And, most obviously, if there were not unwanted animals around, these would not be available for mistreatment by tortured souls. Unfortunately, all of these tend to cluster in some neighborhoods--unspayed animals, abandoned pets and abused children.

It is not without reason that many humane societies focus on both animals and children.

Susan Jackson

Rainbow Jest
I got a kick out of your bit on the Rainbow clan thieving water ("The Dark Side of the Rainbow," Dave Irwin, July 2). A National Guard incident against the drunk/militant faction of the Rainbow campers would likely be the most exciting thing to happen to American media since they tried to stick the baboon heart in that one infant.

I also found laughable the turn of phrase "Water Bitch." Admittedly, this clan seems to be in the wrong, but you have to smile at the image of a bunch of drunk hippies with shotguns yelling, "Water Bitch, we're gonna kill you!" This is another in a long line of brilliant examples of how life would not be simpler and more peaceful if we'd all just box up our microwaves and live in the trees.

Name withheld by request

Punch Line Forms to the Right
I cannot thank you enough for the skinny on John McCain (Flashes, June 25)! Until I heard about the Chelsea joke, I, too, thought he was some kinda angel. No more! Absolutely nothing he says or does in the future will change my negative opinion of him. Yes, I am a Democrat, but my Republican sister and husband feel the same way. It reminds me of the movie Sweet Smell of Success, when the television talk-show host for a children's program says "that will hold the little bastards" while the mike was still on. Nothing will save him now!

Eleanor Wolf
via Internet

Denizens of Denny's
I really liked the piece on the Seventh Street and Camelback Denny's ("Boy Meets Grill," Barry Graham, June 25). Often have I gone there just to see the midnight clientele. Nice to know that somebody can be a little objective about a cultural center, although it was rather tongue-in-cheek.

But that's not the world's only Gay Denny's. I lived in Salt Lake City for a few months in '95-'96, and the Denny's at 300 West 500 South was the Gay Denny's. Some serious freaks lived there, let me tell you. The first time my roommate took me there, she just wanted the shock value. I did not expect that from the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I met a girl there with a dick bigger than mine.

I missed that gathering place of the social outcasts when I moved back to Arizona. I was relieved to find that the Gay Denny's wasn't just a one-time happening, but kind of an evolution of society as a whole.

Really, great piece. I was able to see everything in my mind's eye as you described it. I relished my memories of that little community in the land of Mormons much today.


I was sitting with my friends today, eating my seasoned fries and sipping a Coke, when I was surprised to find an article on the very restaurant I was dining at: the Gay Denny's. The coolest diner in town. Why is it so cool? For the same reasons Mr. Graham states in his writing. It's social, the most interesting people go there, and the food . . . well, the food pretty much sucks. It's the best you can expect from this particular establishment, though, and believe me, I've had experiences with many a Denny's. The best part of going there is the fact that going there shouldn't be so much fun. Hell, it's a Denny's, a white-trash-hick-redneck-cliche-type thing, after all. A Midwestern truck driver stereotype. And now it's become a personal hangout; a place that lovingly provides my friends and me with a social atmosphere along with some halfway decent food and, as was mentioned, great air conditioning.

So, as expected, we were very pleased with Graham's work. I enjoy his writing all the time (New Times being the only great, ballsy, truthful and fun mainstream paper in this city) and was definitely enthralled with this piece. Not only well-written, it had good depth and provided a very honest view of the clientele, although the accompanying illustration does the opposite.

I admit, normal people do tend to stand out in such an atmosphere, and I think that's the best part. A picture of lower- and middle-class dining, and, in smaller respects, lifestyle, hosting such a variety of freaks is very refreshing and gives this particular Denny's great charm. Thanks, Graham, from the whole crowd.

Gay Denny's patrons
Katie, Rachel, Amanda and Yaro

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