Letters to the Editor

From the week of December 14, 2000

Great story! Much more should be written about the influence of the Beats on just about every aspect of the American counterculture.

Scott Vickers
via the Internet

Beat the clock: I really enjoyed Steve Jackson's article on the Beats. We've lost so many of them in the past few years; it's good to see someone keeping the flame alive. I got a lump in my throat while reading about Hale feeding Ginsberg the last spoonful of food after his death. Very touching. Beautiful article.

David Herrold
via the Internet

A glimpse of Ginsberg: I'm a 24-year-old student writing from Florida. A friend of mine living in Boulder sent the link to Steve Jackson's story regarding Allen Ginsberg and his friend/assistant Peter Hale. I'm a self-professed "Beat maniac," and I learned a lot of new things from the article. It must have taken a while to put together. Congrats!

Billy Boccagni
via the Internet

Soul food: Jackson's story about Allen Ginsberg and Peter Hale is wonderful; I am really happy to read something with so much soul. I nearly came to tears toward the end. I wish that all newspapers required their stories to be as thoughtful and thorough. Mahalo and aloha.

John E. Rosen
via the Internet

Sex and the single poet: I read Steve Jackson's "The Beats Go On" today in Westword. Although I found the writing pleasing and Jackson's detailed account of Allen's last years (as well as of my friend Peter's life and style) well worth the time it took to read, I was eventually amused to discover that I had been portrayed as married and with kids.

I am still quite young (24), still writing avidly and traveling abroad whenever possible. I went to Europe with Allen and Peter in 1996, performed with Allen in Boulder at Penny Lane that same year, and have continued since then to perform my poetry widely. I'm not married, however, and have no kids (of whom I am aware). Perhaps you could mention that I am still young and still available?

Aside from that, I enjoyed the article and photographs.

Geoff Manaugh

Remembrance of Things Past

Googie googie goo: I wanted to take note of two excellent recent articles that remind us of our city's past -- and offer a warning about where we're going. (Hint: It's not pretty.) The first, of course, is Robin Chotzinoff's "The White Stuff," in the December 7 issue, which celebrates one of Denver's more humble institutions: White Spot, a classic "googie." Who knew?

Fortunately, White Spot is still with us. We're not so lucky regarding Army & Factory Surplus, the subject of Harrison Fletcher's "Calling All Guys," in the November 30 issue. Reading his column, I was shocked to realize that the store I'd visited for years had suddenly disappeared, another victim of our booming downtown development.

Thanks, Westword, for reminding us that this city is more than fancy restaurants with $30 entrees, ever-larger shopping malls and a new Broncos stadium -- whatever they name it.

Liz Arthur

Coffee claque: I am writing about your wonderful article on Denver's last remnant of the White Spot empire. It brought back fond memories of the Thanksgiving dinner that I had there last year. I am grateful to Mr. Rickenbaugh for allowing this rara avis to stand yet another year.

Thanks most of all to Robin Chotzinoff for telling the fine tale of this relic coffee shop and relating a slice of pure Americana!

Hey, folks! Wanna save a real live dinosaur? Every Flintstone and Jetson fan ought to get on this preservation bandwagon! Best wishes from a Denver-born and -bred baby boomer.

Eric C. Ibbotson

Designs on Denver

Greed acres: Just finished reading "Down and Out in Downtown Denver," Michael Paglia's December 7 article on Currigan Hall and Skyline Park. Once again we are reminded of the seemingly limitless greed of real estate developers; the eye-numbing willfullness of, shall we say, less-than-visionary architectural firms that respond to the challenge of replacing truly fine buildings with a flair only for jealously uninspired mediocre design ideas (did I say "ideas"?); and the Webb administration's tireless efforts to support both of these groups. It would be hysterically funny, especially given the glaring ironies Paglia points out in his article, if it wasn't so low and contemptible. Nine times out of ten, these philistines get away with absolutely all of it. At least there is some comfort in the knowledge that these same people will read Michael's piece and be pissed off enough to perhaps lose a few minutes' sleep or take another Pepcid AC.

At least, I hope so!

John T. Haeseler

No-tell hotel: In "Down and Out in Downtown Denver," Michael Paglia does a commendable job covering the genesis and evolution of the largest welfare grant to a corporation in Denver history -- the $60 million giveaway to wealthy developer Bruce Berger and the Hyatt International hotel chain. But Mr. Paglia's focus on the architectural sterilization of downtown is too narrow to cover the magnitude of the decade-long frenzy by downtown hotel interests to pick the pockets of our city treasury.

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