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'Farewell Wish' Saddens Columnist's Readers, Friends

February 09, 1993

I was very sorry to read Zan Thompson's goodby column ("A Farewell Wish: Love and Laughter," Jan. 28) because I have enjoyed her writing for many years. I feel she was one of the brightest and wittiest of columnists that The Times has had in View, with a wide range of experience in many fields.

I was somewhat disappointed that Zan did not have enough room in that column to discuss her political career. Insiders know that, for many years, Zan was known as a kingmaker in California politics.

I met this lady some years ago when I was editor of City News Service in Los Angeles and she was managing Max Rafferty's campaign for California Superintendent of Public Instruction. Rafferty, relatively little known statewide, was an underdog. But Zan managed him to victory.

Later on, I became active in political campaigns, and it was then I learned what a power Zan had become in California politics. She brought many candidates to wins in the Congress and state Legislature, largely because of her influence with the media.

Zan was the favorite publicist of political reporters and TV news anchors throughout the state (ask any of them). The most influential political writers and TV commentators in California were charmed by Zan's hard work and sense of humor. Her candidates were always given a ready hearing and fair treatment.

I guess she couldn't really blow her own horn about her political influence. But veteran media people throughout the country and hundreds of politicians know Zan. When she became less active in politics and began writing her columns for The Times, I thought her personal columns were the best, when she would write about her dogs or cat, or funny things her sister Pat did, or breakdowns around the house, or her travels to Ireland or even her terrible knee operations.

She is one terrific writer, and I am among the many who will now be missing those columns.


Palm Springs

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