Rites and wrongs
I am writing in strong objection to your portrayal of Tom Lynch ("Grave debate," Jan. 21). We each only have one good name, and, if someone attempts to besmirch or defame it, they must be held accountable. I have read all of Tom's heartfelt published writings and viewed the PBS special. Nowhere in any of them does Tom stoop to mudslinging or disparaging comments about another.
I am a resident of Milford and my father recently passed away. Lynch and Sons handled his memorial service and cremation for us in a totally caring and professional manner. The whole experience from start to finish with Lynch and Sons was 100 percent positive and definitely eased the pain of our father's passing. Contrary to your article, a price list was given to us as we were planning and it was quite reasonable. Our wishes were of the utmost importance to Lynch and Sons every step of the way. Yes, at-home services are an alternative, but I, for one, was not in any state of mind to transport my father's body from the skilled nursing facility where he died and then pack him in ice at my house.
I don't feel that you portrayed a true, three-dimensional portrait of Tom, the person who has committed freely both timewise and financially to the community. He is an avid supporter of the arts. He initiated a one-of-a-kind yearly event in Milford called PAN (Poetry and Art Night) that celebrates the connections between poetry and visual art. Tom was personally responsible for a poet exchange that brought nationally renowned poets from such countries as Ireland and Scotland to our village. PAN has gained national recognition as a one-of-a-kind event and is still going strong after many years. He also initiated community poetry workshops. His children also play a vital role in the community. They were the originators of the Martin Luther King celebrations in Milford, performed musically in different arenas, and designed festival artwork. His children, who are carrying on the family tradition as funeral directors, are doing an outstanding job. Tom and his family are definitely people who are "giving back."
Tom and his family are dearly loved members of our community and I, for one, feel that your article should have portrayed that. I hope that he does win his suit and does clear his name. —Barbara Weisenburg, Milford
Larry Gabriel's column "Trouble in Mind" (Jan. 28) contains a line that is so accurate it's beyond scary: "Pretty much everyone I know in Detroit can tell of crime in their neighborhood." As a Detroiter living in East English Village, I constantly swap stories with neighbors of break-ins, car thefts and general fear. I've been here for more than seven years now and watched the foreclosures rise along with paranoia. Being street smart is no longer a badge, it's a thought that you better hesitate before answering that doorbell.
—Ben Schmitt, Detroit
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