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Restoration of ideals

October 15, 2008

Re "Singing a sadder song in South L.A.," Oct. 10

I read the article on the Dunbar Hotel with a mixture of nostalgia and sadness. Not that I am old enough to remember the hotel in its glorious youth, but I have a great love and affinity for much of that era. I pray that the efforts to restore the hotel to some, if not all, of its former glory are successful.

In the article, jazz musician Gerald Wilson is quoted as saying that the hotel deserves recognition as a cornerstone of the black journey. But perhaps the hotel is more a metaphor for our society as a whole. After having allowed our youth to put aside fine and beautiful things for the coarse and ugly, I fear that the attempts to restore the hotel to the cultural jewel it had once been will be like throwing pearls before swine.

Perhaps what is needed is less a restoration of a building and more a restoration of ourselves. I pray we are able to do both.

James McDonald

Westminster

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