Letters to the Editor

Letters on Ed McClanahan

Musician Carlos "Little Enis" Toadvine, with his Cadillac in Danville in 1973, was profiled by McClanahan in Playboy Magazine in 1974.
Musician Carlos "Little Enis" Toadvine, with his Cadillac in Danville in 1973, was profiled by McClanahan in Playboy Magazine in 1974.

Writer has lived and learned — and shared

While I found Tom Eblen's June 1 column on Ed McClana han entertaining and enlightening, I did not understand the dramatic response it evoked from a letter writer last Sunday. In fact, the letter appeared somewhat mean-spirited.

My view of McClanahan is based on personal knowledge and a friendship of many years generated through the commonality of Carlos Toadvine, known as Little Enis, late of this city. McClanahan and many others lived through an era that is very much a part of our history and culture, like it or not. If he still lived that lifestyle, the writer may have had some basis in fact. McClanahan does not; rather, he has taken lessons from that time and shared them through his teachings and wonderful literary ability.

What better source for literary accuracy than to say "I was there?" While we may not always want to embrace the gritty side of life, we can't deny its existence. It's what we do with our knowledge and experiences that matters in the final analysis.

I also hold high folk such as Franklin Graham, the evangelist, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, for overcoming difficult beginnings before coming to their calling in life.

I delight in a saying from a long passed Southern humorist, Brother Dave Gardner, also of the '60s era, who said, "How can you appreciate fineness if you've never been aware of coarseness?"

To McClanahan's critic, thanks for your observations. I applaud your freedom to express them. To McClanahan, peace and love.

John Gentry

Perryville


McClanahan's riposte

A June 5 letter writer characterizes me as a "sordid, amoral, ... hedonist hippie." I'm afraid I never quite made the cut as a certified hedonist, although in my youth I may have felt a wee bit, um, hedonish on occasion.

But with the addition of a couple of strategically placed exclamation points, "Sordid!" and "Amoral!" will make fine tag-lines for the jacket of my book, and I thank the letter writer for them.

I told an old friend that someone had called me a hedonist, and he professed great surprise. "I never knew you were religious," he said.

Ed McClanahan

Lexington

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