In a letter (12/5) critical of Mayor Funkhouser and his wife, Richard F. Thomas Jr. decries their conduct, stating “It’s worse than the Clintons, the Clampetts and every other ne’er-do-well couple made famous through dysfunction and general annoyance.” The Clintons can defend themselves, but someone must speak for the Clampetts.
There were no couples among the Clampetts. There was Granny, her son-in-law Jed, his daughter, Elly May, and his nephew, Jethro. Even California (at least in the 1960s) wasn’t ready to fashion a couple out of that mix. Sure, Aunt Pearl had her eye on Mr. Brewster, an oil company executive, and she was eager to find a suitor for her daughter, Jethrine, but by and large, there were no Clampett couples.
And the clan was hardly dysfunctional. Their home was an oasis of rationality in a desert of Left Coast madness.
Ne’er-do-wells? A malicious insult. The Clampetts were altruistic to a fault.
Mr. Thomas is free to say what he likes about the mayor, but there is no justification for his attack upon the Clampetts.