By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Diary of a Mad House
How did you guys get a hold of my real "secret diary" of the impeachment proceedings (Flashes, January 28)?
United States Senator
Thanks for your recent satire of Jon Kyl's "impeachment diary." I wish you would expose it for what it is, though--a first step in his reelection campaign. What better way to escape from the shadow of John McCain and show how responsible and conscientious [Kyl] is than by keeping a diary (which is useless unless it's private, and one written for public consumption never is) of his "deep" deliberations during the constitutional crisis his party has foisted on us. Basically it's nothing more than a series of ads that the junior senator is getting free of charge. Will his opponent get such a generous offer when the election comes? I'm not holding my breath on that one.
It seems a shame that local talent such as Big Pete Pearson ("Goin' Fishin'," Dale Baich, January 22, 1998) or Rena Haus must leave town before getting the recognition they deserve ("Haus Work," Salvatore Caputo, January 28, 1999). Rena was a unique performer in this Valley who fit in comfortably with musicians of many styles, and was always willing to learn something new. Her gift for melody and self-reflective lyrics was matched by her ever-widening musical genres; and her strong local following will attest to her galvanizing stage performances. Her humor, style and grace will be missed in Phoenix.
Few know of Rena's many trips to the far northeastern part of the state, where she worked with children on the Navajo reservation, singing and storytelling. She often displayed the children's drawings of their sacred mountains in her home, and spoke of her spiritual experiences there.
As a graphic artist, Rena designed the spectacular Earth Day '90 posters, featuring native cacti and hummingbirds, and sold more than 10,000 tee shirts of this beautiful painting. She also designed many of her own CD, tape and album covers, and worked professionally as an airbrush artist.
Rena worked too hard for too little in this town where the finest musicians often receive little financial compensation or public recognition. She was a strong supporter of live music, and would help any musician in need, often opening her home and her heart without reservation.
Look for a brief return of Rena and the Reptiles sometime in early May. They are well worth waiting for.
Mike Shellans, lecturer
School of Music, Arizona State University
I should like this to find the nicotine-stained, Hunter S. Thompson-esque hands of Mr. Bill Blake. This is a fan letter. I am not in the habit of writing them--and I never thought I'd write one to a record critic, but life's rich pageantry forbids one never to say never. Ahem.
Well, sir--your treatment of the latest Rush and Black Sabbath releases brings honor to your trade ("Bad Medicine," Trashman, January 21). It's a rare old boy who can treat music as both an aesthetic and a cultural phenomenon--especially in that format. And yes, while it doesn't take a genius to point out those bands are bankrupt in both areas--it takes balls to write it in a 'zine designed to sell "subculture" to the curd-chewing, mall-lemming masses. You get full power-rock points.
As to your preamble, it may (or may not) interest you to know that it is a very common dream (minus the "colonic irrigation"). Referred to as the "hag dream" or "old hag figure," some Jungian schools contend that as much as one-third of the world's male population has that dream in its archetypal form. I recommend the works of Charles Fort.
Anyway, I am not showing off erudition--I just figured I'd like to give something back for the feeling, for just a moment, I was completely alone in the high-school pep rally that is our culture.
As for your ailments, try NyQuil and dating a girl who works at a pharmacy next time.
Luke Air Force Base
I previously called to thank Mr. Michael Kiefer for the wonderful expose he did concerning the Phoenix Mountains Preserve ("Deconstructing the Phoenix Mountains Preserve," November 26, 1998), and the dangers it faces. I am following up on that now because a few people have told me that when they inquired about our organization, Phoenix Mountains Preservation Council, Inc., they had a difficult time locating us, and some even believed we were no longer active. Well, we are very active, and now we are easier to locate. We now have a Web site at www.phoenixmountains.org which is active, but still under construction. We appreciate your permission to link to the wonderful story Mr. Kiefer wrote.
Of course you may write to us at PMPC, P.O. Box 26121, Phoenix, AZ 85062-6121, or you may call me at 266-4501. We encourage anyone who enjoys the Mountains Preserve to become active in protecting it. We have meetings the first Monday of every month, but you should call for location information. We have many events planned for 1999, all geared toward general public information and protecting the preserve we already have. Thank you again for your help in alerting the public.