Thursday, September 20, 2012

Throwing pallets off the back of the truck: My favorite political candidates

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 10:43 PM

As a voter, I appreciate candidates for local office who address the issues I care about, which this year include bringing jobs to Fayetteville and addressing the rising level of gun violence in our community. Parking issues downtown? Yeah, that’s a real attention getter for people who never go anywhere near downtown . . .

That’s all I’ll say on that subject for today.

As a former (and completely unsuccessful) candidate myself, I can tell you that the life of a candidate is a boring one. You display yourself as stolid, dependable, worthy of the public trust.

A total bore.

As a writer (not a voter), my love goes to the candidate who dares to be different, who will say and do stupid things on the campaign trail.

The city council candidate who once remarked that “Fayetteville has too many goddamned tree-huggers.”

The candidate for city council who said at a debate, “I like trees and dogs as much as the next person, but . . .”

The candidate for Quorum Court who proclaimed, “I don’t have all the answers; I don’t even know what the questions are.”

The folks who were persuaded (I am among them) to join the local Republican Party, in an effort to “liberalize” it in 1990. We ran for office, but were seen for exactly who were were by the local GOP. We all lost.

The folks who run every election year, just like one of Pavlov’s dogs, anxiously awaiting the bell to ring for election season so they can begin a Quixotic campaign.

The folks who lose and try to claim that they were running an “education campaign.” Okay, those I don’t care for.

But my absolutely favorite candidate ran in the 1992 contest for Fayetteville City Council. My girl friend at the time introduced me to her, and alarm bells instantly started going off in my head. This woman ain’t right, I thought, as I listened to her brag about her family heritage, and how she was related to a famous figure in Arkansas history.

That and fifty cents would get you a cup of coffee in a local election.

I can’t quite recall anything she actually stood for, or wanted to accomplish in office, but I do remember this - her spectacular fall from grace.

One dark night a police car was making rounds behind a hardware store in Fayetteville, making sure that no one is trying to break in, or steal anything. Well, as bad luck would have it, our candidate with the family heritage was busy with her husband, loading up their pickup truck with wooden pallets from behind the store.

Upon seeing the police car, they jumped into the vehicle - he in the cab and she in the back - and left the scene, with the officer giving chase. Along the way, our candidate was tossing pallets into the street, trying to make the police car swerve off course, and maybe - what? Crash?

Coming to their house, officers found our candidate curled up in a cupboard, thus shutting the door on any further political ambitions she may ever have had.

So even though I never liked her personally, this woman will always be my favorite candidate. Fayetteville politics has never been so exciting as that year, when pallets were flying through the air in the night.

I live for the day when I can be entertained like that again. I wouldn’t vote for such a person, but if elections remain the sole property of the stolid and earnest, it’s a sad day for Democracy.

******

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa - I screwed up on Walgreens

Did I really read that wrong?

This is what happens when you get excited and start writing after reading an email sent to you by someone rather than checking something out.

Walgreens is not gonna close Walgreens stores in Fayetteville (no surprise to anyone but me) but USA Drugs. I appreciate the folks at Walgreens for getting in touch with me and setting me straight.

On the other hand . . .

We’ll still have some empty buildings, won’t we? And that corner of North College - even with Walgreens still standing - hardly resembles the most prosperous area of the city, with abandoned, deserted properties all around.

*****

Quote of the Day

We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood. - William James

sdrake@cox.net

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