Letters from the week of March 3, 2005

 Let Us Prey

Two lives devastated: I just finished reading Robert Nelson's article regarding Dale Fushek ("Cross to Bare," February 24). Nelson did a wonderful job. I have to say that when I began reading and I saw my and Jim Partsch's names, my heart started racing.

I don't know if in my conversation with New Times I fully revealed to you the pain and sadness that we experienced during that time. For years, I wondered why it all happened. Most important, I questioned my faith and was angry at God for it all. I had never in my life thought that I would experience the love I found when I met Jim, and then to lose it all was devastating. Not only did I lose him and the life we had hoped for, I lost my faith in the church -- the only faith that I had known and believed in since childhood.

Time and a wonderful counselor have offered healing. I do know that it is God's grace that has gotten me to a place where I can separate the church from God. I have returned to the church, and I have found peace. I am sure this peace has come with knowing that Jim and I can talk about it all, and knowing that he is doing well.

I will pray for all those who have been hurt by Dale Fushek, and I can also say that I will pray for him as well.

Thank you again for the accuracy of your article. After nine years, I can finally see clearly that my love for Jim was exactly what it was supposed to be.
Rini Montano, via the Internet

The pervs are running the church: Unbelievable article on Father Dale Fushek! How does the Catholic Church tolerate these guys? Possibly because pervs run the church?

Whether Fushek's actions turn out to be illegal or not, they were incredibly improper. How can the church let a man with a lifelong pattern of bad behavior be second in command of a big-city diocese, much less be head of youth activities for the Roman Catholic Church in America? Truly astonishing!

Classic was the line from one would-be victim that Fushek would ask the young guy to hot-tub with him in the middle of a Phoenix summer. And there was the one about the underwear with F.D. on the crotch, so the kid would remember he was committing a "sin" when he got an erection and saw the priest's initials. What a crock of shit Fushek was slinging to these impressionable boys.
Lawrence Ridley, via the Internet

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Don't hate her because she's beautiful: I just read "Drop Dead, Gorgeous" in New Times (Sarah Fenske, February 17), and I wanted to quickly say it was very interesting and very entertaining.

I hope these women get the support they need to overthrow Monica and Steve Rich as directors of the Miss Arizona pageant.

I don't attend any pageant events, nor am I affiliated with the pageant. But I'm an attractive woman. I relate to how it feels when a crazy woman like Mrs. Rich has authority, then tries to be manipulative and a bully. Just because she's devoted to the pageant doesn't give her the right.
Grace Ramos, Phoenix

Those who can't: I can totally relate to what Sarah Fenske wrote about the Miss Arizona Pageant, having gone through an ordeal similar to that of the women in the story when I was involved.

It's amazing what happens behind the scenes at one of these events. Also, isn't it typical of a painfully ugly woman like Monica Rich to be at the center of such controversy? It's as if she's taking out her misfortune on all these beauty queens.

It makes you wonder, doesn't it, why such a cow would want to get waist-deep into a pageant based on beauty and style -- something she knows nothing about? I hope the women you profiled manage to get the upper hand on this dragon lady, because I couldn't.

By the way, I loved the cover of your newspaper for this story. When I would return home after dealing with pageant stuff, I would look backward toward the mirror myself to see if a knife was in my back.
Name withheld by request

Sore winners: Yet another scorned pageant mother whose ugly-duckling daughter goes on to win a major pageant, thanks to the thousands of dollars spent on breast implants, cosmetic dentistry, personal trainers, dance and voice coaches, choreographers and tanning salons.

Let's not leave out the precious Mormon whose godliness was challenged by a possible imperfection or unimaginable indiscretion. Or, heaven help us, a poor pageant queen who has to endure a painful personality conflict with someone of authority.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that, in both cases, these pageant winners were honored with a crown, a title, thousands of dollars in scholarship money, a full-ride scholarship to Grand Canyon University and, more important, given the opportunity to represent the state of Arizona at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.

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