Make that boxcar sillies

As someone who works on the Downtown Mall, I have had my share of meetings with the lovely crowd you chose to highlight in your most recent cover story [June 19: "Boxcar willies"] (

I loved the time that Rochelle interrupted me and a friend as we walked down the Mall to ask for money ("spreading good karma"). It was hard to understand exactly what she was saying, since she was shoving a large slice of pepperoni pizza down her throat and had a handful of popcorn ready as a chaser.

Considering the large pizza box, the full bucket of popcorn, and the myriad beverages scattered about, I decided that my money is better spent on some of the downtown merchants who pay rent, taxes, deal with local politics, and must deal with the people who decide Charlottesville is very bum-friendly and decide to have an extended stay.

Don't get me wrong, I know and try help out many of the people who hang out on the Mall– after I get to know them and realize that they actually need some help. My guess is that some fact-checking on your Boxcar Willies would reveal that these "kids" grew up in middle class America and are either just bored or looking, like so many other people, for their chance at celebrity.

Why write about them when there are an amazing number of interesting people in this area who make Charlottesville the unique place it is?

Lisa McCade