By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
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All he's ever wanted to do, he says, is exercise his right to redress government." Now, though, he claims to be ready to move back to California because he's living in fear" of the government.
Public input is worthless in this city," he says. If this is what's going on all over the United States, you and I better start worrying about it. We'd better hope a few Madisons and a few Monroes show up."
So far, however, only a Lumbert has appeared on Rick's behalf.
I'M 60 YEARS OLD, I have terminal cancer and I'm deadly accurate!" says chronic tipster Bernie Lumbert. After the millionth telephone call, however, reporters tend to hang up on him.
Lumbert recalls one such case: $100 million in land not on the assessment rolls-big story! The reporter agrees it's a big story. And he says, `Who is this?' I say, `Bernie Lumbert.' `Bye, Bernie.' Click. Is my credibility that low?"
Bernie Lumbert never waits for answers. His own answer? Yes. Lumbert says he's convinced, to his own sorrow, that once he gets involved in an issue, people quit taking the issue seriously.
Roy Rick's a classic case," Lumbert says. Had it not been for me, he probably would have been a free man! He never would have been taken prisoner!"
Bernie Lumbert, who briefly ran for Arizona attorney general in the last Republican primary, seems to like trouble. To hear him tell it, that's why he moved to Golden Valley, that sizable cluster of unincorporated territory midway between Bullhead and Kingman. He says the only reason Golden Valley isn't on most state maps is that he lives there.
Why does he live there? It was deliberate," he says. I wanted to be where the action was. I came because I wanted the crookedest valley I could find, and this is it."
He says he bought his trailer for $1,200. It looks it. During one chilly evening last month, only the conversation was warm. Seems that Bernie Lumbert hadn't paid his propane bill. He says the county's trying to kick him out because his trailer's not legally hooked up. In the meantime, he even has to haul water inside.
Once or twice a week, he says, he takes his wife to one of the Laughlin hotels so they can shower.
The permanently peeved Lumbert lives like a person under siege. People perceive me as paranoid and irrational," he says, but I'm pragmatic."
He spends quite a bit of his time roaming around Bullhead City, taking up issues like Roy Rick's cause, whatever it is.
Rick's my beautiful dear friend," says Lumbert. He's so strange, but he's got a heart of pure gold. Such a beautiful heart. The sad thing is that Rick really has a story! A real story!"
THE FALAFEL TRUTH ... v1-22-92