Crown prince: Thank you for "American Ace," Jessica Centers's July 13 story on Russell Enloe. Broadway will never be the same without him. He had a smile that brightened the room and a personality to match. He was a dear friend, and he will be missed by many! I see Russell every day as I walk through my home, as I have so many little "purchases" from Crown and Aces.
Though our friendship was brief compared to the others who have written and mused on this man and his "large and colorful" life, he made an impact on me that will never be forgotten.
With friends like these...: I read with dismay the article about the death of my friend Russell Enloe, and felt compelled to write. The first thing that occurred to me about those quoted in the piece was, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"
I'd eaten breakfast at the Breakfast King with Russell a couple of days before he passed away. He looked good, and although he spoke of his disappointment in closing Crown, he was upbeat about opening his new store, his plans for putting out a line of modern furniture, his "great" girl and the hard work he'd been doing now that his leg injury was well on the mend. He certainly wasn't the crippled-up old man the article paints him to be! On the contrary, he said he was changing doctors on Friday and getting help for the stress he'd been feeling over closing his "baby," the store. Russell and I had been good friends for twenty years, since our young days as admirers of good furniture and fine clothes and friendly bidding competitors at lots of auctions, and even though I hadn't bumped into him for a year, it was obvious to me that morning that he was in better health than he'd been in April of last year.
I knew Russell had used coke, like so many creative and dynamic people we knew, but he had five years of being clean and sober under his belt, and he was really proud of that. If Russell fell in that hole again in the midst of his troubles, I sure as hell don't hold it against him. I'm only regretful that I didn't see something as we talked over our eggs. I know he would have been devastated that people he had treated so well over the years would have gone to a reporter to smear his reputation. I will instead remember a man with boundless energy, a dedicated and hard worker and the most creative and talented guy I ever had the privilege to know.
I have to ask why Westword, having chronicled Russell's successes over the years, chose to publish such an ugly epitaph? Jessica Centers should find a job writing for The Star, and I hope Russell's disloyal employees and "friends," the Coopers, can live with themselves knowing Russell would be deeply hurt by their willingness to spread malicious gossip and low innuendo. No doubt it would have killed any feelings he had for them, and anyone who knew this generous and decent guy knows he deserved better.
A date with destiny: Regarding Jessica Centers's "A Different Kind of Lair," in the July 13 issue:
Matt Buschbacher's career move from white supremacist to pick-up artist coach is no surprise. These two kinds of sleazeballs have a lot in common: an unfounded superiority complex, a lust to dominate, underhanded psychological manipulations, a charismatic appeal to losers who blame others for their failures, a disingenuous explanation of their profession's noble, lofty goals, and an amusing blindness to how pathetic they appear to normal people.
Don't join the club: I have been both disappointed and amused to see Westword morph over the years from a local weekly appealing to a broad array of Denver readers to what is now a paper that recognizes as its readership only a narrow category of club-going semi-illiterates who need to either join a how-to group to get laid or, better, travel to southeast Asia to buy the sort of satisfaction that just can't be found on domestic soil. Westword has become a bizarre, badly written sham that markets itself as some sort of hip, progressive, local voice of the zeitgeist but is in reality nothing more than a glossy, shiny, chain-owned string of advertisements and empty nonsense.
A mere sham, of course, merits no comment. What does deserve remark is your stunning lack of integrity, research ability and, frankly, moral grounding in your June 1 "Game On" story on Matt Buschbacher, ladies' man (and Hitler-lover). A front-page article on the desperate maneuvers of a sad little group of men who need therapy more than they need a date is certainly a pathetic excuse for journalism, but that the "leader" is a white supremacist ("A Different Kind of Lair," July 13) reveals Westword to be in far worse straits than I had imagined possible.
Congratulations, Westword: You evolved with this story from simply promoting the immature and uninteresting antics of a few hapless losers to giving, gratis, a huge ad campaign to a fucking Nazi.
Front and center: My question is, how did this sneak by? Not the initial reporting for "Game On," but by the front page of the July 13 issue. You put this guy's mug on the front page for a "club" he started to help guys with no game, but won't put his face on the front page when exposing the more important, real and deviant club he was a part of, the neo-Nazis. Man, I love Westword, but you guys need to get your priorities straight!
Lair tactics: I had the displeasure of meeting Matt Buschbacher recently, when he was working the door at a local club (apparently more as a pick-up artist than an actual doorman). There was not a woman who walked in that he didn't try some sort of line out on, and I watched him crash and burn with every last one.
I have followed the pick-up artist movement for some time now -- since well before Neil Strauss's book The Game came out. I can say that some of the major principles PUAs have is that they will not step on each other's toes. They look out for one another, and there is an amazing sense of friendship among people you would expect to be fighting over women. Until I met Matt.
To hear that he was a neo-Nazi fascist-type skinhead doesn't surprise me too much. It seems there are still some inferiority-complex issues there.
Name withheld on request
One steppe beyond: Regarding Adam Cayton-Holland's "Among the Mongols," in the July 6 issue:
I don't care whether they're Mexican or Mongolian. If they're illegal, they don't belong in this country. Shame on Westword for devoting so much space to a story about yet another group taking advantage of our American hospitality.
Community service: I truly appreciate all the time and the interest Adam took to understand our community at this level. I am very much impressed. Thank you.
Denver True lies: Having just watched the film An Inconvenient Truth, I think it would have been nice if Alan Prendergast's article showcasing the professor in disagreement with global warming being true ("The Skeptic," June 29) would have given even one fact or figure to discredit Mr. Gore's well-thought-out and researched presentation. This is not unlike the inconvenient truth that vaccines cause autism. Personally, I'd like more in-depth "proof" as to why what is inconvenient really "isn't there."
Free bird: In the June 29 Beatdown, Dave Herrera wrote very eloquently about the spirit of mutual support among the musicians present at the Westword Music Showcase Awards Ceremony -- with the unfortunately notable exception of the winners in reggae/ska. P-Nuckle is a good band with competent musicians, and we knew in advance they would probably take home the cake, due to the unflagging efforts of their publicist. I don't think anybody in Lion Soul JAH even voted; we just aren't about the politix, and we encourage all the young reggae players coming up behind us.
I would never say that P-Nuckle didn't deserve to win it, but I can hardly imagine an image more antithetical to what we hold the values of reggae to be -- respect for all people -- than the picture of the P-Nuckle guitarist holding the award while flipping the bird. What really matters most is that the vibe is being carried forward, and that reggae -- gospel music for the masses -- continues to penetrate the culture with healing, solution-focused lyrics and opportunities for community unity.
We want to thank Westword for recognizing reggae/ska as a legitimate genre of music, even though (for future reference) reggae and ska are as distinctly different as any first cousins, like blues and R&B. But it feels like a victory that at least we are not completely invisible. Our only disappointment was that the spirit of reggae was not more honorably represented.
Adding insult to injury: Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Whistle Stop," in the June 8 issue:
Thank you for your article informing us about what University Hospital did to nurse Lisa Rohrbough. I salute her bravery. Isn't it ironic that she is being accused of creating a "hostile work environment" when she was trying to prevent a hostile patient environment? What happened to the part of the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take when they vow to do no harm? I guess it's gone, along with our constitutional rights. I'm canceling my doctor's appointment at that wretched hospital!
Turning water into whine: Regarding Patrick Osborn's July 6 Drunk of the Week:
About three years ago, my fiancée and I split up. This breakup affected every part of my life. A friend who was sympathetic to my situation suggested I visit the Church of Scientology to receive some help.
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Upon walking in the front doors, I was greeted by friendly folks who showed me around. I spoke with a gentleman who simply listened. He had me read a chapter in a book by L. Ron Hubbard that explained, in simple terms, why relationships end, and the necessary steps to recovering one. My fiancée agreed to go with me to the Church of Scientology and speak with someone. That is where both of our lives changed forever with the marriage counseling we received.
We are happily married with a daughter. My wife and I are now members of the Church of Scientology, and we are grateful for the happiness our religion has brought us.