Carroll: Just who is this Emzy Veazy fellow?
What do Carl Heck, Michael Galvis, Lee Mulcahy and Andrew Teller all have in common? Hint: It certainly isn’t their political positions. Answer: They’re all prolific letter writers to The Aspen Times, and they’re good at gnawing on some readers’ nerves.
But there’s one writer to Aspen’s two newspapers who’s in his own select class. We’re talking about the one and only, Emzy Veazy III.
Just how bad does Emzy irk some of our readers?
Maybe this anonymous message, left on my voicemail Saturday, sums it up: “Hello, I’m surprised you’re printing, well, I’m not surprised that you’re still printing letters from Emzy Veazy. So, you are a complete moron.”
Some people just wake up angry, and this was one of them. It was a familiar female voice, one that often leaves voice-mail complaints on my so-called off days, those days that we often run some of Emzy’s entertaining and head-scratching missives.
His latest offering ran Saturday, and the day before it was published, our copy editors struggled with its contents. “I have no idea what this means,” one said. “I mean, look at this,” another one said. “Are you sure you want to run it?”
I said we should, given that it was about a story we published on the civil-trial jury verdict against part-time Woody Creek resident Sam Wyly and his brother Charles, who were found to have committed fraud by hiding assets in four public companies they later sold for billions of dollars. Besides, Emzy — a vocal supporter of the Wylys — has as much right as anyone else to have his letter published so long as its not libelous and stays within the lines of common decency (a line that letter-writers often push). We do have standards, but we don’t need to be as selective as major newspapers. That’s part of the charm of small-town newspapers.
On Monday, I gave Emzy a call at his Beverly Hills Courier office where he’s a sales representative. I always enjoy a good talk with the approachable Emzy, whether it’s on the phone or on the streets of Aspen, where he makes his home in the summertime.
“Emzy, why do you think people complain about you so much?” I asked.
He responded like only Emzy can.
“I have people who complain and who praise,” he said.” And the people who complain about me need to go to the library and get background information to understand what I’m writing about. Go to the library. They can study up and read up.”
Emzy is what you’d call a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, or so the saying goes. He doesn’t have a home — at least when he’s in Aspen — is a staunch Republican and can be quite critical of Aspen’s business leaders and elected officials. He refers to himself in his letters, and on his business cards, as an “esquire.” Why? “Because I’m a gentleman,” he says.
He first made waves in Aspen back in 2002 when he attended City Council meetings and called on elected leaders to enforce the U.S. flag code.
And he can wax on about his last name. “Veazy is an English name that can be spelled over 30 different ways.” But he coyly avoids discussion on the origins of his first name. “We’re not going to talk about that,” he said.
Emzy graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx and said he once worked on Wall Street, where he was involved in securities. “You’d be surprised by the neighborhood I was living in,” he said.
I asked him where he resides when he spends time in Aspen.
“Let’s just say there’s people I stayed with at times,” he said.
“Do you ever sleep outside?” I asked.
“Everybody’s slept outside before,” he replied.
Now 63, Emzy said he stays busy working and reading — usually four print newspapers a day, along with online publications and a book or two a week.
His primary cause is to advocate business and capitalism.
And then there are his letters. Emzy is batting about .500 when it comes to his letters that we publish. The ones we spike often contain unsubstantiated personal attacks. Emzy’s targets are usually Aspen’s movers and shakers who do Aspen a disservice by not tackling his business ideas.
“I’m looking to make money, and for other people to make money and for everybody to be happy, too,” he said.
So Emzy keeps writing, and it’s just not the Aspen papers that publish his works. The Emzy Veazy III name has appeared in the Denver Post, Forbes, Architectural Digest, the Robb Report and other publications.
Does that mean those publications’ editors are morons, too?
That I can’t answer, but give Emzy this: The man speaks his mind and puts his name next to it. Few people can say that in this day and age.
Rick Carroll is editor of The Aspen Times. He takes comments, complaints, questions and news tips at email@example.com.
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