Evan Mecham died today. I hate to say it, but it is really difficult for me to come up with anything that resembles a eulogy here. Perhaps this is because I am either a dissident Democrat or part of the militant homosexual lobby. His impeachment shortened term embarassed a state that I am usually so proud of. He ruled largely by vendetta and ignorance.
He was governor during my politically formative late teenage years, so I guess you could say that whatever you read here is due to him.
Some good points about him: he served honorably in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War and flew P-38’s and P-51’s before being shot down and held as a prisioner of war for three weeks. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart for his service. He is also reputed to have sold a young man named Vincent Furnier his first vehicle.
Interestingly, the National Governors Association does not list Mecham on its list of former Arizona governors.
NB – For a complete rundown of Mecham’s term, I urge you to find High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Term and Trials of Evan Mecham by Ronald Watkins (no relation to Ralph Watkins).