There’s nothing lightweight about the writing in this week’s Throwback Thursday selection from Times Column One editor Kari Howard. In introducing me to this gem, Howard said of the writer, “Bella Stumbo had ATTITUDE.” Oh, yes, she did. From the top:
GOLDEN, Colo. – Like most of the men in the family, Jeff Coors, 43, new president of the Adolph Coors Co., is quiet and friendly, totally unaffected and given to startling remarks. Sitting in his office on the brewery grounds, here is the first thing he said.
“Jeez, I hope you don’t try to paint this family as some sort of idealistic, above-it-all kind of family. There are no fairy tales involved in this family. I get really upset with some (media) articles that try to paint this family as somehow Cinderella-like … you know, all lovey-dovey.”
He made sardonic reference to a magazine photo he’d seen. “I mean, here you had my mother and father, with all their kids and grandkids with all these smiling faces. So you think: ‘Oh, what a wonderful family!’ And my father had a mistress all the time!”
Now there’s a curious comment. Not so odd, maybe, the son drawing attention to the fact that Dad just ran out on Mom, after 48 years, for a younger woman, and has gone off to live in the lazy, hazy climes of Northern California wine country. The whole town’s been burning up the phone wires gossiping about it ever since, anyway. And if there’s one thing that instantly stands out about the Coors clan, it’s that they’re among the bluntest, most straightforward people around.
But the Adolph Coors Co. has hardly been deluged with lovey-dovey publicity these last few years. To the contrary, for better than a decade, Coors has been the company Americans most love to hate: boycotted by organized labor, racial minorities, women, gays, students, teachers and countless other special-interest groups.
Put that in your fridge and drink it! Better yet, read the rest: “Brewing Controversy: Coors Clan: Doing It Their Way”
You’ll experience the bold, traditional flavor of old-school American newspapering: This 1988 Column One jumps three times. And that’s only the first of two parts! (We’ll bring you the thrilling conclusion next Thursday.) Until then, read responsibly.
— Matt Ballinger
Photo: Joseph Coors, left, shown with his brother Bill in 1977, supervised operations at the family brewery in Golden, Colo. He was named company president in 1977, chief operating officer in 1980 and vice chairman in 1985. Joseph Coors retired from daily operations in 1987. Credit: Los Angeles Times file