Please get your glitz grip off Charlottesville and Albemarle County {"Charlottesville's Web: Posh, Polo & Shabby Chic," Style, July 22}. They are neither an older, Waspier version of the Hamptons nor the great-estates version of Potomac tract mansions. And tell your reporter, since she has failed to heed Ezra Pound's warning to "distrust adjectives," that words like "chic" and "posh" do not best describe us.

As a born and bred Albemarle Countian, I've seen a lot of rich and/or famous strivers ride to the hounds. They come, and, oft-times, they rather quickly go. The shabby genteel stay, of course, because no amount of travel has produced a suitable alternative as a place for us to live, or because we're either too up against it to move or too thrifty to engage a mover. (Many of us, after all, do have Scottish forebears.) And, of course, our 10-times great-grand-daddy set out those box bushes, which need watching.

Writing about the Kluges and their Albemarle farms in a 1989 edition of the Illustrated London News, an English author said that in all of the United States, only in Albemarle County did the natives honor the concept of noblesse oblige. We do cling to this tradition and will probably continue to do so if your reporters can be persuaded not to write so often and so glowingly about Charlottesville and Albemarle; otherwise, our hospitality toward newcomers could become as attenuated as our bloodlines.

-- Murray F. Nimmo

The only thing shabby about Martha Sherrill's Style article on Charlottesville was the journalism. The article was not at all about Charlottesville -- it was about the Kluges (and other famous people) and about why they would choose such a rural town as a place to live.

Sherrill could stand to learn a few things:

First, Charlottesville is basically a university town. It does not center on the Kluges: it centers on the University of Virginia, though this was hardly mentioned by Sherrill. Strange, considering it is one of the best public undergraduate institutions in the country.

Second, Charlottesville is a small town with big-city flavor. Its residents are a mix of students, townspeople, intellectuals, eccentrics, families, artists, etc. It has an abundance of excellent restaurants and pubs, as well as many cultural events often sponsored by the university. And, yes, like every university town, it has a small hippie group, but Sherrill's decision to include the quote: "The only people I know who still smoke dope live here {Charlottesville}" was ridiculous. Charlottesville is a far cry from being hippie-infested.

She also wrote that Charlottesville is "a place where you keep your dogs outside because they're covered with ticks." Oh, please, give me a break.

But what irritated me most about the article was its ending -- interviews with mobile home dwellers -- which had nothing to do with the rest of the article. Again, please spare me. Sherrill's depiction of Charlottesville was a shabby, snobby piece of journalism and seems to reflect your paper's attitude that Virginia is a slightly backward southern state that exists far, far south of Washington. But that's another subject.

-- Sonya G. Engle