Guv 'til It Hurts
Congratulations to Michael Lacey on a brilliant piece of journalism ("Trusting in Family Values," November 9)! God, how I hunger for well-written, eloquent, truthful articles spiced with brilliant, stabbing humor at the Fifester's (shyster's?) shenanigans, and bringing down a peg or two his high-and-mighty, above-the-law attitude and current bout of bloody amnesia. String him up by his silk tie!

Accolades to people of courage and wit for giving a starving population something of substance and truth to read and for exposing this two-bit huckster. Fife's days are numbered. Open up Fife's empty malls for the homeless, who sleep in the Orwellian downtown cityscape in the cold shadows of that Mercado.

Sue Gunn, owner
Phoenix Hostel

According to social activist Julian Bond, "Dutch" Reagan's cabinet committed 111 felonies, but the leaner/meaner Fife Symington is in much more Dutch than the Swiss Miss factory.

Richard P. Beeman

Another embarrassment for Arizona. Fife Symington's bankruptcy has been picked up by the news media across the nation. I could not help but compare his actions with other public figures in our society. When things get tough, many believe in taking the unethical or easy way out. Readers need to be reminded of a public figure who chose not to take the low road. He failed at business, but refused to declare bankruptcy. It took 15 years to pay off his debts. His name: Harry S Truman.


A Perfect Wife
Her scent is Chanel No. 5 tinged
with lemony Pledge
Into topiary shapes she sculptsthe hedge
In her veins, the cream of human kindness
Toward her husband's foible
a practiced blindness
She brought a bountiful dowry;
what's more, she's an heiress
Gave her destitute mate a vacation in Paris
Silently grateful her parents were vehement
About drawing up a prenuptial agreement
Since her helpmate's reversal of fortune
she's so sympathetic
For his health, she urges he be more athletic
("Why don't you take up skydiving, dear?")

Not so much as a glance of subdued fury
When her spouse is probed
by a federal grand jury
She provides unruffled domestic bliss
Briefly bestows a desiccated kiss
She won't shout, "You bum!" or "I told you so"
Or serve humble pie with medallions of crow
Her husband is outwardly lacking remorse
Has she not for one moment
considered divorce?
No. She'll stay, faithful and loyal,
dispensing endless love
No easy job when your spouse is the guv.
Anne McHugho

Armor's Market
As a member of the Adrian Empire, I take exception to the slant of the article "Sworded Behavior" (Tony Ortega, October 26). It is unfortunate that the major source of information about the Adrian Empire should come from the Society for Creative Anachronism. Pancho Nuez experienced a tragic accident while fighting in a new (and immediately thereafter banned) type of helmet. The article didn't make it apparent that, because of our overwhelming concern for safety, in all the years of heavy steel fighting and Renaissance swordplay, that was the only serious injury.

There have been so many grueling days in the arduous Arizona heat that the men and women of the Adrian Empire have worked tirelessly with my students at school carnivals and summer-school symposiums that it sickens me to hear them so maligned. Not only do they bring alive the enticing world of medieval Europe, but they tend to wake up the fascination of history in children who are often unsuccessful students.

The most critical reason I, as an elementary school teacher, am proud to be a (real) sword-wielding member of the Adrian Empire is the effort our people put into stressing the importance of honesty, decency, respect and, yes, chivalry--in the game and in their lives. These are people I trust as role models for my students.

Most of the players I know, including myself, have never even considered being members of the SCA. But New Times' readers might wonder what made old SCA members "disgruntled" enough to leave and form the now-international Adrian Empire in the first place. Besides the weapons issue and the code of personal behavior, there is yet another difference between the two games that might encourage SCA deserters.

In the Adrian Empire, those who aspire to knighthood must work for a minimum number of "points" to qualify. Points are gained through "demo" participations, monthly combat participations (at least 18!), event participations and a tournament win. Our sirs and dames have the pride of knowing they met many challenges to earn their titles and, in the process, learned to be better mentors for new members and the children they work with. Knighthood is not a matter of who you know; it is what you have accomplished.

We will continue with our meager efforts to bring as much chivalry into the modern world as we are personally able. I invite anyone who wonders what all the muss and fuss are about to come to Encanto Park on Wednesday nights. See for yourselves the mettle of the members of the Adrian Empire. And bring your children.

Stacia Deering
a.k.a. Dame Lily Alicia McLeod

Splitting Headache
I have known Denise Hrudka for nine years. She is a devoted mother, deeply religious and kind person, and an honest and sincere friend ("Gasket Case," Lisa Davis, November 2).

All Denise ever wanted was freedom from her husband and a new, safe life for herself and her daughters. Unfortunately, the legal system has not allowed Denise and her girls to realize this goal. Denise has been hurt by the courts, and her children have paid a terrible price. Denise has lost her home, her furniture and lots of money, but she has retained her dignity, her self-respect and the love of her children. She also has gained the admiration of many women who also "trusted the system," only to discover the sad truth that divorce in Arizona is an ugly business that usually hurts women and children.

Name withheld


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