Reader: The story of Joe Arridy drew me in immediately

"The Happiest Man on Death Row," Alan Prendergast, September 20

The Valley of Death

I felt it was important to take the time to express my appreciation for Alan Prendergast's writing talent and "The Happiest Man on Death Row," his article on Joe Arridy. It's comforting to know that there are still some reporters who are able and competent enough to share a story such as this one. I would guess that researching and writing heart-wrenching articles must be an emotional strain. As a reader, the pain was substantial; producing it must have been worse.

It was an article that I don't doubt will be in my thoughts for a long time. The story drew me in from the beginning. It was fascinating and made me shed tears more than once. I broke up reading it entirely over three days; the sadness of the history of Joe Arridy was just too much to swallow all at once.

Even sadder than any of this is a guess that Joe Arridy wouldn't have even a clue (if alive) as to why it is important that his name has been cleared.

Natalie Menten

"The Happiest Man on Death Row" was really well-done and touching. It puts lots in perspective by showing how recently things were so appallingly bad. While far from perfect today, our progress as a society is astounding. Probably since it had, and has, so far to go.

Damon Hostin
New Castle, Delaware

If anyone deserved execution, it was Sheriff George Carroll of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Survival of the fittest is an immoral concept. Such a story has legs.

Gene Edwards
Colorado Springs

"Gag Reflex," Patricia Calhoun

Facts on the Flats

I went to Rocky Flats as a young child to protest. Everyone circled the plant and linked hands. That was what my family did on a Saturday afternoon, as opposed to going to Elitch's or Cheesman Park.

Naomi Wolinsky
Posted at

It is not only the homeowners and public that need this information released by the court. The Rocky Flats workers who became ill because of the exposures they were unknowingly subjected to need it; the majority were told that they were working in a safe environment. The workers, too, are having a difficult time in receiving the just, work-related compensation they deserve.

Last month, the Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health met in Denver. One agenda item was a petition to include the Rocky Flats workers in the Special Exposure Cohort. You can find the petitioners' PowerPoint and oral presentations under "SEC petition" at

I urge the board to petition the court to release the sealed documents so that they may know the truth and make an informed recommendation on the petition.

Terrie Barrie

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.