By Readers

War story

I have just read Bill Castanier’s “Feel like a Number” (last week’s cover story) and it brought back memories of my experience.

I was a junior at Michigan State University at the time of the lottery back in December of 1969 and was a tad confused when the numbers were drawn. You see, my birthday is April 24 and I was drawn second. I thought the drawing order was turned around and at first was very happy, but I came crashing back to earth when my roommate corrected my misunderstanding.

I went to Detroit for my physical after I graduated from college in 1971 along with a number of other Coldwater high school graduates (class of 67) on a bus. I remember being in my underwear and socks in Detroit. I discussed our options with my fairly new wife at the time, which included moving to Canada. Whether it was fate or some other cosmic alignment of the stars, I was eventually a 4-F due to a cancer surgery a few years previous.

Obviously, I survived, as I am now 60. The reason I write is that I now have a 13-year-old son who may indeed be faced with similar decisions if there is a draft by the time he is 18 and if we are still fighting wars in countries that do not really want us there — such as both Iraq and Afghanistan — and do not want our way of life imposed on them. There are legitimate Vietnam comparisons.

— Lasher From

The importance of art

“The art in your shop is beautiful. I always feel at peace here. In these hard times, what you offer is not necessary.”

The above are often mentioned thoughts in my art gallery.

I respect these comments on necessity, yet I believe the opposite to be true.

We need (more than ever) places we can visit and choices that are lovely and peace filled. An artistic card is a gift, a bowl, a painting, a handmade scarf; all of these things matter. They convey that the people in our lives matter.

We are a richer, more connected people because of art. Our humanity is spoken, though art is sustaining. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt said, “We will be remembered for our art.” He was referring to the FAP (Federal Arts Projects) — artists at work making our public buildings and environments beautiful.

I hope the same will be said for us.

— Kalli Halpern Trillium Gallery