Strange Fruit

Senator Barry Goldwater's kin try to seal embarrassing letters about them from public view. Way to respect the great man's wishes!

This brazen buzzard can hardly believe its feathered earflaps! With the ink barely dry on "Goldwater Uncut" (Stephen Lemons, October 19), New Times' cover story on the real Arizona icon, Barry Goldwater's brood stormed the Arizona Historical Foundation, repository of the late U.S. senator's personal and political papers, demanding its Board of Directors seal correspondence on file between Barry Sr. and his family.

See, "Goldwater Uncut" detailed all the cool stuff about the legendary AZ pol that didn't make it into the maudlin HBO documentary Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater, produced by the senator's granddaughter C.C. Goldwater. Rather than C.C.'s G-rated tales of how Goldy once gave her a miniature donkey, or her mom Joanne Goldwater's plaint that Goldy was emotionally distant, "Goldwater Uncut" explored the senator's affection for the ladies, Old Crow bourbon and sports cars. The piece delved into the senator's belief in UFOs, his ribald sense of humor, his friendships with local mobsters and his constant annoyance at the pettiness and money-grubbing of his kids.

This last subject's illuminated by numerous missives between Goldy and his spoiled offspring, wherein he generously doles out loot to his four adult kids, only to have 'em come back again and again for more. Some of this correspondence was quoted in the New Times article, and (surprise, surprise) it was just this correspondence that the Goldwater clan demanded closed at the AZ Historical Foundation's October 24 board meeting in Tempe.

C.C., who sits on the board, was joined by uncles Barry Goldwater Jr. and Michael Goldwater. As a response to their personal embarrassment, they urged the docs be off-limits to researchers, though the entire collection had been, up until that time, completely open.

"The board voted to close access to the few, maybe two, boxes of Goldwater personal materials per the request of family members," AHF director Jack August sheepishly peeped to this perturbed puffin. "Our policies will be reviewed, and will be revisited at our January 9, 2007, board meeting. Meantime, no one can look at them, not even me."

August, a celebrated author and professor of Arizona history, explained that the senator's papers were deeded gifts from Barry Sr. to the Foundation, which the senator started in 1959. Goldy himself left no restrictions on the papers, according to August.

So, just to drive the point home, Barry Sr.'s two sons and his granddaughter want the papers that a freakin' United States senator bequeathed to the foundation hidden from the public because said papers make them look bad. Way to circumvent the great man's wishes!

The situation's awkward for the Foundation, as the AHF recently announced it would be raising funds for a move from ASU's Hayden Library, where the collection's now housed, to downtown Phoenix, as soon as a suitable building's erected. The Goldwaters have been much in the media of late. Barry's bro Bob Goldwater passed away the other day at the age of 96. And C.C.'s recent HBO tear-jerker has heightened the public's curiosity about all things Goldwater.

This jaded jaybird would argue that it was C.C.'s focus on herself, her mom Joanne, and her uncles in the HBO flick that opened up this can of colossal centipedes. In Goldwater on Goldwater, C.C. had her mom read from a letter sent to Joanne by Goldy discussing Joanne's abortion. C.C. also alluded to Barry Jr.'s well-publicized drug problem, showing him declining to discuss it on camera.

Though C.C. examined the Foundation's archives for the film, she claims she and the rest of the family had no idea that such correspondence was in them until they read the New Times story.

"Thanks for bringing it to our attention," she quipped to this querulous quail when queried about the censorship ploy. "Should I write a letter to the editor and say, 'I wanna thank Steve for bringing it to our family's attention'?"

Squawk, that won't be necessary, C.C., since this was hardly a surprise to at least one family member. Former California congressman Barry Jr. was asked for "Goldwater Uncut" about certain letters he sent to and received from his pop while Barry Jr. was at the Meadows in Wickenburg kicking coke. Just like he didn't want to discuss the matter for C.C.'s doc, he also didn't want to talk about it with New Times, though he said he wasn't offended by the question: "That's part of public domain."

Who knows whether the Goldwaters will succeed at thwarting the senator's wishes? But don't worry, New Times acquired copies of all the juicier letters before the archives were sealed (at least temporarily).

We read how Goldy handed out $70K in one three-month period to his kids. Perused his complaints about his offspring's insatiable appetite for cash. Studied one of Joanne's letters egging her dad to break up his mom's trust and distribute the funds. Viewed Goldy's letters to Cynthia Ross (C.C.'s name before she assumed the influential Goldwater mantle; her mother's Goldy's eldest daughter), tut-tutting her about her ambitions for a TV career. Looked over the gut-wrenching Q&A Barry Jr. participated in for one of his sons' school assignments, in which Barry Jr. describes his jones for nose candy.

You'd have to be irony-deficient not to catch the paradox. It's unlikely this dirty laundry would've been aired to this extent if: 1) C.C. had not exploited the family angle in Goldwater on Goldwater, while overlooking what she deemed unflattering; and 2) the Goldwater family had not moved to seal heretofore open and unrestricted docs.

The ultimate rub is Senator Goldwater himself went over much of this ground in statements to the press and in his own published memoirs. Goldy had 'tude, was his own man, and was inclined to tell folks to fuck off if they didn't like him. But some of his kids? Let's just say that fruit fell far from the tree.

Nursing Grudge

This famished fowl needed to feed last week, and decided to flap on down to Tempe's Heart Attack Grill, the embattled burger shack that boasts greasy "Bypass Burgers," fat-laden "Flatliner Fries," and a horny hospital theme featuring comely waitresses in sexy nurse uniforms.

The grill's burger-slinging beauties flirt up a storm and role-play with customers, sitting on their laps, pretending to listen to their hearts with stethoscopes, even pushing 'em out to the parking lot in wheelchairs if they sink into a fast-food coma. For lunch, there's a line out the door. And after its visit, The Bird reckons this may be another Hooters-like success story in the making. Burgers and babes. What's not to love?

Plenty, according to the restaurant's foes, who're havin' PC palpitations over the eatery's existence. Seems folks from Maryland's Center for Nursing Advocacy, a prudish national nursing-rights group, have been bellyaching about the Heart Attack Grill, using logic shakier than Michael J. Fox to declare that the sexy-nurse shtick promotes sexual harassment of their kind.

Is no sexual fantasy sacred?!

AZ state agencies have also been bullying owner Jon Basso (a.k.a. Dr. Jon) to stop referring to his saucy servers as "nurses." The pseudo sawbones says he began hearing from assistant attorney general Daniel R. Christl in August about how the Arizona State Board of Nursing had received complaints regarding the cafe. The board's beef's that state law dictates that only validly trained and licensed nurses can use said title. Christl demanded the sham surgeon refrain from referring to waitresses as nurses both at the restaurant and on its Web site (www.heartattackgrill.com).

Basso tried remedying the issue by referring to waitresses as Nurse* (note the asterisk) and a disclaimer that his gals aren't health-care practitioners. That wasn't enough of a kowtow for the AG's Office, which's requesting a face-to-face confab on the matter. By the way, both the AG's Office and the nursing board refused to comment on the issue. Figures.

"When somebody who has a title like attorney general wants to talk to you, it's kinda like a guy who's got a black belt in karate asking you to step outside," Basso tells The Bird. "The attorney general can cause problems for me. I'm a small businessman, not a wealthy guy, so that scares me."

Basso ain't budgin', however; he will continue to call his staffers nurses until he's hauled into court. He's also started using the title on signs adorning his window, only adding that he's looking for "hot" real nurses to sling burgers. He hopes this will defuse use of the term.

This rancorous rooster figures Attorney General Terry Goddard's legal beagles must be as swift as a sack of rocks to bite on this one. What's next, filing suit against Halloween trick-or-treaters dressed like nurses, or fetish types who wear vinyl nurses' outfits while whacking fannies?

Do these boneheaded barristers actually believe diners will enter the Heart Attack Grill seeking medical attention? Holy heron hockey! Most real nurses these days don't even wear white stockings, skirts and little caps, just scrubs.

Humorously, The Bird learned the whole battle with the state stems from a marital spat. Heart Attack Grill regular Jay Miringoff has visited the grub shack several times with his newly horny 14-year-old son to get a bellyful and an eyeful. This, to the chagrin of spouse Susan Miringoff, a nurse consultant for a local law firm.

Miringoff told this curious crow that he dared his Nurse Ratched wife to do something, which she did.

"I didn't think anything of it, made a joke, and my wife actually fired off a complaint to the nursing board," peeped Jay. "She was more offended that they were holding themselves out as nurses."

This isn't the first time Mrs. Miringoff has gotten her panties in a bunch. Jay related that she "used to grumble" about how Bandaids Show Lounge in Phoenix featured an exterior mural of a sexy nurse.

Though he relented, Jay was at first reluctant to speak with this magpie marriage counselor (for obvious reasons). So it's probably best if The Bird doesn't mention that Jay's in talks with the franchise-happy Dr. Jon to possibly open a Heart Attack Grill on the west side. "My buddy and I," Jay said, "are waiting for a good time to talk to my wife about it."

Killer Band

Finally, a note about a dope new band this peeper spotted on the 'Net the other day, a Phoenix rock act that's taken a cue from a local murder spree and decided to call itself — you guessed it — Baseline Killer (check it out at www.myspace.com/phoenixelitistcore).

Initially, this bird of prey thought, "Hey, maybe Phoenix PD has the wrong guy?" After all, the cops have yet to come clean on whether Mark Goudeau really is the Baseline Killer; so far, they've only implicated him in the sexual assaults of two women. Plus, PHX police have so far arrested so many members of the Goudeau family that it's hard to keep things straight.

The Bird's saying, will Baseline Killing turn out to be a family business?

Once this furious flapper studied things a bit more, it was apparent that the page was a MySpace music site, though, uh, there are no songs posted as yet.

With no songs, and a headline like "23 and counting," no wonder this "straight edge hateing [sic], weed smoking, beer guzzeling [sic], bass and drum" trio's only got 41 "friends" listed.

One of them, EViLBEN, may not be one of them, unless he was kidding: "You killed my cousin, asshole!"

The Bird finally got up with BK site-meister "Suspect #1," who informed this curious cockatoo that the PHX band plays "power violence," and likes to get into fisticuffs with fans and each other. "We wanna stir up an emotional response from the zombie-fied public," said the suspect.

Great idea, power tool, but what about a little more meat on that skeleton of a site? Get some friggin' songs goin', like: "You Slay Me on Indian School," "Sit Still While I Choke Your Sorry Ass," "Bus Stop Blues," or "Car Wash Corpse."

And think about some merchandise. Like tee shirts, or a Baseline Killer ball cap with dreadlocks hanging around the edges. You'll make a killin', bros. And, oh, if you decide to go hip-hop, call yourselves the Baseline Killas, yo.

Dive into The PHX, Phoenix New Times' leap into the blogosphere, including Stephen Lemons' Feathered Bastard.

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