Joe Erikat's short but incredibly insensitive letter to the editor ("Steve who?," May 12-19) leads me to speculate about Joe. Here's what I came up with:
1. Recent L.A. transplant.
2. Bush/Cheney/Arnold supporter.
3. SUV driver with surgically implanted cell phone.
4. Grade in Human Relations 101 at L.A. City College: F.
Welcome to SLO County, Joe. We have here what's called a "community." Communities are little tiny versions of "cities," but they tend to have hearts in addition to parking lots and drive-by shootings.
Communities also have community newspapers: quirky, personal, often outrageous in-your-face publications that sometimes go over the top when one of their cherished community members dies.
New Times is one of those newspapers. Steve Moss created it. He made friends and enemies with it. He provided an alternate voice for the community that is loved by many and hated by some. His paper had every right to bid him farewell in print. The readers expected it.
So, to answer your questions, Joe:
Did we know Steve Moss? Yes, we did.
Was Steve Moss a public figure? Yes, he was.
Do we want to read eulogies for Steve any more than we want to read them for deceased relatives? Yes. Because Steve was an integral part of our community. He was one of us.
Maybe you can be one of us, too, Joe, once you lose your big-city "it's all about me" attitude and learn to appreciate the quirky, personal, often outrageous in-your-face people who make up our community.