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There's Ramon Paniagua's Tribute, Then There's Dennis Rodman's Birthday Party

July 11, 1999

It was a pleasant surprise to see your coverage of Ramon Paniagua's personal and respectful tribute to American veterans at his Mt. Washington home ("Saigon by Southwest," by Rachel Reiss, So SoCal, June 6) after turning past Dennis Rodman's hip-hop birthday bash and his freaky guests ("Happy Birthday to Whom?" by Mark Ehrman, June 6).

Horrors! A photograph of Paniagua adorned with two bandoleers of 50-caliber ammunition in a Los Angeles Times publication. No multicolored dyed hair and no rings through his nose or armor-piercing earrings? Just a regular-looking guy, grateful to and respectful of our veterans. Chances are, Paniagua can find his socks and shoes every morning and throws no tantrums on the court, either.

If forced to choose sides when (not if) the social revolution occurs, I would share a foxhole with Paniagua and his military ordnance collection, not with The Worm and his Jerry Springer lifestyle.

Will Lawson

Costa Mesa

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