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IN THE MAILBAG: LAUGHS, GRIPES AND A LESSON IN GOOD GRAMMAR [BYLINE] ALAN PERGAMENT

WHEN I OPEN my mail, I expect a lot of things. Anger, disagreement -- and just occasionally some praise.

Laurie Githens, the former 97 Rock newswoman, added a new category: laughter.

While reading her recent letter, I laughed harder than I have since watching the first season of "Cheers."

A little background here. Githens left broadcasting to give birth to her first child.
Dear Alan:

Thought you'd like to know -- Andy (her husband) and I have a beautiful baby boy, Thomas Andrew. All the usual adjectives pertaining to his birth and appearance apply.

Had him in early April, but almost lurched headlong into labor while watching (Channel 4's Bob) Koop anchor the St. Patrick's Day parade. Once at the hospital, Andy said the only difference was that, comparatively, I was in better control than Bob.

My life now is strangely familiar; up at ungodly hours, exhausted, tending to a chubby, bald little creature who wets, whines and is in need of constant supervision.

Amazing, what new motherhood and radio have in common.

Sincerely,
Laurie Githens
Dear Laurie:
Forget about returning to radio. Head directly to a comedy club. You have better material than Roseanne Barr.

Githens was not the only former Buffalo broadcaster to write.

I also received a letter from former Channel 7 anchor Penny Daniels, who anchors "Inside Report," the late-night syndicated show carried by WKBW.

Surprisingly, she was pleased with my review of her show, in which I said she out-Irvs Irv Weinstein in anchoring a show that deals with sleazy stories.
Alan:
Thanks a lot for the column. To be compared with Irv is . . . well . . . a professional thrill I'll probably never top.

Hope he got as much a kick out of it as I did.

Best,
Penny
Dear Penny:
I haven't heard from Irv, but I suspect he'd rather be compared to Maury Povich.

A regular reader wrote to give me a lesson in grammar after I wrote a sentence that ended this way: "That was a nice way of saying he could care less about the show."
Dear Alan:

I know a lot of people say could in place of couldn't -- but didn't think you'd fall in that category. "He could care less" makes no sense.

R.K., Arcade
P.S. Always enjoy (though not always agree with) your column.
Dear R.K.:

Thanks for the lesson. I guess I've been watching too much television.

Then there was a letter from a fan of Notre Dame, who was upset that I wrote the Fighting Irish were greedy for making their own football TV deal with NBC.
Alan Pergament:

As an alumnus, I resent this slur on Notre Dame. If you would do your homework, you would recall that Notre Dame declined any participation in bowl games from 1925 to 1970. This was in an era when they had many great teams and national championships and, I am sure, would have been welcomed by many bowl committees. A lot of schools took the bowl route in those years.

I suggest that you contract Father Beauchamp at the university and have him explain the entire situation to you in simple language.

I do believe that you owe the Notre Dame family an apology.

Sincerely,
RJK, Class of 1949
Dear RJK:

In simple terms, don't expect any apology. As for Notre Dame's bowl history, I couldn't care less. The school is being greedy now.

And finally, the occasional article of praise.
Dear Mr. Pergament:

Your article was right on the mark regarding Mike Robitaille and Ted Darling, "purveyors of the obvious."

Considering the 20 years since the Buffalo Sabres have become part of the NHL, their fans have become too sophisticated for this quality of broadcasting.

It is refreshing to tune into other hockey games and listen to the insightful analysis given by John Davidson, Scotty Bowman and Harry Neale. All we are offered by our two "boobs" is a synopsis of the game, which we can pick up on the 11 o'clock newscast.

Hopefully, your article will push the program producer to make the necessary changes.

Sincerely,
Steven Cross, Buffalo
Dear Steve:
With Act III Broadcasting taking over the coverage of the Sabres next season, there may be a slight hope. But I suspect the Sabres couldn't care less about having a see-no-evil announcing team.

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