We found the Aug. 16 front-page article "For Devastated County's Retirees, a Paradise Is Lost" insulting to the country's millions of senior citizens.
The article reflected a youth-worshiping culture that considers old bodies disgusting and old people feeble and confused. The lead paragraph alone almost led us to cancel our subscription to your newspaper: "Sometimes, their fingers are all that is visible. Bent and knobby. Papery-thin skin. Blue veins. They clamp rigidly to barely cracked doorways."
The mocking tone continued throughout the article: "They toddled into hallways and prayed."
The destroyed trailer park where " 'fixed income' is a given" is described as a place of "sad, strange antique displays: Tennessee Ernie Ford records lie next to crocheted souvenir pillows from long-ago trips to San Francisco." And, in a further display of sarcasm: "Someone's 1959 high school yearbook with careful cursive, old-lady writing next to the senior pictures: Married 1960. Married 1962."
We, too, were married in 1960 and we don't "toddle" or write in "old-lady" ways.
The reporter (How old are you, Manuel Roig-Franzia?) concludes his piece with this description of an injured old man: "On his left arm was an ugly patch of oozing red, where the jagged remnants of his trailer door marked him. The wound showed him for what he is: a survivor." The article was an ugly example of oozing ageism, and it didn't belong in your newspaper.
-- Krystyna and Jack Edmondson