Band One Short, Show Late

My husband and I attended the Tinsley Ellis show at the Pour House last evening (T. Ballard Lesemann’s “Soul-Drenched Blues-Rock,” June 27). We were very disappointed that his band did not include the advertised Hammond Organ player. In addition, we were frustrated that his show began at 10 p.m. and not 9 p.m. as stated. We sat in the event area from 8:30 until 10 and just about got up to leave when the lights dimmed 10 minutes before the show started. Although Mr. Ellis was a very good guitarist — we would have not attended had we known that all the band would not be there at Mr. Ellis’ late show.

Sherry F.

James Island

In Defense of Thomas

The political implications of Thomas Ravenel’s drug charges raise questions, as if opponents preyed upon his known personal addiction, planning an attack on his public office. Bizarre evidence and disgusting remarks from Ravenel opponents don’t add up.

The Ravenel family is loyal, honest, conservative servants of South Carolina, with no financial need to distribute drugs. This conjured up “intent to distribute” charge is ridiculous. Bottom line: Thomas was at the wrong place, wrong time, with the wrong substance. But substance abuse is a personal problem, like alcohol or gambling. Ravenel’s personal problem is fixable, nowhere near the criminal history of other public figures.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry repeatedly abused narcotics, purchased prostitutes — and was re-elected. If Barry were indicted on Ravenel’s charges, Democrats would stand by him, applaud him, hug him — and donate money to him.

Thomas Ravenel is no Marion Barry. Ravenel’s honest decision to enter treatment in Arizona is the fair, square, right thing to do. From what I know of the Ravenel family, Thomas will exit treatment and never waver again.

South Carolinians should embrace Thomas Ravenel, learn from this mistake, fight drugs better, and move forward with loyalty and forgiveness rather than venom.

Baron Hanson