Crime dog: Your "Goldwater Uncut" article was really good (Stephen Lemons, October 19). I watched the documentary by Senator Barry M. Goldwater's granddaughter, C.C. Goldwater, and thought it was great. Until I read your well-written story. There was a lot of interesting stuff left out of Goldwater on Goldwater, and I'm sure that HBO would've let the filmmakers get away with adding in everything you had in your article.
I'm a virtual newcomer to Arizona so I found all the organized crime ties interesting. I'm not sure all this can be explained away, however, by saying that Barry Goldwater was living in a different time. He must have known that these hoodlums committed murders and trafficked in drugs and prostitution. That he may not have cared is troubling to me, and I would think troubling to his legacy.
Timothy Bloom, Phoenix
Rough around the edges: Fine piece on Barry Goldwater by Stephen Lemons. The unvarnished, rough-edged version is a damn sight more engaging.
I got to know [Goldwater speechwriter] Karl Hess a bit in the late 1960s; at the time, he was living on a houseboat parked on the Potomac. Nice fellow and a grand raconteur.
My only cavil is the reference to Adams Morgan as the "ghetto" it was really a mixed neighborhood, white, black and Hispanic; what the real estate types call "transitional." I lived on Wyoming Avenue, near Columbia Road. I forget exactly where Hess lodged after his houseboat period. Some areas of Adams Morgan were edgier than others.
Regardless, I enjoyed your profile immensely, and the cover picture is worth a thousand words: the smiling, unshaven Goldwater with the f-you look in his eyes.
Dan Buck, Washington, D.C.
The human touch: Barry Goldwater was a very interesting character, as your excellent story proves. And, you're right, the documentary, though quite interesting, would have been improved by adding in some of Goldwater's more human qualities. You took what the documentary had and added entertainment value. I didn't know the man, but I think "Goldy" would have liked what you wrote.
I wasn't amazed about all the mob connections. I guess I had heard that this kind of thing went on back then. John F. Kennedy had well-known Mafia connections, right? Maybe, back then, the mob was more romanticized than it is now, even though that's hard to believe with The Sopranos on TV.
Anyway, great job at digging up all the details that weren't considered fit for the G-rated doc. I really enjoyed hearing from Sally Quinn and John Dean. Lord, are they blasts from a bygone era!
Elizabeth Miller, Phoenix
C.C. rider: I think it was totally unfair for Stephen Lemons to trash C.C. Goldwater's documentary on her grandfather, who was one of this state's and this country's leading patriots. And for what justification? Lemons comes down on C.C. because she didn't tell us that Goldwater was an alcoholic skirt-chaser? Even if true, why is that relevant?
I watched the HBO documentary and was in awe. I cried several times, especially when the family talked about their remembrances of Mr. Goldwater. Unlike Lemons, I thought these segments were the best parts of the film.
After a famous man has been dead for so many years, why is it necessary for New Times to bring up all this negativity? Nobody ever said Goldwater was a saint, and there was nothing in your story that takes away from his greatness.
Name withheld by request
It takes a native: So you have the guy who wrote a false story about a chef who supposedly cooks exotic animals and human flesh ("Xtreme Cuisine," Stephen Lemons, May 11) write a profile of the greatest man in Arizona history? Good thinking!
And why is it that you thought it was news to point out that Mr. Goldwater liked to have a drink or two and liked women? If he hadn't enjoyed both, there would have been something wrong with him.
I've been reading Mr. Lemons' diatribes in The Bird, and I can tell that he is not from Arizona. He doesn't understand the way Arizonans think. For instance, Arizonans understand totally what Mesa State Representative Russell Pearce is talking about when he brings up the need to return to the "Operation Wetback" days ("Mesa Muttonhead," October 19). Barry Goldwater would have understood that, too. He was almost a contemporary of Dwight D. Eisenhower's; it was Ike's administration that came up with the Operation Wetback idea, and Ike may have been the last president to have a handle on illegal immigration.
My suggestion would be: Find an Arizona writer to write about an issue so important to Arizonans as illegal immigration, and have that same person profile somebody like Barry Goldwater. Carpetbaggers just don't get it.
Name withheld by request
Throw the bum out: I just can't get over this Russell Pearce mess. How can this man get away with acting like a member of Hitler's SS? I know he has supposedly apologized, but this isn't enough. He needs to be run out of the Legislature.
In a year when Republicans are already on the ropes because of President George W. Bush's unpopularity, I would think this foolish or racist man would be a definite liability to his party. The right thing for him would be to resign.
In my mind, his "Operation Wetback" statement, followed by his National Alliance e-mail, constitutes a much worse sin than flirting with congressional pages via e-mails (see Michael Lacey's column this week). If I'm not mistaken, the National Alliance gaffe (if it was that) followed his half-baked apology.
Mr. Pearce is a well-known Mormon, who has been at the forefront of his religion's many agendas. Why hasn't the church spoken out against what he said? Where is the church not only when he makes racist statements about Mexicans, but when he commits a racial slur followed by piggybacking onto a neo-Nazi organization? Why doesn't the church denounce him?
Kim May, Phoenix
Punch line: When (giggle) the defenders (snicker) of the (tee-hee) Mormon Church absolve the absence (har de har) of the Mormon leadership at (haw) a recent gathering (please, stop it!) in Mesa as a neutral force (harrumph) in Russell Pearce's hateful (chuckle) anti-Hispanic statements, I just start laughing (until I cry). My sides are hurting. Please, please, stop!
Mike Durham, Phoenix
Stick that in your latte: I was really excited to read about this 13-year-old girl from Tempe doing rap ("Super Star Search," Serene Dominic, October 12). Being a performer myself, I was interested in reading about this to determine whether I felt this girl would end up on drugs and a has-been by age 21. However, I lost interest in the story after the second page.
The writer butchered this story so much that I couldn't understand what he was saying. Is she stuck-up? Is she down-to-earth? What? Is dad pushing her? I was more interested in playing Spider Solitaire than reading the rest of the story. This is a shame considering I was really interested.
I do really like your mag. I love reading the colorful stories about the clubs and catching interesting things to do. Just keep in mind that you are read when people want to relax at coffee shops. I hope to catch better cover stories in the future.
Name withheld by request