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ABC's of Zzyzx

April 28, 1985

Gordon Smith's article on Curtis Springer and Zzyzx stirred fond memories indeed ("Controversy Still Flowing From Soda Springs," April 15).

While I never visited Zzyzx, I used to dial Springer in quite often while living in San Diego in the 1950s. I remember his cheerful greeting, "Hello, this is your old friend Curtis Springer coming to you from Zzyzx Mineral Springs out in the heart of the Great Mojave Desert."

I remember that on his radio show, he hawked such curative wonders as Manna, Hollywood Pep Cocktail and something known as Andiluvian Peppermint Flavored Desert Herb Tea, along with enthusiastic testimonials from their users. Interspersed with all this, of course, was Gospel music and homespun philosophy all his own.

Springer seems to have been primarily a radio broadcaster, resort promoter and health food salesman rather than a minister or evangelist, however. He always claimed to have been the first person to have sung a live song on radio, in Pittsburgh in the early 1920s.

He was truly one of a now-vanishing breed of colorful, self-made entrepreneurs with no company or organization to back him, a rugged individualist in the true sense. He will be missed by many of us who heard him. I can only hope that his resort property can be restored for the enjoyment of future generations. This will be his best monument.

PAUL MEEUWENBERG

Los Angeles

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