Briefs: Fordlandia, Letters

:: Henry Ford built a city in the Brazilian jungle.

Fenced in by jungle, Fordlandia was transformed into a modern suburb with rows of snug bungalows fed by power lines running to a diesel generator. The main street was paved and its residents collected well water from spigots in front of their homes—except for the U.S. staff and white-collar Brazilians, who had running water in their homes. The North Americans splashed in their outdoor swimming pool and the Brazilians escaped the sun by sliding into another pool designated for their use. “Villa Brasileira,” as one area of the town was known, boasted tailors, shops, restaurants and shoemakers to serve the local workers. The sweet smell of bread wafted from a bakery; the butcher shop offered beef, pork and chicken at subsidized prices. On paper, it sounded like a dream.

But there were problems.


:: Some reader mail-

Dear Mr. Editor;

I’d be very interested in knowing if there is a possible connection between philanthropist Walter J. Rhine’s recent donation of $5 million to the City Orchestra and the Orchestra’s recent acquisition of his daughter, Claudia Rhine-Goss, as first chair cellist, and conductor Vladimir Korzikov’s cancellation of his appearance at the City Orchestra’s November 2nd concert, citing “carpal tunnel syndrome.” Seeing as the City Orchestra’s telemarketers have called me seven times to ask for my annual fund contribution, but the subscription office did not improve my box seats for this season, I would like some answers before I send them another check for $100.

I believe a full investigative report is highly necessary.

Mrs. Walter Thurmond

I would think that a not-really-all-that-bad cellist is a small price to pay for a sizable donation to the Orchestra which will result in you probably receiving fewer fundraising calls over the next few years. As for Mr. Korzikov’s condition, word has it that his contract is up for renewal soon and he developed the nasty case of carpal tunnel syndrome in his negotiating hand.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, send them along to

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