Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine
Readers respond to stories about scared parents, sky-high living, and a Cape League host mom’s essay.
AFRAID FOR OUR KIDS
“When Did Parents Get So Scared” (August 30) by Melissa Schorr was an outstanding article. I was a child and living in New Jersey when the Lindbergh kidnapping happened. You talk about scared parents! Even after Bruno Hauptmann was captured and executed, people thought he might have had an accomplice who was still out there.
Arnold Koch / Melrose
I am a retired high school counselor who witnessed the helicopter parents over and over swooping in to save the day for their darlings. It is amazing to me that these kids can even put their socks on. I am of the generation that walked six blocks to school and crossed busy streets from kindergarten on. The parents who are afraid to let their children out of their sight are the same parents who freely post photo after photo of their children on the Internet, making them visible to predators. That is a far greater danger than walking down the street. It also takes away their children’s chance for privacy for the rest of their lives.
Karol Settergren / Rochester Hills, Michigan
I still think this author and much of the rest of America need to relax a little and let their kids grow up. Somewhere around fourth or fifth grade my son started asking to walk to/from school by himself (three city blocks). Later on he wanted to ride his bike to soccer camp (1 mile), and then take the T to soccer practice after school. We did a practice run for each new trek he took on, talked about how to navigate big intersections, made contingency plans, and talked about what he should do if he was worried, or scared, or had unexpected problems. He was excited to take on these challenges and they helped him to grow into a very independent young adult.
Luthien / posted on bostonglobe.com
Schorr’s article started out quite promisingly, speaking about our culture of media, hearing about every terrible incident that ever happens on every corner of the world and how these incidents ultimately drive ratings. When our parents and grandparents were raising children, they may have heard about the child who was abducted in the next town, but that was the extent of their knowledge. Schorr’s final interviews were with a police detective who commands a regional child abduction response team and John Walsh, whose son was murdered in the early ’80s. These are two people who clearly have seen the worst of our society and whose opinions are, therefore, understandably skewed.
Emily Arnick / East Falmouth
You can’t protect kids from life, and if you could, it wouldn’t be good for them anyway. Controlled exposure to potential danger is the best way, but it is scary — for adults, at least.
Padraighin / posted on bostonglobe.com
Dante Ramos serves up a dystopian vision of Boston’s future in his article “Life in the Clouds (Finally)” (August 30). It’s not only about architecture and design but also the needs and desires of the humans who will occupy those luxury high-rise towers. Ah yes, there will be dog spas and rooftop panoramas as the gleaming spires of glass and steel transform Boston’s skyline into a view of Oz, not “a city on a hill.” But someone tell me where the concierge staff, the maintenance crews, dry cleaners, the dog walkers, the baristas, the personal shoppers, the house cleaners needed to keep this whole show running will live. Brockton? Lawrence? Lowell? Framingham? Fall River? And, cowering below in the growing shadows, residents of once livable neighborhoods will bear witness to a diaspora of working- and middle-class folk who can no longer afford to raise a family and grow old in the place they once called home. Such is the price of planned gentrification.
Thomas F. Schiavoni / Boston
I grew up in tall apartment buildings in New York. I do not consider towers to be glamorous. I associate them with infants falling to their deaths from unsecured windows; long, impersonal hallways and strangers for neighbors; cramped, poorly designed apartments where washers and dryers are forbidden; climbs up to the 20th floor with buckets of water during power outages. Towers do not improve culture or transportation or traffic or quality of life. The charm of Boston is its intimate and loyal neighborhood life. Towers benefit developers and ambitious bureaucrats — not us, the city dwellers. Before Boston is said to be a major city, it must build a truly world-class public transportation system. What we have now is a slow, patched-together mess. Towers are window dressing. Public transportation delivers the goods.
Mary Birnbaum / Jamaica Plain
A BASEBALL FAMILY
Loved the essay by Cindy Parola about being a host family for the Cape Cod Baseball League (Connections, August 23). We’re a baseball family, too. It ends so suddenly, and when it does, we find ourselves looking at each other saying, “OK, now what do we do?’’ An adjustment at both ends with lots of fond memories in the middle.
Dean Koulouris / Reading
My son played in the New York Collegiate League this summer and stayed with a host family in Oneonta. He simply described it as the best summer of his life. Host families are truly special people.
Robert Dugdale / Amherst, New Hampshire
I’ve never seen a Cape League game, but I’ve read many hundreds of Globe Magazine back-page essays over the years. And I’ve read a handful of stories about the Cape League and its host families. In either category, Parola’s essay is the most enjoyable I’ve ever read. Thank you.
Scott Mabel / Boston