Just wanted to say thanks for the "Bear" column (Living Out Loud, issue of Feb. 20). I go into Madonna's sometimes and mostly keep to myself, but I knew him.
Larry Gross is right: Bear was full of life and was friends with everybody. I didn't know about his death until I read the column. It makes me think that a person has to live for today. We're not promised a tomorrow.
— Ron James,Downtown
Larry Touches Me
I love how Larry Gross tells a story. I no longer live in Cincinnati but still read him online because I'm addicted to his writing.
His "Bear" column (Living Out Loud, issue of Feb. 20) is typical of his great storytelling. He puts us right there in Madonna's, giving us the blow-by-blow of finding out about this young person's death. He made the reader want to know this person.
Please keep up the good work, Larry. You touch this reader often.
— Clare Thompson, Chicago
I'm Praying for Larry
I like Larry Gross' writing for the most part, but he seems to spend a lot of time in bars, especially this Madonna's place. Let me ask: Does he think this Bear person, being so young and all, should have been hanging out in a bar? ("Bear," issue of Feb. 20.)
Gross makes a point of telling us how customers there raised their arms in a toast to their departed friend. That's not really a good thing. Maybe if Bear hadn't been drinking, he would be alive today. Maybe Bear helped kill himself.
I don't mean to sound mean about it, but Gross says he was full of life and a really great person but he hung out in bars. Do you know what I'm getting at?
Maybe God took Bear to save his soul. Drinking is a very bad thing.
I know Gross drinks, too. I'm praying for him.
— Debbie Stow, Westwood