Ticket With a Grain of Salt
Hopefully, New Times is getting $2,200 worth of publicity from the purchase of Fife Symington's ASU tickets. Peter Gilstrap's column about the retired carpenter using those tickets was a fine piece of journalism (Screed, October 19). The only part missing was the part about how angry the retiree was at the greedy person who invested millions of his pension fund in a risky real estate deal.

Congratulations to New Times, Inc., on the acquisition of newspapers in Texas, California and Florida! The company won't expect to make a profit on those businesses, will it? And if something terrible happened, and those papers failed, I am confident that the fine people at New Times would pay every single vendor, large and small, out of their personal bank accounts, and would certainly never consider filing bankruptcy!

I am looking forward to upcoming articles on other working people and small businesses screwed over by past bankruptcy filings by America West Airlines, Circle K and others. Good luck on those out-of-state nonprofit "only for the good of the people" papers. I know this sounds crazy, but there are nasty rumors around town that New Times' top corporate people, advocates of the regular people, have been seen wearing expensive suits!

Michael Smith

Eff" Word
Allow me to help locate the origin of the mysterious figure described in Peter Gilstrap's "best of" column (Screed, September 21). "Eff" had a brother (or a sister, since they were seemingly sexless beings) named "tee." Together, they spelled a primitive abbreviation for Tastee-Freez, now virtually a nonexistent ice cream chain. These figures were the Akbar and Jeff of Tastee-Freez, whose images were found on napkins, wrappers, paper cups and the outsides of stores.

As a youngster in the '60s growing up in rural Arizona, I remember being vaguely disturbed by these characters, too. They were never fully explained in advertising. Their apologetic lower-case names suggested a darker, more sinister conception--oh, well, at least the ice cream was good.

Sam Reid

Gov Story
Michael Lacey's column about Fife Symington was wonderful ("Cinma Vrit," October 12)! I am embarrassed to say that I voted for the scum when he ran against Terry Goddard--only because I couldn't stand Goddard and his elitist approach to government and his little group of cronies--and I'm a Democrat.

When Fife talks about being a victim of the real estate cycle, what isn't said is that many of us small investors, who could only afford "tax shelters" like two- and fourplexes, got killed in the '80s also--but "sucked it up" and paid off our mortgages even though values dropped, because the alternative was going "BK" and we didn't want to ruin our credit. Also our parents and grandparents, who taught us to do the right thing, would be turning over in their graves if we tried to save our butts by "Fifing" the other guy.

Jim Foley

Recently, the Supreme Court decided that Charles Keating would have to repay millions that he misappropriated or lost in the Lincoln Savings and Loan incident. A few weeks ago, Fife Symington essentially told the world that if it wants some of the $11 million that he "borrowed," well, it can just whistle for it.

The daily press promptly started painting the governor as a victim. I suppose this means that if you want to be a successful thief, it helps to ply your trade from the comforts of the governor's mansion instead of a jail cell.

Mike Robinson

Sound Advice
There's a lot to what David Holthouse wrote about badmouthing Electric Ballroom (Coda, October 5). It's the new kid on the block, and it is going to get its share of badmouthing, because Electric Ballroom doesn't fit in to what certain people think is the way the music business should be conducted. As the house sound engineer at Gibson's in Tempe, I mix about 200 bands a year. I am sure that in their own little way, all club owners think they are part of the big scene. That they have this political stand in which they control the music scene. But they don't. You and I control it with our attendance and our money spent in their clubs.

Here's my Electric Ballroom story. I went to see my friends in the band One, basically to find out why everyone was saying such horrible things about the place. I went fully expecting to have my ears blasted out and my retinas burned out. To my surprise, everything sounded great, the band played great and there were lots of people--all this after three months of people and bands telling me the place was a dump. Well, I had a great time, and I find myself there a lot. That's my opinion.

Ray Anthony


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