Remembering cathedral

Regarding the April 17 commentary “'Crashing chords' at Notre Dame,” about the cathedral's organ, this verified a memory that shimmers like a dream fragment.

On Easter Sunday afternoon in 1973, my mother and Aunt Betty were cold, hungry, wet and tired of navigating slippery Parisian streets. We were only in Paris for three days, and Notre Dame was not that far from where we stood. They were both devoted Catholics, and it was not that hard to persuade them to keep going. We encountered a massive, diverse, wet crowd inside the cathedral.

I somehow threaded us to the transept and we were held in tight by the reverential throng listening to the organ. I only remember it was organist Pierre Cochereau because of the rapture of the assembly in the music. My focus at the time was on the safety of my mother and aunt.

Looking up into a vast blackness above us, I turned to my mother to see a tear rolling down her cheek. Later, when I asked, she said she never really thought she would get there in her lifetime. She loved the crowd because she felt like it was the 12th century. After the fire last week, I slipped her Notre Dame College ring onto a cord around my neck. The weight of it reminds me of the paradox of grief and hope — and gratitude for those precious moments in Paris.

Mary T. O’Connor, Akron

 

No fan of Kilby

Being an effective and responsible member of Akron City Council requires much more than showing up to weekly council meetings. My Ward 2 councilman, Bruce Kilby, puts in the bare minimum for his annual salary of $34,694 plus benefits. I can't see where he has accomplished anything in his time on council. Find me one accomplishment that can be attributed to Kilby. Ward 2 has no representation. Please vote for anyone besides Kilby.

Ronald Owen, Akron

 

Lowering the bar

Regarding the revelations in the Mueller report, it seems that we should each be reading about what Robert Mueller uncovered and evaluating the information as citizens of the United States rather than as a member of one party or another.

I can't help but think about how deferential Republicans are being to the president, and how they would never accept that same behavior from a Democratic president. Would it be OK for a Democratic president (or members of his family or campaign staff) to welcome help from Russia to win an election? No, it would not. Would Republicans think it is OK for a Democratic president to repeatedly lie about meetings his campaign took with Russians? Of course it would not be OK. So much is wrong here, that by white-washing it as “nothing criminal happened,” we are lowering the bar forever as to what kind of behavior is acceptable for any U.S. president.

Becky Weihe, Akron

 

Chance to listen

I attended one of the four community forums co-hosted by the Devil Strip, the Akron Beacon Journal and WKSU this month. It was a great opportunity to express what we like and don't like about Akron and our neighborhoods and think about positive steps. But more important it was a great opportunity to listen to each other.

How often are we too busy formulating our next response to really listen? The forums were organized to encourage active listening and participation.

Can we keep the conversation going?

Martha Geroch, Akron