrington

Opposite attraction

Richard Nixon merely considered using the IRS to harass political enemies, and that became an article of impeachment. Contrast that with the present-day IRS harassment of tea-party groups. The Obama administration appears to be using government's most feared elements to intimidate and threaten private citizens who have done nothing more than get involved in the political process. It's shameful that both parties aren't working together to get to the bottom of this.

Fran Steffler, Philadelphia,

fsteffler@aol.com

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