The letter by Marc K. Battle (The Mail, 6/28) taking exception with Felix Gillette’s hard-hitting and insightful article “Miss Appropriated” (6/21) left me limp. Battle berated Gillette for his lack of factual evidence supporting the assertion that Sarah-Elizabeth Langford, the recently crowned Miss D.C., is nothing more than the queen of “pageant-hoppers” and did in fact move to D.C. for the sole purpose of getting a shot at the Miss America title.

I sat on the edge of my seat while reading Battle’s letter, waiting for him to provide a shred of evidence indicating that Langford’s participation in the Miss D.C. pageant was ancillary to the real reason she resides here. It just never came. Battle attempts to convince us that Langford’s status as a third-year student at Howard University School of Law explains her D.C. residency. That means nothing without telling us how long Langford has been attending Howard University.

Having recently attended the Miss Michigan pageant to support the daughter of my college buddy, who did not win, I can’t resist sharing a juicy tidbit of information. There were two young ladies who also did not win the Miss Michigan title after their second attempt. I was struck by the fact that both of them looked like the consummate Hollywood depiction of a Miss America, sporting perfect but scary smiles and personalities that belonged to someone in a black dress with a whip. During the “After Glow” party, I had a chance to talk with these two young ladies, who upon learning that I worked in Washington, D.C., both said they were “seriously considering moving to D.C. next year so that they could take a whack at the Miss D.C. pageant.” Coincidence? I don’t think so!

I do agree that home is where the heart is, but sad as it may be, I think there are too many hearts set on getting to Atlantic City at any cost.

Arlington, Va.